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USGS Alligator w Submersible

   (Note- You may click on each picture for a full sized version)

Now that the project is done- here are a few ‘after the fact’ specs on the vehicles. Final movie links on very bottom:

0-Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0270-Description 0-Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0270-Descrition-03

Continuous Updates are on the bottom of this post ….

There are so many ‘cool tough looking truck’ vehicles out there – its time I dive in and make one that’s been on my model list for a while. This inspiration came to me from a picture of a real Russian similar vehicle my friend Herman (IPMS Cape Town South Africa) sent me a while back. Its based on that real Russian 6×6….but you know- with my liberty to add artistic merit. Ideally- it’s another one to add to my United Stated Geological Survey (USGS) what-ifs. This will have a submersible in the back end. It drives out into a body of water, then with the right valves, sinks a bit when the time comes to unload the submersible. It is not meant for deep ocean surveys – but there are lots of lakes around everywhere. I will update as this progresses.

Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0019-Started Oct-2015s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0020 013s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0020 015s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0020 015ss Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0020 018s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0022 004s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0022 005s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0022 011s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0022 013s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0022 014s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0022 017s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0022 023s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0022 024s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0022 025s


More updates from the weekend( 10-10th Sat and 11th  Sunday-2015):

Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0024 025-Good-s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0024 026-Good-s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0024 030-Good-s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0024 047-Good-Tires-s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0026 008-Good-s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0026 032-Good-s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0026 034-Good-s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0026 035-Good-s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0026 036-Good-s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0026 037-Good-s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0026 038-Good-sAlligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0026 041-s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0026 042-s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0026 043-s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0026 044-s

…and last but not least – a short video with narative. Please note- this person doing the talking worked with TV and Radio in Hollyweird and I can’t say his name. But- he needed work so I gave him a peanut butter and jelly sandwhich…..

More progress starting thru October 18th, 2015:

Some interior beginnings….

Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0028 008-Good

Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0030 005-Good

And lots of grab handles, steps etc….

Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0030 042 Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0030 034-Good Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0030 036-Good

Now some primer and paint…..


Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0030 034-Good





..and already bought some fishing stuff for boat bumpers and items for as yet to be designed submersible….


Some roof / hatch details….

Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0046-Hatch Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0045-Hatch

…finally some clear on the orange….

Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0048 002Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0048 006 Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0048 005

…and so it goes through today Oct 18th…..

Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0048 011

Wheels: After spending 40 days and 40 nights -well- maybe give or take minus 39 3/4 nights- I finally painted each lug nut on each wheel and mounted them.


And work on the roof / hatch / antennas….still in works:

Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0064 Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0062 Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0063

And an overall of where I ended tonight:


And a few more update pics for the week of Oct 19th to the 23rd……

Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0076 001-Decals-s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0076 005-Good-s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0076 013-Good-s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0076 014-Good-s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0076 018-Good-s

I think I found my starting basis for the submersible….

Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0080-Combi-01 Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0080-Combi-02

Some updates for the weekend October 24-25, 2015

Air Intake work-borrowed from our WW2 Sherman’s. Don’t want water to get into the engines:

Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0082 002-Air-Intake Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0082 001-Air-Intake

Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0082 012

Pilot House almost done:

Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0082 005-Good

Now for more lights when the submersible is launched and retrieved:

Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0082 044Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0082 050

Now for some real fun!!!! Sub work: you would not believe the work to take this toy gun apart!!!!

Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0082 Sub-Work-02 Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0082 Sub-Work-01

Hey- I have the main sub body and a new Sci-Fi Phaser!!…

Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0082 Sub-Work-04

I can not believe what it took to take this 6 cylinder chamber apart. Child proof? I think it was titanium proof!!!!!!!

Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0082 Sub-Work-08Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0082 Sub-Work-09-Bubble

And here’s all the work for this weekend:

Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0082 Sub-Work-11 Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0082 Sub-Work-12 Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0082 Sub-Work-13 Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0082 Sub-Work-14 Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0082 Sub-Work-15 Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0082 Sub-Work-16

Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0082 Sub-Work-17

Oct 27,2015:
More on the sub…..

Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0084 016 Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0084 017 Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0084 018

A few more updates from the frightening weekend…Halloween! (Oct 31-Nov 1, 2015). I dressed as a  model maker! Enjoy!

Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0090 026-Pilot house Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0093-Decals Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0112-Decals Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0113 Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0114 Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0115 Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0116 Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0119 Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0124 Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0125-Leo-s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0127 Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0128-Combi-01 Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0128-Combi-02 Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0128-Combi-03 Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0128-Combi-04 Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0128-Combi-05 Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0128-Combi-06 Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0128-Combi-07

To answer your questions on how this thing is suppose to work (Theory of Operations):
Amphigator-Theory of Operation





Nov 10, 2015: A few more updates….the main body of the sub has finally been painted…..

Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0156-Combi-01 Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0156-Combi-02 Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0156-Combi-03

Just a few more add ons….

Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0160 002s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0160 002ss Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0160 004s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0160 008s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0160 011s

And a few more in progress pics… many details to go yet…..

Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0166 009-Good Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0166 010-Good Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0166 012-Good Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0166 013-Good Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0166 014-Good Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0166 015-Good Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0166 017-Good Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0166 019-Good Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0166 025-Good

Just a few more pics of progress through Nov 15th, 2015. The sub is getting closer to completion:

Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0204 002s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0204 005s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0204 009s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0204 010s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0204 011s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0204 012s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0204 015s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0204 016 Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0204 017s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0204 018s

Additions up thru Nov 20, 2015….Enjoy!

Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0206 006s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0210 035s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0210 036s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0210 038s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0210 040s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0210 042s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0212-Sub-specs

Progress Thru Nov 22, 2015 – Submersible is completed…

Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0220 001s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0220 013s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0220 015s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0220 018s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0220 019s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0220 026s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0220 027s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0220 028s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0222-Combi-01

Model Project completed Nov 28, 2015……some final pics and movie to follow soon…..

Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0230 003-Good-s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0230 007-Good-s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0230 010-Good-s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0230 011-Good-s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0230 021-Good-s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0230 039-Good-s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0260 006s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0260 008s Alligator-USGS-Minisub-Carrier-0260 012s

And finally- two short movies in living color:

Part 1: Time 5:55


Part 2: Time 2:08


Published inScratch-Build and Kit-BashWhat-If?


  1. Herman Herman

    Not bad for a quick build between dinner and desert – This is going to be a really great Scratch build to watch. Not your normal extreme conversions. but a real ”bottom-up” build.

  2. Herman Herman

    Painted and completed already – that will teach me to go offline for a few days…………must have been working overtime at the Secret facility in the Bayou ! Now lets see what you come up with for the Submersible

  3. OrangeConvoyhunter OrangeConvoyhunter

    Like the ladder added in the front cubicle ! I can see from all the handles that this Swamp-baby is going to be festooned with loads of extras. John having another look at the size of the this vehicle it is another monster in the making. Are we going to see some Orange Camo ????????? Would be nice ! Be brave my friend it is the hunting season.

  4. Herman Herman

    Nice touch with the orange wheel lugs – I see the roof getting the standard U.S.G.S . Treatment – Nice !

  5. dinosub dinosub

    Very nice John! I love how you are building the sub. I can’t wait to see this at the meeting!!

  6. Herman Herman

    Air intake was a nice added detail !
    Was taken totally by surprise with your Choice of ”Submersible”
    It still going to take quite a bit of time to process all the cutting and dicing and fitting
    of this ”Ski-fi Gun” Conversion
    I must gather that the overriding choice for this item was the ”COLOR” LOL………!

    John what did you use for the Bubble-Canopy ?
    Am fortunate to have witnessed the start otherwise would never have in my wildest imagination have thought this transformation possible. !

  7. Herman Herman

    Almost missed the Tyre ”back-fill” another superb idea.

  8. J eff S. J eff S.

    LInus has been waiting uncounted years for the Great Pumpkin to rise. At long last his patience will be rewarded. World domination will be within his grasp.

  9. Herman Herman

    Very impressive interior work, how you come up with all these creative designs boggles the mind………….I need to know the brand of super foods you are eating ?
    Still a long way to go I imagine. Once again you have managed to build another wonder machine for the Orange Fleet.

  10. Herman Herman

    Now we are talking – I just luv it when all the decals make the plan come together !
    I thought the interior ”grey” was only your primer ? All the dials and lights etc make the interior really pop !
    Are we going to see some guide spotlights underneath the submersible and in the loading dock/bay area ?

    Attached image:

  11. Herman Herman

    John, now comes the serious part – the super detailing / Weathering – all those ”Bollards” cannot wait………

  12. Herman Herman

    John after watching the start of your Submersible Paintwork and continuous detailing of the Alligator I am now firmly convinced you have spent the last 30 plus years in the wrong profession…………………….or you have recently acquired a pair of sea legs in your old age………….!

  13. Herman Herman

    Are we going to see the divers on this build ?

    Attached image:

  14. Herman Herman

    Ok 1st must congratulate you on choice of Submersible color Scheme – kinda caught me off guard there for a moment ? Very Aquatic pastels !

    Superb chair detailing also really impressive set of light fittings. Would be soo cool with LED’s !
    John have you done the Bathtub check to see if this baby is actually waterproof ?

    Imagine your convoy being R/C now that is a thought to keep you awake at night.

  15. OrangeConvoyhunter OrangeConvoyhunter

    Whats next on the bench ?

    Attached image:

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