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Tamiya 1/350 Fletcher


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Chaps,

Just picked one of these up to ease me back into ships after a long hiatus (and to build up to the big titanic I bought many years ago that's still in the stash).

I'd like to build her as the O'Bannon.

So I'm wondering could anybody please help me identify what differences the 2 ships had around the time of Guadalcanal?

Also what aftermarket is still available for her?

TIA.

Edited by Harrypotter
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  • 3 weeks later...

The difference between which two ships??

I believe Eduard has some PE for that. I recommend to just google tamiya fletcher class 1:350 photoetch oder PE and just check out who

still sells them... I don't know how detailled they are though.

The O'bannon is an early roundhouse I believe and the Tamiya Fletcher is too, so if you get the camo right you shouldn't face too many difficulties.

I don't know about the AA gun arrangements on the o'bannon. But check this out...

http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/450.htm

Should give you some idea about the O'Bannon througout her service life. If you want to build her in a past-ww2 configuration, I'm out...

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O'Bannon definitely had the 1.1" Quad fitted in the high mount at Guadalcanal (one of only three Fletcher-class which had to endure using this woeful AA weapon in battle). She had this mount until she was fitted with the standard five twin 40mm Bofors mounts after the Battle of Vella Lavella on 6 October 1943. You'll need to source one of these 1.1" mounts if you want to build O'Bannon at this time - most of the 1/350 Dragon USN DD's have one included on the weapons sprues, otherwise L'Arsenal stock them.

The colour scheme is open to question - both Nicholas and O'Bannon (sister ships) departed the East Coast US for the South Pacific in their MS12 Mod disruptive camouflage pattern, but by the time they arrived at Tulagi in the Solomons they were probably in MS 21 (overall 5-N Navy Blue) but possibly in MS 18 (overall 5-O Ocean Gray). Although the possibility of the overall gray sounds suspect, this is based on several photos showing the ships next to others that were definitely known to be MS 21 and they were markedly lighter in tone. http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/pix2/0545067.jpg
Selfridge (Porter-class, MS 21) and O'Bannon after Vella Lavella. Note lighter appearance of O'Bannon (right)

This pic from Noumea in 1943 shows it much more likely to be MS 21 Navy Blue, but it still could possibly be Ocean Gray compared to the blue tender?
http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/pix2/0545065.jpg
Your choice, but you can't really go wrong with MS 21! Basically all horizontal surfaces are 20-B Deck Blue, and all vertical surfaces 5-N Navy Blue. Turret tops may or may not have been painted deck colour. The rough equivalent in Tamiya paints are XF-17 Sea Blue for the decks, and XF-50 Field Blue for the sides.

Aftermarket - there's a very good detail set from Gold Medal Models. L'Arsenal also produce some very good updates for the 5-in gun houses (highly recommended, as the Tamiya ones are too small) and other fittings like Mk51 AA directors and 20mm Oerlikons.

AA fit: the 1.1 quad mount as mentioned above. O'Bannon only had six 20mm Oerlikon mounts at the time of Guadalcanal - one each in tubs forward of the bridge, and two each side amidships by the gap between the two deckhouses. At some point in 1943 she had additional 20mm mounts added, one on top of the bridge at the front, and three on the fantail just forward of the depth charge racks. The aft mounts were not protected by splinter shields like the later, more familiar fit.

I'm a severe Fletcher geek, so I'd be happy to help out any way I can!

Al

EDIT: for corrections, additions and clarity.

Edited by Brokenedge
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Wow, thanks guys, that's exactly the kind of information I was looking for, so in essence, build the model up as is with a quad mount, my choice of photoetch and a suitable colour scheme and I should have a passable O'Bannon?

Can you advise which L'arsenal turrets I should look for, their website is a bit of a minefield for the uninitiated.

TIA

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  • 8 months later...

Sorry for using your thread Harry, but I have a question for Alan the Fletcher geek 😊

What is part B7 in this picture? It's not a 20mm I know....

96D0BD23-A394-4475-8CCA-CE1E017BC463_zps

Thanks

Sean

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Hi Sean

It looks quite an odd thing. When US Warships had twin or quad bofors fitted, they usually had a small director for, close to the mount. Part B7 is where the director should be on that ship but it doesn't look right for the director.

thanks

Mike

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Another option, could be a training gun? I know aboard the Arizona, for instance (the ship whose sailors I know), there was a mount on the boat deck like a simplified 5" AA gun, on which the crew would practice how fast they could put up a continuous rate of loading and firing.

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I have a question for Alan the Fletcher geek

:lol:

Mike's right, it's a Mk51 Director, used for directing the 40mm mount. Every 40mm mount will have one in a tub nearby. It worked with a gyroscopic gunsight that calculated lead angles for the guns. It was hand-steered and optically directed. Supposed to look like this:

gs-p5-1.jpg

L'Arsenal do a 10x pack in 1/350, very good quality.

Edited by Alan P
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Thanks Alan

If I can be permitted another question: can anyone recommend a generic set of PE rails suitable for the Fletcher? Looking at the specific sets they have a lot of stuff I can't see myself using, but the rails I think are going to be needed.

Thanks again

Sean

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If you don't want to splash out on the dedicated set by GMM, Eduard do some generic sets with 3-bar, 2-bar and 3-bar with netting. Atlantic Models also do a generic railing set with ladders - it's patterned on RN style, but seriously, who's checking that hard?

(Links for info, not an endorsement!)

Edited by Alan P
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Thanks again Alan, and hopefully I won't be plaguing you but which is most appropriate: 2 or 3 bar or with Netting? I really am a Noob with this subject and it's helping others too 😃

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They did have netting on the lower rung, but it's no big deal if you don't have it. If it was me I'd go for the Atlantic Models piece (ATEM 35010) and use the ladders as well.

Edited by Alan P
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Atlantic set is on it's way thanks.

So on to my next question as in looking at different pics of railings etc I also came across different armament layouts. Built as per the instructions the Tamia kit has 5 x 5in main guns, 1 twin 40mm Bofors and 6 20mm single Oerlikons. But I found this reference:

"By 1943-6 the standard light AA armament had increased to 5x2 40mm and 7x1 20mm guns. Radar was also upgraded to SG surface search radar by this time.

At war's end, the ships were refitting with kamikaze armament of 3x2, 2x4 40mm and 3x1, 4x2 20mm with removal of one bank of torpedo tubes. The quad 40mm mounts also had improved fire control in the form of Mark 63 blind fire directors."

But I've been trying to find a diagram that shows the layout of the extra armament without success The thought of it bristling with AAA just appeals to me. And there are some very nice sets of resin & PE 20mm & 40mm guns available.

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Here's a LINK to my build of the Tamiya kit converted to a late-war Fletcher with the extra AA. There is a lot of work to do, and practically every Fletcher was different by then.

If you use the Tamiya kit, you are restricted to the ships that had the early "round bridge" (semicircular front) whereas most ships had a "square bridge". I would use the Tamiya to make an early Pacific war Fletcher, and maybe pick up the Trumpeter "The Sullivans" kit to do the later massively more AA-armed versions.

A broad guide to some of the armament changes can be found HERE, but with 175 different ships to choose from, the variations are many!

Key:

tn_fletcher%20key.jpg

Early war (Solomons Campaign up to mid/late 1943)

1x twin 40mm mount, 6x single 20mm Oerlikon mounts. (Some had an additional twin 40mm mount on the fantail (red square, aft) in front of the depth charge racks in place of the 20mm. If this was the case, the extra 20mm guns were mounted at each side.)

This is the fit represented by the Tamiya 1/350 kit.

tn_fletcher01.jpg

You can build both the following from the Trumpeter 1/350 kit.

Mid-Late Pacific (Late 1943-45)

5x twin 40mm Bofors, 7-10 single 20mm Oerlikon

Standard Fletcher fit for most of the Pacific War after Solomons campaign

tn_fletcher03.jpg

Late (1945)

3x twin 40mm Bofors, 2x quad 40mm Bofors, 6 twin 20mm Oerlikon

This fit was developed as an anti-kamikaze measure.

tn_fletcher02.jpg

When you've got a free evening we can talk about colour schemes....!

Al

Edited by Alan P
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Thanks Alan! You're a gent and definitely a Fletcher expert....

And as for colour schemes: I've seen lots of posts on that too. But I'll wait a while before worrying about it. Off to pick up my first airbrush this evening :)

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Thanks Alan! You're a gent and definitely a Fletcher expert....

Thanks, but definitely "geek" not expert!

Edited by Alan P
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