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ArnoldAmbrose

1/700 USS The Sullivans

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Gidday All, this is my first Group Build on Britmodeller, so I've decided to go simple. Plus I have a GB on the go at the ATF and wish to take part in another here (Journey's End) so I don't want to bite off more than I can chew.

My preferred scale for building model ships is 1/600 but I've bought a few 1/700 kits to use as a source of dimensions (3D plans, if you like) for scratch building ships, and this kit is one of them.

     I've chosen to do the Trumpeter model of the Fletcher class destroyer USS The Sullivans. This ship was named in honour of the Sullivan brothers, all five who served, and died, on the cruiser USS Juneau. I'll be building it OOB, and waterlined, also a departure for me. The reason is that many years (decades) ago I built two water-lined ships (IJN Yamato and Kumano) which I still have, and so will continue that pattern of build in this scale.

     Anyway, here is a photo of the parts and box art. I've taken the parts out of their bags because reflecting light was making photography difficult.

SV10 parts and box art

     The parts seem a lot finer than what I am used to, I'll have to be careful. I probably won't start straight away as I wish to get a bit more done on the ATF GB first - I generally don't like to have too much on the go simultaneously and time is a little more critical there.

 

So that's it from me for now, I'll try to make a start soon. Regards to all, Jeff.

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Hello Jeff, welcome to the dark side of BritModeller - Group Builds.

I'll watch your build with interest.

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Looks a good kit, nice subject and great to have you on board.

 

Rob

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Welcome to GBs!  Rule #1 in GBs.....Have fun.  Rule #2, see Rule #1.  ;)

 

I'm leaning towards a floaty thing myself...though haven't fully committed yet.

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9 hours ago, helios16v said:

I'm leaning towards a floaty thing myself...

Go on, you KNOW you want to!   😁     Regards, Jeff.

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Gidday All - "I'll try to make a start soon" I think I said. Hah! Six weeks later I've finally applied glue and paint. I've just completed my previous build so I can start this one. I usually don't like to have more than one model on the go at any one time.

     Anyway, here's my very modest start.

SV30 hull and deck 2

     As I think I've said earlier, 1/700 is not my usual scale, I've nearly always done 1/600. I'm finding these parts quite fiddly. They're also much finer in thickness, compared to Airfix. When I started to (try to) glue parts together I was beginning to think I'd made a big mistake, but I'm getting the hang of these small parts. To show the difference in size, behind is a template I made of a Fletcher class in 1/600. Quite a bit bigger. I'm also building this model as a waterline, another departure for me, I usually build full hull. As this kit is designed for both it has a lower hull and a base plate. I took the easy way out and painted the edge of the base plate matt black - Hey presto, instant boot topping!

     The deck blue and hull blue should be slightly different shades of blue, but I couldn't tell the difference in the instructions so I used the same paint, although the hull blue looks a little darker in the photo. Camera angle I guess. I also started the upper hull grey too far aft, but I'm not redoing it now.

     I've painted a couple more deck pieces still on the sprue. But that's about it, so Regards to all, Jeff.

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When the 1/700 destroyers first appeared, one of the joys was that they were finer than the clumsier Airfix kits.  I think The Sullivans is not a lot finer than the original 1/700 set, but if you try the Dragon Laffey, for example, you will be amazed at the comparison that modern tooling can make.  And don't even think about the Flyhawk kits.  Horrifying.  Beautiful, but horrifying to those of us with conventional fingers.

 

Several other of the Aurora kits were, the St. Paul and the Guadalcanal for example.  Not their Fletcher, unfortunately.

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Gidday Graham, clumsier could be a good description of the Airfix kits, but then I think they were more designed for boys to throw together quickly and then play wars with them, which is exactly what I did also. Now I no longer build them OOB but do enjoy enhancing them by scratchbuilding replacement parts and modifying them.

     This is a new ball game for me. Time will tell if I convert to 1/700 or stay with 1/600. Regards, Jeff.

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Posted (edited)

Hi Jeff,

 

The only Fletcher I have is the old Matchbox offering. As I mentioned in my build of Jintsu, the Japanese kit "consortium" for the 1/700 Waterline series did not do any "small" ships other than IJN in those days, so when Matchbox released their 1/700 range it was very welcome even if they were a bit crude. USN Fletcher, Indianapolis and San Diego, German Graf Spee and a "Narvik" class destroyer, and RN Exeter, Ariadne and a "K" class destroyer were built as soon as they were released, followed a few years later by Skywave's "O" class destoyers (2 to a box). Since I gave up there has been an "explosion" of 1/700 ship kits from the likes of Trumpeter and Pit Road and I could build another 20 or 30, probably more if I should so wish, and that does not include the WWI and post WWII offerings or limited run/resin. Ship modellers in 1/700 now have a lot more choice, which can't be bad, though they cost a lot more than they used to.

 

My Fletcher is is an eariler camo scheme - the box art on yours seems to be late war.

 

Should look good when finished.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

 

 

Edited by PeterB

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Posted (edited)

Gidday Pete, I don't know a lot about USN and IJN camo schemes but I agree the kit is late war or just after. Only one set of TTs are supplied, with extra AA guns in place of the forward tubes. This is not her original configuration and I was thinking of altering it back to her original guise but have decided not to. Two 40mm Bofor gun tubs are molded onto the shelterdeck and these would have to be removed, along with other fittings, plus another set of TTs sourced (which I have). As this is my first 1/700 in decades I think I'll stay with OOB.

     I believe the ship was having a refit at the time the war ended, and that could be when the armament alterations were made, possibly to make her a Kamikaze Killer.

Regards, Jeff.

Edited by ArnoldAmbrose

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Gidday All, here's another update on USS The Sullivans, albeit a modest one. I've added the three shelter-decks, although I think I might have been a little premature. I don't usually follow directions implicitly but rather use them as a guide. For example, if I'd attached parts in the order specified I'd have quite a few of the very fine bits attached already, just waiting to be knocked off! I like to leave them till later, after most of the structure has been done. Plus, as I'm a bit behind here I'm rushing things a bit more than I should.

SV50 shelterdecks added 2

     Midway along the second shelter-deck, almost exactly amidships are those two large gun tubs, for Bofor 40mm AA guns. There is a piece that fits between the gun tub and the upper deck, and should have been fitted first. There are locating pins top and bottom of it. Oh well, I'll manage it. Another little problem that might arise are the sizes of all those holes in the deck. They seem rather large compared to the pins on the parts that will be attached there. I probably should have plugged them all, then re-drilled them to a smaller diameter. It would have been an easier job without the deck attached to the hull. Oh well, maybe next time, when I'm not so far behind, and hence rushing things.

     The model is currently screwed to the block of wood it is sitting on. I wanted to make sure that the base plate remained flat and the upper deck curved upwards towards the bow, as it should, and not the base plate curving down instead. Hence screwing it to a solid block of wood. It can be unscrewed later.

     That's pretty much as far as I've gone. I hope to get more done this weekend. Regards to all, Jeff.

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On 3/31/2020 at 2:20 AM, ArnoldAmbrose said:

Gidday Pete, I don't know a lot about USN and IJN camo schemes but I agree the kit is late war or just after.

Regards, Jeff.

These links might be of interest Jeff.

https://military.wikia.org/wiki/World_War_II_ship_camouflage_measures_of_the_United_States_Navy

 

https://www.shipcamouflage.com/warship_camouflage.htm

 

Also, Jamie has quite a lot of info on his Sovereign Hobbies "Colourcoats" site. https://www.sovereignhobbies.co.uk/collections/colourcoats-sea.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

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Jeff,

 

Just dug out my copy of Friedman's US Destroyers. He says that the "anti Kamikaze" programme to replace the forward tubes with AA guns started in April 1945 and The Sullivans was one of the ships where this was completed before the end of the war though no idea exactly when.

 

Pete

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Gidday Pete, then it seems she saw action in this guise, thanks. I also perused the links on the camo last night (before I bombed out - I was rather tired). I could have this wrong but it seems this camo could be 'measure 22', used sometime in the early/mid Pacific war and reused again in late war, which would match the weapons outfit. Many thanks. Regards, Jeff.

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Posted (edited)

Hi Jeff,

 

The second of the links (Snyder & Short - John Snyder was involved in the White Ensign Colourcoats Range I believe) has probably the best info as it gives a scheme for each ship by date and actually says that this ship was in MS21 from 1943 onwards, but might have been in either MS21 or MS22 in 1945 - I also note both schemes were revised in 1945 and grey seems to have replaced blue. At the end of the day it is your build so use whatever you are happy with, and don't worry about rivet counters (I used to be one myself but have just about grown out of it).

 

Cheers

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB

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Posted (edited)

Gidday Pete, I had another look at those links and found the particular reference for this ship. Thanks. That link will also come in handy later, as I wish to scratch-build a Sumner class, USS Hugh W Hadley in 1/600 soon. Time will tell if I manage it.

 

Anyway, I've a little bit of progress with USS The Sullivans, although not a lot for a weekend. I've attached the bridge/wheelhouse, and the deck-house between no.s 3 & 4 turrets. That deck-house is a little bit crooked when viewed from above, but I'm not changing it now.

SV60 bridge added

     I couldn't fit the pieces that fit under the midships gun tubs so I dropped a length of styrene rod down through both locating holes then made parts to attach to them. I've attached a twin gun tub on the quarterdeck for two 20mm Oerlikons, plus I've assembled and painted the funnels and the director platform between them.

    All those holes in the deck abreast of the rear shelter deck worry me a bit. They're for the depth-charge (DC) throwers, (K-guns in the USN) and the reloads. As with nearly all locating holes in this model they seem waaay too large for the locating pins that are supposed to fit there. With 20/20 hindsight vision I should have, before doing anything else with the deck, plugged them all then re-drilled them to a more suitable diameter. This'll teach me not to rush things in future. I could still plug them now but getting the plugs cut off flush with the deck would be a pain to do now so I'll leave them. I have another idea to deal with this.

     Well, that's it for now. I hope you all had a good weekend. Regards to all, Jeff.

Edited by ArnoldAmbrose

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Gidday All, USS The Sullivans now has her funnels attached, plus the balustrading/weather screens at the edge of the hull, amidships. Can't remember the correct name for it. And I botched that job a bit. Those bits I made to fit under the midships gun tubs are a little too close to the edge of the hull, forcing the weather screens to bow outward a little. This build will certainly NOT be my best. The lesson for me in all this - when building a new brand of model for the first time, READ THE INSTRUCTIONS).  🥴🔨    The structure of the ship is done now. Here she is.

SV70 funnels added

Believe it or not, the deck blue on this model and the hull blue is the same blue, it just looks different in the photo. Now she just needs fittings attached, plus her weapons, boats and masts. Unless there's something I've forgotten.   Thank you for your interest, regards to all, and stay safe in these times, Jeff.

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Looking really good Jeff, we'll tempt you to stay in the world of 1/700!

 

Geoff 

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Gidday Geoff, thanks, but the jury's still out on that one. 🤔 I'm finding the fit is quite good but the smaller size is a bit of a challenge. Regards, Jeff

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I'm just catching up with this one Jeff.  I know absolutely nothing about USN colours, so was surprised to see blue decking.  It's looking very smart.

Every day's a school day ;)

 

Cheers

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Posted (edited)

Hi Cliff,

 

Even the wood decks on the carriers were apparently dyed/painted blue apparently, which I certainly did not know when I built mine 40 years ago. As with any ship, it is impossible to hide it from the air when moving due to the wake I suppose, but the blue helps. However I seem to recall reading somewhere it was at least in part intended to make the planes on deck harder to see as far as carriers were concerned. Matchbox got it right on their US 1/700 ships Fletcher, San Diego and Indianapolis as I found at the time but I did not realise it was also used on  carriers so mine are still "teak". I have not seen any pics of blue decks on battleships however.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB

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Gidday All, here's the next installment of USS The Sullivans. She now has her directors and weapons fitted, well most of them anyway. 

SV80 weapons added

     On the whole the guns went in OK. The 5-inch guns fitted the turrets OK, but the turrets weren't very secure on their bases until the glue dried. The Bofor 40mm look OK I think and fitted together quite well. I deviated from the instructions and fitted the mountings first, then fitted the guns themselves with the mountings in situ. This was to make sure the barrels would clear the gun tubs. It worked well. The 20mm Oerlikons are each a single piece, look OK I think and gave no trouble. The torpedo tubes look OK and again, no trouble.

     The depth charges (DCs) are quite another matter. The DCs on the throwers (K-guns) are a different size and shape (one didn't even have one) to those on the reload racks next to them, which are again a different size and shape to those in the two stern rails (still to be fitted). I think I should have made my own DC gear. I also glued the reload racks 90* to what they should be. I have them along the hull but they should have been attached across instead. I can't blame Trumpeter for that one. I might try to fix them, not sure yet. Anyway, if I don't mention them I'm sure nobody will know! 🤫

     So, I've just got the boats, searchlights, radar and masts to do then I think I'm done. Thank you for your comments and interest, and all stay safe in these times. Regards, Jeff.

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Very nice, looks like a neat and tidy build. 

 

A good kit of the late-war anti-kamikaze fit, the Fletchers took a beating in the mass suicide attacks off Okinawa and this configuration was an attempt to beef up the AA firepower at the expense of torpedoes. 

 

On 4/12/2020 at 10:54 AM, ArnoldAmbrose said:

The depth charges (DCs) are quite another matter. The DCs on the throwers (K-guns) are a different size and shape (one didn't even have one) to those on the reload racks next to them, which are again a different size and shape to those in the two stern rails (still to be fitted). I think I should have made my own DC gear.

Probably the K-gun moulds are a Trumpeter standard model with moulded-in Mk6 DCs but they added the Mk9s for the racks which would be accurate for the late fit. This is odd, because they don't provide the new style racks for the Mk9! 

 

On 4/8/2020 at 6:43 PM, PeterB said:

I have not seen any pics of blue decks on battleships however. 

spacer.png

They were all painted Deck Blue (with a few  colour variations). Immediately postwar some were holystoned back to teak, hence the teak decks on the Missouri at the surrender* and the Magic Carpet ships bringing the troops home. 

 

*Just checked, this is rubbish! The deck was still blue at the surrender:

spacer.png

Here's one of her on the way home in Sept 1945 - the blue has been scrubbed back to teak.

824px-Missouri_panama_canal.jpg

Sorry for the thread hijack!

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Gidday, that's OK, they're interesting photos. Particularly the last one - a rather tight squeeze! I'd like to build her one day. Who knows if I ever will. So many ships, so little time.

 

Anyway, back to USS The Sullivans. I've attached the two ship's boats and their davits. I followed the instructions but it was still a very awkward job, but eventually I got them done. I've also attached the stern DC rails, and had a bit of a disaster. They each come in two halves, and didn't look too bad when glued together. But there was very little to attach them to the deck, only at the front of the rails. So I decided to attach a pin towards the stern but the drill forced one set apart. Re-gluing it together botched it, a combination of too much glue and too much clamping pressure warped it somewhat. Hence the DC rails on the port side leave a little to be desired.

     I added some of the decals, hull numbers only. I detached the model from the wood block to do this.

This left only the mast to do. And as with the rest of the model the locating hole for it was about twice the diameter of the pin at the bottom of the mast. So I used 5-minute Araldyte glue instead of styrene cement, to act as a filler to give the mast some support. But it took longer to set so the model had to be propped up to keep the mast vertical while the glue was setting.

 

SV90 mast being glued

The large radar scanner at the mast-head is a bit of an eyesore, I think. I painted it black then tried to dry-brush it in grey to high-light the lattice effect. The success is rather questionable.

 

     Anyway, for better or worse, I'm calling this model done. Here she is, the 'Fletcher' class destroyer USS The Sullivans, late WW2.

SV110 completed 2

 

Thank you all for your comments and interest during the build, and I'll post more photos in the GB gallery soon. Regards to all, Jeff.

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