by: Jim Adams [ ]
USS The Sullivans was named for 5 brothers from Waterloo Iowa who gave their lives onboard the USS Juneau during World War II. The current kit for this ship is by Trumpeter and was originally issued in 2005. While this kit is a decent representation of the ship some of its parts are a little out of scale due to limitations using plastic.
Enter L’Arsenal and their The Sullivans upgrade kit. The kit features both finely cast resin parts and two separate frets of PE.
The resin parts include the 20MM and 40MM AA guns. Also are the ships main weapons her 5” enclosed mounts. These will make great replacements for the current plastic parts on the donor kit.
Just a quick note about the resin parts in this set. They did have a good deal of flash on them. Clean up is not a problem, but care needs to be taken when working on the smaller parts.
The two 26’ whale boats are a nice improvement over those supplied. They have thinner more realistic features. The boats feature nice wooden decks and smooth lines. Replacement davits are included for both the forward and aft davits. They are nicely details, but be careful not to break them, they are thin.
There are ten pedestals for the 20MM AA guns. Oddly enough there are only seven 20MM guns supplied. Both the guns and the pedestals are very nicely done and fit better with the scale. To go along with the seven guns there are also seven 20MM ready ammo lockers. The lockers are rather plain. The barrels for the 20mm guns are very fragile and fine.
The Sullivans main guns are also provided to replace the plastic versions. Since these are one part there will be no need to clean up seams, but you will need to spend some time cleaning the resin turrets. Since the upgrade kit includes both resin and brass barrels you will need to make sure you are modeling your ship during the correct time frame to use either blast bags or no blast bags.
Torpedo launchers are going to need some cleaning. The details are on par with the launchers from the donor kit, so it will be up to you which one to use.
The final major resin replacement part is the Mk 37 mod 4 gun director. This is going to be an upgrade over the supplied plastic part.
There are two separate frets of PE. The small fret has the racks for the depth charges. These will be a major improvement over the plastic parts. This fret is slightly thicker than a standard fret of PE.
The large sheet includes all the extra parts to really dress up you build. There are three different styles of railings, two railings, three railings, and three rail with netting. Vertical ladders, inclined ladders, funnel screens, and radar antenna are some of the parts included.
Some of the nice detail parts on the PE fret are hand wheels for the 20mm gun pedestals. The 20mm guns are included in PE so if the resin guns are broken you have a back up. Shields for both the 40mm and 20mm guns are included as are the sight bars.
Incase the ships resin boats do not have enough detail there are also extra parts in PE to be added. Oars and bottoms for the ships balsa rafts are also supplied.
One nice upgrade is the inclusion of 5 turned brass barrels. These are to be used without blast bags. They have a nice smooth taper and a very small opening. Since the donor kit only shows the guns without blast bags it shouldn’t be a problem using them.
The instructions are printed on two sheets, front and back. One whole page is the lay out of the big PE fret. They do a good job detailing the upgrades. An area lacking good direction is the use of the railings and ladders. Careful examination of reference material should give you help.
Overall this is a nice set, but will require work to get it ready. The resin parts will need clean up and smoothing. The PE frets are going to add another level of detail, but will require some research to get everything where it needs to go. There are a couple of the resin parts that are not much better than the plastic parts. In the end it will be up to the individual if the wish to spend the extra money to upgrade their build of Trumpeter’s USS The Sullivans.