by: Rui Matos [ ]
what's in the tube
When I received the package sent by Tom Gardner (via Jim Starkweather - thanks Jim) the first thing that surprised me was the box shape! A sturdy carton black tube with the manufacturer brand and a picture of the real ship.
But the surprises weren't over... I opened the tube and found a very nice casted one piece hull, with most of the superstructures - 60% of my models are resin and I can say that the casting on this one is excellent.
Apart from this "big" part, there were also some little bags containing:
- 26 white metal parts
- 4 lengths of two different gauges of plastic rod (0,5mm and 0,8mm)
- A resin block with 9 parts
- A resin film with 22 parts
- 3 Optional resin bridges
- PE Fret for Radars, Tripod Masts, ladders and a few more bits
- Decal sheet
And that's all inside that little tube :)
first analysis – instruction sheets
Folded inside the tube, came two sheets (1 A4 and 1 A3) packed with information.
The first sheet comes with the history of the ships class and evolution. Remember that you can built any ship of the class, for any period, thanks for the choice of bridges, different radars and hedgehogs, and the inclusion of a comprehensive decal sheet.
On the other side the assembly notes for the construction of the kit, with emphasis for the advice on some tricky areas and parts – good tips! Painting guide stating FS numbers and also in White Ensign Models - Colourcoats Range and a description of the ribbons that the ship could wear fill the rest of the page.
The A3 sheet has two profiles of the DD Forrest Sherman class (starboard and top) and ¾ bow exploded view, parts number/identification and PE set folding instructions. On the other side there are the specifications of this DD class, parts list, brass list, ships numbers and names for this class and another ¾ view, this time from the stern.
I have to say that these are the best instructions for a resin model I have ever seen – even better than some plastic companies.
It shows that a lot of work and dedication have been put into this model.
first analysis - resin parts
As I stated already, I am used to work with resin models, and I have seen some very good, a lot good and once in a while some "dogs", where you have to scratchbuild a lot after you have sanded and puttied almost every part in it!
I would say that in this model, the resin casting is excellent. Why?
In this particular case, the grey resin parts are very well casted, without a single air bubble for you to fill, not warped and with an excellence regarding the level of detail put in the master model and so well replicated in my copy.
In the main part (hull and superstructure) you can easily see doors, hoses, hand rails beautifully reproduced in such a small scale.
The other resin parts although attached to the resin block, maintain the same level of detail and sharpness, making the building process easy.
The only tricky thing with the resin parts was the film. It's too thick to cut the parts, and to thin to sand the entire film. So I used a mix-technique: cut the resin film with the part and sanded it away (and part of my right hand thumb, too).
I would advise anyone who build this model and when dealing with this part, to take your time and to be very careful. Just a “figure eight” too much and there goes part of the piece detail. Although I started using 600 grit sandpaper and finishing with 1000 grit, I lost some details – fortunately easily recovered (with some extra work). So remember… Take your time!
At this point I had all my resin parts ready. Next?
first analysis - white metal parts
The white metal parts seemed to look at the same level of detail as the resin parts. On a second look, they weren't as perfect as the resin ones, but with some trimming and seam removal with a scalpel, they were also ready.
Please remember that casting resin and white metal it isn't done in the same way ;)
first analysis – photo etch fret
A good choice of radar screens, complement the options for building this model in different periods of her life. They are one of the main characteristic for silhouette identification and they are all here – pick your “Tin Can” and period and go for it!
The set are very delicate and clean. My only complaint was the absence of railings, but as Tom answered, that would make the model more expensive and you can get rails from different manufacturers at a reasonable price. More on the PE set during the building analysis.
starting to build it…
After all the resin and white metal parts were treated, the building process begun. It is a pretty straightforward process, thanks to the well written instructions. But before you start your built you have to make choices for the vessel and for the time frame you want to depict it. For this I had to help my self with the few pictures I had from my first visit to New York City, where of course, a trip to the Intrepid Museum was a must J (poor Mrs Skipper, but then it is Shoe shop payback time!)
At the time there was on display DD 946 Edson, recently replaced by a barge with a Concord! So an online visit to the museum was out of question, I had to rely and use my own pictures (70% on the USS Intrepid and in the airplanes displayed, 20% on the USS Growler and only 9 pictures of the Edson – if I knew…).
Even few, the pictures were valuable because they showed some details I could enhance and also provide help for the antennas and rigging. But I didn’t want to make the Edson - I would go for the Forrest Sherman. So a choice have been made, let’s continue the work.
The Resin and White Metal parts fitted nicely and the only problem that I found during construction was with the boats davits. They area casted in white metal, are scale heavy and they will have to hold the ships boats – apart from the resin hull part, the heaviest parts on the model. So I drilled a hole in the base of each boat davit, and a correspondent hole in the hull and reinforced the attachment with some wire. This should be able to hold the davit plus the boat. There’s no problem in the process and soon I was ready for the PE.
did you say “delicate”?
I have worked with PE sets before, but I never build a 1/700 scale ship using it; ok, I am a weird naval modeller J. I soon discovered that my fingers and tools were massive to work with it – so I ordered an etchmate (a couple of weeks in waiting, until the arrival of the package).
Once it arrived, I went and tried it, and even with an apparently easy to work tool, you have to be very careful! Not that the tool could harm you, but because of the dimensions of the parts you are working with.
The depth charge rack, e.g., is 5mm long and about 3 wide and you have to fold it lengthwise twice and in a proper way. Tripod Mast (times two) and radar screens made me start to desperate a “little” and Alexandra (Mrs. Skipper) came to see why I was mumbling about… more than once! Finally I managed to fold everything properly and the sub-assemblies were ready.
if you’re going to build it – do it properly!
If I complaint to Tom for not having the PE railings, it is because I wanted to put some railings, right?
So I went and tried to order an appropriate PE set, but… there wasn’t any available.
I found a USN/JMSDF DD set – Railings, Radar screens, tripod mast – so I have a lot of good spare radar screens – and ordered it. Some crew PE was ordered, just in case…
This new order demanded another hiatus in the project.
Envelope arrived. Continue to work. Trying to force a pe railing to curve the slightly tapered forecastle was very demanding and provided me with some more visits by Alexandra.
I must admit there was a time I thought of letting the railings out – but I am a stubborn person (in the good sense… and the other, too). All railing in place, all resin parts in place, all white metal parts in place, let’s fix the kits pe sub-assemblies… Done.
When ordering the pe set, I also ordered the WEM colourcoats paints (M04 – Modern USN Haze Gray and M03 – Modern Deck Gray), since the M02 – Matt Black I already had it. I have to say that I enjoy working with these paints – they airbrush perfectly and also brush perfectly. So it’s a question of your choice/need of way to apply the paint. Also Caroline and John have been taking my orders for a long time and they are great persons to deal with.
I primed the model to have a good base to work and …. I got assigned to project abroad which took me away from my family and friends, even during Christmas. That’s life… but for the third time: another stop in the Forrest Sherman Project!
happy new year and let’s paint this destroyer
I am back with a sense of “full speed ahead”! Three weeks without the smell of paint, glue or solvent was making me crazy J.I took the Forrest Sherman already primed and applied the deck colour on the horizontal surfaces. Let it dry and applied the Haze Gray on the vertical surfaces. The radars, masts and countermeasures pods were painted no with M02, but with Andrea Flat black acrylic paints. I thinned the paint enough not be a wash, since I didn’t want to cover any of the delicate radar screen details. It turned out great.
Some details, like painting the Hedgehog, Turret Cupolas, Captain boat, and the 3’’/50 MK34 guns, with black and gunmetal were the final details to male it ready.
don’t you make the water for it?
It’s because of situation like these, that I love the support Alexandra gives to me!
She was absolutely right, and I should give it a try. I made the ‘sea’ (a next feature for Armorama) and placed the Destroyer to see how it looks… It needed some weathering! YES!
The decal sheet is very comprehensive. Hull numbers 93, 94 and 95 in two sizes and numbers 0 – 9, also in two sizes, so that you can make any of the hull numbers. To make sure you got it accurate, the name of every ship is there – just check the instruction sheet and don’t mix things. Individual ribbons and a “fruit salad” (all ribbons) are given. I applied the decals easily, after applying a coat of Future Floor Polish to the areas. Sealed with another coat of Future, and let’s rust it!
Most members of Armorama already know my kick for rust, and I needed to put some rust in this Destroyer.
So I remembered my Navy days and got my photo albums of the period and took a look at some US Navy vessels pictures… Although I had none of this class, I got the idea – but push it a little bit more.
Some rust streaks near the anchors and forecastle, base of the forward gun and some minor streaks along the hull (near the boat davits) and in the stern make the day – since I used artist oils, I had to let it dry properly before sealing the model with a matt coat.
I glued the model to my home made sea, stepped back one pace and looked at it – I like it! I had finished it!
Excellent casting, instructions and decals. A true multimedia model: you got plastic, resin, white metal and steel pe set! Excellent, accurate rendition in 1/700, of an overlooked subject, even considering the old Revell Forrest Sherman. I recommend this model OOB for anyone interested in Destroyer History and the Cold War Navies. For perfectionists used to work in 1/700 (Armorama member Peter Van Buren and my e-friend Rusty White pop to my mind) this would be an easy, but rewarding model.
In two words: Highly Recommended