Dragon 1/350 USS Buchanan
Dragon 1/350 USS Buchanan
Scott Van Aken
a 1630-ton Gleaves
class destroyer, was built at Kearny, New Jersey. Commissioned on 21 March 1942,
she transited the Panama Canal a few months later and saw considerable action in
the south Pacific during the following two years. During this time,
Buchanan participated in the
landings on Guadalcanal and Tulagi on 7-9 August 1942, the rescue of survivors
of the Battle of Savo Island on 9 August, the Battle of Cape Esperance on 11-12
October, the early phases of the complex Naval Battle of Guadalcanal on 12
November 1942, the invasion of Rendova and New Georgia in June-July 1943, the
Battle of Kolombangara on 13 July, the Bougainville campaign in November
1943-January 1944 and the Bismarcks operation in February-March 1944. She was
twice damaged in action, on 12 November 1942 and 13 July 1943, and once by
grounding on 30 April 1943, but was repaired locally. The destroyer was also
credited with sinking the Japanese submarine RO-37
on 22 January 1944.
Following a west coast overhaul,
Buchanan took part in the
invasion of the Palaus in September-October 1944 and in carrier operations
against enemy targets in the Philippines, Formosa and South China Sea areas in
December 1944 and January 1945. During the remainder of the Pacific War, she
participated in the Iwo Jima operation in February and March, the Okinawa
campaign in March-May and strikes by the Fifth Fleets against the Japanese home
islands. After Japan capitulated in mid-August,
Buchanan operated in support of the surrender
ceremonies in Tokyo Bay and the occupation effort.
Buchanan returned to
the United States in October 1945 and soon steamed around to the east coast.
Decommissioned at Charleston, South Carolina, in May 1946, she remained in the
Reserve Fleet for over two years. In preparation for transfer to Turkey,
Buchanan was placed back in
commission in December 1948 and formally changed hands in late April 1949. She
served as the Turkish Navy destroyer
was named in honor of Admiral Franklin Buchanan (1800-1874), who was an
important figure in the United States and Confederate States Navies.
anticipated and equally heavily promoted by flyers in all new Dragon
kits, the Dragon USS Buchanan is a kit that has caused a lot of
interest, especially amongst ship builders. To this occasional ship
constructor, these 1/350 destroyer kits are an excellent balance between
size and detail. As much as we'd love to do a battleship in this scale,
the truth is that lack of display space often thwarts us. Not the case
with this one as it measures just a few inches over a foot in length,
about the same as a 1/48 jet fighter.
thing one notices is that the upper hull and main deck are all one
piece. In addition, there are transverse supports on the underside to
prevent warping. The ship has the ability to be built as a full hull or
waterline version and provides a stand with supports for the full hull
Of course, there are a number of options provided, one of which is the
ability to use molded on detail or replace it with photo etch. There are
two styles of gun barrels, with or without blast shields. Of course,
both styles have indented ends. I found it interesting that all of
the hatches are separate items, adding that additional 3D look to
things. Ladders and prop guards have a special bending took included in
the kit to help get these parts properly molded prior to attachment. The
deck detailing is superb as well with finely molded treat pattern on the
upper weather decks.
two photo etch frets are superbly done as you might expect and include
ladders, hatches, prop guards, bridge supports and a myriad of smaller
items. A neat addition to the kit are six figures to pose around the
decks. Of course, a real ship underway will have more than six
crewmembers on the weatherdecks, but these do add some life to things. A
stronger than normal paper sheet is provided for various flags. A neat
addition to the kit is a decal sheet that is basically strips of
non-skid to be placed atop the already-painted deck. Each decal has a
specific place on the ship and the instructions annotate this.
Instructions are to Dragon's usual quality and provide not only detail
illustrations, but also where one can use optional parts if one wishes.
Color information is in ModelMaster and Gunze references. Two schemes
are provided. One is the complex but quite fetching Measure 12
(Modified) as used in 1942 and the other is an easier to paint Measure
21 as used during the Battle of Kolombangara in 1943.
This really is a superb ship kit and with only 430 parts, would be a great
step up for those who want to get into the slightly more complex ship
constructs. The kit has been selling very well from my understanding and I
know you will be as impressed as I with it.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
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