Dragon 1/350 USS The Sullivans DDG-68

KIT #: 1033
PRICE: $49.00 SRP
DECALS: Ten options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES:  

HISTORY

USS The Sullivans (DDG-68), an Arleigh Burke-class "Aegis" guided missile destroyer, is the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the five Sullivan brothers George, Francis, Joseph, Madison, and Albert Sullivan, aged 20 to 27 who lost their lives when their ship, USSJuneau, was sunk by a Japanese submarine in November 1942 in the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal. This was the greatest military loss by any one American family during World War II.

The contract to build The Sullivans was awarded to Bath Iron Works Corporation in Bath, Maine on 8 April 1992 and her keel was laid down on 27 July 1994. She was launched on 12 August 1995 sponsored by Kelly Ann Sullivan Loughren, granddaughter of Albert Sullivan. The ship was commissioned on 19 April 1997, with Commander Gerard D. Roncolato in command. Upon her commissioning, the ship was given the motto that is thought to be spoken by the brothers when asked to separate during World War II, "We Stick Together."

THE KIT

  This is one of several boxings of Dragon's Arleigh Burke class destroyers. The kit can only be built as a full hull model unless the builder wishes to saw away the lower hull. Include with the kit are two rather full frets of photo etch. This material is used for the various hatches and the flat radar array. The hatches have options for open or closed as the builder desires. Another fret is used for ship's railings and for the netting around the helo pad. There are also pieces for a radar array and other small items on the ship.

Thanks to all this photo-etch, the actual plastic parts count is not very high, making that portion of the build relatively simple. Modern ships are comparatively clean when matched against their WWII counterparts so you won't find the variety of things festooned on the deck. Dragon has also decided to mold a number of items into the larger parts, thereby saving one's eyesight and temperament. Personally, I approve of this approach to things and wish others would emulate it. I'm not one to delight in attaching multiple microscopic bits and pieces, though I know that there are modelers who do.

The instructions are well done with the usual Gunze and Model Master paints. It is Navy Grey over Hull Red so no surprises here. In actuality, one can build any of 10 ships as the decal sheet covers them all. This includes the USS Cole which was recently used to test a new light blue lower hull anti-fouling paint. Makes for something a bit different if so inclined. Decals are well done by Cartograf, so no worries on silvering that can sometimes occur with Dragon decals.

CONCLUSIONS

All in all, a very nicely done ship. It is great that Dragon provides the photo-etch for it as that goes a long way to making modern ships look so much better. Aside from the p.e., it doesn't look to be a difficult build and would be a great intro into ships and that extra detailing.

REFERENCES

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_The_Sullivans_%28DDG-68%29

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