Dragon 1/700 USS Laffey DD-459 (1942)

KIT #: 7086
PRICE: $25.00 SRP
DECALS: Two Options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Two complete kits


Nice to see this come out in 1/700 scale. For those wondering about the size of these, it is just about exactly 6 inches long, so no worries about shelf space. Dragon hasn't really done two identical kits in this as one is a waterline while the other is full hull. The full hull version comes with a nicely done stand. The detail is quite good and there is photo etch included for some ladders. It would have been nice to have railings as well, but perhaps that would be a bit too much for many modelers to handle. It does, however, come with deck non-skid decals, something I like.

As usual, the Dragon PR folks have a long list of features, so best to provide them:
- Two options of upper hull w/undercut details realistically represented
- Bilge keels are represented on lower hull by slide mold technology
- Deck has realistically reproduced camber
- Waterline or full hull version can be assembled
- Forward superstructure deck retooled for close mounted 20 mm gun tubs
Flat faced superstructure deckhouse for Benson class is newly tooled
- Extra-fine detail on superstructure walls like hose, ladder patterns delicately reproduced
Rear undecked funnel trunking for superstructure is newly tooled
- Optional barrels with blast bags provided for gun turrets
- Upper mount and lower mount 5-inch guns realistically reproduced
- Flare-sided funnels for Benson class destroyers
- Funnels provided w/option of molded on ladders or add on photo-etched ladders
- Turret w/realistic detail
- Realistically detailed gun barrels are slide molded w/hollow ends
- Smoke generator w/fine detail
- Quintuple torpedo launcher in fine detail
- 5-inch practice loading machine in great detail
- New lower profile platform for 36-inch searchlight
- Extremely fine detailed parts like davits for 26' whale boats
- Whale boats w/photo-etched parts finely reproduced
- Sky-lookout shield finely represented w/photo-etched parts
- 1.1-inch AA gun reproduced w/delicate detail
- Rudder is movable
- True-to-scale ultra thin propellers reproduced
- Depth charges and K-gun molded w/extra-fine detail
- Special device included to bend specific photo-etched parts to correct

Instructions are well done as you'd expect with both Model Master and Gunze color references. The need to mix the 20B Deck Blue can be alleviated by trying some nautical colors by Badger or Xtracolor. These will not be bright models as the overall 5N Navy Blue is quite dark. Typical of the early war scheme, the ship numbers are quite small.


For many, space for even a 1/350 Destroyer is at a premium so it is great to have these nice kits scaled down to 1/700. I'm sure that we'll see similar downsizing for other Dragon destroyer kits and I'm looking forward to it.



December 2009

Thanks to the fine folks at www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours today at your local shop or on-line retailer.

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