This is Revell's original Fletcher-class destroyer in “box scale” of 1/306. The first Fletcher to enter service, USS Nicholas, was commissioned on June 4, 1942, and was the first of 175 of the class to be built by war’s end.
Revell's kit features the square bridge version, but gives the modeler the parts to update it with rocket launchers for a later version. The kit instructions are simple and easy to understand, and best of all---each part has a number and an identifying name as well. As a kid, this was how I learned a great deal about the ships and airplanes which I built. In fact, I built many of these kits in my youth, which was the inspiration to do this review.
The parts weren't flash-free, but they weren’t bad for a kit of this age, which first came out in 1962. After cleaning the flash off all the parts, the assembly was straightforward. This kit came to me crushed, so I first had to repair a few parts which were broken---some gun barrels and the mast, the latter of which came back to haunt me.
I first glued the deck to the hull, and the only trick is to make sure you don't twist the hull and that you maintain a flat deck. After the deck was on and dry, I weighted the hull so that it’d float---this is a habit I’ve had since day one. Every ship model I’ve ever built floats, and I test them all, as seen in the photo. I then followed the instructions and assembled the rest of the kit. I choose to make it a wartime paint scheme of the USS Waller, DD466, which my uncle served on in the late 50's.
Using Gunze Sangyo acrylic paints, I started at the bottom, painting it hull red H-33, and then painted the black stripe, followed by the darker gray H-331 and the rest medium grey H-317.
The decal sheet comes with only the name “Fletcher”, but has enough large hull numbers to do any ship in the series.
The white hull numbers with the black shadow are post-war type numbering; during the war they would have been a fourth of that size and painted black.
I applied the decals over Future Floor Wax, and when dry, flat-coated them. My first attempt at rigging the ship was using .005 fishing line---but when attaching it, the broken (and repaired) mast re-broke. So…I repaired it again, and settled for just putting some vertical lines to the cross brace on the mast, leaving off the horizontal lines.
This was a fun twelve-hour build and a blast from the past as well. It would be a good starter kit for anyone interested in doing a ship model. I would like to thank IPMS/USA and Revell for the opportunity to review this kit.