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DD-670 USS Dortch 1-350, Take two

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  • Member since
    July, 2003
  • From: Cincinnati, Ohio
DD-670 USS Dortch 1-350, Take two
Posted by ridleusmc on Friday, March 10, 2017 1:10 AM

Hello everybody,

This is my next project, and it's a revisit to an old project.  I built this rendition of the USS Dortch in 2007 & 2008, and it looked good.  I was very happy with it, and it was my first and only ship.  

http://cs.finescale.com/fsm/modeling_subjects/f/7/t/86108.aspx?page=2

However, that model got destroyed in an unfortunate accident in which nobody got hurt.  An entire glass display case got knocked over.  It had about a dozen models in it, including this destroyer.  The incident could have easily injured somebody, and I'm glad that didn't happen.    

I'll take more pictures as I go, but this is what I have so far.  It is the hull from Tamiya's 1:350 USS Fletcher, and it has superstructure parts from Trumpeter's USS The Sullivans.  

L'Arsenal resin weapons sets have been washed of mold release.  These include the 5-inch 38 calibre turrets, 40mm Bofors, 20mm Oerlikons, and gun directors.  I have the Gold Medal Model's Fletcher class destroyer PE set, and I've ordered GMM Floater net baskets and fire hoses.  I'm going overboard. 

My Great Uncle spent about 25 years in the Navy, and he attained the rank of Senior Chief.  He was a plank owner on this ship, and he served with her from 1943 to 1946.  He passed about 20 years ago, but my father keeps finding interesting documents regarding his service.  This first picture shows the Dortch and the Gatling (DD-671) as they prepare to launch down the slipways at the Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock facility in Kearny, New Jersey.  

I believe that this is the Dortch leaving New Jersey for fitting out at Bethlehem Steel on Staten Island, NY.  I believe that fitting out included reshaping the gun tubs under the bridge to accommodate twin Boffors.  (I'm relying on unfamiliar references in timing and dating these photos, but they seem legit.)

I believe that this picture shows the Dortch in the Pacific between 43 and late March 1945.  She recieved the Kamakaze anti-aircraft fitting in San Francisco starting in March '45, so I know it's before then.  I do wish this photo wasn't so grainy.

Just for the heck of it.  Here is a picture of her postwar.

There are very few wartime photos available of this ship.  I have found two more photos in my reference books, and they both show the vessel as she was being refitted in San Francisco in March and April of 1945.  I will reference from other square bridge Fletchers, and I'll pay special attention to Kearny, NJ built vessels.  I intend to build the vessel as she looked on February 18, 1945, when she sunk the Japanese auxiliary submarine chaser Ayukawa Maru northwest of Iwo Jima.

So, another Dortch for my Uncle A.

Thanks for looking,

Chris

  • Member since
    July, 2003
  • From: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posted by ridleusmc on Monday, March 13, 2017 12:23 AM

Started PE work with depth charge roller-racks, K-gun racks, and storage.  

  • Member since
    July, 2003
  • From: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posted by ridleusmc on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 2:09 AM
  • Member since
    August, 2014
  • From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posted by goldhammer on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 9:10 AM

Nice work on the PE.  That drives me to aggrivation.

  • Member since
    July, 2003
  • From: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posted by ridleusmc on Thursday, March 16, 2017 4:19 AM

Thanks Goldhammer, 

I'm having fun with the PE and resin stuff.  It's slow going, but it's satisfying when the sub-assemblies come out well.  I have to admit, I mangled 2 gun-director radars before getting it decent on the third try.  It's a good thing that the gun director came in a pack of five.  

L'Arsenal really makes some great stuff, and I'm becoming a big fan.  I didn't have much build time today, but I was able to start on the 40mm's.  The barrels and handwheels are attached to the mounts, but seats, sights, and railings are still required for each gun-mount.     

Thanks for looking,

Chris

  • Member since
    July, 2003
  • From: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posted by ridleusmc on Friday, March 17, 2017 6:13 PM

I've spent the last couple of days on the Bofors.  I like how they're turning out, but I still have to add the gunsights.  

 

  • Member since
    July, 2003
  • From: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posted by ridleusmc on Saturday, March 18, 2017 2:36 AM

The 5-inch, 38-calibre single mounts are L'Arsenal parts again.  I love the resin detail.

  

The molded on fire-hoses were a joke.  I sanded them off and replaced them with GMM photo-etch.  I also added some PE hatches.  The Trumpeter gun locator was sanded off to accept the L'Arsenal 5-inch mounts.   

I'm happy with the look of the bridge area, and forward super-structure.  

I'm not happy with the Trumpeter funnels.  I'll build up the Tamiya parts tomorrow.  I think they'll be better, but they may require some modification.  

Thank you for looking,

Chris

 

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Saturday, March 18, 2017 3:16 PM

Those funnels look a little slab-sided, which was a characteristic of the Fletchers built in San Diego (and no where else).

  • Member since
    July, 2003
  • From: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posted by ridleusmc on Sunday, March 19, 2017 1:02 AM

Thank you CapnMac, 

The Dortch was built in Kearny, NJ, so the Trumpeter funnels would not be appropriate.  Thank you very much for that input.  

I didn't build today, I had to catch up on some sleep.  

-Chris

  • Member since
    September, 2005
  • From: Groton, CT
Posted by warshipguy on Monday, March 20, 2017 5:52 AM

I am really impressed by your photoetch skills, and am really looking forward to watching this project progress.  Well done so far!

Bill Morrison

  • Member since
    July, 2003
  • From: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posted by ridleusmc on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 2:04 AM

Thank you Bill, 

I've had a heck of a time getting back to the bench.  

  • Member since
    July, 2003
  • From: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posted by ridleusmc on Friday, March 24, 2017 4:34 AM

I've taken an hour or two at the bench over the last couple of days.  Progress has been slow.  I've formed a PE radar, assembled the ship's boats (Tamiya plastic with GMM PE), and worked the plastic on the Tamiya funnels.  The Tamiya funnels look much nicer than those from Trumpeter, but they still need more work.  I'm debating if I should cut open the top of the funnels and use PE grills for the tops.  

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Friday, March 24, 2017 7:40 PM

Yes, thouse funnels look better.

The caps on Fletchers are a mix of sheet metal baffles and metal rod grid.  There are two explicit exhaust trunks in each funnel, along with the collected exhausts from diesel turbogenerators and the like.

This was the best image I could find:

and another:

Hope that helps

  • Member since
    July, 2003
  • From: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posted by ridleusmc on Friday, March 24, 2017 9:06 PM

Yes, that does help.  I can see that the center cross brace is the seperation between forward and aft exhaust trunks for both funnels.  Is that right?  Four big exhausts for four big boilers?  And the accesories and generators probably have small pipes that feed into those big pipes.  

It creates a modeling challenge if I cut out the top of the (Tamiya) kit parts.  However, a little scratch building may look better.  Unlike the Trumpeter parts, I never thought that the Tamiya parts looked bad or inaccurate.  How much benefit would it be to open the funnel tops?  I'll think about that for a bit.  

Thanks for looking,

Chris

 

  • Member since
    August, 2014
  • From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posted by goldhammer on Friday, March 24, 2017 9:16 PM

With the talent you have with PE, I'd open them up and do a little scratching with them.  Just more eye candy for those looking at her once she's on a stand.

  • Member since
    July, 2003
  • From: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posted by ridleusmc on Saturday, March 25, 2017 11:58 PM

Thanks goldhammer,

I've decided to do it.  I still have some clean-up to do, but I drilled and cut into it.  

I decided to leave the plastic that divides the forward and aft halves of the funnel into their two trunks.  Here's what the stacks look like now.  

I know, I have some clean up to do.  It was a beautiful spring day here in Cincinnati.  I spent the whole day working on outdoor chores.  I'm affraid that my slow build progress is going to slow a little more.  

-Thanks for looking,

Chris

  • Member since
    July, 2003
  • From: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posted by ridleusmc on Thursday, April 06, 2017 12:27 AM
  • Member since
    July, 2003
  • From: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posted by ridleusmc on Saturday, April 15, 2017 7:33 PM

Ready for paint!

  • Member since
    July, 2003
  • From: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posted by ridleusmc on Saturday, April 15, 2017 9:03 PM

But first,  Primer!

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