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Fletcher Class Destroyer

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  • Member since
    February 2020
  • From: Olympia WA, USA
Fletcher Class Destroyer
Posted by nwmodeler on Sunday, January 15, 2023 4:08 PM

Tamayia offers a 1/350 model kit of the Fletcher.  Trumpeter offers a 1/350 model kit of the Sullivan's which is still a Fletcher but of a different year.  Interested to hear from those who have built one or the other as to which (Tamayia or Trumpter) you think offers the better kit in terms of parts fit and detail.  In advance, thank you for your thoughts.

  • Member since
    January 2011
  • From: Commonwealth of Virginia
Posted by Tal Afar Dave on Sunday, January 15, 2023 7:21 PM

I have both of those, but haven't completed either.  I'm sure some of the more seasoned ship guys will chime in eventually.  From what I have built so far, the Tamiya kit has a better fit and the instructions are more clear.  The Trumpeter kit has great detail in some places and just so-so in others.  

I'm not sure if the kits represent different years as such, but there are some differences.  The Tamiya kit may be of a early production Fletcher with a round bridge.  The Trumpeter represents The Sullivans, a square bridge ship.  If you're modeling a specific Fletcher, do some research on what type of bridge it had and whether or not it had weapons changes/upgrades during the time frame that you are modeling. 

I plan  to build DD-560, USS Morrison, my great-uncle's ship.  It was sunk during the Okinawa campaign by kamikaze attacks.  My great uncle Gil went down with the ship.  During its last refit, they received additional AA guns and communications gear so that the ship could direct USN and USMC aircraft operations in the area of Okinawa. I put the project on hold because I couldn't find enough references to build the late. configuration.  

As far as the kits go, they are both nice.  It just depends on what ship you want to build.

Good luck!

Dave

2022 New Year's Resolution:  Enter 1 group build and COMPLETE a build this year!!  Why Photobucket did you rob me of my one Group Build Badge???  Must be part of the strong anti-Monogram cartel!!!

 ]

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Monday, January 16, 2023 7:04 AM

Hi;

         Well, here's the stickler. Many folks don't know about the differences in the Fletchers. Square versus Round Wheelhouses and such. The Round came first. Although I'll never understand the Navy's thinking at that time. No radar, or if fitted very rudimentary. So bridge lookouts were needed. They had lookouts on the wheelhouse top(Signal bridge) but only one pair of eyes. Except in battle conditions where they had lookouts on little platforms sticking out well back from the Bridge forefront!

         The "Square bridge" Fletchers had room for a lookout on each wing and one on the Signal Bridge! See, Now Three pairs of eyes. After an incident in Puget Sound I learned that a responsible officer should be in charge, The Know it alls won't listen to a lookout, Telling him to shut up there's nothing on radar! Just at that utterance collision alarms went off on a Loaded LNG tanker just off the port bow, distance less than two Hundred yards! Whatta Fireball that would've been, and two ships lost as well

          That watch officer lost his rank and was transferred! The lookout was given a standard Naval thank You for his insistant efforts! This was on a Gearing! A slightly Bigger version of the ships before, Round and Square bridge Fletchers. All good ships and the Fletchers led the way! The Last minute collision told about above did Not happen! A good Helmsman and Engine repeaterman made sure of that!

           I have built all three, but my all time favorite is the Tamiya, U.S.S. Fletcher, Then theU.S.S. The Sullivans. Yes, the proper name for her is the U.S.S."The Sullivans" Remember, she was named for the brothers who gave their lives for their country. She was not as most folks think U.S.S. Sullivans, She was properly and should always be called "The Sullivans"

        

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: Mansfield, TX
Posted by EdGrune on Monday, January 16, 2023 7:23 AM

nwmodeler

Tamayia offers a 1/350 model kit of the Fletcher.  Trumpeter offers a 1/350 model kit of the Sullivan's which is still a Fletcher but of a different year.  Interested to hear from those who have built one or the other as to which (Tamayia or Trumpter) you think offers the better kit in terms of parts fit and detail.  In advance, thank you for your thoughts.

Check the website https://destroyerhistory.org/fletcherclass/ for an understanding of the evolution of the Fletcher-class destroyer during WWII.  The class changed in response to the threats presented.

The Tamiya kit represents (out of the box) only 4 of the early-war round-bridge Fletchers, and not the Fletcher herself.  The kit is well engineered and goes together well.  The instructions contain a scaled drawing of the Measure 12R camouflage pattern.  The paint callouts are for Tamiyas own colors, or mixes, and are not correct for the WWII period.  USN colors at the time were purple-blue and their call outs are blue and neutral.  

The Trumpeter kit represents any of several square-bridge variants of the Fletcher class.   The Navy came to understand that rolling steel panels for the bridge cost more and took longer to fabricate than welding flat sheets.  There was also better access and visibility for the bridge crew.  Armaments in the kit range from mid-to-late war.   The USS The Sullivans was undergoing the anti-Kamikaze refit at the end of the war and never appeared in combat in the final configuration,  but that is how she is preserved in Buffalo.   The Trumpeter kit is more versatile than the Tamiya.  My gripe against the kit is the weapons.  The 20 mm and 40mm guns are poor, little more than sticks on boxed.   And the 20mm is 10 feet tall.  The main guns lack the barrel offset from the center of the gunhouse.   They do get the kink in the gunhouse roof for the mounts under the superfiring mounts.   The deck also features what I describe as concrete sidewalks representing the antiskid mats (think of your front door mat).  The construction of the deckhouses with beveled edges can get a bit fiddley.   

The question you need  to answer is what do you wish to build,   The Tamiya kit is good but represents a limited number of subjects.   The Trumpeter kit can be made into a wider selection of subjects but will require more work.   Aftermarket weapons are a necessity.   

 

  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Monday, January 16, 2023 10:38 AM

Concur with above.

The Trumpy kit is a bit "blobby" as moulded--all too remiscent of those Revell ships of old.

The Tamiya kit is engineered to fall together (almost just have the shake the box a bit).

Interesting note, the Round bridge on the Fletchers (and the Atlantas) was an attempt as "streamlining" to eke out a bit more top speed  (and save some top weight) in the compromized Treaty warship designs.

The weight changes with square bridges also eleminated the round "pedestal" the Gun Director sat on too.

The Fletchers were one of the most-produced ship in history.  Sentry five (75) were produced, in six different yards by four different builders.

Whic hpart of the "why" you have to almost select a specific hull number to know where to start for your build.

Luckily, we live an a bit of guilded age, so there are conversion parts to help build a specific hull number.

Rather a plethora of scale available, too, from 1/700 to 1/96.

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Monday, January 16, 2023 2:35 PM

Tal Afar Dave
I plan  to build DD-560, USS Morrison, my great-uncle's ship.  It was sunk during the Okinawa campaign by kamikaze attacks

Me too!

But I'm planning on a 1/700 build.

 

Bill

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    April 2005
Posted by ddp59 on Monday, January 16, 2023 7:25 PM

CapnMac82, you are off by 100 as there was 175 Fletcher class destroyers built not 75 as you state.

https://destroyerhistory.org/fletcherclass/

http://pwencycl.kgbudge.com/F/l/Fletcher_class.htm

http://www.ussbush.com/fletcher.htm

  • Member since
    February 2020
  • From: Olympia WA, USA
Posted by nwmodeler on Tuesday, January 17, 2023 6:39 PM

Thank you! all for your comments.  Personally, I am fond of USN Destroyers as a number of my family proudly served wirh distinction on these vessels during and shortly after WWII dates.  The Tamayia round/ tall bridge Fletcher appears to rate well with you all. 

Some have also mentioned the Sumner or Gearing class destroyers - any sources for such would be appreciated as Scalemates does not show any sources.  Again, thank you for your recommendations.

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: Mansfield, TX
Posted by EdGrune on Tuesday, January 17, 2023 8:23 PM

Dragon made 1:350 scale plastic Gearings, several different mods.    They are out of production, but may be found on the secondary market 

There are no plastic Sumners, but there are several in resin

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Tuesday, January 17, 2023 10:44 PM

I have the Trumpeter kit and plan to get the Tamiya kit for the armaments.

 POP trivia quiz:

How many Fletchers (minimum) were at the Battle of the Coral Sea?

Bill

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    April 2005
Posted by ddp59 on Wednesday, January 18, 2023 9:29 AM

none as the 1st Fletchers was not launched til May 42 & the battle was from the 4th to the 8th of May. 

  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Wednesday, January 18, 2023 12:20 PM

ddp59
you are off by 100

Stoopit sticky keyboard Smile 

Proofread fail too. 

Sigh

  • Member since
    January 2021
Posted by PFJN2 on Wednesday, January 18, 2023 12:33 PM

CapnMac82
ddp59
you are off by 100

Proofread fail too. 

Sigh

That's OK.  Most people don't have enough fingers and toes to count that high anyway. Stick out tongue

 

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Wednesday, January 18, 2023 12:40 PM

It was a trick question. The DD Class was named after Adm. Frank Friday Fletcher. His nephew Frank Jack Fletcher was commander of US Task Force 17 at the Battle of the Coral Sea.

 

Sorry....

 

Bill

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    February 2018
  • From: North Carolina, USA
Posted by Model Monkey on Saturday, January 21, 2023 10:29 AM

Concur with the comments made by others.

The Tamiya "round bridge" kit is better fitting and has sharper detail. The turrets are underscale.

The Trumpeter "square bridge" kit can be built into more ships of the class.

Some wanting an accurate "square bridge" Fletcher buy the Tamiya kit and replace the round bridge and small turrets with aftermarket products available from various vendors.  Scalemates can point you to what is available, and there is quite a bit that is available.

Hope this helps.

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Saturday, January 21, 2023 11:12 AM

Just Bouncing;

   Going to the one Gearing That I got. I had to overlay the gunhouses with.020 to get them the right size! Same with one of my Fletchers. I do know that the Old, Old, Box scale Revell Fletcher kit has it dead wrong .The guns are not offset in the housings. They are dead center of the front fascia! The Tamiya Fletcher seems to have the Ports scrunched a little too!

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