by: Martin J Quinn [ ]
Originally published on:
Laid down on September 20, 1932, and commissioned June 18, 1934, USS Farragut was the first new destroyer built for the United States Navy in over a dozen years. She was the first of a group of classes that collectively became known as the “1,500-tonners” – so called due to the limits imposed by the London Naval Treaty of 1930. From ferrying President Roosevelt to his yacht in 1935, to being present at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, to convoy duty and finally being employed on radar picket duty during the Okinawa campaign, Farragut saw it all before being broken up for scrap in 1947. For more on her history, visit her Dictionary of American Fighting Ship page at the Haze Gray and Underway website.
The box and what’s inside…
The model comes in a white cardboard box, which shows a painting of the Farragut circa-1944 in overall Navy Blue. Upon opening the box, you’ll find most of the kit parts on top of a piece of studier cardboard, wrapped in plastic for protection. Underneath this plastic wrap is the hull, photo-etch, decals and two bags - one holding the resin parts and one holding white metal parts. Underneath the cardboard is the instruction booklet.
Wrapped separately is one of the Midship Models weapons sprues that are found in their injection molded USN destroyer kits.
The hull – which scales out perfectly in 1/700 - is nicely cast, save for some of the portholes, which will need to be fully drilled out. You’ll also find a thin layer of over pour on the bottom of the hull that will have to be sanded off. The only fault I can find with the hull is the thicknesses of the bulkheads just past the “break” in the hull – they seem a bit thick.
The resin parts for the directors, funnels and superstructure are all nicely cast. Many of the parts have the same thin resin over pour on the bottom, which will require some sanding before you get started. Time consuming, but easily accomplished.
The guns are all white metal, and frankly, in my opinion, a disappointment. I may go the after market route and replace the guns with one’s available from Niko.
The photo-etch set is decent, but doesn’t have any 3D etching. While it will suit the purposes for which it was designed, it’s not as nice as some of the aftermarket photo-etch sets currently available.
The decals – which are nicely printed by Microscale - are the standard set included in the Midship Models destroyer releases, and has enough number (both wartime and pre-war) to do an destroyer squadron.
This leads us to the instructions. As I mentioned in my earlier review of Midship’s 1/700 St. Louis kit, these are one of the weakest part of the kit. The exploded view diagram is more than enough for you to assemble the kit, but a plan and profile view would be a better use of the pages of the instruction booklet, than a whole page dedicated to additional Midship Models products. Finally, the color callouts would have you paint the ship overall dark gray, which is wrong for 1944 (Farragut was overall Navy Blue).
The hull and parts are, for the most part, nicely cast. While I’d prefer the parts be attached to pour stubs (personally, I think those are easier to clean up), the resin wafers are pretty thin and the parts should sand off easily. The two weakest parts of the kit are the white metal guns and the instructions.
Destroyers of World War II; MJ Whitley
Destroyers in Action, Part 2; Squadron Signal
Naval Historical Center
Dictionary of American Fighting Ships
Tin Can Sailors Association
Destroyer History Homepage