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In-Box Review
USS The Sullivans DD537
Trumpeter 1/350 Square Bridge Fletcher Class Destroyer
  • D537-012

by: Jim Adams [ GOLDENPONY ]

Originally published on:
Model Shipwrights

  • D537-012

The Vessel…

Five brothers from Waterloo Iowa did what they felt was the patriotic thing and enlisted in the Navy together in January of 1942. They went through training together and eventually all went to the USS Juneau together. In November 1942 they all gave their lives for their country when their ship was sunk while leaving the battle area around Guadalcanal.

In October of 1942 DD-537 was laid down in San Francisco, her original name was the USS Putnam. The Navy changed the name of the ship to honor the Sullivan brothers and their sacrifice for their country. Mrs. Thomas F. Sullivan, mother of the brothers, sponsored the ship. On September 30, 1943 the Sullivans was commissioned. After her shake down she headed to Hawaii for more training.

During World War II the Sullivans supported carrier actions in the Pacific. She was present at the US attack on Truk, The Battle of Philippines Sea, landings at Saipan, Guam, Tinian, and Okinawa. She returned to San Diego for overhaul and was in port when Japan surrendered. She was decommissioned and put into the Pacific reserve fleet in 1946 only to be called back to duty for the Korean War. She transferred the Atlantic was present during the Cuban Missile Crisis and helped with the Thresher rescue effort.

She was finally decommissioned on January 7, 1965. The Sullivans earned 9 battle stars during World War II and two more during Korea. She is currently a museum ship located in Buffalo New York. The ship was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1986


Class and type: Fletcher class destroyer
Displacement: 2,050 tons
Length: 376.4 ft (114.7 m)
Beam: 39.6 ft (12.1 m)
Draft: 13.8 ft (4.2 m)
Propulsion: 60,000 shp (45 MW);2 propellers
Speed: 38 knot (70 km/h)
Range: 6500 NM (12,000 km) @ 15-knot (28 km/h)
Complement: 329
Armament: 5 × 5 in/38 guns,
10 × 40 mm AA guns,
7 × 20 mm AA guns,
10 × 21 in torpedo tubes

The Kit…

The kit comes to you in a standard lidded box with a painting of the Sullivans on top. Inside the box you will find instructions, a color painting guide, four bags of sprues, decals, and the hull. The kit can be built either full hull or water line. The lower half of the hull is molded in red as is the water line plate. The remainder of the ship is done in grey plastic.

The hull two halves of the hull are molded in top halves split at the water line. The upper half was free from warp age. The top and lower halves fit well together with no noticeable seam. The main deck is flat and warp free and also fit snug into the upper section of the hull. There is not much detail on the main deck, other than that of the anchor chains. The waterline plate was also nice and flat and fit snug into the bottom of the upper hull.

Sprue A: Here are different sections of the superstructure bulkheads and decks. They have finely molded ladders as well as water tight doors. The propellers are nicely done as well.

Sprue B: Once again there are different bulkheads and deck section for the superstructure. One of the ships set of torpedo tubes is also here. The walls of the director tubs look a little thick compared to the actual ships, but that is a draw back with styrene some times.

Sprue C: Is a continuation of the ships superstructure and another set of the ships torpedo tubes. Also are some of the optional parts for the ships 1943 and 1945 fit outs.

Sprue D: Now we come to the ships weapons sprues. The ships 5" Mk 30 Mod 18 gun mounts look to be done nicely. They have the have the side water tight doors as well as the vertical ladders molded onto them. Both 40mm and 20mm AA guns are also provided for the ship. The 40mm guns are molded in two separate pieces, whereas the 20mm guns are single parts. The depth charge racks are molded in two parts as well. They seem a little bulky compared to the actual racks.

Sprue F: The final section of the ship is the stand. It is your standard stand for a ship and nothing special.

Overall there is little clean up work that will need to be done for mold lines, ejector pins marks, or sink holes.


Included with the ship is one small set of decals. Although this ship is a late war Fletcher class destroyer there is only one set of decals for the ship, those of the Sullivans. Also a keen eye might spot an error, the US flag has 50 stars.


The instructions are on a ten page booklet. The construction steps are laid out in a logical manner. The difference between the 1943 and 1945 outfit is also easy to distinguish during construction.

There is also a two sided color painting guide which covers both paint schemes that were on the ship during the war, 1943 Measure 21 and 1945 Measure 22 camouflage. Colors are listed for Gunze Sangyo, but should be able to be converted to just about any brand.


This is a nice straight forward kit of a late war Fletch class destroyer. It looks to be a fairy simple build and should be suitable for novice builders.
Highs: Straight forward easy construction of a late war square bridge Fletcher.
Lows: Only one set of decals. Some bulky detail parts. 50 Star Flags.
Verdict: A good kit for any builder novice or super detailer.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:350
  Mfg. ID: 5304
  Suggested Retail: $29.95
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: May 15, 2008
  NATIONALITY: United States

About Jim Adams (goldenpony)

Copyright ©2021 text by Jim Adams [ GOLDENPONY ]. All rights reserved.


Good review, Jim, looks like a nice kit, as well...thanks mate!
MAY 20, 2008 - 04:50 AM
Good review, thanks... on my list, Im a big fan of AB Ds, cheers
MAY 20, 2008 - 06:23 AM

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