Kits of the Gearing class destroyers, Plastic vs. Resin/multimedia

modlerbob

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Earlier this week while browsing thru ebay looking for the Dragon kit in 1/350 scale I happened across a kit from The Blue Water Navy which is basically resin with white metal and PE brass details. It was near the end of the auction and nobody had bid on it. Starting bid was $49 so I set up a snipe bid at $55 and waited. Later, when I checked my status I was surprised to discover I had won the auction at $49. Assuming this kit is complete and undamaged as advertised I think I got a really great deal as I have seen this kit priced well over $200. I never did find the Dragon kit for under $90. Several reviewers have claimed that the Dragon kit is the best plastic kit in 1/350 of any WWII warship but I can't find a comparison of the two kits but I did find a review of the BWN kit stating it is one of the best resin kits on the market. When it arrives I will post a review of my opinion of the kit. Meanwhile anyone with personal knowledge of either or both kits feel free to state your views.
 

modlerbob

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My in box review of the Blue Water Navy 1/350th scale U.S.S. Gearing. After some investigation I discovered that this kit has been around in one form or another for well over 20 years. About 10 years ago the then current owner of the company created new molds of the hull and superstructure and cleaned up much of the white metal parts. Also at that time a new fret od PE parts was made. After opening the box I discovered that the contents were well protected with bubble wrap and soft paper towels. All loose parts were in bags that were stapled shut, A quick count indicated that all parts were present. I may end up buying aftermarket brass gun barrels for the twin 5" mounts. Also there were no decals or dry transfers for the ship's number or name. So I will be searching the internet for appropriate numbers and letters.

What will end up being the most time consuming portion of the build is the removal of the excess resin from the underside of the upper hull. If I decide to finish the model as a waterline display there is no need to clean up the top of the lower hull. That will also eliminate some of the more challenging sub assemblies, the prop shafts and propellers and the rudders as well as the sonar dome. Clean up of the remaining resin parts looks to be straight forward with no challenges. The sheilding around the starboard midships machine guns is so thin that it split and a small piece is missing. It should be easy to repair. Ships railings have always been my achillies heal on projects like this but I noticed during a glimpse at a build log of a Gearing that the builder added the railings early in the project instead of last like I have tried in the past. The PE seems to be a bit more robust than what I have used before and I hope that helps in attaching the PE.

Building the model will be no piece of cake but I hope I am up to the task. I think the mast and all of it's attachments will be most challenging. I have almost a complete Tamiya Fletcher from a failed attempt as well as the Trumpeter USS Sullivans that I can borrow parts from where they may look better than the white metal and also the plastic kits instructions to help in placement of small parts.

I don't have the Dragon Gearing nor have I seen one up close and personal but I have a feeling that if they were both placed in front of me and I were given my choice even up I would pick the Dragon kit due mainly to my lack of familiarity with working on multi media kits and the fact that the Dragon kit comes with decals.
Gearing 002.jpgGearing 003.jpgGearing 007.jpgGearing 009.jpgGearing 010.jpggearing extra 001.jpggearing extra 002.jpg
 

modlerbob

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I just started removing the excess resin from the underside of the upper hull using a dremel tool to get the bulk of the excess. It sure generates a lot of dust and progress is very slow making it tedious work. At this point I sure wish I owned a belt sander. If anyone has a suggestion feel free to do so. Once I get the project really under way I will open a build log.
 

modlerbob

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Just obtained the Dragon models kit of the USS Chevalier DD 805, a Gearing class destroyer that was completed before the end of WW II. Dragon is to be commended for issuing the kit as a very ship specific model. The Chevalier was refitted prior to deployment in the Pacific as a radar picket destroyer which eliminated the torpedo launchers and added a second tall mast with extensive radar capabilities. It looks as if the kit contains all the parts needed to build as the Gearing but the instructions are specifically for the Chevalier. I think if one were to obtain this kit and could find a set of the Gearing instructions it could be accurately assembled as such. This kit has an extensive number of detail parts. The quad 40mm antiaircraft mounts consist of 19 parts. In 1/350 scale this means having some very tiny parts, The kit has a PE fret but it doesn't include the main deck railings. No worry I have plenty that were purchased for my Fletchers.

It's hard to say just now how this kit stacks up against the Blue Water Navy kit, only time will tell. I may repackage up the resin kit and try to sell it to someone who is experienced in building multi-media kits.
 

modlerbob

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Well I did find a set of the Dragon instructions specifically for the USS Gearing and downloaded them. At this point I am reaching the point of information overload. Many photographs of the Gearing and the Chevalier dating from 1945 thru the 1960s exist. There are several build reviews online of the Gearing and a couple for the Chevalier. The reviews vary from just a little text praising the excellent nature of the build with a bunch of images to one from a modeler who praised the kits in general but thought the instructions stank. His 35 page review goes into minute detail pointing out the errors or omissions and then telling where everything is really supposed to go. He also recommended buying a bunch of aftermarket details which would end up costing more than the original kit. I want to build a nice model of a Gearing class destroyer but I'm not going to be concerned with the tiniest details. These ships were in a constant state of being modified. Heck the Chevaler went into the shipyard for extensive mods before she joined the fleet. So, unless one has a potload of detailed photographs of the modelers preferred ship all daken on the same day it would be nearly impossible to build an entirely accurate model. This may rub some as being the wrong attitude but I am much more concerned with the quality of the build than with whether it is accurate or not. So I think I have acquired sufficient documentation to proceed with the build.
 
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