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Topic review - Calling all Fletcher class DD fans
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  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Fletcher class DD fans  Reply with quote
Yes. Or rather it is suppose to be there. Sometimes, when the crew was applying the top coat "camo" paint, they may have over topped the boot stripe in places or completely. However, because of the nature of the boot stripe paint the camo paint wore off fairly quickly at sea.

None of the "top coat" paints were super adherent paint like the hull underwater paints, unless the hull was properly prepped to be repainted. But, the ship's crews were touching up and sometimes doing total repainting of particularly the hull during down times without doing a totally proper prep job ... if any.
Post Posted: Sun Jan 26, 2020 4:19 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Fletcher class DD fans  Reply with quote
Okay, stupid newbie question, but did ships in measure 32 camouflage schemes have a black boot stripe at the waterline? Finding a definitive answer is turning out to be far more difficult than I imagined. :/
Post Posted: Sun Jan 26, 2020 2:47 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Fletcher class DD fans  Reply with quote
Thank you again, Rick. That'll get me where I need to go! :) Ladders were the hardest part to determine. They just simply don't show up well in photos.
Post Posted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:32 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Fletcher class DD fans  Reply with quote

What was installed on the foremasts changed throughout the war, but generally followed certain conventions. ALL USN ships had to have the same radios to communicate with other USN ships and fighting lights. Starting in late 1944, RCM (Radar Countermeasures) equipment antennas started to appear along with more radio antennas.

I have attached close cropped image views of the foremast on USS HEERMANN (head-on and profile) and her sister USS HAZELWOOD. The images of HEERMANN in 1944 was a bit blurry, but collectively, I think all these images will answer your questions. In general you can see what HEERMANN had installed in August 1944, but can get a better view of the same antennas, etc installed on HAZELWOOD.

Here are two close crop images of USS HEERMANN (DD-532) mast as completed and then in August 1944, not long before the Philippines Campaign. The "object" on the starboard side of HEERMANN's mast, is a sailor. Although a standard part of the crew, he normally wouldn't be permanently attached. :big_grin:



Here is another image of USS HAZELWOOD (DD-531)

Post Posted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 1:43 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Fletcher class DD fans  Reply with quote
Hi, gang. I'm back and still making good progress on the Heermann. I've still got a lot of work to do, but she's coming along well. I'm currently looking to build the mast assembly. I've got the SC2 built and set aside, now I need to determine ladder arrangements, fighting lights, etc. I have a feeling some of the struts that are molded onto the Trumpeter part are going to have to go, but I'm having trouble finding good, closeup photos of the mast above about the top of the gun director. Anyone have any of those stashed away somewhere? Googling and both of the Warship Pictorial volumes get me close, but not quite close enough. :)
Post Posted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 9:35 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Fletcher class DD fans  Reply with quote
Thanks Rick, so I probably don't have to bother getting them, because of the inaccuraty of the drawings !! But still it is a pity that the existing drawings online are too small, I did not find any Hi-Res cut away drawings, except of USS Sigsbee DD-502 on a different site, of the Fletchers.
Post Posted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 4:37 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Fletcher class DD fans  Reply with quote
Since the artist is apparently dead and no one is running his outfit, the website name has been transferred to a different business, the drawings are not available. If you Google "Fletcher class cutaway drawings", you will find several different versions of cutaway drawings available online. Most are NOT colored versions like John Robert Barrette's drawings, but they would appear to be accurate depictions of the interior layout. Like;

... ... &width=910 ...

... ...

I had issues with his series of drawings. He only drew-up a very few examples for rather large classes of destroyers, like the FLETCHERS had only two configurations (Round-Bridge and Square-Bridge), and simply put different hull numbers and names to one of those drawings. One of the worse examples to me was USS CHEVALIER (DD-451) that served until lost in October 1943, with a single quad 1.1-in mount, he presented her as a typical five twin 40-mm mounts unit!!! And there were other units like this lost early in the war in a configuration he didn't draw up. So I never ordered any of his drawings. I never bothered to compare his FLETCHER class cutaways available against the actual configuration at NARA. The engineering plant and basic layout was the same for all the FLETCHERS. There were major bridge and a few adjustments to the superstructure between the Round-Bridge and Square-Bridge units.

... ...

The cutaway version posted on Navsource, with a overlaid watermark.

... ...

How the real USS CHEVALIER looked like in July 1943.

... ...
Post Posted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:15 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Fletcher class DD fans  Reply with quote

On December 14th I placed a question about John Robert Barrette's FLETCHER Cutaway drawings, but nobody seems to have any information about these drawings, which is rather strange, because they were available for a long time and when I tried to order, the site was suddenly gone, Still hope someone can help me !!!
Post Posted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 3:36 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Fletcher class DD fans  Reply with quote
Once again, thank you. That is hugely helpful. I just ordered both pilot house and navigation bridge (I'm still learning my naval terminology. ;) ), so those should be here soon. Sounds like the SB volume of your book has arrived at my office. I will swing by there today to pick it up.

I think you "get" where I'm looking to go with this build. :) I've done enough Trumpeter aircraft models to know that they tend to follow a "close enough" engineering philosophy... such that making a truly accurate model is not worth the effort. As long as 98% of the world will look at it and say, "yep, looks like the Heermann," I'll be happy.

Here's where she's at right now.

The anchor chain is a little overscale, but it's the best I can do at the moment. Nearly everything is still dry fit save for the aft 20mm gun tub. I removed nearly all molded-on detail so that I can add it back with brass fittings from the PE sets I have. The resin 40mm guns, 5" guns, gun directors, whaleboats, and liferafts are all built, but not stuck on yet. The L'Arsenal 5" mounts have the ladder on the rear of the turret. I kinda feel like that's right for the period I'm representing, as all shots I've found of her with the ladder on the side of the turret appear to be in her post-refit camo scheme.
Post Posted: Mon Dec 30, 2019 10:57 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Fletcher class DD fans  Reply with quote
Yes that is the pilothouse, but you will need the navigation bridge as well ... ... ck-and-cic ... that was the kit part that was off in shape.

There were two types of forward torpedo tube cranes. The early type was the original one arm crane located abreast stack #2 before the waist twin 40-mm mounts were installed, that was relocated forward and the telescopic crane installed aft. However, the majority of Square-Bridge units and the Beth-SF class units had the second type that basically was built to the same design as the telescopic crane except that it was fixed in height. Attached is an image of the telescopic crane with a few dimensions from the Floating Drydock FLETCHER CLASS PLANS BOOK. A side note, Floating Drydock has been sold to another person, base in Maryland, who is still trying to sort through the stuff he acquired. Plus a couple of drawings from the BIW FLETCHER CLASS ENGINEERING DRAWINGS DVD. I couldn't locate a dimensioned drawing of the forward crane in the BIW drawings, but I did locate an Assembly drawing showing the installation. It appears that the arms of the crane were "similar in design" to the telescopic crane arms, except that one arm was longer. See image onboard USS HAZELWOOD, sister to USS HEERMANN.

TorpedoCraneType3.jpeg [ 98.36 KiB | Viewed 731 times ]

TorpedoCraneBIWAssy.jpeg [ 156.85 KiB | Viewed 731 times ]

TorpedoTelescopeCraneBIWAssy.jpeg [ 148.67 KiB | Viewed 731 times ]

DD531x13cropCrane-3Sep43.jpg [ 333.18 KiB | Viewed 730 times ]

I asked what your goal for your build as to accuracy because I didn't want to drive you down a path of replacing every part except for the hull and main deck. :big_grin:

Good luck on your build and have fun. Don't push accuracy beyond enjoying the build.
Post Posted: Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:09 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Fletcher class DD fans  Reply with quote

Great information. Thank you for the very detailed reply; I really appreciate it. The good news is, nothing but the hull is glued together at this point. The deckhouses and bridge structures are built, but each deck is separate at this point. I see the rub stake now and, despite studying that very photo quite a bit, missed it in the review. I'll figure out a way to scratch that up, but it shouldn't be too hard. Regarding the 3D printed bridge, I assume you're referring to this one? ... steel-type Six bucks seems reasonable. The L'Arsenal kit comes with resin gun turrets, though I noticed that none of them have the armored sight protector (I think) on them, so I'll have to scratch that for the fore and aft guns. Any chance you have drawings for the forward torpedo crane? I was considering getting plans from but their site is woefully out of date and has a distinct out-of-business vibe to it.

Anyway, to answer your question, I'm going for "pretty close to accurate" for this build. As long as I'm say 80% faithful to what appears in the picture you posted, I'll be thrilled. This is only my 3rd ship model, so I'm still learning the ropes.
Post Posted: Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:01 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Fletcher class DD fans  Reply with quote

First off I would suggest holding off until you get the Square-Bridge FLETCHER book before you permanently "glue" anything in place.

In the book, I grouped the Square-Bridge FLETCHERS by the builders and then configurations, instead as in the Round-Bridge book by configurations, because almost all the Square-Bridge units were completed to the five twin 40-mm mounts configuration or were modified to it after shakedown. At this point in the construction program, each builder ended up with unique configuration details to bulwarks and location of things like rafts. Anyway, USS HEERMANN (DD-532) was one of the numerous Beth-SF built units and there are quite a few detail shots of units built at this yard, but unfortunately none specifically of USS HEERMANN. But, the units built at Beth-SF had some unique features common to all units built after the first three (DD-526 through 528), images of some sisters built near her order in the construction program should provide needed details. One feature that stands out, is a "rub stake" on the hull below the waist twin 40-mm mounts. Only Beth-SF and Beth-SP built units or modified in their yards, had this feature. Attached is a portside image of USS HEERMANN prior to the Philippines Campaign.


First, I'm not sure "how accurate and exact" you plan to be with your build? Because, I could recommend some aftermarket replacements for the Trumpeter kit. If you are going for the "as accurate as can be afforded" :smallsmile: , then here are some suggestions. The prime one would be a 3-D printed Square-Bridge from Model Monkey. The navigation bridge shape on the Trumpeter kit is the wrong shape at the front edge. You could modify the kit's bridge to the correct shape as an alternative. Replacing weapons with better items would be nice as well. The 5-in gun mounts can be replaced with 3-D printed ones.

USS HEERMANN correctly was equipped with a SC-2 Air Search Radar. She had the Mk 4 Fire Control Radar on her Mk 37 director, not the Mk 12. Many of the PE sets out there have a common antenna for both the Mk 4 and Mk 12 radars, but they were different in size and shape. Some sets have these antennas way off too big in scale. Tom's is correcting this in future PE sets and Black Cat 3-D printed several versions of the Mk 37 director with a Mk 4 radar or with a Mk 12 radar printed on the directors. Both firms from original drawings.

As for Torpedo Cranes, the five twin 40-mm configured FLETCHERS, had two torpedo cranes; one forward by the forward stack and one aft on the elevated walkway. The Trumpeter kit has mistakenly omitted the forward crane from their kit for the five twin 40-mm configuration option. The aft torpedo crane (part A4) was on the HEERMANN. The aft crane was a telescopic crane that could be lowered when not in use. The Forward Crane, was a fixed height unit. OH ... by the way, do NOT use part A10. Trumpeter has used a Paravane in the location where a boat winch should be located on their model. Again this is an item that can be gotten aftermarket, 3-d printed or otherwise. Their K-Gun depth charge throwers reloads need PE framing wrapped over them to represent the reload racks used.

The anti-skid walkways were mostly separate series of rectangular shaped mat like material cemented to the deck. On other ships a painted on or a roll of material was used. Frankly I can't tell from photos which type was used on the Beth-SF built units. But, it does appear that they used the "painted-on" type. Plus it appears that they were pretty liberal its application with upper decks almost completely covered. The best way to represent the non-skid areas would be to use a slightly different shade of paint or one more flat. Because it was rough, it appeared more "flat" than just painted steel deck and stayed "darker" that the painted steel decks after aging.

Again, if you can use or do whatever you like and can afford for your build.
Post Posted: Sun Dec 29, 2019 2:05 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Fletcher class DD fans  Reply with quote
Hi, everyone. I'm currently trying to build the Trumpeter Sullivans kit as the USS Heermann as she would have appeared off Leyte in October 1944. This will be a full-hull build on a display stand. I've got Warship Pictorials - Round bridge Fletchers in hand and am awaiting the Square Bridge volume from Sprue Brothers. First off, Rick, your work is wonderful and a truly great reference for those of us trying to recreate these ships. I've learned a ton from the RB edition and I'm looking forward to getting the SB volume in hand. Thanks for your efforts!!

That said, I've got the L'Arsenal and Toms Modelworks PE sets to go along with the base kit. I've scratch-built the teardrop 40mm aft gun tub, I've added hawseholes and bollards (I think the correct term) in the proper places, scratch anchor chains, and I've added a sonar dome. I've also sanded off the anti-slip walkway and tweaked the shape of the gun director platform on the rear funnel. At this point, I'm building her with the SC2 radar, but without the Mk22 height finder, based on this pic from navsource:

I've scoured the web and this forum for pics of the Heermann and have found a decent number of useful shots. But, I'm not an expert on Fletchers, so I'm curious if there's any other major items I need to be aware of before I make too much progress. At this point, the hull is the only thing permanently attached. The rest is dry fit, so I have room to tweak.

Also, does anyone have any recommendations on how to recreate the non-slip walkway? I was thinking of small strips of Tamiya tape, but there really shouldn't be any relief at this scale as the real things were just painted on.

Edit: I see that I'll have to scratch-build a torpedo crane next to the forward stack, and I'm guessing that means I can omit part number A4, which appears to be a different style torpedo crane mounted on the walkway between the aft and midship deckhouses. (?)
Post Posted: Sun Dec 29, 2019 10:41 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Fletcher class DD fans  Reply with quote

I don't have similar images for THE SULLIVANS in this area taken from overhead at MINY, because they had yet to load shoring lumber onboard. But, some of her sister units also at MINY do show shoring lumber stowed in that area. The amber appears to be strapped together for easier loading and more secure during stowing. It doesn't appear to be stowed in a "standard" way, so you likely could copy these images as examples.

DD536x24-29Aug45.jpg [ 122.98 KiB | Viewed 931 times ]
DD536x23-29Aug45.jpg [ 288.26 KiB | Viewed 931 times ]
DD538x24-31Aug45.jpg [ 308.77 KiB | Viewed 931 times ]
Post Posted: Sun Dec 15, 2019 12:25 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Fletcher class DD fans  Reply with quote
Hello Guys,

I have a question about John Robert Barrette's FLETCHER Cutaway drawings. Is there anybody among you who knows where these drawings are still available ?? I would be very interested in a cutaway drawing of the FLETCHER Class. I am aware that J.R. Barrett past away several years ago, and since that time the drawings are not available anymore, at least I cannot find them anymore, maybe one of you does have excess to them !
Hope someone can help me.

Post Posted: Sat Dec 14, 2019 3:34 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Fletcher class DD fans  Reply with quote
end of war- 1945

Post Posted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 7:45 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Fletcher class DD fans  Reply with quote
Before I go looking, for what time period/configuration of USS THE SULLIVANS (DD-537) are you modeling?
Post Posted: Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:50 pm
  Post subject:  Calling all Flatcher fans  Reply with quote
New to the forum.

Currently building "The Sullivans" DD-537 (1:96 scale) and looking for an image of the wood shore stowage that was situated at the base of Stack#1. Looking to scratch build but not sure of its' design/setup. Any and all help appreciated.
Post Posted: Tue Nov 26, 2019 7:31 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Fletcher class DD fans  Reply with quote
Sorry for confusion, it was not my intention to turn Revell 1/144 Fletcher into USS JOHNSTON, I am aware that would mean a lot of surgery that I am not willing nor capable of. :)
Trumpeter 1/350 THE SULLIVANS kit should fit my USS JOHNSTON project, just as you suggested.
I just pulled a trigger on Revell 1/144 Fletcher as I like Fletcher class destroyers, it seems to me as a decent kit, that Platinum edition includes turned barrels and decent PE set, and all that at fair price.

Thanks for suggestion re. books, will try to get them while still available, as so many of those CLASSIC WARSHIPS PUBLISHING titles are already out of print.
Why they do not reprint all those obviously very popular OOP titles?
Post Posted: Wed Nov 20, 2019 7:10 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Fletcher class DD fans  Reply with quote

You may have gotten the 1/144 scale Revell kit at a good price, but by the time you procure (or scratch make) the parts (3-D printed parts in 1/144 scale aren't cheap) needed to convert the kit to USS JOHNSTON, you will have paid more than buying a Trumpeter 1/350 THE SULLIVANS kit and the cheaper parts available.

You could use the Revell kit for another subject requiring less work.

As for FLETCHER class references, not to blow my own horn too much. :cool_1: You may consider getting these books;

... ... Fletch.htm ...

... ... Fletch.htm ...

From Classic Warships Publications ... ... orial.html ...
Post Posted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 11:48 pm

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