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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2021 4:29 pm 
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It has been quite clear that I need at least one Bagley-class destroyer and the only direct representative of the Benham class, USS Wilson, since my decision to build at least one ship per class of participants in the Battle of Savo Island 9 years ago. I managed to buy one of the Midships Benham kit second hand in 2017 - then long out-of-print - only to find out that it was below my expectations, although I thought I knew what to expect. My other options were to sit and wait for something better to come or to start some activities myself. As my 3D abilities are not great, I decided to try to 'sell' someone the idea of producing a new model that I could support with research and PE design work. Anyway, I started the research phase collecting photos and other references and ordered Benham and Blue plans from Floating Drydock (and paid double the cost for shipping and customs/VAT clearance :( ). I also tried to lure some people into the idea already in 2019, but without much success at that time.

It then really kicked off during the spring corona lockdown of 2020 when I started helping Justin Jones (aka Red Devil Designs) in making his 3D models of USS Vincennes and Quincy and initiated a discussion about a possible project of making Bagley and Benham class destroyers in 1/700 with Justin and his 3D mate Matt Enochs (Kraken Hobbies). Matt had some Benham-class parts ready quite soon, but it took over one more year before we finally had the 3D model to print, a mold for the resin hull, and a PE design to be etched.

My sincerest thanks go to Rick E Davis who kindly shared his knowledge and provided me with a great amount of help on my journey to make all this happen. I owe you some bottles of nice Czech beer, Rick, if we have a chance to meet!

Finally, I received a package from Matt in late July and the improved prototype version of my PE sheet from Hauler etchers soon after:
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Taking some acceptable shots of the white resin hull was a real challenge ;)
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My PE sheet was designed to cover all Benham-class members, mostly early war but with some extra parts for late-war, too (e.g. radars):
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So I’m ready to start testing it :cool_1:

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My Gallery | At works: 1/700 USS Astoria CA-34 | 1/700 USS Wilson DD-408
Prep stage: USS Bagley | USS Vincennes | HMAS Australia | Yubari | Kako
Recently completed: 1/700 USS S-44


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2021 10:23 pm 
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This'll be interesting...you don't tend to see many representations of these lesser-known interwar DD classes.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2021 12:45 am 
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:thumbs_up_1:

Yes, 'pre-Fletcher' class destroyer classes bore the brunt of 1942 activities both in the Atlantic and the Pacific, they fought in many iconic battles and many of them were lost. And only the Benson/Gleaves class received more attention by modellers so far thanks to the availability (at times ;) ) of the Dragon kits. You even don´t see many of the Sims class around.

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My Gallery | At works: 1/700 USS Astoria CA-34 | 1/700 USS Wilson DD-408
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Recently completed: 1/700 USS S-44


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2021 1:20 am 
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:lol_3:

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2021 2:28 pm 
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The resin hull is cast from a bright white resin that is quite soft. The white colour is not really ideal as it is quite hard to see anything on it while sanding or making some corrections. The hull has plating that seems not too overscale as can be seen on many products attempting to show this feature. Let´s see how it will look like when painted.

I started sanding down the bottom of the hull and made a rookie mistake at once – the sanding paper was not attached properly to my mat at one end, so the bow sanded too far :(. I repaired it with pieces of styrene sheets. As usual I added two nuts to the bottom to secure it to a piece of wood during the construction and to the seabase at the end. I also prepared a piece of plexi glass and a Styrex layer on top of it as the basis of the future seabase.

I continued working on the hull by drilling out hawsers and also the hole for the foremast. Then I turned to the lower row of portholes. These were closed and Matt decided not to show them on the resin hull at all because some units had them plated over level with the hull, so practically invisible. Wilson had them plated over in the other way so they can be seen on some of the clear photos. I prepared these covers on my PE sheet and I decided to go at half brass thickness as I my previous experience suggested the full 0.1mm thickness to be too much for a destroyer hull. My only concern is if they can be seen at all in the end…

I transfered positions of all plated portholes using a printed profile in 1/700 on a laser printer and using a needle. While working on the profile some weeks ago I realized that positions of portholes in BOGP do not really match those on photographs, so I tried to make it as correct as reasonably doable.
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The PE plates were glued using a diluted PVA glue which allows for easy later correction (and some more will still be needed ;) ). I also added railings and anchors.
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My Gallery | At works: 1/700 USS Astoria CA-34 | 1/700 USS Wilson DD-408
Prep stage: USS Bagley | USS Vincennes | HMAS Australia | Yubari | Kako
Recently completed: 1/700 USS S-44


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2021 8:19 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:24 pm
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Vladi, I congratulate your diligence to get a proper pre WWII destroyer into production or at least built.

Yes, the MIDSHIPs kits was/is a challenge.

I look forward to your build, and for your efforts. Well done Sir.

Paul


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2021 3:10 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2005 6:23 am
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Location: Copenhagen
That will be interesting!

I had built Wilson based on the Midship Models kit and with minimalistic information how she looked in August 1942. This model will be likely very different!

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2021 11:10 am 
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Thank you, Paul!

Lars, as I´ve told you already, it was your achievement with the Savo Island group build that inspired me and helped me in finding my modelling direction, big thanks! New findings surfaced since then but it´s no shame your build was as it was. It happens all the time and is not unlikely to happen to my build in the future, too. That said, I am really glad to see my own Wilson becoming reality :)

First of all I finished yesterday´s work on the hull by adding PE propeller guards as shown below.

Depth charge racks

Benham class destroyers could be seen carrying two standard depth charge racks for 6 charges on units deployed to the Pacific from the beginning (Benham, Ellet) while these racks were extended to 8 or even 13 charges for service in the Atlantic. Wilson reportedly had racks for 13 charges while serving in the Atlantic but downgraded to 8 each when transferred to the Pacific.

Matt´s 3D parts provide for 8 charges but I preferred the harder way ;). My PE parts have been designed for 13 charges but can be trimmed down easily to 8 or 6 as required. Wilson had racks for 8 charges in August 1942. I punched 1mm diameter from 1mm thick styrene sheet. The correct D.C. diameter in fact should be 0.9mm but I only have 1mm and 0.8mm punchers. I then glued them together by Tamiya Extra Thin and formed the main PE part around them.
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Forecastle and main bridge

Moving to the superstructure now. Matt´s 3D parts were printed using a grey resin that I´d describe as medium soft. The advantage is the material is not that brittle like some other´s I´ve used before and so it can be modified and sanded easily.

The forecastle and main bridge come as two parts plus the Mark 33 director. I made some adjustments using styrene sheets as I was not sent the latest versions of these two parts by mistake, but puting them right was easy. Signal lamps were made from 0.3mm brass tube.

FD radar

Interestingly, it turned out that Wilson was the only among Benham and Bagley class units to carry the standard version of the Mark 4 fire direction radar. All other units (except Benham and Henley that had no FD radar installed before their loss) had a truncated version of the FD radar with decreased height probably to provide more room on top of the bridge roof. The PE set provides for both options.
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I also added a makeshift 'shed' to the starboard bridge wing that appeared on Wilson in 1942 and was aparently covered with canvas (it was replaced by sheet metal later in 1943). She also had a unique access ladder leading from the back to a small platform extending from the compass bridge between flag bags, probably to compensate for the original starboard access ladder which place has been taken by the shed. Some small corrections will be needed here and there but basically I think it looks fine.
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My Gallery | At works: 1/700 USS Astoria CA-34 | 1/700 USS Wilson DD-408
Prep stage: USS Bagley | USS Vincennes | HMAS Australia | Yubari | Kako
Recently completed: 1/700 USS S-44


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2021 7:54 pm 
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Impressive work so far. The PE work is really good.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2021 10:30 am 
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Thank you, Martin :) Sorry I haven´t responded earlier, I prepared this post just before leaving for vacations but it remained unsubmitted in the mess then.

So status as of 2 weeks ago, all dry fit only. Added railings to the 20mm platform and the aft superstructure and some detail to the funnel, few smaller details are still due there. Unfortunately, I lost the whistle above the funnel platform to the carpet monster, will have to scratchbuild it later. Other than that I´m quite happy about the build so far.

To be continued hopefully soon :wave_1:
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My Gallery | At works: 1/700 USS Astoria CA-34 | 1/700 USS Wilson DD-408
Prep stage: USS Bagley | USS Vincennes | HMAS Australia | Yubari | Kako
Recently completed: 1/700 USS S-44


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2021 10:51 am 
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Nice work, V.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2021 1:07 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2021 4:14 am 
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Great work! :thumbs_up_1: :thumbs_up_1: :thumbs_up_1:

Having built a Simms class in 1/700 myself, I developed a liking for those early destroyers. This one looks very sharp! :thumbs_up_1:


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