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 Post subject: USS Recruit TDE-1
PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 4:28 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 2:23 pm
Posts: 7
This is my first posting on the ModelWarships forum, so I hope I can get the pictures to show up. I like to add some basic information on my builds as I go along, but since the Recruit is already completed, I added it all at the beginning for those who may not be familiar with the subject.

The idea for modifying a Skywave/PitRoad model came to me during that period shortly after the LEM closed their doors for good last year. That’s when I came up with the inspiration to attempt building my first ship, sort of. It’s not exactly considered a real ship even though over 50,000 sailors a year, myself included, would trod her decks during her career.

The USS Recruit TDE-1, was a permanent fixture of the Navy’s Recruit Training Center, San Diego, California. She was also known as Building 430 and affectionately known as USS Neversail. The Recruit was a two-thirds scale mock-up of a destroyer escort and served as “Sea Daddy” to new recruits. When completed in 1949, it was 225 long, had a 24-foot, four inch beam and a 41-foot mast.

It served as a school for all recruits going through basic seamanship indoctrination. The ship's deck was an exact replica of what a Sailor could expect in the fleet. The Recruit had cleats, chocks and mooring lines and operated as any standard Navy ship. Sailors learned rnarlinspike seamanship, ground tackle operation, cargo booms, deck fittings, boat lift handling and signal equipment.

Besides the regular classrooms, a company of recruits would stay on board from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. each night to polish watchstanding skills, and probably all the brass as well.

In 1982, the Recruit was refurbished and converted to a Perry class guided missile frigate; she became TFFG-1. By 1996, the training center had all but disappeared and the ship's fate was still undetermined. It was spared from demolition and some plans call for it to be turned into a maritime museum.

I have checked Google Maps and it shows she’s still there in San Diego, at the end of Halsey Blvd. I don’t know what purpose she’s serving, but from the pictures I’ve seen, somebody is making use of her. In June 2016, her port anchor chain was attached to the anchor and in July, it was attached to a buoy. The Naval Training Center is long gone, so maybe Sea Cadets or NROTC students are training on her. That would be nice.

Here’s my interpretation of the USS Recruit TDE-1.
I cut a section out of the fantail to shorten her to the 2/3 size of the other DEs, USS Buckley and USS Cannon, that were in the Skywave kit and cleared off the upper deck of details so I could put a flat piece of cardstock to smooth it out.

I normally don't mess with handrails on these 700th scale ships, but she looked downright nekkid without them.

Used cut section of some sprue to make the Flagbags.

Well, there she is, a little known, except to those of us who served on her, part of Navy history. Hope you enjoyed it. I've been building models off and on since I was 8 years old, which was 62 years ago this past Tuesday. My eyes aren't what they used to be and my hands shake some, but I'm still at it.


“To be a Virginian either by Birth, Marriage, Adoption, or even on one's Mother's side, is an Introduction to any State in the Union, a Passport to any Foreign Country, and a Benediction from Above.”

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