Aft Deckhouse and Fittings

The after deckhouses and fittings are acceptable with a few minor modifications, most noteably the locations of the torpedo cranes, searchlight and gun director platforms on the stacks, and the after 40mm position located between No. 3 & 4 turrets. The stacks themselves are incorrect in shape, but again, some basic parts replacements can hide this.

The positions of the torpedo cranes differed from ship to ship, and was dependant on the location (or presence) of waist 40mm guns, removal of the forward torpedo tubes in those ships that received emergency AA fits, and the the possibility of removal or relocation during a refit. The best thing to do is check your photos and plans for the locations. Some ships had both cranes located on the starboard side, others had one port and one starboard. The cranes themselves aren't bad, you'll want tot add some bracing struts with Plastruct or Evergreen, and the manual height adjustment wheel. Below left is a photo of the USS Kidd's torpedo crane in the lowered position.You'll also want to add a part that Lindbergh omitted; the 5" practice loader. This loading machine was located between the after torpedo tubes and No.3 turret on the main deck level. Below is a photo of the USS Kidd's.

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The Searchlight platforms are another hassle. One is correct in shape, the other is not. Both are wrong in having those 6 inch thick plastic walls. I cut the walls off and added railing stanchions, hindsight would say use sheet styrene and start from scratch. Research is important here too, as the platforms changed in function (from searchlights to fire control directors), their shape changed as well, and varied from ship to ship. Here are the templates for the different shaped platforms.

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The final major modification that needs to be done is the after steering position and 40mm mount. Early round bridge Fletchers carried a high position, and later ships (those we're interested in here) had two styles of mounts, both of which were reduced in height from that of their earlier sisters. The choice again depends upon the particular ship you're modeling. Style one was a tear-drop shape when viewed from above, the second was squared off from a rounded front. The kit provides the second style, and the part itself is good with the exception of the lack of bracing on the inside of the splinter shield. Here's the template for the first style (the most common) and a photo showing the two styles:

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The balance of things that need to be done consist of railings, ladders, and any little details you may want to add or replace. One last note on this portion of the ship; the blast shield on the forward torpedo tubes is absolutely, beyond belief, horrible. I strongly suggest tossing the part and starting over. I fashioned my blast shield by finding a spare part of similar diameter. A 1/48 P-51 wheel is perfect. I wrapped sheet styrene around the outside of the wheel and created a cylinder. I then cut a circle from styrene sheet, notched it and created a roof for the shield. I then added the hatch from a 1/72 tank to the top.

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