Admiralty Model Works
1/350 Gleaves Class Square Bridge

Reviewed by Sean Hert

In the late summer of 1941, the United State Navy's Bureau of Ships knew that soon the United States would be joining the war that was growing to span the globe. To facilitate the number of destroyers available, the Benson design was modified with a square bridge, which was simpler and faster to build. There were a total of 20 Benson's (DD493-497, DD624-628, DD618-623, DD645-648) built with the square bridge modification, which also entailed the Mk37 director being mounted directly to the pilothouse as well as variations to the AA fit.


The resin parts for this kit are packaged in the usual Admiralty way; parts heat sealed in plastic with blue cardstock stiffeners. The parts list indicates 16 parts, with some being multiples. The primary bridge assembly consists of 4 pieces; the lower deckhouse the bridge deck/overhead, the pilothouse/charthouse and the pilothouse "roof". The additional parts are to detail the signal bridge wings; Pelorus/compass binnacle, lookouts, signal lights, etc.

While the castings were to Admiralty's usual crisp standards, there were few issues with my Square Bridge kit

  1. The "roof" piece for the pilothouse apparently experienced some shrinkage, and doesn't fit very well; there is a gap around the edge.
  2. The opening in the bridge deck/wings for the pilothouse is too narrow; the opening is .41", while the pilothouse is .45"
  3. The slots in the top of the deckhouse are not wide enough for the corresponding crossmembers on the bottom of the deck above.

While none of these issues are major, each will require some work on the part of the modeler to fix. Item 1 is a filler issue, and 2&3 are careful sanding issues. Still, *much* less work than a scratchbuilt conversion!


Included a single fret of stainless steel photoetched parts- mostly railings- and a small brass rod.


A single page of instructions with a parts list is included. These are made with CAD drawn steps as is Admiralty's standard.


This conversion is a necessary upgrade to allow almost the entire class of Benson's to be built from any number of sources; either the various Dragon kits or the resin options available. The cost of $35.00 USD sounds steep compared to the cost of the plastic kits available, the accuracy and crispness of this upgrade would be a great timesaver over scratchbuilding. And while there are a few issues to be fixed while assembling this bridge (which is unusual for an Admiralty product), these issues are equivalent to the normal assembly steps encountered with most models. Now, Admiralty, how about a DMS conversion set?

The Square Bridge Upgrade has a list price of $35.00 USD, and is available direct from Admiralty Model Works. Thanks to Admiralty for this review sample.