Flyhawk 1/350
Gearing Class Destroyer (1945)

by Sean Hert
December 2012

The Gearing class was the ultimate wartime destroyer design incorporating the lessons learned from previous classes. The Gearings featured a flush deck and three twin 5"/38 gun mounts, two forward and one aft. Originally designed to carry two quintuple torpedo mounts, the after set of tubes were landed and replaced with a quad 40mm Bofors before Gearing saw action.

Flyhawk's Super Detail set for the Dragon USS Gearing kit consists of seven frets of photoetched brass and a bag with six machined brass barrels for the 5" guns.


This first fret of photoetch, fret A, has bridge upgrades, funnel details, and replacements for the Mk12 and Mk22 radars which go atop the Mk37 director, itself mounted on top of the charthouse and bridge.

The are also many parts for adding detail to the masts, including a yard and SC-4 radar. Some of these details will require removing the originally plastic from the kit's mast, so exercise some caution. A turned brass upgrade for the mast might have been something for Flyhawk to consider.


This fret as many assemblies which will require multiple folds, like the depth charge rolling racks for the stern, and the short ready racks for the K-gun DC launchers. The floater net baskets will need to be rolled- a mandrel of approximately 1/16" of an inch should work. Some of the other parts included here are the torpedo loading crane, boat davits and boat storage rack, propeller guards, cabinets, liferaft and other racks and supports.


Fret C is all about guns. This fret has replacements for the three quad 40mm mounts, twin 20mm's, and accents for the twin 5"/38 turrets.(The twin 40mm's are covered on Fret D)

The etched twin 20mm's offer a more scale-like appearance over the plastic ones in Dragon's kit, but unfortunately Flyhawk did not include the correct tripod stands to replace the pedestals in the kit.

For the 5" guns, this fret has gun port bucklers (for attaching the bloomers), foot rungs and side access doors. For the quad 40's, the plastic barrel and breech are retained, but the entirety of the mount is replaced. However, the Gearing class's quad 40mm's did not have the shield and short railing like these; modelers will want to leave the full shield off the quads.


Fret D has a selection of watertight doors, which can be posed open or closed. These doors are a multi-fold affair, with a front and back, door frame and gutter. The oval rear doors for the 5"/38 turrets are also on this fret- but the remaining majority of D is dedicated to the three twin 40mm guns. Almost the entire gun is replaced, with only the kit's barrels retained. This differs from the quads, which retained the plastic breech assembly. Also, there are 20 ready-service ammo lockers for placements on your Gearing.


This fret has photoetched anti-skid walkways to place on the decks of your Gearing. These etched walkways would replace the decals included in the kit, and are a nice touch. It will be interesting to see these in use.


This final fret to the Gearing Super Detail set has some remaining lengths of anti-skid, fire hoses, and various lengths of different types of railing. Sadly, there is no reference to what these various railings are for.


There are six machined brass 5" barrels for the three twin 5"/38's on Gearing. As the kit barrels are straight rods without muzzles, these barrels are a great upgrade.


Flyhawk has their normal three color, multi-sheet set of instructions. Flyhawk relies on little text, using drawings to illustrate assembly. There appear to be some gaps in the instructions; there are many parts in this set not referenced.

These instructions do not follow the building process, so careful planning, including close examination and study of both the parts and instructions are paramount prior to final assembly.


This is a great upgrade set, and the photoetch anti-skid may be worth it alone. It is unfortunate the twin 20mm's do not have a simple tripod base to correct the kit's error, as well as Flyhawk's instructions. It would be great if the instructions spelled out a location for every included part. These less than perfect instructions will keep Flyhawk's Super Sets in the realm of the experienced modeler; nevertheless, this is a good set at a good price.

This is set #FH350111 1/350 Gearing Class Destroyer (1945)(For Dragon 1029) with price around $55.00. Flyhawk products are available from many online and traditional retailers. thanks Flyhawk for providing this review sample.