1/700 FlyHawk
USS Ward DD-139
Limited Edition Version

Reviewed August 2014
by Timothy Dike
The USS Ward was a Wickes Class Destroyer. These flush deck destroyers were an improved Caldwell class with more speed and better stability. Easily distinguished by their four funnels and long flush deck these ships were state of the art at the end of WW1 when they were first built, but rather dated by the second world war. Never the less they continued to see service as destroyers were in short supply. The USS Ward was stationed at Pearl Harbor when war broke out and is known for firing the opening shots of the war. The Ward was operating off the mouth of the harbor when it spotted a Japanese Midget sub trying to enter the harbor. The Ward took it under fire and after charging past the number three mount scored a direct hit right through the conning tower. The sub was then depth charged and sunk. 

We previewed FlyHawk's initial release, now let's take a look at the kit with bonus parts included. The new parts include even more photo etch, brass gun barrels, bits and depth charges, and new finer resin parts.

 The kit is a full hull kit with separate lower hull and waterline plate. The upper half is molded using slides to allow for detail on both sides and still produce a one-peice hull. The lower hull fits nicely on the upper part with a nice joint that will need very little work. Notice the last image below shows the parts sitting together, impressive engineering!  Click images
to enlarge
The Propellers, shafts, rudder and some rafts are molded on this sprue. 
The main sprue features a one piece deck that includes realistic camber, a nice touch! Four 4" 50 cal guns are molded as single parts. Triple torpedo tubes, boats, and davits, and several fittings are among the other parts Molding is pretty good and the parts look crisp and nicely detailed for this small scale. 
Image of some of the parts cut from other sprues are shown below. Among them are slide molded funnels with open ends, and deckhouses with detail all around. If you look closely you can see rivet details on the forward bridge structure The I sprue contain the two boat racks that mount to the mid superstructure. 
 What would a FlyHawk kit be without their fine Photo Etch! Two frets are included relief etched in brass. Included are custom cut railings, inclined ladders with possible steps, and platforms with railing attached. The bridge window frame is another item provided here. The search light platform, crows nest, and lots of other details are provided. 

The second fret includes the front gun shield and a stand for full hull display. 

The last fret includes fold-up boat davits, funnel cap and grill assemblies, and depth charge racks. There are some really nice open doors with detail front and back and a door frame with drip rail. Early destroyers lacked the more modern capstan and anchor handing system, so the older crane style system is included here. There are many more details, please see the image on the left. 

Ten individual depth charges CNC machined out of brass will make those depth charge racks look awesome. Not shown are the separate bits for the deck edge, 20 are included.
Four CNC machined gun barrels allow you to cut off and replace the thicker plastic ones in the kit. 
A new gun shield for the forward mount is finely cast in resin. My photos don't do it justice as you can make out the rivet detail on the real part when viewed with magnifying glasses. It is thin walled and has open sighting ports. Four new torpedo launchers are included. The plastic ones are pretty good for plastic, but these have nice thin walled tubes that look like they could actually hold a torpedo. Tiny steering gear is also included, but note is is labeled as RE1 on the instructions, but called out as RE3 in the assembly view. 
The decal sheet includes early and late hull numbers, large for the bow, and small for the stern. The numbers with shadow are suitable for prewar. A flag and ensign in flat and wind-blown style are included. 
Two color sheets are included showing all the parts along with painting guide for war-time colors. These are pretty extensive and should be all you need to build the Ward. 
These are photos from Flyhawk of the unpainted kit with PE applied. 

This is a great kit for the Ward, very impressive especially with the upgrades that detail lovers will go crazy over. Please note this set with bonus parts is a limited edition kit, so get it while it's available for $39.95 US. If you don't need all that detail, you can still get the basic kit for $29.95 list. 

Right now Freetime lists the basic kit for $21.95 and this limited edition kit for $29.95. Thanks to FlyHawk Models for the review sample.