Reviewed by Timothy Dike
The USS Drayton was the third ship of the Mahan class. The Drayton was in the Pacific when war broke out and served as plane guard destroyer for the Lexington. Drayton operated around Pearl Harbor early in 1942, until sailing for Guadalcanal later in the year. She operated in the Solomon's for much of the war slowly working her way across the Pacific. Drayton sailed back to the coast in 1944 for a full overhaul and received the latest updates at that time. Dratyon returned to the Pacific and earned 11 battle stars for World War II service.

It is in this 1944 fit that Samek has chosen to depict the Drayton.

The hull is cast with most of the lower superstructure in place. The hull shape and size matches the plans I have of the USS Cushing. The detail is pretty good overall. I had never noticed that there were steps up to the number one and two mounts. But a quick check of the plans shows that the forward tub was indeed raised, and the #2 mount is accessed by three steps instead of a sloping ramp. The deck features raised tread plate detail, something I could live without. In my opinion this is a detail that is best represented by decal as the pattern can vary from ship to ship. The depth charge racks are another item I would rather have left off and instead represented by photo etch..
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The bridge and gun tubs are cast on a thin resin wafer. The half shielded 5" 38 cal gun mounts are well done and will readily accept brass gun barrels if you chose to use them. Other items such as funnel trunking is well done and the funnels themselves are nicely cast with funnel grills cast in place. 
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The other small parts are well cast and have very little flash on them. I am a little disappointed by the open 5" guns, they appear to be simply modified Skywave versions. Ships boats and other details are pretty well done. 
A fairly extensive photo etch fret is included with radar, boat davits, ladders, and anchor chain. The splash shields for the #2 and #3 gun mounts is also done in photo etch. This is a unique approach and I will have to actually build this kit to let you know how well this works. 
A decal set with hull numbers for the Drayton is included. A flag is supplied on a separate sheet. 
The instructions are three pages with a plan and elevation showing camo markings on page one. Page two shows the ship with the anti skid patterns laid out on the deck. The third page shows the exploded view of the ship.

Overall this is a pretty good kit, it is the most accurate version of a Mahan class destroyer currently available. But I am a little disappointed by the lack of innovation employed and simplification of some of the details. This kit is listed as Samek Models US Navy Destroyer Drayton 1944 with a price of $35.00 a pretty good price for a nicely detailed kit with photo etch.. Be sure to check Pacific Front's new online store for this and the complete line of Samek Models.

November 3, 2006