1/700 USS Henley DD-391

Bagley Class DD
Reviewed by Timothy Dike
The eight Bagley's; USS Bagley (DD-386),  USS Blue (DD-387), USS Helm (DD-388), USS Mugford (DD-389), USS Ralph Talbot (DD-390), USS Henley (DD-391), USS Patterson (DD-392), and USS Jarvis (DD-393), were based on the earlier Gridley class. They were nearly identical in layout, but used the machinery of the earlier Mahan class. They could be distinguished by their single stack and prominant trunking. Like the Dunlap and Fanning they had enclosed 5" 38 Cal mounts up front eliminating the need for the large splash shields. The Gridleys also featured four quad torpedo launchers mounted on the main deck. These ships were built with only four 5" 38 cal gun turrets due to their heavier torpedo battery.
Midship Models a new line of ships from Chris Decker of Trident Hobbies has produced a completely new line of waterline ships. This one, the USS Henley is depicted as an ealy war version. It is marked on the box as a Gridley class, however the Henley was a Bagley class. There are plenty of extra parts in this kit can easily be converted to mid or even late war versions of any of the Bagley class destroyers. This kit also includes all the parts to build a Benham class Destroyer. This review uses many of the photo's from my earlier USS Stack review since they are the same in both kits.
The hull is molded one piece with a bow insert. There are slight drag marks on the sides near the hull break. These are probably due to the long vertical sides that need a little draft to keep them from hanging on the mold. But don't worry a light touch with some fine sandpaper will smooth them out. The hull looks very much like the  Gridley class destroyers. 
Click images to enlarge
The superstructure parts have nicely detailed doors with visible latch details. The port holes are pretty well done but not completely open. The splinter shields are a little on the heavy side. The funnel is correct for the Bagley class. Some of the parts have some heavy sink marks due to their thick sections, but nothing the average modeler can't fix. Some items like the mast are very thinly molded. 

There are three different bridge configurations possible with two different forward and aft deck house versions possible. 

The weapons sprue is similar to the Skywave E-6 set. There is everything you need to build a Benham class as well as a bunch of extra spare parts you can use for other projects. The parts have a bit of flash on them and vary in quality and accuracy. The 5" open mounts look very good but the enclosed mounts need quite a bit of work. The sides of a real 5" 38 cal gun house are vertical but these are tapered and the gun mounting slot is twice as large as it needs to be. You might be able to sand these down to make them look more accurate. 
 The rafts are molded in two styles and are both nicely done. The 1.1" guns are done in two scales due to a mistake that resulted in three parts being done in 1/1400 scale. The pair that were done in the right scale have gun barrels that are a bit thick. Some of the other items such as gun directors and search lights came out pretty nice. I wish that the 20 mm guns and the K-guns would have been done differently instead of being done almost exactly like the Skywave parts
The decal sheet includes flags and pennants as well as both prewar and early and late war hull numbers. These are printed by Microscale and are typical of the high quality decals they usually produce. They are nicely registered and sharp.
The instructions are nicely done on an A-size sheet. Page 1 includes a color profile with Model Master and White Ensign Colorcoats paint equivalents. The color profile is however so dark it is hard to make anything out on it. A class list and specs of the ship are included as well. Some basic subassemblies are shown on the first page as well. The main hull assembly is shown on page 2. These are all you really need to build the ship out of the box. 
If you plan to superdetail yours, then you probably have already lined up additional resources.


It's good to have a new line of ships on the market. Especially one with so many build options. A lot of thought went into the design of this kit. I am however disappointed with some of the errors in the parts. Having said that I know that this is pretty good for a first kit, and the next ones will be even better. This kit will provide a good base on which to produce a whole bunch of ships that have not been available in some time time. Order yours now for $19.99 on the Trident Hobbies online website.

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