Yankee Modelworks 1/350 USS Benham DD-387

Reviewed by Timothy Dike
The USS Benham was the follow up to the Gridley and Bagley class. They shared the same hull and forward superstructure, but differed in the funnel and trunking arangements. This Yankee Modelworks kit has been around for a while. First released as the old Classic Warships kit, it is back under the Yankee Modelworks name. 

This kit should allow you to build any of the Benham class destroyers either as pre war or early war versions. A late war version should also be possible using this kit as a base.

The hull is cast in the waterline style with a separate lower hull. The shape appears spot on according to my plans. The detail is not bad with doors and hatches cast on. There is some flash along the waterline that will need some attention, but fortunatly it is in an area where cleanup can be acomplished without destroying details.
click images
to enlarge
The Bridge, and other parts are cast on a resin wafers. The casting is pretty good but the wafers are thick and it will take a little sanding to remove them. I think it would have been better if the forward deckhouse and upper deck had been cast as one piece.
click to enlarge click to enlarge click to enlarge click to enlarge click to enlarge
The funnel trunking looks correct, but the funnel should be oval shaped. Both parts are cast very well.
The 5" gun mounts are cast in metal. There are three standard style, one half shielded canvas covered style, and two full open mounts. This will allow you to do almost any of the Benham class as they differed in the #3 and #4 mounts. The guns are cast with the mounting ring on the bottom. Some of the parts have excessive flash on them, others such as the life boats and davits look crisp and clean. A little cleanup with a file will be necessary on some of the parts, but the shapes appear accurate.
A photo etch fret supplies all the railings and other items such as radar's, and searchlight platform. Sky lookouts, 50 cal mounts, and depth charge racks are also included on the fret.
The instructions are six pages with a bill of materials, plans and elevation views, notes on building, and a really clear exploded view.

If you want to do a Benham class this is your best bet. It provides a good base to build upon. The weapons and fittings are a little rough, but with some cleanup they are usuable.  This is Kit #YKM-35011 with a list price of $130.00, a little pricey, but you can find it for a lot less online. This is only one of the many USN destroyers produced by Yankee Modelworks see the whole line on their website.

© ModelWarships.com