NIKO 1/700 USS Sims DD-409

Reviewed by Timothy Dike
The USS Sims was commissioned on August 1, 1939 at Bath, Maine. She operated in the Atlantic 

Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, warships were urgently needed in the Pacific and Sims departed December 16, 1941 to join the task force formed around the USS Yorktown CV-5.  See her full DANFS entry here.

Niko Model has been producing some pretty amazing ships. Their latest is the USS Sims in her as-built 1939 appearance with five 5 inch turrets, two of the open mount style. There is also three quadruple torpedo launchers instead of two on later refits.

For an early war version of the Sims class see the review on the USS Hughes here

The hull is cast with much of the forward and mid superstructure in place. The rounded front on the deck house under where the bridge mounts is cast on. So when you add the bridge, you will not have to deal with hiding an ugly seam. Surface details include the braces around the gun bases, hatches and a nice capstan. 
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I don't really care for the cast on depth charges, but when wrapped in photo etch (included) frames they should look pretty good. The dimensions appear to be very close although the rounded edges should gradually taper toward the bow.
 The bridge is cast wings and all. Not bad, but the wings have no flair at the top. That is a minor thing in this small scale. The rear splinter shield on the bridge should be removed and replaced with a section of railing. 
The Flag bags are cast on on this version and should also be removed and reattached much lower than they are now. See this photo of the USS Hughes.
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The funnel is nicely shaped and well cast. The 5" gun turrets include separate gun barrels and plenty of surface detail. The two open mounts have a lot of detail with separate gun and base assemblies. 
At first glance the torpedo tubes appear rather plain, that is until you see the photo etch below that gives them even more detail.
Small parts are very fine and delicate, so be careful when handling them. The spray shields are resin on this kit. They are thin and one was slightly warped. That should not be a problem as they seem fairly flexible.
A relief etch brass photo etch fret is included to add the fine details. Detailed yardarms, boat davits, 20 mm guns with bases, and depth charge racks are just some of the nice items included. As mentioned above there are detail parts for the torpedo tubes that include the doors, and plumbing and bracing parts. 
While these parts are not as fine as some of the other aftermarket manufactures, the approach to the detailing is very innovative. You will have to supply your own outer railings, but most of us have plenty of those anyway. Separate brass rod is included to fabricate the mast.
Here are some photo's of the built up kit supplied by Niko
Two decal sheets are supplied, one for hull numbers and one for flags. These ships typically had no other markings, so this is fine. The markings are clear and well registered.
The instructions are three pages. A bill of materials on one side and and exploded view on the others. The illustrations are good, but a good plan and elevation of the finished ship would have been nice.

A highly detailed and accurate kit of the Sims class. Almost everything you needed is included. This kit was listed on Pacific Front Hobbies online site for $40.00 a nice price for a nicely detailed kit like this with photoetch. Bill Gruner carries the entire Niko line of ships and many more hard to find, high quality kits.