USS Walke DD-413
1/700 Imperial Hobby Productions Metal Kit

Reviewed by Timothy Dike
The Sims Class was a prewar design of 1500 tons authorized in 1937. They were an enlarged and improved version of the Gridley and Benham class. As built with their five 5" guns and triple torpedo launchers they were overweight and unstable. The solution was to remove the number three 5" gun and the third torpedo launcher. The second launcher was relocated to the centerline in what would become the standard arrangement for future classes of Destroyers. The Sims class were active in both theaters of the war and were active from the beginning to the end of the war. The Sims class were used in a variety of roles, some were used in an anti Kamikaze role with heavy modifications amidships.
One of the original producers of resin kits Mike Bartel of Imperial Hobbies is back with a new series of kits in a new medium. These kits are cast in pewter a soft metal with the characteristics of lead. If you have built any resin kits you have probably already worked with metal parts. They parts are easy to work with and can be bent into shape with a little gentle pressure. 
Two different versions of this kit are now being produced. An early war  1940-42 USS Sims, and a Late 1942-43 Mid war USS Walke. Plans are to also do a late war fit of this class in the future. Each kit includes slightly different platforms as noted below to build the different versions. But each will build several versions of an early war or late war ship. click images
to enlarge
My first impression of this kit was "man these parts are heavy". The hull is well cast and will need only need a little work to remove some of the light flash along the bow. The hull scales out a about 3/32" long compared to the prototype but this will be hardly noticeable in this small scale. Surface detail includes the chocks and anchor chain details, with well done turret mounting bases.
Superstructure parts are cast on tree's much like injections molded kits. This allows the parts to be cast with mounting pins and upper and lower details. Cleanup will be limited to removing the metal attachment sprues from the part and then touching up with a small file. The parts are well detailed with doors and hatches and even some electrical conduit detail. There are a number of extra superstructure parts that will allow you to built this ship (or some of her sister ships) at different times in their careers. 

The funnel is well cast and the only thing that may be a chore is if you chose to drill out the funnel it will take a little more time than the soft resin we are accustomed to.

Note: I have scanned the top and bottom of the three parts tree on the right to show all the details. There is only one of each included in the kit.

These parts are distinct to the Walke kit. They include several platforms that were typical of the mid war Sims class DD's.
Weapons include some nice 5" 38 cal gun turrets, three cast with fully enclosed shields and one with a canvas top typical of the number three turret (when configured with 4 total turrets). If you want to build a 1940 version two extra open 5" 38 mounts are included with a aft deck insert. That deck insert unfortunately includes the gun base mount cast in place, not a problem if you intend to leave the gun fixed in the centerline position instead of being rotated. 
Some of the smaller parts are a little less pleasing such as the 20 mm gun mounts and radar, but these are items that are best replaced with photo etch. At least the modeler has the option of building a complete kit out of the box or replacing some parts with photo etch. Brass rod is supplied for the masts.
Instructions consist of the front and back of an A-size sheet. The front includes a bit of history and some notes on working with metal kits, as well as an illustration of the parts in the kit. The second side has exploded views of the different assemblies and several detail views. These are well done and even include notes for the different building options. 

Don't let the fact that this kit is made of metal scare you. This is a nice kit and should be a pretty easy build. You will have to use CA (super glue) adhesive to build this kit, but most of us are already familiar with that. I'm just glad to have a new Sims class destroyer available, and one that has so many build options is a welcome addition to the 1/700 waterline world. This kit lists for $38.00 making it a good value for a metal kit . Thanks to Imperial Hobby Productions for the review sample check their website for a complete list of Ship kits in metal and resin.