|This is the Dragon Laffey kit built as the USS Woodworth in 1944. The kit is basically a scaled down version of Dragon's 1/350 destroyer offerings and is therefore very well molded and detailed. The kit includes two different variations of the rear deckhouse platform which enables you to build a unit of the class with either a 1.1" and 20mm gun at that position, or the twin 40mm guns of the updated ships of the class. In addition the kit has 40mm guns and extra weapons and fittings, so you will have some extra parts for your spares box. I wanted to portray a unit of the class that had an interesting camouflage scheme but there were a lot of modelers that already built the Farenholt with its one-off scheme so I decided to build the Woodworth, DD-460, as she appeared in 1944, with a measure 32/6d scheme, and an AA armament of two twin 40mm and 7 single 20mm guns. The kit 5Ē 38s are really nice, and even have a hole at the end of the barrel, so I decided to use them.|
|I began construction by sanding the seam on the stern and filling the small depressions on the sides of the bow.||click image
|All weapon and superstructure sub assemblies were then built up, taking care to fill any seams with 3M Blue Acryl putty thinned with acetone. This made it easier to wet sand the small parts with 600 wetordry paper.|
|I had to make a tub for the front 20mm position on the bridge front, and modified a 40mm gun tub from the Midship Models detail set for that.|
|I used the very nice Niko twin 40mm guns, and Gold Medal single 20mm
photo etched offerings.
Other details used were Gold Medal ultra railings and US DD/Cruiser detail set (for the gun director and top mast radars), and their 1/700 anchors. The kit photo etched parts were used for the balance of the details.
|Although the deck color should be deck blue, I used WEM US Navy Blue as I thought the anti-skid decals would not show up over the darker deck blue. After spraying the three color scheme on the hull and sub structures (Floquil SP Lettering Gray for the Haze Gray, WEM Ocean Gray, and Floquil Grimy Black) I sprayed Future acrylic clear on all the parts to enable application of the hull numbers and anti skid decals without silvering. Micro Sol (the more aggressive setting solution with the red label) was used to soften the decals and make them follow any contours. After the decals dried overnight I sprayed the parts with Testors flat acrylic clear. The foremast was little bit tricky to construct as you need to glue the top and bottom parts, making sure the alignment is correct. The final result is a very nicely detailed mast assembly that would be very difficult to duplicate exactly in brass.|
|The rest of the build was fairly straightforward, and I mostly used the kitís plastic parts, as they are very nicely done. The only drawback is that they can be a little bit fiddly to handle and clean up before cementing into place. I used stretched sprue for the rigging as caenis line would have been too strong for the plastic masts, and would have bent the masts when tightened up. I also used CMK lights for the port and starboard running lamps.|
|Photos from Navsource helped to ensure the accuracy of the build, but I owe a major debt to Rick E. Davis, the boardís resident destroyer guru. I didnít notice until late in the build that in some photos the Woodworth seemed to have a 20mm gun at the rear of the port upper bridge wing, but in others it looked like the searchlight that was normally in that position. Rick confirmed that the Woodworth had single 20s in those positions, and luckily I was able to remove the searchlights, modify the bridge wings, and add the single 20s without causing any damage to the model. Dragonís Laffey is an excellent kit and a good bargain for the money. Iím looking forward now to building their new Livermore/Monssen kit when it becomes available locally!|
of Bob Cicconi's work.