Trumpeter 1/350
USS The Sullivans

Reviewed by Timothy Dike
 The Sullivans (DD-637) was a late war Fletcher class destroyer. she was distinguished by her large square open bridge. The Sullivans was named for the five Sullivans who served together on the USS Juneau and gave their lives together for their country. The Sullivans fought her way across the Pacific and survived the war and now serves are a museum ship.
This new kit from Trumpeter depicts the square bridge Fletcher class destroyer the USS The Sullivans. This new kit is molded with a separate upper and lower hull with a flat bottomed waterline hull insert. The lower hull is molded in red plastic and looks accurate in size and shape with the exception of the thick bilge keels, which are typical of most injection molded kits. The upper hull doesn't have a whole lot of detail but closely matched the plans I have. Click images
to enlarge
The main deck is properly shaped, but the detail is not very good. First the anti skid walkways are molded in relief and come out as incredibly thick. I don't like to see details that are painted on molded into a ship kit. The walkway patterns were not all the same and it will be difficult to remove these. Worse yet, the anchor, chain locker, and capstan detail is over simplified. The anchor is not properly routed for the port side and your best bet would be to shave off the anchors completely and add real chain. 
The openings in the deck  where the anchor passed through the deck should be drilled out  and the lip around the edge rounded. The chain locker covers should also be much thicker. The bits and chocks suffer from a lack of detail. These are typically replaced by most advanced Modelers anyway.
the main sprue include most of the superstructure decks and walls. Some of these are pretty nice and others have some errors. The gun tubs are not bad, but there are tooling marks visible on the decks. The surfaces also appear to be coarse as if the mold was not polished properly.
The watertight doors are not consistent in detail and some are hinged the wrong way. Note: on a ship the doors on the port side are hinged on the left. Starboard doors are hinged on the right. This is done so that any waves that wash up over the deck will force the door closed and not open, preventing the ship from taking on excessive water. 
The decks on these spues also feature the thick walkway tread molded on. The shapes of the structures look correct though. The mast included a molded on SC radar that begs for a photo etch replacement. It is also noticeably short. I wish the platforms on the bridge level were not molded as thick bosses. It would be better to leave them off entirely than to do them in a manner that makes them difficult to remove.
The various gun tubs came out pretty well. The funnels include some molded on grills that are overly thick and appear oversize.
The weapons sprue has some pretty nice 5" 38 cal gun houses. They are made up of several parts so it will be hard to hide the seams, but at least they are the proper size and shape. They include the correct barrel offset, but have an incorrectly placed hatch on the roof. The 20 mm guns look like they were scaled up from a 1/700 scale kit. But at least I can't complain about the shields being left off. The 40 mm gun mounts are over simplified, and the railings on the gun mounts are molded like a shield, a common mistake. The K-guns actually came out pretty good, however the Sullivans used the newer racks and not the pedestal mounts included in the kit. 
A stand is provided for full hull display. 
The decals  include flags, hull numbers, and stack emblems all well registered. However unless you are modeling a museum ship, you will want to replace the flag and jack as they both have 50 stars. During WW2 there were only 48 states.
A 10 page instruction booklet is included to guide you through a step by step assembly process. The parts are all called out and placement is well illustrated throughout. A nice color sheet is included with camouflage markings for the ship and aircraft. Paint colors are called out as well.

I am glad to have a new 1/350 Square Bridge Fletcher available for modelers. But this kit is a step back from the innovative kits that Trumpeter has been producing lately. Some of the problems of the kit are due to the limitations of plastic injection molding limits, some are clearly avoidable and it appears that Trumpeter gave this kit a low priority in terms of research, and tooling. However if you are willing to spend the time, this kit can be made into a respectable late war Fletcher. You can find this kit at most any well stocked hobby shop. It is listed as 1/350 USS The Sullivans DD537 Destroyer with a list price of  $29.95. If your hobby shop does not carry Trumpeter kits have them contact Stevens International or try their Hobby Shop Locator to find one.