JAG Collective
1/700 Sumner FRAM
out of the box model by Michael taylor
Model by Michael Taylor
Reviewed by Timothy Dike and Michael Taylor
FRAM (Fleet Rehabilitation And Modernization) was a program to extend the useful life of certain ships. The Sumner class destroyers were a design based on W.W.II needs. Those needs changed as more modern threats were introduced. The updates to these ships allowed them to serve into the 70's. The JAG version represents the first round of modernization as she would have appeared in the 60's.
Like their other ships, this one comes nicely packed in the distinctive "JAG" tube for extra protection. The hull was secured with bubble wrap to prevent it from moving around inside the container. The extra parts and photo etch are tucked neatly inside with the instructions rolled up and inserted inside. the photo etch is sandwiched between two cardboard inserts to prevent any distortion.
The hull is nicely cast in one piece with the superstructure molded on and the deck levels included as well. The casting is superb, and my sample lays perfectly flat without adjusting needed. The detailing is very nice with vents and other surface detail well represented. The amazing thing about their the ship is that the large overhanging platforms are all so well cast without any air bubbles or any other defects. 
Click images
to enlarge
click to enlarge
It should be noted that unlike the Skywave W.W.II version of the Sumner class DD, this one has the correct sheer and flair to the hull. Well done JAG, now how about a W.W.II version of this kit, or at least the hull!
The Twin 5" gun houses are nicely cast with sighting hoods. Separate gun barrels are cast with blast bags. Other parts such as boat davits and anchors are also nicely cast. There is a very thin layer of resin over pour but it is so thin that you can peel it away with your fingernail. 
The kit includes a photo etch fret with SPS-29/37 and SPS-40 radar assemblies as well as the spray shields, helicopter pad netting, and other miscellaneous parts.
The decal sheet has enough numbers for all  of the class as well as other deck markings. I adjusted the contrast on the image on the right but some of the white decals do not show up on the light colored background. 
The instructions consist of the front and back of a "B" size sheet (11" x 17"), showing an exploded view on one side with a parts list and  a plan and elevation of the ship on the other side. It would be nice to have a little more detail on the mast assembly.
Comments from Michael Taylor about this kit:
The mast seemed to be 1/16" too short and the gun barrels need to be trimmed thinner to fit in the turrets, and there are no drawings in the instructions (there is a side profile drawing of the ship on the front of the instructions) for the mast assembly above the SPS radar platform, these are the only two areas that needed any extra attention in this kit. Both an SPS-29/37 and SPS-40 radar's are provided. I chose to model the SPS-29/37 for a change. The forward part of the photo etched spray shields that angles in to fit under the upper deck needs to be trimmed about 1/32" to fit properly. 
Model is built out of the box

Conclusions: Excellent casting quality and an easy kit to build. While not for the beginner, anyone with a little resin experience could easily tackle this subject. It would make a good first resin kit if the modeler already has some photo etch skills. The only thing the modeler will need here is a good set of photo etch rails to finish it off as everything else except paint and glue is included.

Thanks to Gene Largado and Tom Gardner of JAG for the review sample

Links and references:

© ModelWarships.com