New for 2009

Reviewed by Timothy Dike
Hot on the heels of the successful 1/350 Benson/Gleaves class Destroyer kits, Dragon has another winner with this new Gearing class kit. Like the previous kits such as the Buchanan, Laffey, and Livermore, this kit features all new state of the art molding and the best molding detail seen on any plastic ship kit. The Gearing class was the ultimate wartime destroyer design incorporating the lessons learned from previous classes. The Gearing featured a flush deck and six 5" 38 cal gun mounts in three twin mounts. Originally designed to have two quintuple torpedo mounts, the second set of tubes was replaced with a quad 40 mm mount before Gearing saw action. 

This new Dragon kit depicts the Gearing in 1945 as she operated in the Atlantic. The fit is typical of most of the WW2 Gearing and this kit can be used as the basis for other sister ship in the class. This model is based on the stunning 3D CAD from Darius Lipinski with the help of some of the best researchers out there. Dragon is paying attention to what ship modelers want in a kit and they are applying it to each new kit with the goal of making each successive release better than the last. 

There are many new sprues designed for this kit. Some previews of the test shots are shown below. Please note that these are the first parts and improvements have already been made to them. But these should give you a good idea of what will be included in the kit.
Sprue A Sprue B Sprue C Sprue G Sprue I Sprue M
One of the most amazing things about this new smart kit is the way Dragon has seemingly spared no expense to add the most detail possible. Slide molding technology has been around for a while, but in the past plastic model companies have been reluctant to make use of it. Each slide adds considerable cost to the tooling to make the parts. However Dragon has gone the extra mile to preserve the details adding slides to the mold as needed. The result is greater detail and less work for the modeler. 
Newly tooled Twin 5" 38 Cal  turrets New style Whaleboat Details everywhere
If you have ever assembled a Twin 5" mount from any other manufacturer, you know you will be left with some seams that are difficult to fill. Not with this kit. The seams are smartly placed to allow for an easy build with minimal cleanup. Note the sighting hoods and access hatches molded on and the shell extraction chutes on the rear. 
The promotional poster on the right illustrates many of the new features in case I have left some out. Close ups are shown below.
This is only a preview, but I can already tell you Dragon has improved on their Buchanan kit. This kit should be on the market by May 2009. Look for the full in-box review here on Check the Dragon website for more info.