Tamiya 1/700 USS Cushing DD-797

Reviewed by Timothy Dike
The Fletcher Class Destroyer was one of the most successful destroyers of world war two. They were by far the most numerous with 175 being built during the war. The Fletchers underwent changes as they evolved, and later destroyers of this class are often referred to as Square Bridge Fletchers. The first ships of this class had a rounded bridge and lighter anti aircraft fit as on the Tamiya USS Fletcher kit. This was one of the many design improvements that were incorporated as a result of war time experience, as the square bridge with a walkway in front gave the Commander of the ship more visibility to operate his ship. The aft deck house was lowered and the two twin 40 mm gun mounts were added on either side of the aft funnel.
Tamiya has updated their Fletcher kit by adding an extra sprue that includes parts to build the later Square bridge ships of this class. The rest of the kit is the same as the earlier Tamiya USS Fletcher kit. The hull is molded in one piece with a bow insert. It is shaped nicely and has the proper sheer and flair of a Fletcher class DD. The center superstructure is molded onto the hull, and while nicely shaped is pretty void of any detailing.

The only real problem I have with this kit is the small size of the 5" 38 cal gun turrets. They are just too small, and are best replaced with the ones from the the Skywave E-6 Weapons set.

The extra sprue is the only thing really new about this kit. It includes a new bridge and forward gun deck. There is also new gun platforms and a new lower aft deck house.
The decal sheet includes flags and numbers for the only a couple  of DD's, the Cushing and the USS Colahan (DD-658). 
The instructions are pretty extensive for such a small kit. They shop the parts in several exploded detail views in a step by step fashion. 
The back of the box includes a pretty good painting guide for the USS Cushing in her MS 31/16d camo.
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While this kit falls short of the new tooling that went into the new Tamiya USS Missouri, it is still a great value and when you consider it is half the price of competing DD's it is still a great kit for the money and great starting point for a late war Fletcher.

Thanks to HobbyLink Japan for the review sample. You can find the USS Cushing item # TAM31907 listed for $5.88 US and the entire Tamiya line on their website with online ordering capability and speedy delivery.

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