JAG's 1/700 USS Forrest Sherman

Reviewed by Timothy Dike
The Forrest Sherman  was the lead ship of a new destroyer class built in the 50's. The design is an improvement of the Gearing Class, rather than an upgrade of the previous Mitcher class. The latter was too large and elaborate for the Navy's needs. A smaller Destroyer that could be mass produced was what was needed. The Forrest Sherman fit that bill and eighteen were built in all. They served admirably and with upgrades many survived the Cold War. OK you probably already know the history of this ship, lets cut to the chase and see what's packed in the tube.

This kit has been eagerly anticipated ever since we were treated to a sneak peak by Pavel Vacatta at the 2004 IPMS Nationals in Phoenix.

JAG has been setting the standard for casting quality. Tom Gardner takes his craft very seriously and the result is yet another extremely well cast kit. This kit is very sharply detailed and there is nothing to complain about casting wise. I doubt you will need any of the after market detail items to spruce up this kit, since the hatches and other surface details are so well done.  Click images
to enlarge
The second deck level has some overhanging surfaces and they are cleanly cast without a trace of defects. The portholes are round and deep enough that no drilling is required. Ladders, superstructure handrails, and miscellaneous conduit detail is easily recognized on the walls.
There are three different bridge structures included so you can do other versions of this ship. They are also very well cast. But I did find one that the cast on ladder was not completely cast. AH HA!  click to enlarge
The optional awning that could be fitted to the front of the bridge is separately cast. ECM pods are also included for those of you that are tired of scratch building your own! Notice the fine detailing on the deck winch and cable reel.
Weapons include three nicely shaped 5" 54 cal turrets, Mk 10 and 15 Hedgehogs, and 3" 50 cal guns (cast in metal below). Other parts include life raft bundles to mount around the superstructure.
The metal parts are clean and with a minimal amount of flash. Ships boats, davits to launch them, and fire control radar are among these parts. Also included but not shown are several lengths of plastic rod.
A nice stainless steel photo etch fret is provided with the radar's, masts, and yardarms. Other essentials include inclined ladders, spray shields, and depth charge racks. These are all well done and the only other item you will need are deck railings. These are left out to keep the price of the kit down and since most of us already have generic ship railings in our parts boxes. 
The decals are very complete, not just hull numbers, and flags, but also Battle E's and Salad Bar campaign ribbons. These are sharply rendered for this scale and another welcome addition to this kit.
The instructions consist of the front and back of a B-sized sheet (11" x 17"). This a little beyond the max. size of my scanner, so the instructions are scanned as two images and merged. One side shows an exploded view of all the components with  the parts breakdown and stats of the ship. The other side shows the rest of the assembly with separate views for the radar assemblies. A plan and profile are included as well.

This finely cast kit is very detailed,  and includes almost everything you need to build this Cold War veteran. It is yet another reminder why JAG is leader in 1/700 Resin Cold War ships. This is kit #JAG 003 USS Forrest Sherman (early)  retailing for $55.00. A good price for a quality kit with photo etch and decals. It is available direct from JAG or wherever fine model ships are sold.

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