Reviewed by Timothy Dike on 08-17-2005
The USS Cushing is one of the later of the Spruance Class Destroyers. She was commissioned September 21 1979 and is the fifth ship to bear that name. She has an interesting history, but I will let you read about that on the USS Cushing Website. The USS Cushing DD-985 will be decommissioned on September 21 in San Diego. Now is your chance to reproduce this ship in 350 scale. Dragon has updated their Spruance class kit with this late fit version depicting the Cushing. Now lets take a look at what's in the box.
The ship is molded as full hull with two halves. The molding is pretty good, and includes several interior braces to help hold it together solidly. The surface detail looks pretty good, and the ship compares well to the drawings I have of her.  Click images
to enlarge
The ship can be modified to a waterline version with the included flat hull section. This sprue also includes some pretty good helicopters, and VLS hatches. Molding is pretty nice on these parts. Some of the missile hatches are left open so you can be placed in the open position.
The superstructure main deck and most of the weapons are on this sprue. The parts are pretty well done for plastic, and closely resemble the real world counterparts. The only thing I don't like is the raised lines on the helicopter deck. 
The main deck is on this sprue is is nicely molded. Superstructure walls are included with nice surface detail.
Other superstructure decks and walls are on this sprue with nice detail overall.
The bridge front is well molded with nicely done windows. The mast platforms are molded with details on both sides. The underside bracing looks nice.
The other walls and mast parts are well done, and the mast parts are nice enough that you won't need PE replacements. The stack tops are included on this sprue but this kit included some really nice machined aluminum ones that you will really want to use.
This sprue is new and is not included in earlier releases. It included the superstructure modifications for the Phalanx and the New RAM for the stern. No need to scratchbuilt those domed radar assemblies on the bridge front and aft phalanx mount, they are included.
Not all the parts on this sprue are needed for the kit. The ones you need such as the radar base platforms will come in handy.
A full set of etched brass photo etch railing is included. These railings are cut to length and numbered to match the instructions.
Two very nice decal sheets are included with everything from hull numbers to warning circles. They are nicely registered and much improved over earlier dragon sets. These even include a variety of Battle "E"' markings.
The instructions are eight pages and very extensive. They take you step by step and show the various subassemblies. Painting guide and sprue parts locations are shown. I like the way the unused parts are noted.
This kit is an upgrade of an earlier kit that was very nice by itself. Dragon has added new parts to update it, and included photo etch and machined funnel tops. Dragon USA lists this kit with an MSRP of $41.95, it is a good value for 350 scale modelers especially with the extras.  It is nice to see Dragon taking the time to update these earlier kits. This one will build nicely out of the box, or as the starting point of a super detailed Sprue-can.