|Launched in August 1958 and commissioned in October 1959 as DD-949, Parsons was a modified Forrest Sherman class destroyer (Hull class) completed with a higher bow. Lacking antiaircraft guided missiles and long range antisubmarine capability she was soon obsolescent for escorting a fast carrier task force. Parson was one of only four of Forrest Sherman DDs receiving the ultimate intended conversion to a DDG. Decommissioned from January 1966 to November 1967, Parsons lost all her guns except mount 51 in exchange for ASROC, improved GCI capability with a TACAN and long range SPS48 3D air search radar, and a single arm Mk 13 Tarter launcher. Forward deployed from November 1971 until April 1981, she was homeported in Japan and served as the flagship for DESRON 15. Transferred back to San Diego, she was later decommissioned in November 1982 with the retirement of all the DD-931s. She was expended as a target in April 1989 by Harpoon from USS Fletcher DD992.|
This model represents Parsons in December 1980 when she was still based in Japan. At that time the outboard plating added during the conversion to enclose the main deck under the ASROC launcher and the aft deckhouse was removed to decrease weight. Model is a conversion of the old Revell kit H309 of the USS John Paul Jones. Only the hull and one of the gun mounts was used. The bottom of the hull was cut off at the lower molded waterline and the main deck built up using Evergreen sheet styrene resulting in a scale of 1:318.6.
A Booklet of General Plans for DDG 31 USS Decatur, marked Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard dated 23 December 1980, was purchased from the Floating Dry Dock and provided information for the model with modifications per DDG 33 photos from the internet, postcards and books.
The built up hull with new superstructure and lattice masts constructed from Evergreen sheet styrene and plastic rod. The port anchor hawse pipe was constructed. Portholes, watertight doors, vents, fire hoses, storage boxes, inclined ladders, and drainpipes were added. Rudimentary interior detail for the pilothouse were added and painted before it was enclosed. Exterior sections which would be difficult to reach later were painted.
|The basic structure with new scratch built stacks temporarily fitted.|
|The weapons. The Mk 42 5” mount was modified from the kit parts by removing the frog eyes and building new ones. The top of the new port frog eye was shaped from a clear plastic sprue tree (which also provided the clear dome for the Mk 68 gun director captain’s station). Handholds and rungs were constructed from stretched sprue. The AS2866 cone antenna at the rear of the mount was made from .005” sheet styrene and rod. The Mk 112 ASROC launcher and Mk 13 Tarter launcher were constructed from Evergreen sheet styrene and rod detailed with stretch sprue. The Mk 32 triple torpedo tubes were made from plastic rod mounted on a section of styrene tube a detailed with stretched sprue.|
|The scratch built radars. The SPS 10 and SPS 29 were made primarily from stretched sprue. The SPS 48 was sheet styrene and stretched sprue. The SPG51 Illuminator was sheet styrene using a DREMEL tool to hollow out the dish antenna. This was also done on the SPG 53 antenna for the Mk 68 GFCS director. When first converted to DDG the convex face of the SPG 53 antenna projected outward to incorporate a continuous wave illuminator for a second SAM missile guidance channel (see Spanish Baleres class FFG). In late 1980 the antenna reverted to the original concave SPG 53 configuration.|
|The scratch built boats (bread and butter construction method) and funnels.|
|These pictures show additional detailing added to basic structure. Styrene rod was used to build support columns for the 01 deck. Cabling and waveguides were added to the masts and the undersides of platforms painted. Foundations for the ASROC launcher and forward gun mount were added. Boat davits, boat cradles, and life raft canister racks were added. A sliding pad eye underway replenishment rig was added aft and an ASROC loading crane added amidships. The OE-82C/WSC-1 SATCOM antennae were built using missile body sections from the spare parts box and added to the aft deckhouse and portside forward twin fan antenna post. More sections were painted where they would be later obstructed behind other objects.|
|Additional details were added to vertical surfaces and
deck fittings added. Top masts and their fittings added.
|Final detailing of masts has begun with WLR1 ESM domes, derby and sword ESM antennae, range light fittings, and railings. The sequence of adding detailing is from the top to down and from in to out. Stretched sprue is used for rigging, railings and lifelines. Wire is used for long whip antennae.|
|Close up final details after painting. Campbell Scale Models #256 chain was used for the anchor chain with stretched sprue chain stoppers. Clear .005” styrene was cut for pilot house, signalman’s shelter, captain’s gig, and ASROC control room windows. Micro Kristal Clear was used for portholes, captain’s gig cockpit, signal light lenses, and door windows. It was also used to replicate the canvas wind baffles on the 03 & 04 decks (applied after painting the railing and painting the final color only on the outside).|
|Testor’s Model Master Enamel light ghost gray was used
for vertical surfaces, neutral gray for decks, flat black for stack tops
and mast upper works, gunship gray for walkways and dark deck areas, and
flat white for the top of the ASROC launcher, captain’s gig cabin and forward
deck house (starboard side contained the DESRON CO’s stateroom, portside
a radio room).
|Pictures after the model is put into a seascape. Project time from start to finish was 2 years, 4 months.|
of Phil Toy's work.