USS Brister DE-327 « Trim but deadly » 
by René Hieronymus 
page 1 of 2 Next
At work since September 2007

Scale 1:72

Scratch Build, total hrs. until today: approx. 700hrs.

Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign: N H S E
Tactical Voice Radio Call: "SWITZERLAND"

CLASS: Edsall TYPE: FMR (geared diesel, Fairbanks-Morse reverse gear drive)
Displacement: 1,200 tons (std) 1,590 tons (full)
Dimensions: 306' (oa), 300' (wl) x 36' 10" x 12' 3" (max)
Armament: 3 x 3"/50 Mk22 (1x3)
1 twin 40mm Mk1 AA
8 x 20mm Mk 4 AA
3 x 21" Mk15 TT (3x1)
1 Hedgehog Projector Mk10 (144 rounds)
8 Mk6 depth charge projectors
2 Mk9 depth charge tracks
Machinery: 4 Fairbanks-Morse Mod. 38d81/8 geared diesel engines,
4 diesel-generators, 6000 shp, 2 screws
Speed: 21 knots
Range: 9,100 nm @ 12 knots
Crew: 8 / 201

Operational and Building Data
Laid down by Consolidated Steel, Orange TX 14 June 1943, Launched 24 August 1943
Commissioned 30 November 1943, Decomissioned 4 October 1946
Reclassified and converted to DER-327, 21 October 1955
Recommissioned 2 July 1956, Decommissioned (?)
Stricken 23 September 1968

Fate: Sources Differ
(3 sources state) Sold for scrap 15 December 1971, broken up in Taiwan
(1 source states) Transfered to South Vietnam, 1971, captured and not returned to service. 


Right after I had finished my escort carrier model I wanted to start my next ship model project and of course in the same scale 1:72. The only question at this time was. Which ship will it be this time? DE-001
Since quite a few years I was thinking about the idea of a heavy seaplane tender like the Curtiss or Currituck class. The reason for this was, once again the fact, that I would like to build something unusual or less well known. So it’s no wonder that during the research for this project I encountered the same problem as with my escort carrier model, that there are not much information’s available. The biggest problem was the fact that I was not able to find any useful plans for these ships so at the end I had to accept the fact that I would not be able to start such a project. So I started to take a look at various other ship types which could be interesting for me and such a project. Due to the fact that I wanted to build this new model in the same scale, the size of the model is something you always have to keep in mind. Sure a battleship or a cruiser would be great but that is the problem if you like to build models in a rather large scale like I do, they are simply to big. And unless I get lucky and win in the lottery to buy myself a really large house such a model will always remain a dream.
DE-002 DE-003 DE-004 DE-005 DE-006
DE-007 DE-008 DE-009 DE-010 DE-011
DE-012 DE-013 DE-014 DE-015 DE-016
Somewhere during this time I got in contact with a friend of mine and we discussed about some ideas which model to build next. He came up with the idea of recreating a famous picture as a diorama. The picture he was talking about shows the U-505 being captured by the crew of a US Navy Destroyer Escort the USS Pillsbury DE-133. The idea was that my friend (Hi Othmar) would build the German submarine and the DE would by my responsibility. Sure enough Floating Drydock had the plans available so I ordered them together with something even more helpful an e-book about Edsall class DE’s. This CD covers almost any detail you need to know on these ships if you are planning to build one of those.

A few weeks later I had most of the things I was looking for, including the plans and some books and I would have been finally able to start the project. But before I really started to work on this model my friend Othmar, who’s job it was do build that U-Boat, encountered some problems. He did not get the plans for his model and it finally became clear that would be a bigger problem than we both anticipated. Additional during my research I stumbled across a picture which got my attention. It was an Edsall class DE in one of those pretty good looking dazzle paint schemes which I like so much. Compared to that the Pillsbury in here “ordinary” navy grey camouflage looked rather boring and I started to get in temptation……. A few weeks later it became clear that those plans for the U-Boat would be a real problem and the very next moment I took the bait and decided for the USS Brister and against the Pillsbury!

DE-017 DE-018 DE-019 DE-020 DE-021
DE-022 DE-023 DE-024 DE-025 DE-026
DE-027 DE-028 DE-029 DE-030 DE-031
Once again I wanted to build a waterline “lifelike” model, that is including a crew and a water base. Another feature that I always wanted to add in one of my models is the so called “dishing” on the hull sides. Whenever you see a picture of a ship with an un-armoured hull you will notice that the hull looks bent and battered between the frames, The hull plating is simply not as smooth and even as one might expect and that was something which I really wanted to show, the only problem at this time was how on earth should I do that? I made a few attempts with small samples but pretty soon the perhaps most simple way turned out to be the best way to simulate this effect. The hull framework was made of small wooden beams which were glued onto the frames which were cut and sanded from plywood. Onto this I added a first layer of stiff cardboard. As soon as this construction was finished I simply glued several small square wooden sticks of 1mm across in a certain pattern on the outer hull. The next thing I did was that I bought myself some expendable aluminium dishes at a hardware store for a few cents. I took them home, cut out the bottom and flattened them with a large and heavy wooden log. After that I simply had to cut the hull sides from this material and glued it to the small wooden sticks. As soon as this construction had dried for some hours I only had to use my fingertips to “bent” the hull sides in the wished manner, simple and very effective!
DE-032 DE-033 DE-034 DE-035 DE-036
DE-037 DE-038 DE-039 DE-040 DE-041
DE-042 DE-043 DE-044 DE-045 DE-046
DE-047 DE-048 DE-049 DE-050 DE-051
So far I had spend only 25 hrs. on the entire model, maybe I should have spend a few minutes more, cause as soon as I started to add the upper deck, I discovered that something was wrong, very wrong! I had drawn the entire superstructure on a piece of paper, to be transferred to the upper deck of the model but as soon as I started to take some measurements, somehow this drawing seemed to be much to small! A thoroughly examination turned up the fact that I had mistakenkly added one frame two times and due to this my entire hull had become 40mm to long. What a disaster! The result for this were some nasty headaches for the next 2 – 3 hours during which I developed some quite interesting and ambitious ways how to solve this problem or should I say how to fling that damn hull into orbit! At the end I decided to do it the hard way and put the entire hull right on my circular saw bench. At least this way it would be over in an instant! But to my greatest surprise, it worked! I cut a piece 40mm wide, right out of the middle of the hull and glued the ends together again, only two hours later the glue had dried and the hull not only looked like brand-new, most of all it had the exact length!
DE-052 DE-053 DE-054 DE-055 DE-056
DE-057 DE-058 DE-059 DE-060 DE-061
DE-062 DE-063 DE-064 DE-065 DE-067
Continued on Page 2

More of René Hieronymus's work.
Updated 1/14/2009