|Before and during World War two, the United States embarked on a mass destroyer building program. As production started to catch up with the needs of the Navy. Some of the older "flush deck" destroyers were no longer needed for front line duty. Rather than retire them it was decided to convert them to other uses. One of these urgent needs was for fast transports to get troops to the distant Islands under Japanese control. Ships such as the USS Ward that used to patrol off of Pearl Harbor were instead converted to APD's and fitted with Higgins boat and provisions for troops. These ships served admirably in this role and many saw service all over the Pacific.|
|This resin kit originally from Accurate Images, now marketed by Iron Shipwrights is of the USS Roper, one such conversion. I don't have good plans for this ship, so will restrict my comments to the kit quality.|
|The kit is cast as a full hull ship. The deck has a slight negative camber, but this is the least of the problems. From a distance the kit looks OK, but upon closer inspection you will notice that the hull is twisted from bow to stern in a corkscrew fashion. This will be a difficult fix, but I would suggest soaking it in boiling water and carefully twisting it in the opposite direction to even it out.||
|There are a number of spots where the mold has begun to
come apart, pulling small chunks of resin out with each successive pour.
This is really evident around the front shield. There are a bunch of little
resin blobs that will have to be removed.
|SUPERSTRUCTURE AND DETAILS|
|Most of the superstructure cast on so there is only the
bridge and the mid and aft platforms to attach. These parts are pretty
good but a little lacking in detail.
|Two photo etch frets are included for the railings, ladders
and other items. The fret is not bad but is not relief etched and is not
up to today's standards.
The second fret is for the 20 mm gun shields and depth charge racks.
|Instructions are pretty basic, but should give you a general
guide as to where everything goes.
|This kit is still listed on the Iron Shiprights website but is listed as temporarily discontinued. Perhaps that is to redo the master and construct a new mold. Unless you can get a hold of an earlier issue of this kit, I would stay away. The hull on this kit is just too far gone for my tastes. This is Iron Shipwrights kit USS Roper APD-20 "Wilkes" Class conversion retail price $75.00|