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USS The Sullivans

Trumpeter 1/350 USS The Sullivans DD 537 Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review May 2006 Manufacturer Trumpeter
Subject USS The Sullivans DD 537 Scale 1/350
Kit Number 5304 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Square bridge Fletcher, parts for 1943 and 1945 fit Cons  
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $29.95

First Look

USS The Sullivans
USS The Sullivans
USS The Sullivans
USS The Sullivans
USS The Sullivans
USS The Sullivans

Five brothers went to sea aboard the cruiser USS Juneau and were killed with 700 other sailors when she was sunk by a Japanese submarine during Guadalcanal, 13 Nov 1942. President Roosevelt ordered one of the new Fletcher-class destroyers named after the brothers. DD 537 received the name and was launched 4 April 1943.

The The Sullivans earned nine battle stars in her actions during World War Two, continued her service through Korea, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and even the recovery efforts of USS Thrasher. After her distinguished career, The Sullivans was acquired by the city of Buffalo and became a museum. The next generation of The Sullivans is DDG 68, and Arleigh Burke class destroyer.

Trumpeter has ventured into the Fletcher-class destroyers with this new release. Many will remember the Tamiya kit in 1/350 scale that nicely represented a round-bridge Fletcher. For whatever reason, Tamiya did not complete the job by releasing a square-bridge Fletcher, but this oversight has been rectified by Trumpeter.

According to the specifications, the kit is comprised of 174 parts on six sprues, plus individual parts of the upper hull, main deck, lower hull (for full-hull builds), and lower hull plate (for waterline builds).

As usual, detailing on the parts is nicely done and the assembly is very straightforward. You'll just need to take your time and dry-fit the various parts before gluing to address any trimming that may be needed to get that perfect fit.

The Mk.30 Mod30 main gun turrets are nicely done.

Pay close attention to the instructions as there are notations in Chinese and the numbers 43 and 45. These are trying to tell you which parts/options to use depending on whether you're modeling DD 537 in her 1943 or 1945 fits.

As mentioned earlier, you have your choice of a full-hull ship, complete with screws and rudder, or you can opt for the waterline version. The full hull version also includes a display stand, and either version can use the included name plates.

Markings and color instructions are provided for The Sullivans' 1943 Measure 21 and 1945 Measure 22 camouflage.

Yes, the 50-star US flag is back. It is difficult enough for many US citizens to understand the significance of the number of stars on the flag, much less the decal makers in Asia. Let's be gracious and say that the flags are provided for DD 537's service after 1959.

Just for the record, the number of stars on the US flag corresponds to the number of states in the United States. During World War Two, there were 48 states - all of the states that make up the 'Continental United States.' In early 1959, Alaska was admitted as a state, followed later in 1959 by Hawaii.

This is a nice looking model that fills the gap in the Fletcher class. I will leave it to the experts to determine finite detail and accuracy between the Trumpeter and Tamiya kits, but to these eyes, I see a Fletcher class, and a nice looking kit at that!

My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!

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