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Midship Models 1/700 USS Gridley DD-380 Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review March 2006 Manufacturer Midship Models
Subject USS Gridley DD-380 Scale 1/700
Kit Number MSM70001 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nicely molded, excellent instructions Cons Minor fit challenges
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $19.99

First Look


The USS Gridley DD-380 was the second ship (and definitely not the last) to carry the name. The ship was named for Captain Charles Vernon Gridley, skipper of the USS Olympia, whose squadron had entered Manila Bay during the Spanish American War. He is remembered by Admiral Dewey's command "You may fire when ready, Gridley".

DD-380 was a 1500 ton destroyer that was launched in 1936 and would be the first of class for twelve destroyers. USS Gridley was escorting USS Enterprise when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and returned to Pearl with the Enterprise on the following day.

Gridley continued screening in Pacific operations until 1942, when she was shifted up to Aleutian operations against the Japanese invasion of those Alaskan islands. She returned to operations in the south Pacific, and during the invasion of the Philippines, USS Gridley, with the help of USS Helm, attacked and sank I-54, a Japanese submarine slightly larger than itself.

The USS Gridley was also one of the first victims of a new Japanese tactic - kamikaze attacks. The ship was transferred to the Atlantic Fleet for repairs and served as a convoy escort before shifting back to the Pacific just before the end of the war. DD-380 was decommissioned at Pearl Harbor in 1946 and scrapped in 1947.

This first release from Midship Models is a nice kit. The kit is presented on two parts trees, one molded in light gray and containing the hull and superstructure parts while the second tree is molded in white and contains the guns, turrets and various fittings. The kit was designed to support releases of a variety of ships in this class at various times of their operational careers, so there will be parts not used in this project.

Let me first say that these instructions are awesome! They are printed in color on high quality paper. The assembly diagrams are very clearly illustrated and the painting diagrams are equally nice. The paint key is in color and provides equivalent paint numbers from the Testors Model Master and the White Ensign Models Colourcoats paint lines. Other kit manufacturers should take note of the instruction sheet as this is how kit instructions should be done!

The kit is designed as a waterline vessel. The kit comes with the enclosed (turret) 5 inch gun mounts, open 5 inch gun mounts, quad torpedo mounts, depth charge racks, and 20mm anti-aircraft guns.

A nice sheet of decals is also provided with generic hull numbers, ID numbers, US flags (in-port as well as at sea), and an array of signal pendants.

This is an impressive kit and I can't wait to see what other destroyer classes are coming in this series! This kit looks to be an easy build and I'll be giving this one a try!

My sincere thanks to Midship Models for this review sample!