Trumpeter 1/350 USS England DE 635 Kit First Look
|Date of Review||August 2006||Manufacturer||Trumpeter|
|Subject||USS England DE 635||Scale||1/350|
|Kit Number||5305||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Very nice detailing, simple build||Cons|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$32.95|
Named for Ensign John Charles England, DE 635 was a Buckley-class destroyer escort. It might seem unusual to name a surface combatant after an Ensign, but England was aboard USS Oklahoma at Pearl Harbor. He survived the initial Japanese strikes that capsized the ship and made his way to the surface from the submerged radio room. Once he had his bearings, he dove back into the radio room three times and saved a trapped sailor on each trip. He didn't return from his fourth rescue attempt.
Like her namesake, USS England also distinguished herself in combat. She was commissioned in December 1943, and arrived in the south Pacific in March 1944. In a feat that was never matched by any other US combatant, USS England sank five Japanese submarines in the month of May 1944, and after replenishing her stock of depth charges, assisted in the sinking of a sixth submarine at the end of that same month. This feat won USS England a Presidential Unit Citation.
USS England participated in numerous actions for the next 12 months until early in May 1945, she was struck by a Kamikaze and seriously damaged. After receiving temporary repairs, she returned to the US for repairs and a reconfiguration, but the work was cancelled with the end of the war and she was decommissioned in October 1945.
Including USS England, there were a total of 154 Buckley-class destroyer escorts produced during World War II, 46 of which were transferred to the UK and redesignated as 'Captain' class.
Trumpeter has tackled the Buckley-class destroyer escorts in 1/350 scale. While the markings in the kit are for USS England, you have a WIDE range of subjects and paint schemes to choose from!
Molded in the standard light gray, this kit is presented on five parts trees (duplicates not shown) plus the upper hull and main deck provided separately. The two choices for a lower hull, either full or waterline, are both molded in red.
This would have been a good candidate to scale up to 1/144 as this kit is very small in 1/350 - 10 inches long. Nevertheless, it will look great with the other releases in this scale to round out your 1/350 scale task force.
This kit also includes a fret of photo-etched parts which render the two depth-charge racks on the stern, eight Mk.6 K-guns, Hedgehog shield, and radar. The kit also comes with a display stand.
One interesting hurdle has been overcome by Trumpeter. In previous World War II US ship releases, they've overlooked the number of stars in the US flag in those days (48) versus today (50). With this kit, we now have the 48 star flag of the day plus the Navy Jack.
This is another nice addition to Trumpeter's impressive line-up of 1/350 warships and will make for a relatively quick build for the experienced modeler.
Check out the nice superdetailed photo-etch set from White Ensign Models for this kit here.
My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!