There are no large scale plastic kits of a Sumner Class destroyer: only resin. So our only choice is to crunch a Gearing Class kit. Enter the Dragon USS Gearing kit. The fit is typical Dragon - shit. The side walls are over-engineered to the point of severe pain. More than five wall pieces each side. No ####ing reason for that other than blatant over-engineering. The top deck does not fit in to the lower hull. So be prepared to glue and putty. Why? Who knows. Once you've painfully affixed the side walls, you then get to glue the superstructure deck to the top.
Yup...doesn't fit. That's okay, you like a challenge, right? Apparently the plastic doesn't. Snip the bastard off at the middle and glue one piece at a time. Yay...four piece deck. And this folks...in the year 2013. Luckily this is going to my uncle.
Sanded down all 40mm gun positions. Forward 20mm guns will make way for Hedgehog ASW projectile launchers. These will need to be scratchbuilt.
First off, all the AA needs to go. Tubs and all. All the 20mm and 40mm guns were abandoned during her first minor pre-FRAM upgrade. In their place were the new rapid-fire 3inch (75mm) guns. Notice the huge gaps. This isn't dry-fitting folks! This is actual construction!
Bridge and main superstructure parts do not fit. Flag bags, director base, etc. Nope. No way. Hmmm. The gun deck behind the bridge superstructure is a combination of broken/shaved/trimmed pieces. Why, Dragon? Why? No...it's not me. Every review of Dragon ship kits has similar horror stories. Resin kit is starting to look juicier by the minute...
The ship - like many - received an update/upgrade post-war. Many upgrades. The first of these updates (FRAM I) included new AA guns and a tripod mast. Toothpicks are your friend and a tripod mast is easily constructed using scrap PE and Evergreen.
Once the mast is set up, we will need to use more PE scraps to construct a radar.
On the home stretch now. Just need to throw some paint on her. The differences between the Gearing Class destroyers and Allen M. Sumner Class destroyers are minimal. Even more so when you're elderly and have never seen a model of your ship before. It's been over fifty years since my uncle set foot onboard her.