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USS Buchanan in 1:350

December 21, 2014 in Ships

The USS Buchanan was one of 66 Gleaves Class destroyers, a typical representative of the destroyers the US built during the years before the war.
She served in the Pacific during most of the war, starting with the battles around Cuadalcanal in the fall of 1942, went on to do typical destroyer work, escorting convoys and supporting landings, and then ended her wartime career in the bay of Tokyo.
In 1949 she was sold to Turkey, where she served until 1976.

The USS Buchanan was awarded one “Presidential Unit Citation” and sixteen “Battle Stars”, making her one of the most decorated ships in the history of the US-navy.

Her distinguished record played no part whatsoever in my wanting to build her. I built her because of her ultra-kool version of the “Measure 12” camouflage.

Dragons USS Buchanan was the first of their series of US and german destroyers, and I must say that they are excellent kits. The fit and the level of detail is top notch.
The main weakness of the kit are the instructions, that are very compressed and sometimes confusing.
Although the quality of the kit is very good, that doesn’t mean that it is easy to build.
The parts are very small and getting them well aligned is not always easy.
In other words: This is no kit for beginners.

I detailed the model with a PE set from GMM. As usual GMM’s PE is very straightforward and as easy to work with as PE gets. Getting the radar antenna straight and symmetric was the trickiest part of the PE-job.
The only scratchbuilding was the masts, that I built from piano wire and brass tubing as usual.

Masking the camouflage over the upper structure without ruining the PE details, was a bit of a challenge.

I wrote an article about the build and especially the paintjob, that was published in Tamiya Magazine August 2014.

20 additional images. Click to enlarge

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22 responses to USS Buchanan in 1:350

  1. A very nice build! The only downside is that I’m now being tempted to build one myself!

  2. Another excellent build Ulf.
    Love the camo.

  3. The hits just keep on comin’, Ulf….where do ya put ’em all?

    • Thank you Craig.
      I keep my most of ship models in a glass cabinet. Others are exhibited in shops and a few are stowed away in their transport boxes. I’ve been modelling actively now for some twelve years, so quite a few models are waiting to be documented in articles and uploaded here.

  4. Excellent build, Ulf ! A destroyer in 350 has the right size.

  5. What makes your boat build exceptional is that you didn’t “rust it all up” which seems the “rage” in model ship building these days. Your boat would fit in any naval museum keeping with a pristine appearence you’d find at the Smithsonian. Bravo Zulu.

    • Yes a subtle presentation adds to the details of the project without the need to over-enhance them with faddish techniques.

      • Yes, always applying the “standard weathering techniques”, that are in fashion at the time, makes for boring models. The thing is to study pictures of the real object and use weathering techniques accordingly.

  6. I agree with Mike and Rob about the finish, although in reality she would rarely be seen in this condition, your model brings out the details and superb workmanship, making it fit for a museum.

    • Thank you Mike, Rob and George.
      There is some colour footage of the USS Buchanan in this paint scheme. She looks quite clean. The absence of dirt and rust streaks is conspicuous. If you look closely at the model though, you will see quite a bit of bleaching. Especially along the waterline and on the decks. So the model is weathered. I just abstained from adding rust streaks, since they aren’t to be seen on any pictures of her.

  7. You must have quite a collection. Another masterpiece!

    • Thank you Richard.
      I have abut twenty ship models in 1:350 in my home and five exhibited in a model store here in Berlin.
      About ten ship models of mine in 1:700 are exhibited at Wentzells Hobby in Stockholm.
      The plan is to write one article per week for the next few months, so that my collection is viewable on the internet.

  8. Just beautiful Ulf! My father served on destroyers in WWII. He was on the USS Cassin at Pearl Harbor on Dec.7th. Then transferred to the USS Bagly three days later. He served out the war aboard the Bagley. These have always had a special meaning to me. Oh the stories. Great modeling!
    California Steve

  9. There is not much left to say about the quality of your kits Ulf. They are all exceptional.
    I know you lose a lot of time when you need to make a full hull but if you take that out of the equation how much time do you feel you average on a build?

    • Thank you Al.
      A battleship takes me at least six months. Cruisers four or five and destroyers two or three. I’ve never kept count of how many hours I’ve spent on a model.
      Also I basically build only one model at a time. Otherwise I would never be able to finish large ship models.
      When I get to a tedious phase of the build, I don’t start another model. I work my way through it, knowing that the rewarding feeling of finishing a model is coming up.

  10. Outstanding Ulf, don’t know what else to say. As Mike said, I think any museum would be happy to display your work.

  11. heh-heh-heh– I know an easier way to do that camo: hand paint with Xtracrylix, which dries without brushstrokes and nice and smooth. After all, the Navy painted it with guys hanging over the side in bo’sun’s chairs with 10-inch brushes.

    Your work, however, turned out just great. I’ve done two of these kits – loved doing Laffey in nice easy Measure 5 camo.

    It is a great kit, and very definitely not for a beginner.

    • Thanks Tom.
      Yes, you could hand paint that camo, but I don’t think I could achieve those subtly shifting nuances that I do with my airbrush.
      Look along the waterline and on the deck.
      There is actually no large surface on this model that is monocrome. All surfaces shift i various nuances of their basic colour.

  12. Model of the Month material, you’ve got my vote Ulf. Its one of those inspirational models that brings out the best in a kit.

  13. Excellent work! The camouflage painting and photo etch work are stupendous.

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