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Tin Can Alley: Dragon’s 1/350 USS Gearing DD-710 Gearing Class Destroyer (1945)

Project Completed: Dragon 1/350 USS Gearing DD-710 1945 Version. Fresh off the workbench. This was a challenging kit yet an excellent model. Overall fit is excellent in many ways with no unique build challenges except from the photo-etch. This build not only included photo-etch parts, but I also purchased the excellent Alliance Modelworks Detail-Up kit for this exact model. Most of the challenge is due to the addition of extensive photo-etch both from Dragon and Alliance. If I was to build this kit again I would not spend the money on the full Alliance Detail Set. All this model really needs is a WW2 Destroyer Railing set. Dragon provides mostly everything else. If I had just opened the box and examined this kit earlier I could have saved about $50 USD. I highly recommend this kit for advanced ship modelers. It is the most detailed 1/350th ship kit I have ever built and the included molded parts, especially the main battery and all AAA guns, do not need to be replaced by resin, photo-etch, and turned brass. The kit covers it all in high-quality, good fitting, detail. But this detail comes at a cost… High Parts Count… and tiny fragile and fiddly parts that will challenge the best of us. I actually used a combination of parts to build up the highly detailed AAA guns using some resin, PE, and plastic from Dragon and Alliance taking the best from both companies. I was somewhat disappointed with the Alliance PE parts. I felt the metal was just to soft to work well and although most PE is delicate and challenging, these parts were more of a challenge as a result. No matter how careful I worked with the PE I could not use it all, or save it all; it just kept on bending, breaking, over and over from casual construction manipulation and parts handling. Also the included Alliance instructions are crude, mis-leading, and really do not mention many of the parts, or their recommended location. You must use your own photo-references to accurately place and use all the parts. As a result I am not satisfied with my final product. The PE detail is just to beat up on the final completed model. The only disappointing aspect with the Dragon kit is the lack of PE railings. It is frustrating b/c they provide PE parts that are not needed to replace the included parts but dont provide PE parts for parts that dont exist and IMHO are very needed, i.e. railings! For example they provide many PE hatches and doors in PE, but also provide very finely detailed plastic doors and bulkheads so who really needs these PE doors. Some of the plastic doors even have portholes molded into them. Don’t see that much in PE. The only thing I added paprt from the parts mentioned from both kits are the rigging lines. I only had fine E-Z Line available and after applying I realize it is just not to scale. Much to thick but overall I am OK with it. I used a lot of advanced airbrushing techniques to recreate an “oil canning” look to the main hull. It ended up being to faint for the camera to actually capture the effect. I also felt that Dragon could have molded some surface detail into the hull parts such as metal and armor sheeting seams so evident on the real ships. Finally Dragon does include the pictured stand and pedestals to display the ship. Important Note: No it is not real wood or brass. I recreated the wood base by airbrushing a wood color and created the wood grain effects with oil paints. That took me all of 20 mins to create, not bad. BTW: This model is for sale to anyone interested.

41 additional images. Click to enlarge.


26 responses to Tin Can Alley: Dragon’s 1/350 USS Gearing DD-710 Gearing Class Destroyer (1945)

  1. THIS, THIS, is superb. I really, really, like this. The painting to scale is great (very realistic), the weathering (for me and my tastes) is perfect, the definition is outstandingly well done, and the detail is lovely. Well done, Paul. Very, very, well done.

    ‘Liked’ x 10

  2. Superb. I have a real wish to do more ship modeling (at the moment I’m digging my Enterprise out of her ‘sea base’ and want to display her on a stand) – this is a real a rugged depiction of a working ship with no gimmicks or bells and whistles, an honest depiction of a hard working ship.

    • I thought of doing that a few times but most of my sea diorama do not contain the full-hull ship, and waterline versions. I have a battleship in 1/350 that I considered doing that with but realized its only a water-line model. I may be able to find the full hull in its box somewhere. Good luck with that project!

  3. Beautifully done, Paul. If you REALLY don’t like it, feel free to send it to me: I’ll get rid of it for you! LoL!

    Seriously, it looks great!

    • I do hate to get rid of them but its how I make a little extra money to continue building, and just no room for my models anymore. I actually do enjoy when other people appreciate and display my work in their homes or offices. Makes me feel like they are appreciated b/c in my environment just no where to properly display, and cannot find cases big enough to protect them properly,

  4. Good job!
    I agree with your criticism of the priorities set by Dragon, which parts to provide as PE parts and which not to. I had the same experience when I built the USS Buchanan and the Z-31.
    I can see why you are not completely satisfied with the result and yes, the rigging lines are a bit too thick. You did finish the model though and with a convincing overall impression. Use the experiences gained on the next model. Great to see a well weathered ship model.

    • I need to develop a new technique for rigging when working with such small scales. I have become spoiled b/c E-Z line is so easy to work with and quick. But I think I have the finest diameter they make and its to thick. Its really inexpensive also. Need to get some very thin fishing line or something like that and learn how to work it.

      • This is what I use.
        I use the UNI-Mono for shrouds and stays and the thinner UNI-Caenis for antennas and signal haliards. Google the text on the rolls and you’ll find a supplier. Get black thread. Transparent thread can easily be dyed by pulling it along a black marking pen, but factory dyed thread is more practical.

        1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

  5. Wow, what a beautiful model of what I think is the best-looking destroyer class ever. Super work, great detail, wonderful weathering. All very realistic.

    • Thanx Tom. It is the coolest Destroyer from that era. It was really hard to find b/c it was OOP for a while and Dragon has 0 available. It sells on Ebay, Amazon, etc. from $150 to $250 so out of my price range. Put a simple request out on Face Book for the model at a reasonable cost. Few weeks later someone sold it to me for $40. That is why I spent a little extra on the detail-up kit, but in long run wish I had not.

  6. This could be in a museum! Great job!

  7. Awesome looking destroyer Paul. Two thumbs up my friend.

  8. Paul, that came out great. Excellent painting skills on display! I built their USS Laffey and thought it was a great kit. I too, used EZ Line for the rigging and it shows way too dark in photos. Again, great job!

  9. Paul, I think it is an amazing model. You have no need to not be satisfied. Fantastic paint job and details.

    • Appreciate your supportive statements. I did make many errors if you get down to the fine details, especially with the PE parts. They were way to soft, just could not avoid the problems, as well as, PE work is not my strong-suit! I really admire those who can make PE ship parts look flawless.

  10. 🙂 … Greetings … 🙂 :
    Looks very good to me Paul … too good.
    The weathering is so well achieved and the rust stains are so convincing.
    The wood base in this case is so well deserving than that of a water base.
    This base gives it a more tribute look appeal in all angles … very nice work.

    • Thanx so much for feedback! Glad you like the wood base look. Not sure if you read whole article but if you did not get a chance you will discover that I “cheated” with the wood looking base. It just looks like wood but it is actually the painted plastic base that came with the kit. I was actually very happy with the outcome of the base. It was a 1st for me.

  11. Hello Paul,
    Great job on this workhorse of the US Navy.
    It has been trough some storms with absolute no time for maintenance on the outside.
    Regards,Dirk

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