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  #1  
Old 09-10-2008, 05:25 PM
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Default Dragon's 1/350 USS Buchanan DD - review-in-force

THIS JUST IN! DRAGON BURNS TRUMPETER! READ ALL ABOUT IT!


Well, in an oblique manner anyways.

This is one kickass ship model, and normally I'd be all over it getting it built, but that's going to have to wait a while... the reasons will be forthcoming.

My favorite thing: It ain't a Fletcher. I'm not against the Fletcher by any means, but I like to see more of the less-well-known ship classes represented. However, there are enough similarities between Fletchers and Gleaves classes that comparisons between Dragon, Trumpeter, and Tamiya are warranted.

I might as well tell you up front, if you're a 1/350 fan, you'll need this in your fleet.

First pic: Here she is with Hasegawa's Yukikaze (another ship that's on hold). One big happy fleet!



Here's a closeup of her bridge. One thing they should have done is to open up the bridge windows and provide clear parts for it. Check out the doorways - hatches are *all* separate parts - and you have a choice between plastic (for closed) and brass (better for open). Whenever this ship gets my full attention, it'll have an opened-up bridge and you'll be able to see stuff going on in there.

Main guns are slide-molded with hollow muzzles, and you have the choice of canvas or no canvas.



Here's the bridge from the aft. The stacks are slide-molded and one-piece. Not that a two-piece's seam would be a problem to clean, but this is just cool. You can also see the subtle convexity of the main deck... a neat thing once you notice it.



Faceoff! Trumpeter Fletcher vs. Dragon Buchanan. Pictures are worth a thousand words.





A closeup of the 20mm sprue. Check out the little ready-ammo lockers. Also, Part 3's are the ammo drums for the Oerlikons!!! And note the nomenclature of the sprue - "1/350 USN"... shades of things to come???



Here's a shot of the PE fret. Ladders are as thin as a whisper... doors are nice and crisply-etched... and there's even different shields and fittings for the Oerlikons.


I dearly love this kit, and I'm SO hoping that they do more 1/350 ships. It's wonderfully made - IMHO it is the best 1/350 injection ship kit I have ever seen.



It's not without problems, though.

The biggest problem is with the PE brass that comes with it. They're wanting you to buy the brass upgrade set, but even with it the ship isn't complete.

You'll need the main radar for the top of the mast, floater-net baskets, supports for the Mk 22 Radar array, and the supports for the searchlight mount:



Sooo.... I think I'll wait until Loren at Gold Medal Models comes out with a set for her.

Rating: If Dragon's upgrade set included all the parts I mentioned, I'd be happy to lay a 5 on her. As it is though I'll have to go 4.


On a final note - this is the 1942 version. I understand they've released a 1945 fit too.... methinks it won't be too long before Squadron or someone else comes out with some great reference material on it!

*** More to come ***
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Old 09-10-2008, 06:04 PM
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Default Re: Dragon's 1/350 USS Buchanan DD - review-in-force

Nice! Now you're talking!

Look at Gold Medal Models and Toms Modelworks, both online, to get some etched brass upgrade kits.

I'll be watching this one!!!!
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Old 09-11-2008, 01:27 PM
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Default Re: Dragon's 1/350 USS Buchanan DD - review-in-force

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Originally Posted by BB43MAN View Post
Nice! Now you're talking!

Look at Gold Medal Models and Toms Modelworks, both online, to get some etched brass upgrade kits.

I'll be watching this one!!!!
Thank you!!!!!!

I consider you to be RI's Warship King.... so I'll be askin' for your advice
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Old 09-11-2008, 03:37 PM
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Default Re: Dragon's 1/350 USS Buchanan DD - review-in-force

Heya Cat knowing Dragon they'll have a kajillion different boxings of this sucker which is good because there were quite a number of variations.

BTW, over on steelnavy.com forums, even tho it hasn't really been annouced yet, it's largely believed that in the future (i.e. before we die) Dragon will do an Independance class carrier. Food for thought.
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Old 09-11-2008, 03:57 PM
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Default Re: Dragon's 1/350 USS Buchanan DD - review-in-force

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Originally Posted by Heavy Melder View Post
an Independance class carrier. Food for thought.



Hmm.... That would entail numerous different kinds of aircraft.........

And the way they're molding their parts, I bet they'd kick the piss outta Trumpeter's a/c....

What do ya want to bet that Dragon's a/c would have visible engines?!?
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Last edited by The Cat; 09-11-2008 at 04:03 PM.
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Old 09-11-2008, 07:04 PM
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Default Re: Dragon's 1/350 USS Buchanan DD - review-in-force

sweet...Ive got an OLD Revell kit if that ship in 240th...for a Revell, its a really frickin nice kit. circa 1960
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Old 09-11-2008, 07:55 PM
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Default Re: Dragon's 1/350 USS Buchanan DD - review-in-force

Nice review - think I'll get one. I'd really be stoked if Dragon did a 1:350th Cannon Class Destroyer Escort.
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Old 09-16-2008, 01:06 PM
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Default Re: Dragon's 1/350 USS Buchanan DD - review-in-force

A little Eye Candy

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Old 09-18-2008, 03:05 PM
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Default Re: Dragon's 1/350 USS Buchanan DD - review-in-force

One of today's lessons: If you think a model looks wonderful, take a well-detailed closeup pic of it.

This pic makes the kit look terrible! I mean, we're making a 1/350 ship look like it's ~ 1/72, but what the hey!





Here's something you'll want to watch out for: The anchor and its mounting.

Here are port and starboard views up the ship's 'nostrils'... see how thick the plastic is? That'll have to be thinned from behind if you want the anchors to mount correctly.




I didn't notice this until waaaay after I had attached the deck. This operation is MUCH easier if you do it before adding the deck!

I drilled out a path for the anchor's shaft.



Now, when you attach said anchor's shaft, I'd use thin cement - something that won't dry quickly.



Reason I say this is, the angles are going to vary, depending on how you thin the inside of the hull. You'll want to slide the shaft into the hole before it gets completely firm, so you can bottom it out without bending it too much.

The instructions would have you attach the anchor in such a way as to leave it dangling against the side of the hull, but that's sloppy seamanship.



Compare the anchor as seen here to the ship pictured above.... is it just me, or does the anchor look a bit too small?
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Old 09-18-2008, 03:14 PM
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Default Re: Dragon's 1/350 USS Buchanan DD - review-in-force

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Cat View Post

You'll want to slide the shaft into the hole before it gets completely firm, so you can bottom it out without bending it too much.

The instructions would have you attach the anchor in such a way as to leave it dangling against the side of the hull, but that's sloppy seamanship.
.... is it just me, or does the anchor look a bit too small?

The above is an excerpt from 'Loveline, with The Cat'.


Now, about the Buchanan-
I should finally be getting mine next week or after that? I've been patiently waiting for this one!
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Old 09-18-2008, 03:22 PM
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Default Re: Dragon's 1/350 USS Buchanan DD - review-in-force

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Originally Posted by DarthDuck View Post
I've been patiently waiting for this one!

It's well worth the wait

Mine is sitting here on my desk at work. Nice eye candy!
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