by: Kenny Loup [ ]
Originally published on:
The Original Ship History:
Laid down on June 16, 1958 and commissioned September 8, 1959, the Charles F. Adams class destroyers were a progression of the Forrest Sherman class. The Adams class was the first ship in the U.S. Navy designed from the keel up to launch anti-aircraft missiles. The Adams would go on to participate in the recovery of Mercury 8 astronaut Wally Schirra and to be part of the quarantine forces around the Island of Cuba. She served her country until 1992 when the class was replaced with the Arliegh Burke class.
The kit, box, and what’s inside:
This kit is packaged for the modeler in style that is a trademark of Dragon’s quality.
The medium weight, open lidded style cardboard box, is adorned with a beautiful illustration of the Adams cutting through the open sea. After opening the box, you will find three individually sealed clear plastic bags containing the kit’s contents. The first bag that you will want to reach for is one containing the brass photo-etch sheet and the decal sheet attached to a heavy cardstock decorated in Dragon fashion.
The other two sealed bag contains the plastic sprues, molded in a medium gray, injection molded plastic, that make up the body of the kit.
Here is a brief breakdown of each sprue and its contents.
This sprue contains the majority of the ship’s components including the waterline hull and bottom plate, the forecastle and the upper deck assembly
This sprue is the weapons sprue that offers all the variants of weapons carried buy the four navies that operated this class. There are four different types of turrets, include those of the Adams, various, launchers, Sea King and Seahawk helicopters, life boats and radar arrays, both of which will be replaced by photo etch parts. There is some flash that will need to be cleaned up before assembly.
Sprue C and D
These sprues contain the remaining parts for the superstructure, mask and stack.
This sprue contains the lower hull, and the propulsion system components, as well as the included molded kit base and nameplate. The shafts, rudders, and screws are are well molded with very little flash to clean up.
Brass Photo Etch
The photo-etch sheet, an important piece of the DML Premium kit package, will improve the look and accuracy of this kit over one previously issued. The largest part of the fret is made up of the ship’s railings, something that always dresses up a model. The bottom quarter of the sheet contains the radar arrays which will make this kit stand out and will greatly increase the accuracy.
The excellent quality decal sheet for this set was designed by Cartograf of Italy exclusively for Dragon. It gives the modeler the option of markings for 33 different ships. There are twenty three different stern plates for the entire Adams class included. One name that stands out is that of the USS Hoel, the same name that is shared with one of the gallant members of Taffy 3. Also included is the hull numbers for all ships of the Adams class as well as those of the foreign navies. The markings for the deck, rounds out the decal sheet.
The fold out style instruction sheet is made up of five separate pages. The sheets are well drawn, featuring blow up style construction diagrams that clearly illustrate the building steps. Dragon has taken the time to provide the modeler a separate building process for the different navies, with the US and Greek navies sharing the same step-by-step instructions. This is very helpful for it eliminates the need to pour over each step to ensure the modeler is using the right part for his build. The paint chart listing has color recommendations for three separate paint makes, Aqueous Hobby Color, Testors’ Model Master, and Gunze Mr. Color.
Photo-etch folding diagrams are clearly shown as are the exclusion of old parts replaced by the photo-etch. This makes for an easy retrofit. There is one page dedicated to the markings of the three foreign navy ships and which each option, the instructions are very clear and defined.
The Dragon Premium Edition USS Charles F. Adams offers a great value and a host of options for the model builder. Topping the list of excellent features are the photo etch fret and the numerous choices when it comes to subjects. The minimal amounts of flash is greatly out weighed buy the vast amount of detail one gets in the kit. For any modeler who is interested in Cold War ships or who has a history with one of the ship choices, this kit is highly recommended.