My Review and Build of USS Samuel Roberts, Blue Water Navy's 1/350 scale Kit #35004

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  1. Jeff Head
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    Jeff Head General
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    My Review and Build of Blue Water Navy's 1/350 scale Kit #35004,
    The USS Samuel Roberts FFG-58 Oliver Hazard Perry Guided-missile Frigate


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    Starting to grind down the Resin Hull! - February 12, 2013


    Introduction and What's in the Box - February 11, 2013

    Introduction:
    I found a very good deal on ebay for a Blue Water Navy Perry Class Frigate in 1/350 scale. Blue Water Navy was a model maker that made scratch built (using computer CAD/CAM technology) museum class models of many US Navy and other naval vessels. In the late 1990s they began producing some of their ships in kit form, where they provided the same detailed resin hulls and the accompanying resin, photo etch and metal parts that their craftsmen used to build their museum class vessels, to model enthusiasts. These are highly detailed, molded solid resin hulls, usually in at least two parts, one for waterline construction including the basic superstructure fully detailed, and one for the below water line portion. The problem was, back then they were very highly priced, like $120.00 for a Frigate sized vessel, and several hundred dollars for their larger kits. Later, Blue Navy Models became Yankee Modeworks, which was also well known for several years for producing among the best resin kits in 1/350 and other scales and the Photo Etch and metal parts that went with them. Finally, Yankee Modelworks was bought by Blue Ridge Models...the same people who own Free Time Hobbies from Blue Ridge, Georgia. Well, I found the Blue Water Navy USS Samuel Roberts, Oliver Hazard Perry FFG-58 on ebay being sold from a group of kits from a future retiree. This individual had apparaently stashed quite a few kits to build in retirement, but sadly, passed away before he could retire and start building them. I watched this auction and was able to put in an extremely reasonable offer (probably on the order of 1/3 the original cost) with Free Shipping to get the model.

    I also have purchased Acadamy's Special Edition USS Rueben James, FFG-57, and will compare that kit to this one when I build it. As it is I am very excited to get this very detailed, very well done kit from such a respected source to add to my Carrier Strike group. I will add the other vessel to may Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) in 1/350 scale.

    Class of Vessel:
    The Oliver Hazard Perry (OHP), or just "Perry," class frigates were built in large numbers for the US Navy in the late 1970s and 1980s. They were a modernized vessel to replace the very many older, basically evolved World War II designs that were being used as escorts for the US Navy up into this time frame when the Navy began producing their new Spruance Class destroyers. The US NAvy also wanted a smaller, basically "DE" design that could be used from carrier escort duties (principally for ASW) to convoy escort duties, flag showing and surface action group, that was highly capable in the ASW role, and moderately capable in the AAW and AsuW roles. The Perry Class frigates filled that role with a landing deck and helo hangar to accomodate to ASW helos. Initially this was two smaller SeaSprite heloes, but when the SeaHawk, LAMPS II Helo came out, the class was prpdocued with a lengthened body and landing pad to accomodate the larger more capable helos, and so the first batch of Perry Frigates were called the "short hull," variety, while the later vessels were called the "long hull," vessels. The Samuel Roberts is a "long hull" Perry frigate. They also included a rpaid fire, DP main gun mounted amidships, two triple launch toprpedo tubes, oe to port and one to starboard, and a forward mk-13 single arm launcher for the SM_1 standard air to ari missile. The magazine would hold 40 missiles, and they were usually outfitted with 36 SM-1 missiles for anti-air warfare, and four Harpoon missiles for anti-surface warfare. The class was very popular and 61 were built for the US NAvy and ultimately quite a few more for Spain, Australia, and the Republic of China on Taiwan. 77 vessels in all.

    As the US Navy began building large numbers of Arleigh Burke class destroyers, which themselves are very strong multi-role vessels, the Perry Class frigates began to be phased out, relatuively early in their lifes, in the 1990s. Today, only 23 of the class are left, and they have all had their SM-1 launchers removed by 2003 because the US Navy retired that missile and viewed it as too expensive to upgrade the vessels to fire the SM-2 and later, more capable missiles for today's threats. So the vessels still embark with their full ASW capabilities, and their 76mm gun and Phalaanx, but lack any medium to long range anti-air defense, and any medium to laing range anti-surface capability. Many of the older vessels have been transferred to other nations and three of these nations have performed credible modernization programs of their vessels. Turkey, who will have ten vessels, has added an 8 cell Mk-41 launcher in place of the older Mk-13 and will fire Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles from them. They will also utilize cannister launched anti-surface missiles and have upgraded the entire combat system and modernized it. The Republic of China on Taiwan, who will also have ten vessess (eight license built in Taiwan and two transfers in 2013, has retained the SM-1 capability, but also added newer Surface to surface long range missiles from cannister launchers, and added two new 40mm guns for heavier anti-surface capability in the littorals. Australia upgraded four of their six vessels at significant cost with the snesors and Mk-41 launchers to be able to launch the SM-2 missiles, ASROC anti-submarine missiles, and ESSM missiles, as well as quadruple cannisters for Harpoon missiles.

    The USS Sameul Roberts, FFG-58:
    The USS Samuel Roberts, FFG-58, has a heroic history. She was commissioned in April of 1986. The frigate deployed from Newport, Rhode Island in January 1988 for the Persian Gulf to participate in Operation Earnest Will, the escort of reflagged Kuwaiti tankers during the Iran–Iraq War. The Roberts arrived in the Persian Gulf and was making for a refueling rendezvous on 14 April when the ship struck an M-08 naval mine in the central Persian Gulf, an area it had safely transited a few days previously. The mine blew a 15-foot hole in the hull, flooded the engine room, and knocked the two gas turbines from their mounts. The blast also broke the keel of the ship; such structural damage is almost always fatal to a frigate sized surface combatant. But the crew fought fire and flooding for five hours and ultimately saved the ship. Damage control training and the combat specification building of the vessels made it possible. Among other steps, sailors cinched cables on the cracked superstructure in an effort to stabilize her. They used her auxiliary thrusters to get out of the mine field at a speed of 5kts, under her own power as damaged as she was. She never lost combat capability with her radars and the Mk13 missile launcher. Ten sailors were medevaced for injuries sustained in the blast, six returned to the Roberts in a day or so. Four burn victims were sent for treatment to a military hospital in Germany, and eventually to medical facilities in the United States.

    The results were two fold. First US Navy divers found that the mines had been definietely placed by Iran and the US retaliated with Operation Praying Mantis, a one-day campaign that was the largest American surface engagement since World War II.to that date. U.S. ships, aircraft, and troops destroyed two Iranian oil platforms used to control Iranian naval forces in the Persian Gulf, sank one Iranian frigate, damaged another, and destroyed and sunk at least three armed, high-speed boats. The U.S. lost one Marine helicopter and its crew of two airmen in what appeared to be a night maneuver accident rather than a result of hostile operations. Second, the Samuel Roberts was completely repaired and brought back into service and serves ably with the US NAvy to this day.

    Now, at this point in history (2013),he US will slowly reduce its inventories of Perry Class frigates over the next ten years as they are replaced by the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) class, which will have strong ASW and anti-mine capabilities, but weaker anti-surface capability and only a short range anti-air capability.

    The Kit:
    The kit comes in a beautfiully illustrated box with the resin parts, the photo etched parts, and the metal parts all individually packaged. The large, three sections of the hull, the above water line forward and amidships section is very detailed and all contiguous with all of the main housings and equipment on all weather decks, including the bridge smoke stack, and an inclosed hangar bay. The aft portion above the water line, is the helo landing deck, and then there is a full length below the water line section. All of these are very well packaged and wrapped individually in protective bubble wrap. Most of the main fittings that are larger (ie. the 76mm gun, the missile launcher, the launches, the SH-60 helos, etc.) come in a single pouch. The additional resin parts also come in their own pouch, and the PE parts, representing the superstructure, sensors, railings, and smaller deck fittings come in their own sealed package.

    There is an eight page, detailed instruction book that comes with the model as well, and a set of decals.

    I am excited to get at it with this model, though it is resin and requires a bit different building technique, it has all the markings of a very well detailed and clean vessel with loads of detail. Here's how all of those parts looked out of the box. 1st, the entire kit, out of the box and a closer look at the three major hull pieces and two pocuhes for metal and resin parts:.


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    Then, a closer look at the large Photo Etch Sprue, the fantail/helo landing deck, and the cover page of the instruction booklet, followed by all of the pages of the instructions.


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    Now, I intend to build the Samuel Roberts as she looks now, without the Mk-13 single arm missle launcher. I intend to add the two Mk-38 25mm cannons (using White Ensign Models Mk-38 resin parts in 1/350 scale) that have been added to almost all US major surface combatants for close in anti-surface work in the wake of the USS Cole bombing in Somalia. I also intend to vary slightly and add what I think would be a very credible and very cost effective update to the vessel to keep them moreviable throught the remainder of their life. That would be a SeaRAM Launcher (in 1/350 scale from Bam Bam Models) on a platform over the old Mk-16 launcher for much stronger close-in anti-air defense, and a single quadruple tube Harpoon launcher (left over from my Trumpeter, USS Lassen, DDG-82 build</a>, to return a credible, ranged anti-surface capanbility the vessels.


    The Build - Grinding down the hull section - February 12, 2013

    The hull sections are very well formed. The lines look good and all of the detail is there. However, the lower section in particular, and parts of the larger upper section have a very large and deep mold attachement just inboard on either side of their mating surfaces, all along those surfaces (sometimes as deep as 3/16ths of an inch to 1/4 inch deep) which have to all be removed. This can be ssen in the following pictures as I used my rough cut, course, dremel tool grinding attachment to begin grinding them down.


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    I found I had to provide very good ventilation during this process as significant amounts of resin "dust" was filling the air. You can see how it was collectiing on the carpet in the following.


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    There was much less of a mold issue on the after portion of the hull above the waterline. I intend to finish the grinding with the coarse grinder and begin using a finer grinder and then ultimately a grinding rock, files, and sandpaper to complete the grinding and get these parts to where they have as seemless a fit as possible. Then it will be on to constructing the major superstructure assemblies and painting them and each of the hull sections.

    My current, up to date build schedule for the next several months is as follows:


    SCHEDULE for Future Activities - February 12, 2013

    - By Feb 28, 2013: Complete Blue Water Navy USS Samuel Roberts, FFG-58
    - By Mar 15, 2013: Complete Trumpeter USS Freedom, LCS-1
    - By May 01, 2013: Complete entire PLAN Carrier Group.
    - By Jun 15, 2013: Complete Entire US Carrier Group (Just the CSG).
    - By Jul 01, 2013: Start the UK Carrier Group Centered on Airfix's HMS Illustrious.
    - By Aug 15, 2013: Start the JMSDF Carrier Group Centered on Fujimi's JMSDF Hyuga.
    - By Oct 01, 2013: Start the French Carrier group centered on Heller's Charles de Gaulle.
    - By Nov 15, 2013, Start the US ARG centered on the USS Iwo Jima and USS Sommerset.

    The completion of the PLAN Carrier group, centered on the already completed
    Trumpeter's 1/350 scale PLA Navy's Aircraft Carrier CV-16, Liaoning, (in addition ot the other escorts already completed) will incluide Mini Hobby's's PLAN Guangzhou, DDG-168; the PLAN Ningbo, DDG-139; and the PLAN ChangZhang5, SSN-405 by Hobby Boss. If a 1/350 scale model of the PLAN Type 071 LPD, Yuzhao Class, is added, I will add one of those, propbably LPD-999, Jinggangshan.

    The completion of the US Carrier Strike group, centered on the completed Tamyia's 1/350 scale USS Enterprise, CVN-65, (in addition ot the other escorts already completed) will include Dragon's USS Preble, DDG-88 and Hobby Boss's USS Texas, SSN-775. (Both of which I already own). When a 1/350 scale USS Enterprise, CVN-80 (or any Gerald R. Ford Class) comes out from Trumpeter, Airfix, Tamiya, Dragon, or whomever else, I will add it to this group along with another AEGIS Cruiser. Whatever Ford Class coms out, I will build her as the USS Enterprise, CVN-80.

    The UK Group will indlude the Airfix 1/350 scale HMS Illustrious (which I already own), two Airfix 1/350 scale Daring Class DDGs (which I own and should arrive in January 2013), two Trumpeter 1/350 scale Type 23 HMS Duke class Frigates (which I already own), and the Hobby Boss 1/350 scale HMS Astute SSN and Airfix 1/350 scale HMS Tragalgar SSN, both of which which I already own. One day, when a 1/350 scale HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier and a 1/350 HMS Ocean LPD come out, I will add both to this group.

    The French CSG will be centered on Heller's 1/400 scale Charles De Gualle (which I already own). I have purchased 1/400 scale Heller French De Grasse, D612 DDG, which is an ASW DDG, the French Duquesne, D603 DDG which is an anti-air multi-purpose DDG, and the French Aconit F713 FFG and Gueprattet F714 FFGs, both of which are Lafayette class frigates. These five vessels will round out my French CSG. As soon as a French Robin class nuclear sub, like the French Perale S606 SSN comes out, I will add that to the group. Also as soon as the Forbin D620, Horizon class anti-air DDG is available, I will purchase it and add it to the group as well.

    The Japanese JMSDF group will be centered on Fujimi's very finely detailed, 1/350 scale Hyuga, DDH-181, which I own. It will be escorted by Trumpeter's 1/350 scale DDG-177, Atago, an AEGIS class DDG (which I have purchased), Trumpeters's 1/350 scale DDG-114 Susunami (A Tachanami Class DDG which I own), and by the 1/350 scale SS-503 Hakuryu (which I own), one of Japans new, very modern and capable AIP Diesel Electric submarines. As soo as a DDG-115 Akizuki in 1/350 scale becomes available, I will add it to this group.

    The completion of the US ARG will include Tamiya's 1/350 scale, USS Iowa, BB-62 (which I have already completed), Trumpeter's 1/350 scale USS Iwo Jima LHD-7, Gallery's 1/350 scale USS Sommerset, LPD-25, Cyber Hobbies USS Independence, LCS-2, and Trumpeter's 1/350 scale USS The Sullivans DDG-68,

    Then, finally it will be a complete Russian CSG (centered on Trumpeter's Kuznetsov which is available but I have not purchased yet) the Russian Slava Class cruiser, Varyag by Trumperter (which I own), two Trumpeter 1/350 scale Udalaoy DDGs (which I own), Hobby Boss's Akula II class SSN (which I own), and the Russian Alfa Class SSN, which I have already completed.

    Recently I purchased Heller's 1/400 scale Foch, the Clemceau Class carrier that was sold to the Brazilians in 2000 and in 2002 was refitted and bacame the Brazilian CV, Sao Paulo, using steam catapaults. I will build the model as the Sao Paulo and thus start a Brazilian group, though the Type 22 DDGs and the FFGs the Brazilians use are not available at present.

    Then, again, once the models are available, I'd like to build an Italian Group centered on the Cavour and their Horizon DDGs, a Spanish Group centered on the Juan Carlos and their F-100 AEGIS FFGs, and ultimatly an Australian Group centered on the new Canberra Class LPD and the Hobart class AEGIS DDGs. If they ever build the models, an Indian group centered on either the Vikramaditya or their new ADS Carrier the Vikrant and their Kolkata class DDGs and Shivlak class FFGs would also be nice.

    You can see all of these actual carriers, read their histories and specifictions at my site:

    WORLD-WIDE AIRCRAFT CARRIERS[/b]

    ...and most of their surface escorts at:

    AEGIS AND AEGIS-LIKE VESSELS OF THE WORLD[/b]
     
    #1 Jeff Head, Feb 13, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2013
  2. Jeff Head
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    Jeff Head General
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    Continuing with the build - Hull complete, main mast & superstructire and details add

    Continuing with this build...


    The Build - Putting the hull together and painting the vessel - February 16, 2013

    Once I had the sections of the hull ground, filed, and sanded down, it was time to glue them all together. This went pretty well with a relatively significant caviat.

    I had used a level to ensure that the bottoms of each of these pieces was "level," but I did not ensure that they were "normal" to the perpinduclar on each section. This would have been diffult to do in any case because these surfaces meet the sides and ends, which themselves are not perpindular, but angled or curved. This left a pretty noticable separation at the bow which was quite a bit more than the type of seam I would have liked to see.


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    So, with what was that fairly good departure on the bow of the vessel, I needed to do something to correct it. Anaylizing this seperation, I determined that it would be best to not try and griund down the rest of the upper hull and fan tail with my Dremel tool to fix it, because it would take more material off of those sections. Bssically, what I had done was to grind too much off the lower part of the hull at a slight angle starting out in the back, but proceeding forward until it was a noticable separation at the bow. So, I determined to fill back in what I had taken off, and then file and sand the fill down until smooth. At the bow I used some sprue, which I filed and sanded down until it fit fairly nicely and then glued it in place. Then, using putty, I was able to fill in all of the remaining seams and then file and sand those down unti smooth.


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    Once that was completed, I masked off the bottom for painting the US Hull Red I uses (66% flat red and 33% flat brown), then masked off the flat black waterline mark, and then masked off the upper part of the hull which I paint in Neutral Gray on US NAvy vessels. I then painted the weayther decks as well as various details like the smoke stacks and the various glass panes on the bridge and the viewing/contol area on the helo deck, located between the hanger doors. This ended up looking fairly nicely.


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    <a href="#Latest">The Build - Building and adding the superstructure and other details</a> - February 18, 2013

    The photo etch parts that come with this model are very good. The structural pieces are more thick than most PE spures give you, and they are scored to help with their beinding. There re two main matss/superstructure areas. One forward behind the bridge deck house, and then the larger one anidships. Both carry various sensors, antennae and radars, and both come with all of the hand railing to complete detail then along with the ladders to access the platforms.

    There are also two other smaller structural platforms which hold the main radar (on top of the bridge deck house), and the gun fire control just forward of the 76mm gun located atop the main deck house slightly aft of the middile of the ship. After spray painting the spure containing the PE parts, all of these sections were cut out, bended appropriately, had their railings and ladders aded, and then had their various "white metal" pieces added:


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    Once all of these assemblies had been put together, painted and dried, it was tie to add them to the ship along with some other resin parts (maing smll decking and sensors) that had also been painted and allowed to dry. They went on very well, and with some initial touch up paint in those areas, the entire model/vessel is looking very good. She's looking like an honest to goodness, Oliver Hazard Perry, long hull frigate.

    Note : I am building this vessel in its modern condition, but instead of adding the Mk-38 on a platform over where the Mk-13 missile launcher was removed, I decided to make a statement about the ease of upgrading these vessels. So, I added a SeaRAM (11 missiles) system there instead to give the vessel a stronger short range AAW prtection. This system is completely self incloded and mounts to the deck alone with no penetartion. Control wiring back to a console for control of the weapon which operted off its own sensors (like the Phalanx CIWS) and requires no tie in to the vessels acquisition or targetig sensors necessary. I will add two Mk-38 25mm Bushmaster guns, on on the port starboard sides on the main deck just below the main 76mm gun on each side. The SeaRAM is already on and shown in these photos.


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    Now that is looking very nice indeed.
     
  3. Equation
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    Equation Lieutenant General

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    Re: My Review and Build of USS Samuel Roberts, Blue Water Navy's 1/350 scale Kit #35

    Great work Jeff! Is that yellow color paint the primer?
     
  4. Jeff Head
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    Re: My Review and Build of USS Samuel Roberts, Blue Water Navy's 1/350 scale Kit #35

    Thanks, Equation!

    And, nope, that's not the primer color.

    This is not an injected molded plastic model. It is a resin model and that is the color of the resin parts as they come out of their molds and are included in the kit.

    Resin models are usually large solid pieces that represent most of the hull and deck houses, but which have large mold plugs you have to cut off or grind down.

    They then include a lot of smaller resin, photo etched brass, and while metal or pewter parts for all of the details.

    These models involve using a different type of glue to hold the resin and metal together, which generally takes a lot longer to set than plastic cement. But, if you get the good ones (and this was an exceptional one), they are the kind of kits people build museum quality models from. They are usually a LOT more expensive.

    This model in plastic, even with a Photo Etch set included, costs about $49.99. The normal retail for this particular resin model was $139.99 back in the day...but I got a heck of a deal on eBay for $42.00, which included the shipping.

    I have that Plastic "Delux" edition by Acadamy Models with the Photo Etch parts included (which I also got in a bargain for $32.00), and intend to compare the two when I build the other one as a part of my US Navy Amphibious Ready Group (ARG).

    Anyhow, hope that all helps. I know that was a long response to simply say, "No, that's not the primer, that's the color of the resin."

    LOL!
     
  5. T-U-P
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    Re: My Review and Build of USS Samuel Roberts, Blue Water Navy's 1/350 scale Kit #35

    Do you use a compressor and air brush to paint your models or do you use those spray cans? I'm trying to make some models but there are parts that feel too small for a spray can, but too big for regular brushes. Especially those that needs masking (multiple colours on the same surface/part).
     
  6. Jeff Head
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    Re: My Review and Build of USS Samuel Roberts, Blue Water Navy's 1/350 scale Kit #35

    I use all three.

    I have a compressor driven (albeit it's a pretty inexpensive one) air brush which allows me to mix and paint in the various colors that are available, I also use spray cans (particularly for large areas and the basic colors like Flat White, Flat Black and some of the available more popular grays etc.) and brushes. I have a lot of really nice brushes. From tiny, very small, almost pinpoint brushes to brushes over 1/2 inch wide for the larger parts...and in different shapes, from rounded, to square tipped, chisel tipped, etc. to reach different places and give a different stroke. I probably do more painting in brushes...but cover more area with sprays.

    Sometimes, for particular surfaces like anti-skid surfaces, brushes can look more "real" than an even spray coat, whether from a pre-bought spray can, or from a compressor driven air brush.

    Also, at the end of each model build, and particularly with military ships and aircraft, I always touch up the model with flat colors where, for example, putting on railing requires additional glue which has a different shean and appearance than the normal paint. It's important to remove those differences. I then top that off with a good two coats of dull-coat of clear laquer which gives everything the same basic glint or shean.

    Don't know if that helps, but that's what I do. And it produces some fairly good results like this...even though this one is not done yet:

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    #6 Jeff Head, Feb 19, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013
  7. bd popeye
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    Re: My Review and Build of USS Samuel Roberts, Blue Water Navy's 1/350 scale Kit #35

    nice work Jeff..but..

    Say it ain't so Jeff.. say it ain't so!!
     
  8. Jeff Head
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    Re: My Review and Build of USS Samuel Roberts, Blue Water Navy's 1/350 scale Kit #35

    Hehehe...yes, but look what I added in its place.

    Currently there is an Mk-38 Mod 2 25mm Bushmaster autocannon there on a stand over where the Mk-13 used to be. I added a SeaRAM launcher, which is easy to do because its only connection is electrical and fire control. No sensor connection needed since it is stand alone with its own sensors.

    I also added two dual cannister Harpoon lunachers for a total of four Harpoon SSM missiles.

    So, my "upgraded" Samuel Roberts will have a SeaRAM with 11 missiles forward, two Mk-38 Bushmasters, one to port and one to starboard on the main deck below the 76mm main gun, and four Harpoon missiles in two, two cannister launchers behind the main mast.

    Very inexpensive and straight forward upgrade since all of them literally simply bolt down to the deck. No penetration to the deck required.
     
    #8 Jeff Head, Feb 19, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
  9. Jeff Head
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    Completion of the 1/350 scale USS Samuel Roberts FFG-58


    The Build - Finsihing the details, decals, and completion of the USS Samuel Roberts, FFG-58 - February 24, 2013

    Well, there were quite a few small details to be completed on the model. These included the vessels launch, some of the sensors and directors, the fire hose stations, the life bouys and the major antennae. With respect to the major antennnae. None of these came with the model.. The model instructs you to cut them from the proper guage wire to the proper length and then attach them accordingly. While this will work, many of these antennae tape as the go higher and simply cutting wire will not give that effect. So, since I have two other Oliver Hazard Perry Frigates in my stach, one which I will build to compare this to and use in my US Amphibious Ready group (ARG), which is Acadamy's Special Edition version of the Perry, the USS Rueben James, FFG-57 with the photo etched parts included...I robbed the plastic antennae from my Acadamy 1/350 Scale USS Ovoler Hazard Perry, FFG-7. As we will find, I robbed some of the decals from that kit as well. Always good to have extra kits hanging around over the years from which to improve the kits you woked with.

    Anyhow, here are those parts as they were being finalized:


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    Then it was time to add all of these parts, and then the decals and finish up the model with its final touch up paint work and coatings (two) of clear dull coat. This final coat tends to blend any differences in coating glare/sheen to the same dull naval coatings, and to serve as a protective coat for the decals and other painting itself. In placing the decals, what you find with the old Blue Water Navy kit I had is that there weren't any included with the boat. Enter once again, my "spare" Acadamy 1/350 scale USS OLiver Hazard Perry, and also my Acadamy "Special Edition" Perry Class, the USS Rueben James. Both of these have excellent decals for the VERTREP position forward, for the pennnat numbers, and for the landing deck. Between them I had all the principle decals necessary to finish off this model, and allowing enough to also fully complete my USS Reuben James, FFG-57, later.

    Here's how the vessel looks as completed:


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    So, that's the "look" of the overall vessel. An extremely good look, and I have to say the Blue Water Navy Model lives up to its reputation as one of the better resin molding companies (although they no longer exist) out there. I hope Blue Ridge Models, who now own the Blue Water Navy - turned Yankee Models - turned Blue Ridge Models, will keep this kit and put it out after correcting a few of the issues (ie. add the main antennae in their correct form, the decals, and make the two parts of the hull a better "fit" out of the box).

    Finally, here are some close ups of the detail work. note the fire hose stations and the life bouys. Also, note the detail of the superstructure available with this particular model, and the detain from the resin mold of the hull and main decks. it looks really good.


    [​IMG]
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    That last pic shows the three major US NAvy surface combatant types together, an Oliver Hazard Perry FFG guided-missile frigate, a Flight IIA Arliegh Burke AEGIS DDG guided-missile destroyer, and a Ticonderoga Class AEGIS CG guided-missile cruiser. Very capable, modern, and powerful vessels. I will add both types of LCS to that mix as I complete those models.

    So, with all of that, since I finished this build a few days early, I am going to take a break from my shipbuilding efforts for a little change of pace. I will build one of my 1/72 aircraft in between ship builds. It should take me a week or so to do it properly. I will build Fujimi's 1/72 scale F-35B Joint Strike Fighter, the US Marine STOVL version. I intend to give it standard US Marine markings/decals instead of the prototype decals that come with the kit. Otherwise, everything looks pretty good in the kit which includes a highly detailed engine and lift fan, a highly detailed set of internal weapons bays with weaponry, highly detailed landing gear and landing gear bays, a highly detailed cockpit, and plastic parts molded in three colors, the aircraft gray, white for the bays, weapons and landing gear, and black for the engine parts.

    As I finish other models in my 1/350 scale World-wide Aircraft Carrier Strike Groups project a little early, I will add other 1/72 scale aircraft into the schedule...hehehe, and I have quite a few in my stash which always provide a good change of pace and break in the overall shipbuilding process.

    As a result, that makes my current build schedule as follows:
    <hr>


    SCHEDULE for Future Activities - February 24, 2013


    - By Mar 03, 2012: Complete Fujimi 1/72 scael US Marine F-35B Joint Strike Fighter.
    - By Mar 17, 2013: Complete Trumpeter USS Freedom, LCS-1
    - By May 01, 2013: Complete entire PLAN Carrier Group.
    - By Jun 15, 2013: Complete entire US Carrier Group (Just the CSG).
    - By Jul 01, 2013: Start the UK Carrier Group Centered on Airfix's HMS Illustrious.
    - By Aug 15, 2013: Start the JMSDF Carrier Group Centered on Fujimi's JMSDF Hyuga.
    - By Oct 01, 2013: Start the French Carrier group centered on Heller's Charles de Gaulle.
    - By Nov 15, 2013, Start the US ARG centered on the USS Iwo Jima and USS Sommerset.

    The completion of the PLAN Carrier group, centered on the already completed Trumpeter's 1/350 scale PLA Navy's Aircraft Carrier CV-16, Liaoning, (in addition to the other escorts already completed) will incluide Mini Hobby's's PLAN Guangzhou, DDG-168; the PLAN Ningbo, DDG-139; and the PLAN ChangZhang5, SSN-405 by Hobby Boss. If a 1/350 scale model of the PLAN Type 071 LPD, Yuzhao Class, is ever released, I will add one of those, propbably LPD-999, Jinggangshan and build a PLAN ARG.

    The completion of the US Carrier Strike group, centered on the completed Tamyia's 1/350 scale USS Enterprise, CVN-65, (in addition ot the other escorts already completed) will include Dragon's USS Preble, DDG-88 and Hobby Boss's USS Texas, SSN-775. (Both of which I already own). When a 1/350 scale USS Enterprise, CVN-80 (or any Gerald R. Ford Class) is released from Trumpeter, Tamiya, Dragon, or whomever else, I will add it to this group along with another AEGIS Cruiser. Whatever Ford Class coms out, I will build her as the USS Enterprise, CVN-80.

    The UK Group will indlude the Airfix 1/350 scale HMS Illustrious (which I already own), two Airfix 1/350 scale Daring Class DDGs (which I also already have), two Trumpeter 1/350 scale Type 23 HMS Duke class Frigates (which I already own), and the Hobby Boss 1/350 scale HMS Astute SSN and Airfix 1/350 scale HMS Tragalgar SSN, both of which which I already own. One day, when a 1/350 scale HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier and a 1/350 HMS Ocean LPD come out, I will add both.

    The French CSG will be centered on Heller's 1/400 scale Charles De Gualle (which I already own). I have purchased 1/400 scale Heller French De Grasse, D612 DDG, which is an ASW DDG, the French Duquesne, D603 DDG which is an anti-air multi-purpose DDG, and the French Aconit F713 FFG and Gueprattet F714 FFGs, both of which are Lafayette class frigates. These five vessels will round out my French CSG. As soon as a French Robin class nuclear sub, like the French Perale S606 SSN is released in 1/350 or 1/400 scale, , I will add that to the group. Also as soon as the Forbin D620, Horizon class anti-air DDG is released in 1/350 or 1/400 scale, I will purchase it and add it to the group as well.

    The Japanese JMSDF group will be centered on Fujimi's very finely detailed, 1/350 scale Hyuga, DDH-181, which I own. It will be escorted by Trumpeter's 1/350 scale DDG-177, Atago, an AEGIS class DDG (which I have purchased), Trumpeters's 1/350 scale DDG-114 Susunami (A Tachanami Class DDG which I own), and by the 1/350 scale SS-503 Hakuryu (which I own), one of Japans new, very modern and capable AIP Diesel Electric submarines. As soo as a DDG-115 Akizuki in 1/350 scale is released, I will add it to this group.

    The completion of the US ARG will include Tamiya's 1/350 scale, USS Iowa, BB-62 (which I have already completed), Trumpeter's 1/350 scale USS Iwo Jima LHD-7, Gallery's 1/350 scale USS Sommerset, LPD-25's 1/350 Scale USS New York, LPD-21, Cyber Hobbies USS Independence, LCS-2, Acadamy's 1/350 scale USS Rueben James, FFG-57, and andother Flight IIA US AEGIS class detroyer based on Trumpeter's 1/350 scale USS LAssen, DDG-82...all of these models which I already own.

    Then, finally it will be a complete Russian CSG (centered on Trumpeter's Kuznetsov which is available but I have not purchased yet) the Russian Slava Class cruiser, Varyag by Trumperter (which I own), two Trumpeter 1/350 scale Udalaoy DDGs (which I own), Hobby Boss's Akula II class SSN (which I own), and the Russian Alfa Class SSN, which I have already completed.

    Recently I purchased Heller's 1/400 scale Foch, the Clemceau Class carrier that was sold to the Brazilians in 2000 and in 2002 was refitted and became the Brazilian CV, Sao Paulo, using steam catapaults. I will build the model as the Sao Paulo and thus start a Brazilian group, though the Type 22 DDGs and the FFGs the Brazilians use are not available at present. I have however purchased 1/400 scale A-4 Skyhoawk and S-3 Trackers to build a suitable airwing for the Sao Paulo.

    Then, again, once the models are available, I'd like to build an Italian Group centered on the Cavour and their Horizon DDGs, a Spanish Group centered on the Juan Carlos and their F-100 AEGIS FFGs, and ultimatly an Australian Group centered on the new Canberra Class LPD and the Hobart class AEGIS DDGs. If they ever build the models, an Indian group centered on either the Vikramaditya or their new ADS Carrier the Vikrant and their Kolkata class DDGs and Shivlak class FFGs would also be nice.

    Years worth of work!

    You can see all of these actual carriers, read their histories and specifictions at my site:

    WORLD-WIDE AIRCRAFT CARRIERS

    ...and most of their surface escorts at:

    AEGIS AND AEGIS-LIKE VESSELS OF THE WORLD
     
  10. Equation
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    Equation Lieutenant General

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    Re: My Review and Build of USS Samuel Roberts, Blue Water Navy's 1/350 scale Kit #35

    Wow...great work Jeff! Is this more challenging to you (working on smaller ships) considering the scale of all the details seems to be more difficult?
     
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