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Ships by Class/Type: Destroyers
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Best 1/350 Fletcher?
sphyrna
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New York, United States
Joined: September 24, 2002
KitMaker: 379 posts
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Posted: Wednesday, March 04, 2020 - 04:06 PM UTC
Hi All,

my commute is very long, lots of books on tape. The past few months have mainly been WWII South Pacific.

So, getting the urge to do a Fletcher class - but am wondering which might be the best in 1/350? Research shows there's a Tamiya Fletcher and a Trumpeter The Sullivans. I'll most likely get a PE set to enhance the build, but with my Gen-X eyes I might skip some of the tiny .5 mm parts
Any suggestions?

Thanks!

Peter
Quincannon
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Colorado, United States
Joined: June 22, 2018
KitMaker: 275 posts
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Posted: Wednesday, March 04, 2020 - 06:17 PM UTC
Of the two the Tamiya Fletcher would be my choice. If you are doing something from the South Pacific, then I would assume you are speaking about the period August 42 to February 43, the Guadalcanal Campaign.

The Taniya is a round bridge Fletcher, from which you can do all of the Fletchers in the Cactus Strike Force, with very little trouble. What I would fo first though is get a copy of Rick Davis' book "Round Bridge Fletchers". What you will discover is that of all those early Fletchers, there was no two that were exactly alike. Not great differences mind you, but enough that you can make every model just a bit different from its sister, should you choose to do more than one as I have. My collection includes Radford, Nicholas, O'Bannon, and DeHaven, and I have not finished. I plan to do a couple more this year.

The Tamiya offering is not without its faults, but, in my estimation, it is a far better starting place that the Trumpeter. The Trumpeter The Sullivans is either a mid war or late war (your option) Square Bridge, and I know of none of them that served in the South Pacific during the period I cited.

Most if not all of the Tamiya's failings can be corrected with aftermarket products by Black Cat, and Model Monkey. You also need to obtain some PE doors and railings. They are readily available in a number of Fletcher dedicated and generic destroyer sets.

Good luck with your project, and I hope you will post photos here of your progress.
MartinJQuinn
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: January 19, 2005
KitMaker: 574 posts
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Posted: Thursday, March 05, 2020 - 04:52 AM UTC
I concur. Having built both, the Tamiya Fletcher, while a little soft on details, is the better of the two kits. It's also an earlier war version, as mentioned, which would be more applicable for a Guadalcanal version.

Tamiya: http://www.modelshipgallery.com/gallery/dd/dd-445/350-mq/mq-index.html

Trumpeter: http://www.modelshipgallery.com/gallery/dd/dd-671/350-mq/mq-index.html

Trumpeter: http://www.modelshipgallery.com/gallery/dd/dd-585/Haraden-350-mq/index.htm

There are photo-etch sets for these kits from Gold Medal, Eduard and L'Arsenal of France, among others. Also lots of 3D upgrade parts available, depending on how crazy you want to get.
TimReynaga
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
MODEL SHIPWRIGHTS
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California, United States
Joined: May 03, 2006
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Posted: Thursday, March 05, 2020 - 11:17 AM UTC
Hi Peter,

I agree with Chuck and Martin on this; go with the Tamiya Fletcher. While the Trumpeter kit is definitely buildable and a good start for a square bridge, the Tamiya round bridge rendition is finer overall and the parts fit is much better. In fact, the Tamiya Fletcher is one of the outstanding 1/350 ships out there and is often recommended as a good starter kit for beginners as well as a solid base for the more experienced.
sphyrna
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New York, United States
Joined: September 24, 2002
KitMaker: 379 posts
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Posted: Friday, March 06, 2020 - 02:07 AM UTC
Thanks all!

Having built many Tamiya, and I have the new Yamato on the build pile, I figured the Tamiya Fletcher would be best, I'll go with her.

:)

Peter
sphyrna
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New York, United States
Joined: September 24, 2002
KitMaker: 379 posts
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Posted: Friday, March 06, 2020 - 04:10 AM UTC
AM question,

Any turned barrels available for the 5" guns?

I notices there's at least three options for photo etch - GMM, Eduard and Tom's.

Any suggestions? (not going for the Five Star - not at $180 on Amazon!)

I'm skilled with PE, but my Gen-X eyes avoid the TINY PE parts, I like to add PE that will enhance - ladders, railing, no slip deck walks etc, rather than something like a signal light handle that might be a fraction of a millimeter in size...

Thanks again!

Peter
MartinJQuinn
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: January 19, 2005
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Posted: Friday, March 06, 2020 - 05:26 AM UTC

Quoted Text

AM question,

Any turned barrels available for the 5" guns?

I notices there's at least three options for photo etch - GMM, Eduard and Tom's.



Barrels: http://www.master-model.pl/product/sm-350-017.html

Each PE set has it's own pluses and minuses

GMM: http://goldmm.com/ships/gms3usfl.htm

Eduard: https://www.ebay.com/itm/392578378009

Personally, I'd go with the Gold Medal set
Quincannon
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Colorado, United States
Joined: June 22, 2018
KitMaker: 275 posts
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Posted: Friday, March 06, 2020 - 09:18 AM UTC
Peter:

I would look closely at what Black Cat and Model Monkey offer in 3D.

The Tamiya kit supplies no paravanes and 5" practice gun loaders. Those you will have to source from Black Cat. Also the 5" mounts seem a little small, not really sure. What I am sure of is that Mounts 1 and 5 do not have hoods for the gun captains. That to me is a notable fault with the Tamiya kit. Model Monkey and Black Cat both make the accurate mounts in 3D.

Tamiya has a flaw in their instructions as well. They give you a second 40mm twin and a tear dropped shaped tub, but make no mention in the instructions to tell you where they go or on what particular ship to apply them to. That's where Rick Davis' book is a lot of help.

Those early Fletchers varied quite a bit in detail, and depending upon which one you choose, you must research specific details. I wish I had had the Davis' book when I did my first two.
MartinJQuinn
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: January 19, 2005
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Posted: Thursday, March 12, 2020 - 08:21 AM UTC

Quoted Text

They give you a second 40mm twin and a tear dropped shaped tub, but make no mention in the instructions to tell you where they go or on what particular ship to apply them to.



Some of the early units carried the second twin 40mm in that tub on the stern.

Agree that Rick's books are essential if you are building Fletcher class models.
Quincannon
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Colorado, United States
Joined: June 22, 2018
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Posted: Friday, March 13, 2020 - 06:46 AM UTC
Yes, I knew what they were for and where they went, Tamiya makes no mention of what they are for and where they go. For anyone building a Fletcher, that does not have the Davis book, or no other knowledge of the Fletcher, they are left scratching their heads as to what these two parts are for. In addition the Davis book is the only readily available source of what ships and at what time carried these extra mounts and which ships did not.