This was my first attempt at a ship, or any model in over 25 years for that matter. An AFV Club Knox Class was turned in to my first ship the USS RATHBURNE (FF-1057). She was home ported in Hawaii shortly after she was commissioned in 1970 until her decommissioning in in 1991. She appears as I remember her in 1986-89.
Decals that came were supplied with the kit were too old or damaged, to be used and were replaced with 1:700 scale series from Gold Medal Models. Flagship Models made the photo-etch and paints are Colourcoats from White Ensign Models.
Warning circles were hand painted by zip-tying my smallest brush to a borrowed compass. Modifications were made by adding the four "Stove-pipe" Line-of-Site antennas to the "Mack", not quite mast or stack, as it was commonly referred. I added the TACAN antenna up top and support stanchions under the flight deck. I removed were the 02 Berthing area from the boat decks (ShipAlt we never received) and the Towed Array sonar doors from the stern (something else we never had). Overall I was very satisfied with the kit and PE. The only issue was both the kit and PE came with only one OE-82 Satcom antenna. I thought the supplied antenna looked better than the PE antenna. Most ships have at least two OE-82's too ensure block zones are covered.
This was built while we were underway in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. It was challenging at times with Harriers and CH-53's were performing flight-ops over my head or when hitting 20 knots in a rush to get into our "Gator Square".
Next project will be to build what the ship on which I currently am stationed and deployed, the USS IWO JIMA (LHD-7) from a Revell USS Wasp in the same scale of 1:700. We are less than half way through our deployment so should have plenty of time.
ETCS Andrew Dunikowski
USS IWO JIMA (LHD-7)