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Converting the Revell 1/240 USS Ward

James Corley

I based my conversion on an aerial photo of an old 4-piper on Atlantic patrol. The hull number on the ship was indistinguishable, but looked to be either 128 (USS Bennett) or 158 (USS Leary). Either way, this ship had been modified and was painted in what appeared to be a measure 16 scheme of White and Thayer blue.

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Upper Gun Deck

The photo above is the arrangement found on the upper gun deck of this ship. I removed the kit's upper deck 4" guns and  replaced them with a light anti-aircraft battery. The ship was equipped with six 20mm single mounts, ammo boxes and floater nets. This new deck was scratchbuilt with sheet plastic, I-beams under for support, and splinter shields.

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Midship Deck #1

The midships deck was built as shown in the three photos.  The kit guns were replaced with HR Products white metal weapons in 1/256 scale. These scale out to be about 4% too small, but were actually the same size as those found in the kit! The boats were from other kits, too. The torpedo aiming gear is from the kit, as is the liferaft ring (with p/e netting), these are the only items from the kit remaining. The searchlight is also from HR, and the tower is from the GMM set. The after mast is completely scratchbuilt, except for the yardarms provided in the GMM set, as is most of the foremast.

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Midship Deck #2

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Midship Deck #3

The two aft stern quarter photos show the beautiful GMM davits! Also, the rail curvature is evident in this view. The deck fittings and props are from HR. The shafts were completely scratchbuilt, as were the propguards. The depth charge racks are very nicely detailed pieces of brass, while the charges are rod stock.

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Stern View #1

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Stern View #2

The superstructure is shown below.The GMM windshield gives the open bridge a nice, airy look.. Also worth noting is the scratchbuilt crow's nest, upper bridgework and the forward part of the midships upper gundeck.

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Overall, the Gold Medal Models etched brass set breathed new life into a forty-year-old kit that desperately needed it! The addition of scratchbuilt details and HR Products white-metal parts completed the rejuvenation of this ship into an accurate replica. The main battery is, however, represented by HR 3"/50 DD guns, as the 4"/50 is not produced by HR. This gun does match the kit guns in size and better matches the lines of the 4" guns than does the kit guns (which look more like harpoon guns than anythingelse!).

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