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.

Rathburne stbd side bow.jpg (49592 bytes) Rathburne port side aft.jpg (51537 bytes) Rathburne port side bow.jpg (50178 bytes)

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)

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