Hi everyone! Here is my best effort at representing the USS Forrest Sherman (DD-931), lead ship of the Forrest Sherman Class. This class represents the last all-gun destroyers used by the USN and for that reason they are referred to as "the last of the gunships". The class was initially armed with three 5" 54 cal guns in 3 mounts, four 3" 76 cal guns in 2 mounts, and 4 21" torpedo tubes (2 offset to either side at about a 45 degree angle. Over the years, the class was modified substantially in several ways. Several units were given ASW upgrades that included the removal of the 3 inch mounts and swapped mount 52 for an ASROC launcher. Next, several units were converted to DDG's at the expense of mounts 52 and 53 (I believe) to add a MK 13 single arm launcher for first tartar, then standards and harpoons. Finally, some units (including the Forrest Sherman) were given less extensive upgrades. The three-inch mounts were removed and the three 5 inch gun configuration remained. It should be noted that in all upgrades the 21" torpedo tubes were removed in favor of two MK 32, 12.75" triple tubes firing either the MK 44 and later the MK 46 torpedo.

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In her latest incarnation, the Forrest Sherman was changed significantly from her original form. Several prominent deckhouses were added amidships and her electronic suite was upgraded to the latest radars, with SPS-40 air search and SPS-10 surface search and ECM electronics of the time. A vestibule was extended forward from the pilothouse to extend and enclose the bridge area.


The kit is the Cascade Modelwerks version (now defunct) and currently being offered by Iron Shipwright. I modified it in several ways, including adding the deckhouses amidships, building the pilothouse extension and adding the MK 32 triple torpedo tubes. The masts are scratch-built from brass and wire. The 5" gun barrels were made from thin brass tubing, chucked into a dremel and tapered using sandpaper. The seascape was made as always with liquitex acrylic gel and painted with acrylic artistís paints.

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This model, first released by Modelwerks, now by Commanders, is an exciting offering in the world of 1/350 ships. Clearly the Revell offering in 1/306 was not an easy build and took a heck of a lot more work to make into something presentable (trust me on this, I tried!). I have always loved the Forrest Shermans and I was elated to be able to build one! Let me know what you think!

Geoff Cook
Pullman, Washington

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