Here are some photos of my build of the Iron Shipwright USS Hopkins DD-7 kit. It is a great little kit which captures the lines and the distinctive turtleback bow of this class of early US Navy destroyers. I used the photos of Hopkins and her sister Hull that are on the Navsource site. The model is essentially right out of the box with a couple of exceptions. The small hawser bulwark at the tip of the bow was scratch-built using some styrene - this feature is quite prominent in the reference photos. The kit uses the same photo-etch set that is used for their Bainbridge kit - which has both ship specific and well as more general items. For the most part, the photo-etch served its purpose. However, the awning arch supports are a little too narrow for the Hopkins, as she was a slightly wider beam than the Bainbridge, so I substituted with styrene strips. Also, the photo-etch aerial rigging is too long for Hopkins based on where the masts should go. I tried to cut it down and reattach the aft spreader but I ended up making a mess of it so I used a different aerial left over from another photo-etch set.

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I replaced the gun barrels with wire and I detailed the 3"/50 guns and torpedo tube with hand wheels from the L'Arsenal set. I used spare tripods from a BWN photo-etch set for the bases of the three 6-pounder guns that are visible on the main deck. The crew members are also from L'Arsenal. I enjoyed this build and I think it makes a fine addition to my collection of ships from this era.

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Felix Bustelo

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