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USS Porter
DDG-78
Skywave
1:700 Scale Waterline Kit
by
Ed Grune


The latest PitRoad modern US Navy offering is the USS Porter (DDG-78) – kit number M15. The USS Porter is the last of the Arleigh Burke Flight II destroyers. If you are waiting for the helicopter hanger equipped Flight IIA variant – your wait continues.

The Flight II variant of the Burke class is externally similar to the Flight I. The Flight II has a few extra electronic domes and a vertical TACAN antenna at the mast head. Refer to Warship’s photo essay on the Burke class for extensive photo documentation of a Flight II Burke DDG.

The Porter was built by Ingalls shipbuilding of Pascagoula, MS. She was launched in November, 1997 and was commissioned in March 1999. She is presently home-ported in Norfolk, VA. The USS Porter is named in honor of Commodore David Porter (1780-1843) and his son, Vice Admiral David Dixon Porter (1813-1891). Commodore Porter distinguished himself while in command of the frigate Essex during the War of 1812. Vice Admiral Porter rose from the rank of lieutenant to rear admiral in two years during the Civil War. Four previous ships have borne the name Porter including a steam torpedo boat which served from 1897-1912 and three destroyers: DD 59, which served in World War I; DD 356, which earned one battle star during World War II before being sunk off the Solomons in 1942; and DD 800, which earned one battle star during World War II and one during the Korean Conflict.

The Kit
PitRoad’s Porter demonstrates the usual surface details that are associated with PitRoad’s warship kits. Like all of PitRoad’s ship kits, this is waterline. It is provided on three sprues.

The first sprue contains the hull and deck levels I compared this sprue with the one from PitRoad’s earlier offering of the Curtis Wilbur. The only difference in the sprues, and indeed the only difference in the kits, is the addition of a different TACAN mast and several electronic domes. See picture 1. My sample has some casting sink marks along the hull sides and on the superstructure. These sink marks will require judicious filling and sanding to avoid marring ventilator grill details.

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Hull parts
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Third sprue
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Decals
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Paint Scheme

The second sprue contains the forward deck, the superstructure parts and various topwork details, Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBs) and life raft canisters.

The third sprue contains PitRoad’s generic "Modern USN Parts" such as the MK45 gun, Harpoon canisters, and Seahawk helicopter. Most of this sprue will end up in your parts box.

The decal sheet is also identical to the one provided in the Curtis Wilbur kit. It includes subdued hull numbers and names for the entire Flight I and Flight II class; Burke through Porter. The sheet also has flags and ensigns, Destroyer Division badges, efficiency "E"s, weapon system warning arcs, helo deck, and vertrep markings.

To complete this model, you may want to add Flagship Models’ Arleigh Burke photo-etched detail set which includes rails, inclined ladders, helo deck safety nets, plus many other details.

If you are interested in building a Burke class destroyer and are undecided as to which one to build, this may be the kit for you. Due to the inclusion of both hulls, the kit enables you to build either a Flight I or a Flight II ship. 

 
Second sprue

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