This is the 1/350 scale USS Brewton FF-1086 WestPac 1976-77 (White Ensign Models FF-1052 kit). This is a Knox class frigate originally designated DE-1086. I built this model for a former Brewton crewmember, Mr. Ron Athey. Ron was kind enough to provide me with some era-specific b/w photos and his WestPac Cruise Book 1976-77. Ron served aboard Brewton for 4 years. This book proved invaluable to me when looking to determine the Brewton's specific ships' awards, deck non-skid layout, bulkhead details, lattice mast details, helo pad markings, forecastle details, life raft locations and other details. Ron wanted this model built as an underway/waterline type display; my preference too. "In her element, so to speak." The starting point was WEM's 1/350 scale resin USS Knox FF-1052 offering. The model of FF-1086 was to built as she appeared in 1976. Brewton-1976 specific detail mods began with: removing the foredeck raised bullwarks, removing the hull spray strakes, removing the signal shack atop the bridge, removing the helo hangar roof details, a few other boxes and vents that may have been correct for FF-1052, but not correct for FF-1086. This was a learn as you go project, as I had no previous knowledge of the Knox class FF's.
The lattice mast assembly atop the MACK was mostly scratch-built; being constructed from a combination of kit provided p/e, brass rod, strip styrene, a few cannibalized bits from a L'Arsenal Liberty ship p/e set. The upper, smaller lattice base for the SPS-10 radar was made from a L'Arsenal Iowa Class catapult/crane set. The WLR-1 domes were taken from the WEM Adams DDG-22 kit. The MACK itself was enhanced with more accurately shaped brass rod used for the yards, stainless steel rod used to support the fore-yard. The tripod atop the bridge roof was scratch-built. The 5"54 gun mount was modified and the gun barrel was a brass replacement from BMK. The closed chocks and all railings were from L'Arsenal. The hull number decals and warning circle decals were taken from an ISW Coontz DLG. The helo pad marking are decals from GMM. The rigging is dai-riki 2 lb test fishing line. The SH-2 Seasprite helo took 6 hours to paint and decal; a small project of its own. The waterline stripe for the captains boat and the custom made DesRon33 medallion are from HawkGraphics. The Danforth anchor bolster was scratchbuilt, and the anchor chain was 40lpi RR chain. The ships colors were a combination of WEM's modern deck grey, and Testor Acryl Neutral grey mixed 2:1 with white. The non-skid on the decks was mostly black decal film from SSI, (an old decal sheet). The numerous 35' antennas were stainless steel .012" rod painted to match photos. The liferafts were taken from an old Jim Shirley Gearing FRAM kit. The kit provided cast-metal SH-2 helo was cleaned up and cast/copied in resin. The base is a piece of Poplar wood topped with 1/8" thickness dark blue acrylic sheet painted in a mixture of blue and green. The simulated ocean water is textured Liquitex acrylic gel; highlighted with various shades of white paint.
In some pics of various Knox FF's underway, the sonar dome was visible. I painted the silhouette of the sonar dome onto the base in position before applying the gel. I hoped the painted on sonar dome would look better than it came out. Progress, not perfection. This project spanned almost a years time from start to stalled to re-started to finished. The time spent studying ships of the class and identifying individual ships differences was enlightening and inspiring. I met two former Brewton sailors through the Brewton website; one of whom I've met in person. Mr. Bill Bentley also got to see the finished Brewton model before I delivered it to Ron Athey. In January 08, Bill attended the San Diego Ship Modeler's Guild monthly meeting where I shared the model I had built of, "his", ship. Bill was a plankowner on Brewton. The sea stories from these guys was really cool! From the coast of North VietNam gun shoots to the accidental soviet sub discovery off the SoCal coast and all the rest of the stories made this project come to life for me. This project was an inspired evolution that went far beyond modeling making in its own right. Here's to the Brewton and all of her sailors!
Fair winds and following seas!