Background - The concept of a destroyer leader, a type that was larger than standard destroyers, was one that arose in the late 1910s and early 1920s. The need
for a specific type of ship, smaller than light cruisers that have traditionally tasked with the duty, but well-armed and with the appropriate accommodations was
becoming apparent. Foreign navies were quicker to embrace this concept but the United States Navy took longer. Beginning in 1919, several designs were evolved
for a destroyer leader but Congressional budget approval was difficult to achieve. Treaty limitations also influenced designs. Finally in 1930, a sketch design for an
1850 ton Leader was presented and, after some modifications, was approved. Eight ships of the Porter class were built under the FY 33 Program and completed in
1936 and 1937.

The class was originally built with eight Mk 12 5-inch/38 caliber guns in four Mark 22 single purpose twin enclosed mounts and two quadruple 1.1-inch mounts.
Anti-aircraft armament was rounded out by a pair of 0.50 caliber machine guns. Porters were fitted eight 21-inch torpedo tubes with a full set of reloads and two
stern depth-charge racks. As aircraft were becoming a greater threat the as-fitted anti-aircraft armament was deemed obsolete and ineffective. As a result, some
ships had mounts 51 and 54 replaced with dual purpose twin mounts and the original 1.1-inch and .50 caliber guns replaced with twin 40mm Bofors and 20mm
Oerlikon weapons. In other ships, mount 52 was replaced by a quad 40mm mount and mount 53 became a single 5 in/38 dual purpose mount for a total of five
5-inch dual purpose guns. Additional light anti-aircraft guns were added to some ships. During the war, Porter was the only loss for this class, sunk at the Battle of
Santa Cruz Islands.

USS Phelps (DD-360) was laid down on January 2, 1934 at the Bethlehem Shipbuilding yards in Quincy, Massachusetts. She was launched on July 18, 1935 and
commissioned on February 26, 1936.
Phelps saw a lot of action during World War II. She was present at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 and was credited
with shooting down one Japanese airplane.
Phelps participated in the Battle of the Coral Sea and stayed with the Yorktown after she was damaged. Phelps sank the
seriously damaged
Lexington with two torpedoes to prevent her capture by Japanese forces. She also saw action in the Battle of Midway, Guadalcanal and
Aleutians campaign. She provided gunfire support for landings at Makin Atoll, bombarded Kwajalein and Eniwetok in the Marshall Islands campaign and bombarded
Saipan during that invasion.
Phelps transited the Panama Canal, arriving at the Charleston Navy Yard on August 2, 1944 for a major refit and armament alterations.
For the duration of the war,
Phelps performed convoy escort duties in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. After the war, Phelps was struck from the Naval Vessel
Register on January 28, 1947 and scrapped soon afterwards.
Phelps received 12 battle stars for her service in World War II.
The Kit - After a fairly long absence, the  USS Phelps kit is the newest ship model release from Admiralty Model Works. The model is a waterline hull kit with photo-
etch and turned brass parts and a decal sheet. The kit represents
Phelps as she appeared in late 1944 after her refit in the Charleston Navy Yard. The hull is one piece
with practically all of the major deck structures and gun tubs integrally cast into this part. This saves time on assembly but will require more effort masking and
painting. The quality and detail in the casting is excellent, especially in such a small scale. Details include watertight doors, hoses, hatches, ammo ready lockers and
bollards. The casting is very clean requiring only a little bit of clean up in spots along the bottom edge of the hull. The next largest parts are the forward funnel and
the 20mm gun platform that was fitted to the aft funnel. Again these parts are well done with the funnel having the boiler uptakes and vent piping and the platform the
20mm ammo lockers and support ribs cast into them. The gun platform comes on a casting wafer which will need to be trimmed off and will probably need a little bit
of cleanup as a result.

The vast majority of the smaller resin parts are attached to casting runners, with the exception of the twin 40mm gun mounts, which come on a smaller resin wafer.
The smaller parts include the twin and single 5-inch gun turrets, quad torpedo tubes and associated support towers, 5-inch practice loader, quad 40mm gun mount,
40mm gun barrels, range finder, Mk. 51 and Mk. 12 directors, searchlights, davits, various style of vents, depth charge roll-off racks, K-guns and storage racks, 26’
whaleboat, rafts and other fittings. The floater net baskets are cast in resin with the nets and floaters as one piece. Again this will save time in assembly but if you
wish to go crazy, you can substitute those for photo-etch versions from an alternate source. The details in the smaller parts are on par with the rest of the kit,
especially the 5-inch turret housings. Some of the parts are downright tiny in this scale, so careful handling it required especially when removing them from the
runners. The parts are generally clean but will require the removal of excess resin flash in several cases.
The photo-etch brass is nicely done with relief-etching to add some detail and depth. The fret is sandwiched between clear plastic films which I did not remove for the
photos. The parts include all of the railings, which are pre-measured and have chocks integrated where appropriate, radars, mast details, inclined and vertical ladders,
life raft netting , catwalks, anchor and chain, depth charge racks, cable reels, prop guards, 20mm guns with shield and bases and various other details. The photo-etch
parts will add a lot of detail to the model. All of the parts have alphanumeric identifiers etched into the fret that are referenced in the assembly instructions. My sample
came with a nicely done brass name plate.

The kit comes with turned brass parts for the 5-inch guns and the masts, which are a nice added bonus. Lengths of brass and styrene rods in different diameters are
also provided to use to make platform and catwalk supports, yardarms, cable reel drums and other self-made parts.
A small decal sheet contains hull numbers and the name Phelps for transom along with the 48-star US flag in two styles, naval ensign and commissioning pennant.
The decals appear well done with good color registration.

The assembly instructions are printed on 10 color pages and are well done. This first page is essentially the cover page with specifications and a brief ship’s history.
The second page has a breakdown of the main parts, general instruction and warnings and credits. Each step of assembly is depicted in well-illustrated diagrams with
resin, photo-etch and turned brass parts clearly identified. The bottom of page 8 has a rigging diagram which is very helpful. Page 9 has a plan and profile drawing of
the ship with some decal placement information and the bottom half has the information needed to make the various self-made parts using the brass and styrene rods
provided. The final page of the instructions has a painting guide for the Measure 32, Design 3d camouflage scheme she wore at the time. The color references are for
the standard naval colors in the scheme but there is no mention of the colors used for the deck. A reference link to some images on the Navsource website is given. A
better reference link is this one to the Ship Camouflage website, which gives you the colors and pattern for the deck.
Felix Bustelo
The Phelps kit is a fine return, so to speak, for Admiralty Model Works. It is a well done and detailed model in 1/700 scale that should make most modelers of the
“Divine Scale” very satisfied. I am glad to see Pavel Vacata and company back in the saddle again. My thanks to Admiralty Model Works for the review sample.