Big Time! What other appellation would you give to a 1:96 scale model of USS Benham DD-397? Steve Kohls started with a fiberglass shell hull from The Scale
Shipyard but after that batten down the hatches. It was Scratch-built city. Steve framed the hull, sanded off the skeg and replaced it. Then he drilled all of the
portholes. Then be scratch-built the propellers, shafts, guards and rudder. Superstructure and enclosed gun houses had a balsa wood core, covered in sheet styrene
and sanded to the final correct shape. During the process Steve was making molds of most of the parts so that they could be easily replicated in the future. After all,
there are more destroyers in the woods than the
Benham. He drafted his own photo-etch patterns and then sent the two fret patterns to Fotocut for production.
Some photo-etch parts were purchased from John Haynes and included stanchions, eyebolts and grates.
Other brass parts included deck matting, vent screens from Eduard and mast from K&S Engineering Tubing. Steve machined the 5-inch gun barrels. Decals and
dry transfers were from John Haynes, Floating Drydock and Hobby Lobby. Nylon thread from Hobby Lobby was used for railings and guide wires, while EZ line
was used for radio wire, flag ropes and life boat rigging. Model Master enamel paints were used with Light Gray (1732) right from the bottle overall. The deck gray
was a 50/50 mix of Gunship Gray (1723) and Neutral Gray (1725). The lower hull was also a mix of Insignia Red (1705) and Flat Black (1949). All in all, it took
Steve 68 months, 1052 days or 2902 hours to complete this
Benham. The final cosr was $2,200.