On March 16, 1898 the USN Special War Plans Board, headed by Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Theodore Roosevelt, issued a report which contained the following, “... we respectfully, but most urgently, point out that the Spanish torpedo-boat
destroyers, now at the Canaries or preparing to come to Cuba, should not be allowed to come. They offer the only real menace to us, although, as I shall mention further, the Spaniards are rapidly accumulating a sufficient number of battleships
to give us cause for some concern. If these torpedo-boat destroyers are allowed to come into Cuban waters they render the problem we have to solve one of great danger. Without them the problem is comparatively easy, and its ultimate solution in
our favor is certain. We can, without difficulty, blockade Havana if there are no torpedo boats inside. If there are torpedo inside the blockade becomes one of very great hazard. Any European country would treat the mobilizing of an army corps
on its boarders as a cause for action, and it is much to be wished that these torpedo-boat destroyers, which of course can only be designed for use against the American Navy, shall be kept where they are or met upon the high seas....What we are
most deficient in is torpedo boats. We especially need torpedo-boat destroyers, and every effort should be made to procure them.
U.S. Destroyers by Norman Friedman, Naval Institute Press, 1982.

In 1865 the United States possessed a modern and sizable navy. Although she did not possess the large ocean going ironclads like the British
HMS Warrior, some of the larger monitors were formidable vessels in their own right. Of course the
development of the USN had been spurred by the crisis of the American Civil War. With the defeat of the Confederacy, the US Navy fell into a steep decline. There were no new ships and what the USN had in 1865 either rotted or rusted. With the
United States looking inwards, world events were basically ignored and a navy of any size was seen as a tool of colonialism. During this time the view of the average American citizen was that colonialism was the tool of Great Britain and other European
powers. As a consequence in two decades the United States had a navy in name only and was incapable of defending itself at sea even against some Latin-American powers and the ability to construct warships atrophied. In 1881 the naval advisory
board had looked into the possibility of the United States building an armored ship of up to 8,500 tons but had rejected the idea. The industrial infrastructure of the United States could not produce the armor plate, large caliber guns or other
technologically advanced features of a major warship. Not only was the technology required beyond American shipyards' abilities but existing slips and docks were too small. However, in 1881 the Naval Advisory Board recommended the building of
torpedo-boats. The first true torpedo-boat was built by Great Britain in 1877, the
HMS Lightning.
The torpedo-boat was quickly built by other European navies. By 1892 Great Britain, Italy, Germany and Russia all had over 100 torpedo-boats and France had over 200. The Naval Appropriations Bill of August 1886 was ground breaking, as it for the
first time provided for modern armored ships for the USN, the
Maine and the Texas . However, this bill and these ships were not the birth of the modern American Steel Navy. That occurred three years earlier in 1883, when the Naval Appropriations
Bill did fund the construction of the first USN torpedo-boat, the
USS Cushing. The USN proceeded slowly in torpedo-boat development, while other navies were producing them by the bushel, Mostly, they were one offs of questionable quality.
Larger torpedo-boats didn’t come about until 1894. Before the USN went to larger 142-ton torpedo boats, the Royal Navy had already completed the next step, the destroyer, in 1883 and interest in construction of torpedo-boats almost dropped off the
table. In 1895 the USN continued down the dead end of torpedo-boat development and three 165-ton and two 220-ton torpedo boats were authorized. Almost all of the USN torpedo-boats participated in the Spanish American War. Their exploits in the
short war hurt their reputation badly. The primary reason was their misuse by the Naval Command. They were simply used on missions for which they were unsuited. Primarily their use was for patrolling and dispatch duties. These missions required
sea-keeping and endurance, qualities which the torpedo-boat lacked. By this time the Royal Navy was almost mass producing destroyers and other European navies had followed suite. These destroyers had the sea-keeping qualities that torpedo-boats
lacked. There was a last spasm of American torpedo-boat construction and but two of these, the 279-ton
USS Farragut and 340-ton USS Stringham, were officially described as destroyers in spite of their torpedo-boat origins. The Stringham was
poorly built by Harlan and Hollingsworth Company of Wilmington, Delaware. Between 1899 to 1902 she suffered four accidents, which damaged her machinery so that it never met her trial speed requirements. Finally the company threw up their
hands and handed the
Stringham to the USN to finish as best as it could. The 255-ton USS Goldsborough had a similar history. Built by Wolff and Zwicker Company of Portland, Oregon. Over a two year period Goldsborough failed to attain the
contracted speed in 15 separate tests. With her engines wrecked, Wolff and Zwicker forfeited the contract on
Goldsborough and the ship was turned over to the Puget Sound Navy Yard, which basically rebuilt the ship and commissioned USS
in 1908. The Royal Navy had tried farming out destroyer construction to numerous British firms that had no experience in constructing destroyers and had already discovered that the best destroyers were built by specialist firms, such
as Thorneycroft and Yarrow.        

The first USN destroyer orders came with the war expansion program of 1898. The initial USN designs came from either foreign designs or from ramped up torpedo-boat designs. Sixteen ships were ordered under this program. There were four
different designs for these initial destroyers. Seven of the ships were built to three different designs by private firms. Harlan and Hollingsworth was trusted to build the
USS Hopkins and USS Hull, inspite of their problems with the Stringham. The
Fore River Engine Company of East Braintree, Massachusetts received the contract for
USS Lawrence and USS Macdonough, which were launched in 1900. The Maryland Steel Company was awarded contracts for three destroyers, the USS
Truxtun, USS Whipple
and USS Worden. All seven of these ships were enlarged four funnel torpedo-boat designs, featuring the contemporary British feature of a turtle back forecastle.
The Bureau of Construction and Repair (C&R) came with a government plan for destroyers. This plan mashed features of British, French and American ships to produce a design used for the other nine destroyers of this program. The Neafie and
Levy Company of Philadelphia built the
Bainbridge, Barry and Chauncey. The Dale and Decatur were built in Richmond, Virginia by the William R. Trigg Company. On the west coast the Union Iron Works of San Francisco was awarded contracts
for the
Paul Jones, Perry and Preble. The USS Stewart contact went to the Gas Engine and Power Company of Morris Heights. The designs varied and length ranged from 239-feet to 248-feet at waterline, a beam of 24-feet and a design
displacement ranging from 408-tons to 433-tons. Coal fired boilers produced steam for triple expansion engines developing 8,000 horsepower for a trial speed of 29-knots. Armament consisted of two 3-inch guns, five or six 6pdr guns and two
torpedo tubes. Complement was 3 officers and 69 crewmen. The government design had bilge keels to reduce the rolling of the ships and also had a high forecastle, instead of the wet turtle back design. All of these early destroyers served through
World War One, except
USS Chauncey, which sank after being accidentally rammed in a convoy near Gibraltar.
In February 1903 the General Board created a long term plan for warship construction. The Board wished for one large fast turning, seaworthy destroyer to be built for every battleship. That may not seem as much but the Board deemed they
destroyer as the highest priority for construction after the battleship. This plan fell on deaf ears and no new destroyers were authorized. In 1904 the Board requested six new destroyers and yet none were authorized.. When the action reports for the
Russo-Japanese War showed the very high value of the destroyer, new destroyers were authorized in 1906. There had been numerous reports generated by the desired characteristics of new destroyers, including one report to answer the questions of
President Roosevelt. All emphasized the extreme importance of sea keeping. Keeping up withe fleet in rough weather was of greatest importance. This characteristic was considered of far greater importance than the top speed of a destroyer in calm
seas. These ships of 1906 were all around 750-tons and used a common design. They were called the
Flivvers, which was a term used for Henry Ford’s Model T automobile. It was a term used to connote cheapness, inferior quality and smallness.
That definition would not be applicable to the new destroyer design, as when they were built, the destroyers of the
Smith Class were the largest and most powerful destroyers in the world.
The first three ships of the Smith Class were ordered on June 29, 1906. (USS Smith DD-17, USS Lamson DD-18, USS Preston DD-19) The class is sometimes called the Flusser Class because although laid down four and a half months after Smith,
USS Flusser DD-20 commissioned a month earlier than Smith. On March 7, 1907 two more of the ships USS Flusser DD-20 and USS Reid DD-21were authorized. The Board of Construction approved the design of these five destroyers on the next
day. It allowed using either reciprocating engines of 10,000 hp or Curtis turbines of 9,000 hp with a maximum speed of 28-knots. The ships would carry five 3-inch guns, three on centerline and one on each side of the deck break. The torpedo
arrangement was less impressive with three single tubes, one on each side of the hull and a third centerline aft where the hull was narrower. There was a fear that the torpedoes fired from centerline mounts where the deck was wider would strike the
deck and not clear the ship. The design was to have stowage for one reload for each tube. The Navy used the model basin at the Washington Navy Yard to test the shape of the stern. As a result, the ships were to have a V shaped stern, which was used
through the Flushdecker design. This was a serious mistake, as the shape greatly increased their turning radius, about 50% greater than Royal Navy destroyers. Bids were opened in September 1907 and the results were surprising in that the lowest offer
for a reciprocating engine ship was more expensive than the highest price for a turbine propelled design. Bath Iron Works had a very low bid on one of their designs but it was rejected because Bath used its own hull form instead of the one created by the

However, a high bid from Bath on the USN design was accepted because of Bath’s experience with light weight machinery and Bath received the contracts for
USS Flusser DD-20 and USS Reid DD-21. Although there was a common design, details
were left to the builders. The result was that the appearances differed among these ships, usually determined by the boiler and funnel arrangements. Three different profiles appeared. Cramp Shipbuilding building of Philadelphia built the
USS Smith DD-17
USS Lamson DD-18. These ships had their two middle funnels closely spaced together because of the boiler arrangement. USS Preston DD-19 was built by New York Shipbuilding and her four funnels were equally spaced. The two Bath ships had
the forward two funnels spaced closely together and the aft two spaced closely together. All had three shafts with Parsons turbine engines. The Bath built
Flusser was the fastest of this first five, developing 11,541 hp for 30.41-knots on trials. Obviously,
when the Navy accepted Bath’s higher bid, they knew what they were doing.
Construction of the Flivvers continued for the Paulding DD-22 Class, Perkins DD-26 Class, Trippe DD-33 Class and Henley DD-39 Class. The Pauldings increased horsepower and speed up to 32.8-knots and went to three dual torpedo tubes and
dropped reloads. The General Board was thinking about a new destroyer design. They suggested that destroyers for FY12 be larger with a heavier gun armament and greater range. The idea was to replace the 3-inch guns of the
Flivvers with 4-inch
guns on a one to one basis. C&R prepared eight designs on this guidance and submitted the smallest of these, a 900-ton design with 4-inch guns based on the
Flivvers.  On March 4, 1911 Congress authorized the eight destroyers of the Cassin Class
DD-43-50. To appease the torpedo faction, a fourth twin 18-inch torpedo mount was added on a lengthened hull. The result was the 1,000-ton destroyer. Length was 305-feet 3-inches (93.04m) overall, and 300-feet at waterline. The beam was 30-feet
4-inches (9.47m) and the hull depth was 17-feet one inch. Design displacement was 1,010-tons. Four Yarrow boilers developed 14,254 horsepower for a top speed of 29.14-knots at trials. Armament was four 4-inch/50 guns and eight 4x2 18-inch
torpedo tubes. Complement was five officers and 93 crewmen.

The General Board proposed going to the 21-inch torpedo for the following
O’Brien Class DD-51 through 56, which were authorized on March 4, 1913. Dimensions were the same as the Cassin Class. Standard displacement was 1,050-tons with a full
load displacement of 1,171-tons. The propulsion layout changed considerably. In September 1911 William Cramp & Sons suggested a destroyer with two propeller shafts, instead of three, and a separate reciprocating engines just for cruising. Separate
machinery for cruising would save fuel and be more efficient. The
O’Briens were a mixed bag of layouts. O’Brien DD-51, Nicholson DD-52, and Winslow DD-53 had two separate reciprocating engines for cruising below 15-knots.  McDougal DD-
54 and
Ericsson DD-56 had a single separate reciprocating engine that could be clutched to a single propeller shaft for cruising below 15-knots. Cushing DD-55 had two cruising turbines. Four White-Forster boilers developed fed steam to two Zoelly
direct drive turbines, which developed 17,000 horsepower for a top speed of 29.17-knots on trials. Armament was four 4-inch/50 guns and eight 21-inch (533mm) torpedo tubes in twin tube mounts. The complement was five officers and 96 crewmen.
The General Board keep searching for a more powerful destroyer design. It as considering the destroyer for the FY14 program. It was really interested in a very large destroyer more akin to a small scout cruiser. At first it requested C&R to prepare a
sketch of a destroyer with six twin 21-inch torpedo mounts, four 4-inch guns and 20 mines, capable of 35-knots. C&R came up with a sketch for a super destroyer that would be largest in the world. It would be 385-feet in length on an enlarged
1,000-tonner hull with a fifth funnel on a lengthened forecastle and two more twin 21-inch torpedo mounts on the quarterdeck. The power plant would produce 40,000 horsepower to produce the required 35-knots. However, the estimated cost would
be more than twice that of the current 1,000-tonner. In the notes C&R stated than the proposed ships would be significantly larger than the
HMS Swift, which at 1,800-tons was the then current largest destroyer in the world. The notes pointed out
that the Royal Navy did not follow up on the
Swift and therefore if the Board wanted a super destroyer it would be best to test build one or two of them to test their effectiveness. C&R recommended an improvement of the 1,000-tonner for a larger
production run. The General Board backed off from the super destroyer concept and peppered C&R with proposals based on an improved
O’Brien. It mentioned a capacity to lay mines, a strengthened bow for ramming and inclusion of two
antiaircraft guns. The Secretary of the Navy approved the characteristics on December 2, 1912 and C&R quickly prepared a sketch for what would become the
Tucker Class DD-57 - 62.

Meanwhile BuOrd had been developing a triple 21-inch torpedo mount. This coincided with the continuous clamoring from the destroyer community for a more powerful torpedo armament in new destroyer designs and a higher speed. The
characteristics for Destroyer 1916 were prepared in December 1913 and incorporated the triple tube mounts. However, their introduction was accelerated, as on June 30, 1914 Destroyer 1915 was authorized. This design included the triple mount as
well as two AA guns that had failed to make it on the
Tucker design. Essentially, this class was an improved Tucker Class and became the Sampson Class DD-63-67. The Sampson Class would mark the end of the 1,000-tonners with their raised
forecastle, as the flush deck design would make its appearance in the next class after the
USS Sampson DD-63 was laid down on April 21, 1915 at the Fore River Shipbuilding Company of Quincy Massachusetts, launched on March 4, 1916 and commissioned on June 27, 1916. Her length was 315-feet 3-inches  (96.09 m), with a beam
of 30-feet 7-inches (9.32 m) and draft of 10-feet 9-inches (3.28 m). Her displacement was 1,111-tons (normal) and full load of 1,225-tons. Armament was four 4-inch/50 (100mm), two 1-pdr (37mm) antiaircraft guns with four triple 21-inch
(533mm) torpedo tube mounts. The power plant had four boilers which fed steam to two Curtis turbine engines and developed 17,696 horsepower. This gave the
Sampson a maximum speed of 29.5-knots. She was named after Admiral William T.
Sampson (1840–1902) who commanded the Atlantic Fleet in the Spanish-American War. Complement was 99 officers and crewmen.

After commissioning and shakedown in Narragansett Bay, the
Sampson was assigned to Division 9 of the Atlantic Destroyer Force. Her first duty in 1917 was to participate in war games off Provincetown, Massachusetts on the tip of Cape Cod.
When war was declared on Germany the
Sampson left Tompkinsville, New York on May 15, 1917 to join the escort of a convoy which first stopped at Halifax, Nova Scotia before continuing to Queenstown, Ireland, which was reached on May 25,
1917. After arrival she was based in Queenstown with the mission of convoy escort in the approached to Great Britain. At this time two depth charge racks of British design were added to her stern. On June 18, 1917
Sampson rescued survivors
from the merchantman,
SS English Monarch and SS Elele. The survivors were landed in Queenstown on June 20. She performed escort duty for the rest of the war and during this time answered other distress calls and attacked U-Boats reported
near the convoys. After the Armistice the
Sampson, along with the other Queenstown destroyers steamed to Brest, France on November 29, 1918. On December 12 Sampson and other destroyers joined the SS George Washington, which was
carrying President Woodrow Wilson, to escort the liner into Brest. After this mission
Sampson returned to Queenstown briefly before returning to New York on December 26. She arrived at the New York Navy Yard on January 7, 1919. After repair
Sampson was assigned to the 4th Division, 2nd Flotilla, Atlantic Destroyer Force. On March 22, 1919 she left the New York Navy Yard to assume her new duties based at the Naval Torpedo Station in Newport, Rhode Island. Her first duties
there as to work for the Inspector of Ordnance in testing experimental torpedoes and mines. This duty was interrupted in May with the mission to provide picket duty for the Navy’s attempt to cross the Atlantic with a flight of NC-4 flying boats. On
December 1, 1919 the
Sampson returned to the New York Naval Yard for an overhaul, which was completed on February 14, 1921. Many of the 1,000-tonners saw duty for some time between the wars but Sampson was not one of them. In spite
of the fact that
Sampson had just finished an overhaul, Sampson was decommissioned on June 15, 1921 and placed in reserve. She stayed there until January 7, 1936 when she was stricken from the Navy List. With new destroyers rapidly coming
on line and hundreds of newer fluchdeckers still available, the Navy saw no need to keep a 1,000-tonner.
USS Sampson DD-63 was towed to the Philadelphia Navy Yard and on July 17, 1936 was ordered to be scrapped to meet the requirements on
the London Naval Treaty. On September 8, 1936
Sampson was sold to the Boston Iron and Metal Company of Baltimore, Maryland for scrap for the price of $18,750.
The Iron Shipwright 1:350 Scale USS Sampson DD-63 - Many modelers seem to think that the history of the USN destroyers starts with the flushdeck design. However, there were 67 destroyers constructed before the first flushdecker. Iron
has the best selection of the earlier destroyers in any scale. These early destroyers can be placed in three general categories. First are the early designs under 500-tons with their turtleback forecastles. ISW produces two kits of these
USS Bainbridge DD-1, the first USN destroyer, and USS Hopkins DD-7. The next category is the Flivvers of around 750-tons and ISW has two of these classes covered. USS Smith DD-17 is the first Flivver and USS Paulding DD-23.
The last category is the 1'000-tonners.
ISW has two kits of these as well, the USS O’Brien DD-51 with twin torpedo tube mounts (USS O’Brien Review) and now the USS Sampson DD-63, the first class to carry triple torpedo tubes and
antiaircraft guns. Incidentally,
ISW also produces a kit of the only 1,000-tonner to serve in World War Two, the USS Allen DD-66 of the Sampson Class in her WWII fit. The ISW Sampson is very similar to the ISW O’Brien, which is natural since
the original ships were similar, although the
Sampson is slightly longer. It is also in the 1917 fit. Casting quality of the Sampson is the same as the O’Brien, adequate but with blemishes to fix and flash to remove. The following is almost a repeat of
the review of the
O’Brien, since there is no need to reinvent the wheel.                        

The hull is cast in one piece with the four funnels integral to the hull casting. If you wish to build the
Sampson in a waterline format, you can request this from ISW. Jon will do a partial pour of resin and since the molds are cast with the keel up, the
partial casting will get you close to waterline. In most cases you will have to finish getting to waterline with some sanding because it is far better to cast the hull riding light, rather than showing it too deep in the water. The
Sampson hull has a rather
handsome profile with very pleasing lines forward. The anchors were carried on deck and so there are no hull anchor hawse fittings. The forecastle extends strait back, creating angles in the raised forecastle to allow end on fire with the waist guns.
Two rows of portholes are in the forecastle level. The first level of the bridge is cast integral to the hull and this has portholes on three sides with an access door on the aft face. At the deck break there are pleasing curved bulkheads running from the
forecastle deck to the main deck. Lower on the hull is a prominent horizontal strengthening strake. This starts just forward of the bridge and runs to just forward of the aft deck house. Towards the bottom of the hull, underneath the strengthening
strake are the bilge keels. They may be a trifle thick and each has a casting void to be repaired, either by filling with putty or plugging with a thin resin plug and then fill seams and sand, which is my preference. The portholes pick up just forward of
the aft deck house. The propeller shaft skegs and the rear keel extension are cast integral to the hull. One skeg had the end portion missing, which is probably the biggest casting error to correct. Lastly, my copy had a number of voids along the
bottom of the hull, which are very easy to fill and sand.
The ISW Sampson has good deck detail. This starts right at the tip of the forecastle with slanting anchor beds. There are chain guides forward of the anchor beds and the windlass base plate and windlass aft. There is a small detailed access hatch to
port and also a large deck access hatch with hinge and wheel detail also to port. Forward and aft of the anchor apparatus the forecastle has two bollard plates on each side. The modeler will have to provide the actual bollard bitts. When bollards are part
of the mold, they are natural air traps that create voids. It is easier to cut the bollards from plastic rod, rather than to fix voids on bollards. Locater holes for the forward 4-inch gun and HA gun right in front of the bridge are on centerline. The 01 level
of the bridge has portholes on three faces and a detailed door on the rear face. As a coal fired ship, there is plenty of detail provided by the numerous coal scuttles on the main deck. Four large circular plates are the base plates for the torpedo tubes.
Five smaller circular plates are base plates for large ventilator cowls. A number of locater holes are located midships. These are the attachment locations for two 4-inch guns right behind the deck break, smaller ventilator cowlings, and boat davits. A
raised fitting with eight ventilation hatches for the machinery spaces and locater holes for two ventilator cowlings, is found aft of the funnels. As mentioned, the four funnels are integral to the hull. Each has a prominent top apron, steam pipes, and
horizontal reinforcing bands. Three of the  aprons had nicks, which need minor repairs. Three small deck houses, two oh which have door detail for deck access complete the details midship. The aft deck house has sufficient detail with detailed doors
on both sides and the rear face, portholes, with  ammunition lockers and a locater hole for the aft AA gun on the crown. On the quarterdeck is a deck access hatch to starboard as well as locater holes for the aft 4-inch gun and a ventilator cowling.

With so many fittings cast as part of the hull, the count of smaller resin parts is rather small. The two largest of these parts are the bridge and navigation deck. The photographs show the bridge piece with thin resin in the windows. You can just paint
these windows or you can remove them creating open windows for glazing with MicroKlear after the bridge roof is attached. The front face of the bridge has an interesting angular design. You will also notice that there are locater holes for the fore
mast. My copy came with five 4-inch/50 guns, although you need only four, which is good since one of the 4-inch guns had a broken barrel. There are also twos AA guns on conical pedestals, one of which had broken at the gun/pedestal juncture. I
really like the detail of these guns. As with all of the smaller resin parts, there is plenty of flash to be removed with a hobby knife. Likewise I received five triple tube torpedo mounts when only four are needed. These have good detail with banding, a
top foot plate, and end detail. In the box were two resin masts with crow’s nests. Both had a slight warp to the topmast. One is the fore mast that has the crow’s nest and the second is for the main mast. The main mast was shorter than the fore mast.
In addition to shortening it, you’ll have to remove the crow’s nest. It obviously would have better to have a separate mainmast casting. There are twelve ventilation cowls of different sizes included with the kit. Other smaller resin parts, including
search light, signal lamps, anchors, ship’s boats, boat davits, binnacle, ship’s wheel base, galley stack, bridge roof support pillar, rudder, propellers and propeller support struts. One of the propellers had blades broken off the hub, which can easily
reattached to the hub with superglue. The smaller parts are adequate in casting quality but will require various amounts of clean up. Clean up includes removal of flash, reattaching and broken parts and removing any warp from masts and gun barrels.
None of this is hard to do but will take a little time.
ISW will also supply more parts to replace broken ones if that is your wish.
The ISW Sampson comes with two brass photo-etch frets and brass rods for propeller shafts, which is identical to that received in the O’Brien kit. The large brass fret has a lot of goodies. This fret is probably used in all of the ISW models of Flivvers
and 1,000-tonners, since all of the brass parts on the fret are not used on the
Sampson. In the parts laydown of the instructions, ISW shows which of the specialized brass parts go into the Sampson. These specialized parts include bridge wing support
lattice work, depth charge racks, funnel grates, ship’s davits, boat position details, bow anchor davit, ship’s wheel, yards, propeller guards, aft davit, streaming anchor with chain and inclined ladders with safety railing and poseable treads. None of the
brass parts are relief-etched. Also included on the main fret are various runs of railing of different patterns, although the instructions fail to show which pattern goes where. The main fret also has plenty of of runs of vertical ladder. The second photo-
etch fret has standard railing and vertical ladder. This fret provides four long runs of four bar railing with widely spaced stanchions, two runs of four bar railing with closely spaced stanchions, two runs of three bar railing with widely spaced stanchions,
one run of three bar railing with closely spaced stanchions and two runs of vertical ladder. I like this form of railing in which the bottom bar serves as a the bottom gutter. I find it far easier to attach railing in this format than attaching railing with
separate stanchions.

The instructions are adequate but have some major gaps. Confusion can take place about the placement of the railing, especially the specialized types. There are notes on railing, which state “Bottom run used on bow”,”Middle runs used amidships for
torpedo tubes”, “2-bar rail used for bridge top and top of aft deck house”. These make sense when you study the fret but are initially confusing. They don’t mention anything about railing at the stern. I assume that the railing on the smaller fret would be
used here. I think that a better approach would be to include them railing in the assembly drawings. The instructions are six single sided pages on thick paper stock. Page one has general assembly tips. Page two has the resin parts laydown. This shows
the mainmast as a resin part, which I assume means the second resin mast could be used for the main mast once the crow’s nest is removed and the mast shortened. Page three is the main brass fret laydown with specialty parts lettered and the above
mentioned notes on the railing. Page four has bow assembly with a profile and a plan view. With the small amount of resin parts in the kit these drawings can be followed without significant problems. Page five has a plan and profile for the stern from
the aft deck house through the quarterdeck. This includes dimensions for cutting propeller shafts and main mast boom. There is also an inset for assembly of the ship’s wheel. Page six has two midship plans for attaching the fittings and equipment there.
There is also an inset showing detail of boat launch facilities, including notes on plastic rod to be cut for this location.

If your goal is an attractive model of the last of the 1,000-tonners, the first US Navy destroyer class to be built with 21-inch triple torpedo tubes and antiaircraft guns, the
Iron Shipwright 1:350 scale model of the USS Sampson DD-63 fills the bill. The
kit comes with full resin parts, two brass photo-etch frets and brass rods.

Steve Backer
Huntsville, Alabama