The Dragon 1:350 scale USS Livermore kit is a fine model kit to build a Gleaves-class destroyer with a pair of quintuple torpedo tubes in an early war fit. Prior to the United States entering the war, several Gleaves-class destroyers were modified with
an improved air defense configuration. This modification resulted in the ships losing one of their 5-inch/38 turrets, dropping the count to four, but increasing the number of .50-caliber machine guns to 12 while retaining the two quintuple torpedo tubes.
The aft gun deck was altered to accommodate six .50-caliber machine guns and their ammo lockers. Two additional .50-caliber guns and their lockers were fitted to the top of the bridge.

One of the
Gleaves-class destroyers that received this modification was USS Kearny, which is best known for being torpedoed by U-568 while the United States was still officially neutral. USS Kearny and three other USN destroyers were docked in
Reykjavik, Iceland in October 1941, when they were summoned to assist a British convoy with Royal Canadian Navy escorts that were being overwhelmed by German U-Boat Wolfpack attack.
USS Kearny dropped depth-charges on the U-Boats. She
was torpedoed on her starboard side. Crews managed to contain the flooding to the forward fire room and
Kearny was able to leave the area under power from her aft engines. Crews were able to restore power to the forward engine and she was able
to return to Reykjavik, where she underwent temporary repairs. A total of 11 crew were killed and 22 injured. After the temporary repairs were completed,
Kearny set out on December 25, 1941 and arrived in Boston six days later for permanent repairs.

The
Kraken Hobbies 1:350 scale USS Kearny DD-432 October 1941 3D printed conversion set gives you most of what you need to backdate the Dragon Livermore kit to model to this fit. The set provides a new aft gun deck, with the gun tubs for
the six .50-caliber MGs positions and the six ammunition storage lockers. The set also has the two .50-caliber gun tubs and the four lockers fitted to the bridge top. The 3D printed parts are very nicely done and come of rafts with small attachment
points for easy removal. The aft gun deck is a direct replacement for kit part N12. I took some photos of the
Kraken aft gun deck next to the corresponding kit part to show the differences. The bridge top parts are meant to be attached to kit part A10.
The set does not provide the 12 .50-caliber guns needed to outfit the model, so you will need obtain them from another source. However, other
Steel Navy sponsors have 3D printed versions available to purchase. A double-side sheet of instructions is
also included in the box, which provides guidance on using the set. The drawings are clear and there is a photo of the bridge showing the locations of the tubs and lockers.

The set comes in a small cardboard box with a smaller plastic clamshell box containing the parts. The rafts are attached to double-side tape to prevent them from moving and damage during shipping. The double-sided tape is really strong, and it was a
bit difficult removing the rafts from it. I had to use a chisel blade to free them, so you need to be careful removing them. This set can also be used to backdate other
Gleaves -class destroyers that had this configuration, with a few differences in some
cases:

USS Livermore DD-429        USS Edison DD-439
USS Ebrele DD-430        USS Ericsson DD-440
USS Gwin DD-433                    USS Wilkes DD-441
USS Meredith DD-434            USS Nicholson DD-442
USS Grayson DD-435               USS Swanson DD-443
USS Monssen DD-436          USS Ingraham DD-444
USS Woolsey DD-437              USS Bristol DD-453
USS Ludlow DD-438        
The Kraken Hobbies USS Kearny DD-432 1941 3D printed conversion set is an excellent product. The very high-quality parts allow you build the Dragon 1:350 scale Livermore kit in a different fit with minimal effort. My thanks for Rick E. Davis
for providing the information on this fit and the ships that had it and to
Matt Enochs at Kraken Hobbies for providing the review sample.

Felix Bustelo
New York
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