|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