USS Kidd DDG993 was the first of the so called “Ayatollah Class” ships to join the US Navy. Each of the four ships in the class was originally ordered by Iran in the late 1970's. Because of the Iranian Revolution the four ships were not delivered to Iran and were commissioned into the US Navy. These four ships were specifically designed for service in the Middle East with heavy duty air conditioning as well as an improved sand filtering system. The four ships were renamed for four Admirals who lost their lives during World War II, RADM Isaac Kidd, RADM Daniel Callaghan, RADM Norman Scott, and RADM Theodore Chandler. The four ships were added to the US fleet in 1981and 1982. Two of the ships were positioned on each coast, the odd numbers ships being ported in Norfolk while the even numbered ships were in San Diego. Each ship served her nation for 17 years until they were all decommissioned and sold to Taiwan. Where they will continue to give our ally a potent multi mission ship well into the future.
I spent just under a year onboard DDG995, USS Scott. We spent a good deal of our time roaming the ocean being a good Navy ship, Haze Grey and Underway. During the summer of 1991 we were in port far fewer days than we were underway. If it we were not training around Puerto Rico, we were off the coast of Columbia searching for drug runners, or playing war with NATO in the North Atlantic. Having a ship equipped for the Middle East in the North Atlantic made things a little cool in certain parts of the ship. We crossed the Arctic Circle and earned our Blue Nose. We even had a visit from a flock of Soviet Bear bombers one cool afternoon. Then after all of that is was off to the Red Sea to enforce UN sanctions against Iraq. OK, enough of the sea stories, lets get back to the model.
The ships are 563 feet long, 55 feet wide, and draw 30 feet of draft. The main engines are General Electric LM-2500 marine gas turbines capable of running at 33 knots, although we did get a bit faster than that a few times. Weapons consist of 2 x Mk26 Standard Missile launchers, 2 x Mk 141 quad Harpoon launchers, 2 x Mk 15 20mm Phalanx CWIS, 2 x Mk45 5in/54caliber guns, 2 x Mk32 triple tube mounts for Mk46 torpedoes, and 2 x SH-2F Seasprite Lamps II helicopters.
Inside the box...
The kit comes in a sturdy lidded box featuring the USS Kidd in the foreground and a carrier in the distant. On her missile launchers are blue (practice) missiles as she runs missile drills. Inside you will find separate bags holding the gray styrene parts and decals. Also inside are the eight pages of instructions you will need to build your USS Kidd class DDG.
holds the port and starboard sides of the hull. The hull is molded in full hull configuration; however with a little surgery you can convert yours into water line with no problem. The hull scales out almost perfectly to 350th scale, just over 19 1/3” long. Each half has detail very close to the real ship; even the ships torpedo doors are present. Missing from the hull are the masker belts. These belts help shield the ship from submarines by creating a belt of air bubbles around the ships engine rooms. They would be simple enough to add if you are building the full hull version of the ship.
consists of the hull braces, waterline bottom, and ships name plate. The name plates list the name of the destroyer class, KIDD.
is full of different parts from all over the ship. The detail on these parts is also right on with that on the real ship. You will find main guns, CWIS systems, Harpoon launchers, and deck sections. The stern plate of the ship is also included on this sprue and is correct for the ship. The Kidd class destroyer does not have a towed array so it lacks the round area in the center of the stern like the Spruance and Ticonderoga class ships have. Those of us who were on a Kidd class ship made joke of the others for this area of the stern called the silver doughnut by some. The propeller shafts are also here. These will require some clean up as they have mold seams running down their length. There was also some minor flash on the propeller blades and gun mounts, but nothing that will take long to cleanup.
is full of parts but only a few are used for the Kidd. This means you have a few leftovers for your parts box. The main part on this sprue is the deck portion of the foc’sle. The forward vert rep station is molded in raised lines, this will allow for ease of painting the markings. The anchor chains are also molded on the deck, as are the windlass controls, and capstans. Both the windlass and capstans are lacking in detail and the tops of the capstans should be brass, not haze gray.
brings you even more goodies for your spare parts box. Only four parts are used off of this sprue. They are electronic warfare sensors and again are right on compared to the original.
is the bite of the ship, the Mk 26 missile launchers. We called them LS1 and LS2. They can hold SM2 Standard missiles and ASROC torpedoes. Each launcher can hold two missiles or torpedoes at once. Blue missiles are for training and white missiles are for hurting the bad guys. 90% of the time we had “blue birds” on the rail and only a few times put up the white birds, the only time we used white birds we were on the missile test range.
appropriately enough is home to the ships helos. Unfortunately they induced SH60 Seahawk helos. The Kidd class ships carried SH2F Lamps II Seasprite helos. But that aside they are nicely done. You can model one ready for flight or one with folded up for storage.
once again gets back into structural parts and some of the small details around the ship. The flight deck has raised marking for the landing pattern. Again this will allow for ease in painting. However there are no tie downs on the flight deck. Also missing are two recessed areas on each side of the flight deck. One area should hold the helo refueling hose. There should also be a letter “H” on the aft port side of the flight deck. This marks the Hifer spot, helicopter in flight refueling. The other parts on this sprue are the hangar doors, life raft barrels, chaff launchers, and other detail parts around the ship. On a down note are the radar dishes. It is always hard to capture their fine detail in plastic. However they for those of us not used to PE they will work well and represent the radar very well.
once again holds structural portions of the ship as well as portions of the ships masts. These parts again do not skimp on the detail and reflect the real ship really nicely.
is another spare parts filler. The parts used are for the exhausts of the gas turbine engines and two ladders. The ladders do have some ejector pin marks and will require some clean up. But if you are bold enough to get the PE set of the ship, you can ignore these. The exhaust stacks will require some minor flash clean up.
brings in the final major parts of the ship. The forward section of the bridge has the ships bell molded on the lower section. Remember bells are made of brass so add finish with that in mind. The windows of the bridge are finely molded as are water tight hatches on the bridge breaks. The gas turbine intakes are finely detailed and since this was my area of I can say they are right on 100%. The only area I can say is not right is on parts N1 and N2. On each of these parts the molded horizontal laying ladders are in the wrong place. They are the ships brows and are actually mounted outboard of the railing in these areas. So if you are going to try and model the ship a little closer to real you will have to do some surgery here.
Decals come on two separate cards. One is just a set of numbers in darker colors. At the time I was on board Scott the dark number were on ships that had just returned from a “Persian Excursion”, cruise to the Persian Gulf. The standard ships numbers are white. The larger card has decals for all four ships of the class. Destroyer squadron shields for the different squadrons are also present.
Deck markings for the missile launchers, guns, and CWIS guns are I separate parts. Various awards are present in the form of “E”, “C”, “D”, and “W”. These are awarded for different divisions of the ship that meet certain guide lines and score high on inspections. Draft numbers, ship ribbons, naval ensign, and National colors are also present. The decals are done very nicely and should pose no problem for any modeler. Even the ships helo has decals.
Since I was stationed on the USS Scott I am fairly familiar with this class of ship. We would anchor next to the USS Kidd all the time as well. The detail of the ship is very nice and crisply done. Sure there are a few areas that are not completely right, but if you build the ship OOB, you will have a nice clean built ship. When choosing a paint scheme follow this tip. Prior to 1992 the 1980’s scheme was used. After 1992 the ships were painted all gray. Also this model of the ships represents the post NTU (New Threat Upgrade) conversion. This was done to all four of the ships in the class in the late 1980’s, the Scott being the first. I have included pictures of the ships both ways.
For some reason the screw guards are not on this ship. I have noticed they are not on any 1/350 modern USN ship. These are located just at the water line above the ships screws (propellers).
I was excited to finally get a model of my ship and I am not disappointed by the detail. For those who are a little more adventurous there is an after market PE set and some resin details out there.
I will be building this ship for the Forgotten Sisters Campaign so make sure to check in January to see my build blog. I might even get bold and add the AM PE set to spice her up some more.
I am now working on this kit building her into the USS Scott. The link below will take you to that build blog.
USS Scott Build Blog