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In-Box Review
USS Preble DDG88
Dragon Modern Sea Power Series Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer
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by: Jim Adams [ GOLDENPONY ]

Originally published on:
Model Shipwrights


DDG88, USS Preble, is the 6th ship in the US Navy to have named for Commodore Edward Preble. Edward Preble commanded possibly the most famous of all US Navy ships, USS Constitution, or Old Ironsides.

The Ship…

USS Preble is an Flt IIA Arleigh Burke class destroyer. She is 37th ship in the class and joined the Navy on November 9, 2002. She is currently home ported at Naval Base San Diego. During her time in the Navy she has taken part in two deployments.


Displacement 8373 Tons (Full),
Length 509' 5"
Beam 66' 11"
Draft 31' (Max)

1 x 5"/62 RF
Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM)
1 × 32-cell VLS
1 × 64-cell Mk 41 vertical launch systems, 96 RIM-66 SM-2, RIM-162 ESSM, BGM-109 Tomahawk, or RUM-139 VL-Asroc missiles
2 SH-60B helicopters,
8 Harpoon Missiles
1 × 5/62 inch (127/62 mm)
2 × 25 mm chain gun
4 × .50 caliber (12.7 mm) guns
1 × 20mm Phalanx CIWS (added aft)

100,000 SHP; 4 GE LM-2500 Gas Turbines, 2 screws
Speed 30 Knots
Range 4400 [email protected] 20 Knots

Crew 370

The Kit…

The kit comes packed in a nice lidded box with a painting of the Preble cutting through the ocean on its cover. Inside the box are several bags of sprues, deals, PE, and a set of instructions.

The Hull
The hull is molded almost totally in one piece. The only part you will need to add it the very stern of the ship. The hull does have nice surface detail along both sides, including the bilge keels. However down the middle of the bottom is a pesky mold seam. This will only be a problem on the sonar dome at the front. So, sand carefully in that area. Also on the bottom and two attachment points. Theses are a little heavy and will need to be taken care of as well.

Sprue B
This are holds most of the main deck sections as well as the stern plate for the ship. The forward section has the ships chains molded on, but the chains are also provided in PE, so decide which you want to use and go ahead accordingly.

Sprue C
Here we begin to take a look at the superstructure of the ship. The molded on doors, ladders, bulkhead fittings, and intakes are nicely done. It is nice to see the center section of the superstructure having the open area on its aft side, just like the ship does.

Sprue D
This sprue has the ships rudders, shafts, RHIBs, radar directors, and other small parts. The ships propellers are also on this sprue. You will also find the amidships conrep stanchions.

Sprue E
This time you will find more deck sections, particularly the flight deck. The new style 5” gun is also present here as are other portions of the helo hanger. Other superstructure parts and the aft VLS cell come attached here as well.

Sprue H
Now we have the ships SH-60 Seahawk helos. One come ready for flight while the other has its blades in sowed position.

Photo Etched Frets
There are two frets of PE included in the kit. One is a set of railings and flight deck netting. The other is watertight doors, Aegis panels, inclined ladders, and screens for the ships many intakes. You will not need much more to build this kit into a very detail project.

One sheet of Cartograf printed decals is provided. Names for 10 different ships are included. Also provided are more than enough hull numbers for these different ships. Flags, warning circles, battle “E” markings, and UNREP makings are provided.


The ships starting with DDG 85 did not have forward mounted CWIS guns. The instructions do call this out for the DDG81-84 ships, so pay attention to which ship you are planning to build.


The kit is known to have some problems compared to the actual Flt II class ships. Most notable is the shape of the hull compared to that of the original ship. I tried my best to compare an actual Flt II ship to the instructions of the Preble. The scales might be off a little, but you can see problems.

We will start with the top and move down. The upper forward mast is wrong. The mast in the kit is from the original ships in the DDG51 class. However the Flt II ships all are like the picture below. The radio mast on teh aft intake is vertical, it should be tilted back, more in line with the forward angle of the structure.

The next major area of problem is on the main deck, starting aft. The helo hanger and landing pad are the wrong size. On the real ships the hanger is longer and the landing deck is shorter. Again this is a problem that has followed through on every version of the Burke class kits.

Down below the water line you will notice the kits rudders are in the wrong spot. They should be forward of where the kit has them. Then move to the screws, these are wrong as well. The kits blades are too straight and small, but this happens to a good deal of kits.

So, with these problems the kit will still build into a very nice looking ship. Just remember there are problems and you may or may not want to change them so you can build a better looking Flt II Burke. For those of you out there wanting to jump in for a major project, this kit will give you a very good starting point.

Something else that you will notice is the raised markings on the flight deck. The RAST rails are present on the flight deck, which is correct, but the markings are also raised. In reality the markings on a regular flight deck are raised some off the surface, but only a fraction of an inch. Plus there are no tie downs on the deck




USS Preble Official Site
Highs: Nicely deatiled.
Lows: See problems section in text
Verdict: Even with the problems I still think this is a good kit. Both classes of builder will get out of the kit what they are looking for.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:350
  Mfg. ID: 1028
  Suggested Retail: $42.95 USD
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Aug 11, 2009
  NATIONALITY: United States

Our Thanks to Dragon USA!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Jim Adams (goldenpony)

Copyright ©2020 text by Jim Adams [ GOLDENPONY ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


Nice review Jim. Thanks.
AUG 11, 2009 - 03:07 AM
The only reason I keep putting off buying one of these kits is the continuation of the same errors, regardless of Flight numbers. All I can figure is the kits are selling so well Dragon does not need to spend the money or time to correct the biggest of the items mentioned in this review and many others, i.e. the aft deck, et al. My non-modeling friends up here in Maine keep asking me to build one of these, since half of this class are Bath Iron Works products. Maybe it's worth someone doing some resin parts for the corrections.(hint) Rick in Maine
AUG 11, 2009 - 03:37 AM
Rick, I have heard the Trumpeter version is better. I do not know for sure since I have not seen one. The Dragon kits is nice, if it were not for the problems, if that makes any sense.
AUG 11, 2009 - 03:52 AM
Nice review... and thanks for pointing out the problem issues for us landlubbers You can get the "Modern Sea power" 1:350 dragon kits for less than 20$ USD on sale at Lucky Models (they pop on sale every few months).
AUG 14, 2009 - 02:03 AM
But, remember just becasue there are problems does not mean this is still not a very nice kit. If you build one 90% of those who look at it will never know about the errors. If this comes up for $20, I would say get it.
AUG 14, 2009 - 03:26 AM
The only one never on sale (or hovering around 40$) is the Kidd I have the Mobile bay, Bunker Hill, Momsen, Preble and Ticonderoga (1:350). Once my life slows down enough I can write a review on one of them, something I promised Gunny several months ago...
AUG 15, 2009 - 03:31 AM
Well, since you promised Gunny.... I got my Kidd class on EvilBay, for $15. I need another one becuse I messed mine up. I am going to work at getting my hands on a trumpeter Burke to compare the differences.
AUG 15, 2009 - 06:41 AM

What's Your Opinion?

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