USS Mustin DD-413 at Santa Cruz 
by Fred Branyan 

1/350 USS Mustin DD-413 (ISW)

This is my second model of this ship. You can see the first here. For that model a WWII Mustin crewman sent me a port side photo that he told me was Mustin. Not until after that model was completed did I discover it was Wainwright.

Since it is also rather obvious that was the first ship model I ever built, I decided to complete a second version of it with the correct port side camo. The close range photo with this writeup was sent to me by a fellow student of the Hornet about 10 years ago and was also located by a researcher on this site about one year ago.  Mustin is the closest destroyer. The starboard side photo of the ship at Pearl Harbor has been on the net for a long time. Masts were scratch built as close as I could get them to the port side photo above. For the mainmast I tried to use a method to calculate mast height (minus radar on top) on this site plus the above two photos to compute the mast height. I think I got the mast height close but the yardarm is probably 1/6-1/8 too low based on ship photos. Total mast height above the main deck is almost exactly 3” for the benefit of anyone else building this kit.

I also tried to duplicate the ship as it appeared in the Santa Cruz photo, to include PE for the white clothing drying on the rear of number 3 gun mount. My Navy friends tell me the open doors/hatches on the gun mounts are a gross violation of combat safety SOP during the war. Port side nets are per the photo, starboard are pure guess. If anyone has a better solution for nets please let me know. Mine are fiberglass screen. Due to conflicting evidence on the presence of anti skid mats on Sims class ships on the CASF site and Navource I did not put any mats on this model. I also tried to scratch build the possible after conn station directly behind the aft mast. Having built so many of these kits I should have avoided another mistake—most of the portholes on the bow were apparently plated over. The holes below the forward most life raft with are on at least 2 close range Sims class photos.

My thanks to Gordon Bjorkland for a lot of spare parts he sent me years ago. The bridge wing combat lights, bridge signal stations, and the searchlight station are some of the samples of his generosity. The port side signal flags are the initials of WT1C Cardon Clayton Ruchti, the husband of a fellow member of the Mustin Hornet Association. The starboard side signal flags are the radio call sign of the ship, NERF. The model is in honor of him and all of the other Mustin crewmembers and Hornet survivors that I met over the years at reunions of the Association.

This model completes my 7 year effort to build all ships with Hornet the day she was sunk at Santa Cruz. I do not have the skill to complete major modifications to the available 1/350 Hornet kit. For any students of the ship or the battle may I suggest the following models of Hornet— here, and  here. Both models were produced by builders who made the effort to reproduce the camo and the ship as accurately as possible based on actual photos of the ship.

This one is also excellent. Pat did not have actual photos of the Hornet deck available and was relying on Enterprise deck photos. For what little it is worth I consider the above 3 to be the best on the net for accuracy.

The following detail kits were used on this ship:

Fred Branyan

Gallery updated 10/26/2017