by Phil Toy
1/311 USS Kinkaid DD-965 (Scratchbuilt)
Model of USS Kinkaid DD 965 circa September 1982
USS Kinkaid was the 3rd Spruance Class DD built and the 2nd to be assigned to the West Coast. The Sprucans were specifically designed to provide fast carrier task forces with high speed all weather ASW protection replacing the FRAM destroyers. They were cruiser size gas turbine powered ships designed with noise reduction features but initially criticized for being under-armed for anything except ASW. For sub-hunting they were equipped with NTDS, SQS 53 sonar and ASW weapons including a Mk16 ASROC launcher with a large magazine and power reloading, weather protected tube launched lightweight homing torpedoes, and comprehensive facilities for manned sub-hunting helicopters.
This model depicts DD 965 as she appeared in San Diego Bay after her first major upgrade which saw the addition of Harpoon missile quad launchers, and ASMD equipment-Mk 23 TAS installed on her mainmast, two Phalanx CIWS mounts, and 4 Mk36 SRBOC launchers. In September 82 she was assigned to DESRON 7 and configured for the LAMPS 1 system. Later upgrades replaced LAMPS 1 SH2F with LAMPS 3 SH60B, added a towed array sonar and replaced the Mk16 ASROC box launcher with VLS. She was commissioned 7-10-76, decommissioned 1-7-03, and sunk as a target in RIMPAC 2004 on 7-14-04.
This 1:311 model was scratch built in 1982 with the boats and helicopter fuselage modified from a Monogram DEG-1 USS Brooke kit. This determined the scale for this model and subsequent scratch built ships. The helicopter was painted in the markings of HSL 31 Archangels the west coast FRS squadron out of NAS North Island and not necessarily assigned to ship at the time. Evergreen sheet styrene, tube and rod was used. The anchor chain was purchased from a model train shop. Wire was used for the helical spiral antenna on the main mast but stretched sprue was used for other details. Testors Model Master matt paints were used. The DESRON 7 shield was hand painted. Testors Dullcoat was applied to even the sheen. Unfortunately, it yellowed over the years and is very noticeable on the hull numbers and other white painted areas in 2022. The waterline model was initially just secured to a wooden base but two years later was mounted in a seascape of plexiglass and acrylic gel.