USS Cochrane DDG-21
by Jeff Hughes
click to enlarge
1/700 USS Cochrane DDG-21 (Dragon)

Tim has been bugging me for some time to get some pictures of my ships to share. So finally I have finished one, well sort of it still needs a RIB, but close enough to finished to show off.  Here is a little history - I was an avid ship modeler during my teenage years but took some years off for college, career, wife, old fix it up house and finally kids.  Once the computer and the internet entered our house and I realized that many people world wide where inflicted with the same disease as I have "love to build ship kits" (it goes by many names but it all means the same) did I start to learn about all kinds of new techniques and that there where now all sorts of new kits all in the same scale.  I jumped back into the hobby fast, unfortunately my skills and the time I have to practice is limited.  No matter I still enjoy it and that is what counts the most.

The kit is the 1/700 USS Cochrane by Shanghai Dragon, mold originally designed by PitRoad/Skywave.  I used Flagship Models Modern Warship Radar Set for the SPS-40 and various diameter brass rod for the misc. antennas and supports.  The antenna on the forward 5" mount is made up of brass rod and a prop from WEM's PE 715 1/700 Fixed Wing Aircraft Parts photoetched fret. This ship started out as a test bed for new techniques for me in my reintroduction into modeling.  The use of limited PE, brass rods for the gun barrels, different types of putty, different types of wash, using Future Floor wax as a method of leveling the surface for decal installation, scratch building the SPG 51 missile illuminators and scratch building the forward deck house to hold the forward CIWS.  CIWS was never added to the real ship or any of her class while in the USN but I wanted them on her in my fleet. The masts and funnel tops should be black but painting them that color would not of allowed me to play with different kinds of wash so for those of you who are upset by this I have also installed gas turbines, you just can't see them!  To my knowledge this class never carried RIBs which mine will after I master the art of duplicating parts using RTV and resin. I was not going for authenticity with this build just learning experience and fun.  I tired PE rails on another kit and it isn't pretty, you won't be seeing pictures of her anytime soon.  Not just because the rails looked like railroad tracks through the Swiss Alps, but some other experiments that went BAD.  I have not given up on using PE rails just yet but I will not be using them on every kit I do, it is just too time consuming.  I do love how the inclined ladders look though and will be using them in all kits that I can except this one.  I encourage all those out there who don't use PE and built just out of the box to send in your pictures, there are plenty of people who build this way and I for one never get tired of looking at ships, whether they are museum quality or out of the box.

Jeff Hughes