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Steve Luckinbill (modelcrazy)


Trumpeter The Sullivans built as the USS Johnston DD-557

"Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors" diorama

Project summary

Title:Trumpeter The Sullivans built as the USS Johnston DD-557
Status:In progress
Timeline:Started on January 25, 2016

Project inventory

Full kits
1:350 USS The Sullivans DD-537 (Trumpeter 05304)
USS The Sullivans DD-537
Trumpeter 1:350
2005 | New tool
Detail and Conversion sets


7 images
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Updated: January 27, 2016


Steve Luckinbill Hello all.
I've started the 1/350 Trumpeter USS The Sullivans DD-537. I will be building her in a "Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors" diorama where the USS Johnston DD-557 of Taffy 3 commanded by LCdr Evans and his ship, charged the Japanese Center Force, during the Battle off Samar off Leyte Gulf, 23 Oct 44.
The Japanese Center Force consisted of the battleships Yamato, Nagato, Kongō, and Haruna; heavy cruisers Chōkai, Haguro, Kumano, Suzuya, Chikuma, Tone; light cruisers Yahagi, and Noshiro; and 11 Kagerō and Yūgumo-class destroyers.
When the center force was spotted by an Avenger scout plane, they were heading straight for the small force of American escort carriers, destroyers and destroyer escorts. To protect the carriers LCdr Evans laid down a smoke screen and attacked the Japanese force using the only weapons available to him. The Johnston charged the heavy cruiser Kumano, 5" main guns firing, and closed the gap to launch a torpedo attack to starboard on the Kumano. Moments later the bow of the heavy cruiser was blown off and the Johnston turned to continue the fight. The Johnston was hit shortly afterward by three battleship main guns, lost steerage and propulsion but was hidden by a rain squaw. She was able to restore one boiler and manual steerage and rejoin the fight along with the other destroyers, destroyer escorts and every plane that could be launched from the escort carriers as they were loaded.
The Johnston eventually succumbed to damage caused by Japanese destroyers and sunk with a loss of 186 men out of a crew of 327.
The diorama will consist of the Johnston at flank speed turning to port and laying a smoke screen, depicted prior to launching torpedoes to starboard..
I purchased Tom's PE set, Alliance Modelworks twin 40mm Bofors, single 20mm Oerlikon and will be purchasing 3D USN sailors from Shapeways.

I'm going to start with the base.
First, I cut out the foam for the hull with the ship leaning to starboard as she turns to port.

I then shaved out some waves and the wake swells and applied acrylic gel.

I then added paper towel and covered that with more acrylic gel. I'm using paper towel this time instead of paper strips. This should form a little better that paper. I am also using Liquitex Medium Gel, not because it's better than Golden, but because it was available at my local craft store at the time. Either product work as well.

The paper tower/paper is used to smooth out the texture of the foam. Once this dries, I will sand the surface and apply a little more gel to build up the waves.

More to come.
25. January 2016 at 15:39:24
Calvin Gifford Do you think the Liquitex would be available at most craft stores? Watching with interest - since my old Revell 'The Sullivans' only has a partial hull anyway I am thinking of chopping it off and building it waterline!
17. January 2017 at 06:22:15
Steve Luckinbill Either Liquitex or Golden should be. They are identical in chemistry and cost.
17. January 2017 at 15:32:39
Christian Bruer Hi Steve, you made a good start with the waterbase. The story behind USS Johnston and her crew is one of the most heroic acts in naval history. I'm looking forward to any progress with great interest.

Cheers, Christian
17. January 2017 at 18:49:30
Calvin Gifford Thanks Steve and good luck!
17. January 2017 at 21:00:09
Steve Luckinbill I'm reading "the Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors" right now. Very good read.
18. January 2017 at 19:08:13
18. January 2017 at 20:22:57


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