U.S.S. Slater Refurbish

before view
WWII Destroyer Escort model before refurbishing

Created: December 23, 2010

In May of 2010, my buddy Tom Sosenko, asked me to refurbish a scratch-built 1/96 scale model of a WWII Cannon class Destroyer Escort, (see photo above). Tom had bought it from a fellow local "Radio-Control Boat Club" member, Bill Weis. Weis originally built it, and then sold it to Tom before he passed-away. Tom wanted me to add "some color" to it since almost everything was a monotone gray. Also some of the items like depth charge launchers and machine gun nests supports, etc. were broken or missing.

Since Tom and I like models to be as accurate as possible, we decided to try to make it as close as possible to an actual ship. Since we couldn't find any WW II Destroyer Escort with the number 789, we chose to model it after the USS Slater, which actually still exists, and is docked in nearby Albany, NY. Here is a link to the web site showing the Slater as it currently exists: Destroyer Escort USS Slater, docked in Albany, NY

The Slater underwent many modifications from it's WWII days, so we used a black and white photo I found of its maiden voyage of February 1944. To help with colors and items like the floater nets, I used photos of the current Slater, from the Albany-based web site.

Below is a photo of the completed refurbishing:

Refurbish list:

  1. I essentially repainted everything with new primer-gray paint which Tom liked better since it was lighter than, and not as dark as, the previous gray paint. The life rafts were painted with an acrylic gray that gave them a rubbery look. The depth charges were also painted a darker gray.
  2. The decals were replaced with more accurate scale ones (to approximate 2ft high numbers), and as just a solid white. Decals spelling SLATER were also added to the rear of the boat (see last photo below).
  3. The water-line was slightly adjusted, and the area below it was painted all black.
  4. The stanchion cables around the deck were replaced. The original ones were a metal thread that was kinked in many places. I used a nylon thread instead, and painted it silver. Apparently the metal thread was too difficult to thread through the stanchions on the superstructure, so there were no cables through those. I completed those with the nylon thread as around the deck. The big addition here was that I used a 1/8" nylon mesh to create the netting attached to the stanchions around the deck. I painted them tan to look like the rope the real netting would be made from, (see photo below of the Bow).
  5. I added a "wooden" nameplate to the top of the netting on the port side of the Bow, (see photo below of the Bow).
  6. The model was built with SOLID Floater Nets that more resembled water troughs. Floater nets are used to stow mooring ropes, etc., so they are more of an "open-weave". So I made new ones from scratch using the same 1/8" nylon mesh I did for the stanchion netting, and attached them to the rear and front of the superstructure. One of the floater nets can be seen in the photo below of the Bow; another one can be seen in the (bottom) photo of the Aft area.
  7. I made new life rings and new fire-hoses from Epoxy Putty, and painted them accordingly.
  8. Tom made new battery-powered spotlights and running lights for each side, (see photo below of the Bow to see the port side ones).
  9. The barrels of the machine guns, and certain areas of the Bofors guns were painted black. Also barrel holders were made from styrene rods and placed in front of each machine gun. Also the hedge hogs under the bridge were painted black.
  10. Acetylene and oxygen tanks were painted orange and green.
  11. The American flag was replaced with a new more accurately scaled one.

Close-up of Bow area (port side)

Close-up of mid-ship area (port side)

Aft View