Scale Ė approximately 1/180
Length Ė 127 studs
Beam Ė 12 studs
Building Lego ships
Thereís a reason why we do the things we do. I love things associated with the sea and building ships would seem a natural choice for me. I served for a couple of years in the Republic of Singapore Navy, during which I had the opportunity to exercise with navies of different countries. We operated small fast attack craft back then and I always looked forward to seeing the big carriers with their escorts when they came to visit. I remember the nuclear powered cruisers and Spruance class destroyers well. So, building warships is a logical choice for me especially the ones I have seen up close.
The four ships of the Kidd Class share the basic hull and superstructure design of the classic Spruance Class destroyers, the difference being the addition of a large structure below the aft mast between the funnels. Some variation does exist between the four ships, but they are for the most part easily recognisable.
The four ships of the Kidd Class were designed for operation in dry arid regions. They are basically updated Spruance Class destroyers with greater displacement with superior air defence capabilities. Commissioned into the United States Navy during the 1980s they have seen active service in the Persian Gulf and Mediterranean Sea. Despite their combat capabilities all four ships were decommissioned in the late 90s. The ships have now been sold to the Republic of China and are presently commissioned or being commissioned by the ROCN.
Built entirely of Lego, my full hull model of a Kidd Class DDG is made approximately to the same scale as that of my earlier Ticonderoga Class Cruiser. This makes the model only slightly shorter. Again, reference sources came from photos and line drawings of the actual ships. There are also some fine models of this class to be found and these provided an excellent source for those small details and features not clearly seen in photos. As with any warship, the ships of this class have undergone various modifications and paint schemes throughout their service. I have tried to model my ship, whenever possible, with details that are common to all four ships. The completed model depicts the ship in the late all grey paint scheme.
As with my earlier Ticonderoga, the challenge was trying to get the scale, various features and little details right. While the Kidd class has cleaner and less cluttered lines it did not necessarily translate into a less complex model. On the contrary, I think the model proved to be a little more difficult to build, as I wanted to feature a little more detail.
Here are some of the improvements made over my last model:
-Hull design has been modified slightly
-The hanger has interior detailing
-The superstructure probably features a little more detail
-Both Mk 45 5inch guns have been redesigned.
The MK 26 standard missile launchers proved difficult to model in this small scale. Even during the planning stages, I knew they would pose a problem in terms of scale. I really intended to use a couple of 6 x 1 curved/sloped pieces for the launcher arms but they are so hard to come by in light grey. Finally, I decided to modify four 6 x 1 tile/finishing pieces for the launcher arms. I was a little apprehensive at first but the finished assembly does show off the launchers to good affect and I was even able to model the missiles. There are other modified parts about the ship but none as prominent as the launchers.
I guess modellers in this relatively small scale are always caught in a dilemma, whether to use pieces that donít look right or taking to modifying parts. While modification of parts is an option, the challenge is still building my creation with the parts that are available.
So, there you have it, my model of the Kidd class destroyer. I would say the model is mostly complete and I canít see myself making any major changes, except for some minor tweaking. In all, the model took about 4 months to build with a fair amount of time going into research.
So, where do I go from here? Iíve already completed the two classes of warships I know best. My only regret is that the Kidd class as too many similarities with my earlier MOC. Guess itís time to try something new, something with a different hull design and maybe from a different era altogether? Well, since Iíve not decided yet, Iíll probably go back to my Ticonderoga to see what improvements I can make before starting my next project. Hope to see you soon.
Another great ship! You have succeeded again Mark! I like the very realistic look of your models, and the excellent detail level. Interesting to read your comment of the model. A few questions: 1. Any reason for choosing this scale? 2. Have you found any good drawings you can recommend? Is the mix of new and old light grey intentional? Do you have more photos explaining the construction in more detail?
I look forward to your next model. Mattias