172 Mk.56 Director for Bundesmarine 3d printed Picture still generating

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172 Mk.56 Director for Bundesmarine 3d printed Picture still generating
172 Mk.56 Director for Bundesmarine 3d printed Picture still generating

Not a Photo

172 Mk.56 Director for Bundesmarine

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Product Description

Scale: 1/72

Contains parts for one (1) director.


  • three-part kit
  • scaled director mount with bolt-head and access panel clasp details
  • separate, detailed base stand to allow the modeler to choose the rotation
  • separate, detailed radar to allow the modeler to choose the elevation


The US Navy Mk.56 Director was part of a gun-fire control system (GFCS) intended to direct the fire of 3"/50 caliber dual purpose guns but was also coupled to 5"/38 mounts and 40mm Bofors mounts, from the 1950s through the Vietnam War.  It was designed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  It had an effective range of 30,000 yards and could track bombers at speeds up to 630 miles per hour.

Model Monkey 1/72 scale products for US Navy Destroyers and Destroyer Escorts:


Some part cleanup will be necessary.  During the 3D printing process, a waxy substance is used to support certain part features.  Although the parts are cleaned by Shapeways afterwards, some waxy residue may remain.  It can be safely removed with water and a mild aqueous detergent like “Dawn” dishwashing detergent, baby shampoo (no conditioner) or "Simple Green" using an old, soft toothbrush, Q-tips or pipe cleaners.  Customers report that "Bestine" and "Goo Gone" also work well.

During the printing process, liquid resin is cured by ultraviolet light.  Microscopic bits of resin may remain uncured.  Let your parts sit in direct sunlight for a few hours to fully cure the resin before painting.

Once your parts are fully cured, if desired, careful use of an inexpensive “air eraser” emitting common household baking soda can help smooth surfaces and remove any unwanted “frost”.  Similar to an airbrush but much cheaper, air erasers can be found on Amazon.com.  Models by Harbor Freight and Paasche are popular.

Water-based acrylic paints meant for plastics is strongly recommended.  Other paints, especially enamels, may not cure on Frosted Detail 3D-printed plastics.

© Model Monkey Book and Hobby.  This 3D-printed item may not be copied or recast.

From Wikipedia: "The US Navy's Mk.56 Director "...was an intermediate-range, anti-aircraft gun fire-control system. It was designed for use against high-speed subsonic aircraft. It could also be used against surface targets. It was a dual ballistic system. This means that it was capable of simultaneously producing gun orders for two different gun types (e.g.: 5"/38cal and 3"/50cal) against the same target. Its Mk 35 Radar was capable of automatic tracking in bearing, elevation, and range that was as accurate as any optical tracking."

USS New Jersey: In the 1968 upgrade to the USS New Jersey for service off Vietnam, three Mark 56 Gun Fire Control Systems were installed. Two on either side just forward of the aft stack, and one between the aft mast and the aft Mk 38 Director tower. This increased New Jersey's anti-aircraft capability, because the Mk 56 system could track and shoot at faster planes."

Aircraft Carriers: Several Essex class and Midway class carriers received this director as part of their "SCB" modernization in the 1950s and the Forrestal class carriers are thought to have had them when built.  For example, from "Warship's Data #5 USS Yorktown (CV-10): "When modernized in 1953, the YORKTOWN received four MK 56 GFCS systems to control the 3-inch/50 caliber guns....It was a dual-ballistic system capable of issuing simultaneous gun orders to two different sized batteries and, therefore, could also be used to control the 5-inch/38 caliber guns."  This director is known to have been operated by:

  • USS Essex CV-9
  • USS Yorktown CV-10
  • USS Intrepid CV-11
  • USS Hornet CV-12
  • USS Ticonderoga CV-14
  • USS Randolph CV-15
  • USS Lexington CV-16
  • USS Wasp CV-18
  • USS Hancock CV-19
  • USS Bennington CV-20
  • USS Bon Homme Richard CV-31
  • USS Kearsarge CV-33
  • USS Oriskany CV-34
  • USS Shangri La CV-38
  • USS Midway CV-41
  • USS Franklin D. Roosevelt CV-42
  • USS Coral Sea CV-43
  • USS Forestal CV-59
  • USS Saratoga CV-60
  • USS Ranger CV-61
  • USS Independence CV-62


Cruisers: Known to have been installed on USS Long Beach CGN-9, and Baltimore and Des Moines class cruisers, including USS St. Paul CA-73, USS Boston CAG-1, USS Salem CA-139, and USS Newport News CA-148, for example, carried four Mk.56 Directors, two straddling the forward superstructure and two aft. 

Destroyers: Also carried by several destroyer classes when armed with 3-inch/50 caliber guns, including Fletcher, Sumner, Gearing and Forrest Sherman classes, among others.  Fletcher class destroyer USS Abbot DD-629, for example, carried this director (see photo above) as well as German Destroyer Class 119.



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