DML 1/700 HMS Dragon Type 45 Destroyer Batch 2 Kit First Look
|Date of Review||July 2012||Manufacturer||DML|
|Subject||HMS Dragon Type 45 Destroyer Batch 2||Scale||1/700|
|Kit Number||7109||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Nice looking model||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$42.50|
The Royal Navy issued a requirement for an air defence destroyer to replace the aging Type 42. This new design would incorporate a number of innovative features including a stealthy angular hull and superstructure to reduce radar cross section (RCS), an integrated mast to further reduce RCS, integration of the Sea Viper surface-to-air missile system, and powered by Rolls Royce WR-21 gas turbine engines. HMS Dragon is fourth in class as D35 of the Royal Navy and commissioned in April 2012.
I remember when a friend of mine was involved with the engineering of the Type 45's integrated mast design and how different that mast looked compared to the test mast carried by the USS Roadkill (USS Arthur W Radford DD 968). While Radford was the test ship for an integrated/enclosed mast, she was hit by a Saudi freighter on her bow right at the five inch gun mount on 4 Feb 1999. The first operational use of an enclosed mast system was on the USS San Antonio LPD 17 though that vessel has twin masts. The single mast on the Type 45 give it the appearance of the HMS Conehead (from France).
DML has released another installment in the Daring class with this HMS Dragon kit. HMS Dragon is a 'Batch 2' Type 45 destroyer, though the most notable difference between this kit and the original HMS Daring release is the inclusion of an all-new-tool Merlin helicopter for the flight deck.
Molded in light gray styrene, this kit is presented on seven parts trees plus two frets of photo-etched parts. The kit can be build full-hull with stand or as a waterline display model.
Construction starts out with assembly of the bridge, integrated mast and funnel subassembly. This is mounted to the main superstructure which is in turn mounted to the main deck. The hangar/shelter is assembled and mounted aft of the main superstructure. The vertical launch system and main gun are next along with the Merlin helicopter. The kit provides the option for displaying the boarding ladder in the extended or stowed positions. The completed model is mounted to the hull in either the full hull on stand or waterline configurations.
Markings are provided for the ship as she appeared at her launching and in sea trials with the distinctive dragon art on either side of the bow.
This is still a nice looking kit of the Type 45 and the inclusion of the Merlin in this release provides the contemporary aircraft compliment for this new class in the Royal Navy. Nice job DML!
My sincere thanks to Dragon Models USA for this review sample!