Trumpeter 1/350 HMS Hood Kit First Look
|Date of Review||April 2006||Manufacturer||Trumpeter|
|Kit Number||5302||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Nice Details, Easy Build, Choice of Full Hull or Waterline||Cons|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$149.95|
The HMS Hood was to be the first of four new-generation battlecruisers designed around the first world war. During the construction of the Hood, designers recognized a vulnerability in the design and the remaining three members of the class were cancelled. Launched in 1918, the HMS Hood commenced sea trials in 1920.
During the quiet between the wars, HMS Hood would depart UK waters for a deployment that would visit allies and patrol lines of communication of interest to the Royal Navy. It was in the middle of one of these cruises in 1939 when HMS Hood was brought back from Scapa Flow to rendezvous with HMS Renown and HMS Repulse and patrol the waters between Iceland and Faeroes and block Kriegsmarine attempts to enter the Atlantic.
In July 1940, HMS Hood was part of Force H, a battle group that did what the Royal Navy had dreamed of doing a few hundred years earlier - sailed within gun range of key French ports and destroyed the French Navy at anchor.
In May 1941, HMS Hood was part of that fateful engagement to hunt down the German cruiser Prinz Eugen and the battleship Bismarck. On the 23rd, HMS Suffolk spotted the two German vessels running through the Denmark Strait. On the following day, HMS Hood, along with the HMS Prince of Wales and an array of destroyers, engaged the two German ships. At 0600, Hood was sunk following a catastrophic explosion caused by a penetrating hit from Bismarck. Of the 1,418 officers and men aboard, only three survived the sudden devastating explosion.
Trumpeter has rendered another first - the first 1/350 styrene kit of HMS Hood. As I understand it, Trumpeter took its time to develop this kit as it sought out experts to help accurize the molds before it was released. If you look back on the older release schedules, Hood was never there. Only when everyone was happy with quality of the molds was news of a release date made public.
As with the other kits in Trumpeter's 1/350 scale lineup, this kit is molded in light gray styrene, with the exception of the lower hull or waterline plate, both of which are molded in red. The kit is comprised of 533 parts on eight parts trees, plus four sections of deck and the main hull. A small set of photo-etch is also included to render some of the finer details.
Detailing of the kit is nicely done, and assembly of the superstructure is laid out in such a way to make painting a little easier as well. There are lots of tiny parts with all of the vents, ladders, platforms, etc., that made up this ship. I wouldn't be surprised to see someone like White Ensign Models release photo-etch to replace the ladders and provide the railings and antennas that would also set this project up to the next level of beauty.
As with every kit in this series, Trumpeter provides you with your choice of full-hull or waterline lower hull. If you opt for the full-hull option, a display stand is included as are the necessary rudder and propulsion parts for under the stern. A display placard with the ship's identity is also included.
Construction appears to be straightforward, though there are loads of tiny parts that must be carefully assembled and painted before moving on. The instructions are well done for this project as they break the job down to manageable steps.
Trumpeter renders the main guns, anti-aircraft guns, and propellers in styrene, but also offers a set of "Hood Parts" that provide these same details in white metal. These optional parts are part of a separate detail kit, sold separately.
If you're a World War II Royal Navy modeler, this will look great with Tamiya's 1/350 King George V and Prince of Wales.
My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!