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PLA Navy Type 051C DDG-115 Shenyang

Trumpeter 1/200 PLA Navy Type 051C DDG-115 Shenyang Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review July 2014 Manufacturer Trumpeter
Subject PLA Navy Type 051C DDG-115 Shenyang Scale 1/200
Kit Number 3619 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Large scale model of current PLAN Air Defense Destroyer Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $159.95

First Look

PLA Navy Type 051C DDG-115 Shenyang
PLA Navy Type 051C DDG-115 Shenyang
PLA Navy Type 051C DDG-115 Shenyang
PLA Navy Type 051C DDG-115 Shenyang
PLA Navy Type 051C DDG-115 Shenyang

The Type 051C is a Luzhou-class air defense destroyer based upon the Type 051B Luhai-class hull. Built in the Dalian shipyard, the Luzhou-class is a transitional design that employs the latest naval air defense system, the Rif-M (export S-300FM (SA-N-20)) Russian-produced surface-to-air missile system with a max range of almost 100 miles, max altitude of over 88,000 feet, and max speed of over Mach 6. The missile uses TVM (track via missile) technology common to the SA-10, SA-20, SA-N-6, SA-N-20, and of course the US Patriot missile system. With 48 missiles in vertical launch tubes, the Luzhou-class can provide effective air defense screen similar to US (and allied) warships armed with the RIM-67 Standard Missile.

In addition to the Rif-M, the Luzhou-class is also armed with 8 x YJ-83 anti-ship missiles, 2 x three-round torpedo tubes, 2 x 30mm CIWS, and a 100m main gun. While the Luzhou-class is effectively armed for blue-water operations, its hull is not the low-observable design applied to later warship classes nor does it have gas turbine propulsion relying instead on the older steam turbine technology. Two vessels were built in the Luzhou-class, the Shenyang DDG-115 and the Shijiazhuang DDG-116.

Here is the latest off Trumpeter's slipway, the 1/200 (read this as LARGE) Peoples Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) Type 051C guided missile destroyer kit. Take a look at the main hull image, that measures out to 30 inches on just the bare hull part. To put that into context, the recent Gallery Models 1/350 USS Intrepid bare hull measures out about 1/2 inch shorter than the 051C hull. This isn't a comment about scale, it is simply the sheer size of this model. I've seen the 1/200 scale aircraft carrier and battleship kits and I hear that same voice that speaks when I am around the 1/32 B-17 - "You're going to need a bigger house...".

The kit is molded in the usual light gray styrene and presented on seven parts trees plus four deck sections, six deck structures, one main hull, two trees molded in clear parts, and three frets of photo-etched parts. According to the specs, the kit consists of 462 styrene and 146 photo-etched parts.

One nice aspect of this subject in 1/200 scale is that the number of really small parts is not bad and while Trumpeter can represent more detail in this scale, the kit is not over-engineered. I do rate this kit for experienced modelers given the number of photo-etched details in this kit.

The kit is very straightforward in its configuration so the only real options in this kit are whether you'll use the Ka-28 Helix helicopter on the aft flight deck, whether you'll display the Ka-28 with its rotors flight-ready or stowed, and whether you'll build the kit as the Shenyang DDG-115 or the Shijiazhuang DDG-116.

What's interesting about this design is that there is no hangar on this class of destroyer. The aft structure where the hangar would be located instead houses four VLS clusters of Rif-M missiles with the Tombstone radar mounted right next to them.

This is a nice kit and will be a relatively straightforward build.

My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!