H.M.S. Hood Today - Scale Models & Miniatures of Hood
In-box Review of Airfix's 1/1200 Scale Hood
by Steve Richards
Updated 07-May-2014

Special thanks to Steve Richards of Adelaide, Australia for writing the following review for this kit. At this point in time, the kit is not in production. Fortunately, many kits can still be found in the hands of some collectors, but the quality and price of said kits varies greatly. To obtain one of these kits, we suggest checking with used model dealers or online auction sites.

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Airfix 1/1200 Scale Hood Box
Box art for the Airfix 1/1200 Scale Waterline Hood
In the early 1970's Airfix introduced a range of clip-together 1/1200 scale waterline warship kits. These models were essentially aimed at the modeller who could, according to the blurb on the box. "Collect these Airfix 'Waterline' models and re-enact on any flat surface famous sea action battles."

I don't know how popular these kits were, but fortunately one can still pick them up at a reasonable price. Other models in the range included Bismarck, Suffolk, Ark Royal, Tribal class destroyer, Prinz Eugen and a German Narvik class destroyer. (I think I'm right about these!!)

I obtained an H.M.S. Hood from White Ensign Models. The kit was despatched promptly, packaged very securely and was in excellent condition. (For some strange reason the box contained extra bits and pieces from another Hood kit, (including one half of a hull)!

The box illustration is quite nice with a starboard side profile of the Hood upon a sea of light blue with the words "Naval History Series" emblazoned upon it. The side panels of the box indicate that the kit was made in 1973 and that the Bismarck is also available. (I suspect that these were the first ones produced.)

On opening the box one is presented with a 4 page instruction sheet which includes a 3-language history of the Hood, 7 assembly diagrams and a painting guide.

The parts of the kit are moulded in the familiar grey plastic and are contained on 2 sprues along with a full upper hull and accompanying full length forecastle and quarter deck. The immediate impression is of how nicely detailed all the parts are. The mouldings are quite delicate with only minor flash and one or 2 sink holes in the main turrets.

Airfix 1200 scale Hood model, by Ingo HohmThe hull is slightly bowed with the result that when placed on a flat surface there is a noticeable gap between the middle of the hull and the surface upon which it is sitting. I would suggest correcting this via a reasonably heavy weight, or by mounting the model on a flat base.

The deck has raised plank detail which is not overstated and when painted would look quite to scale. All boats, guns, masts, yardarms etc. are proportionally correct and well detailed. This kit reminds me of a miniature version of its 1/600 bigger brother!

As the kit is designed for clipping together, careful attention to the design of the fitting of the parts has ensured that they do go together well without gaps etc. The instruction sheet suggests that in order to make the model "more stable" the parts could be glued together.

The only curious thing is the fact that the kit is meant to represent Hood as she was in 1941. The correct deck layout, armament etc. is provided, but the foremast includes a torpedo lookout platform and a searchlight platform, both of which were removed prior to 1941. (To ensure accuracy one would need to remove these.) I have an Airfix catalogue from 1974 that has a photograph of this model without these platforms. (Can anyone explain that?) Alternatively, one could modify the kit to reflect the Hood earlier in her career. Editors Note: The Shelter Deck of this model is not accurate...it looks more like a straight line rather than a notched/angular structure as it really was. This can be corrected however, through cutting and sanding.

Overall this is a terrific little model for those who are short on space, or do not want to fork out huge amounts of dosh to purchase the 1/1250 pre-assembled metal versions, or do not want to scratch build one.

There is of course, plenty of scope to refine and add extra detail but for those who want a nice little model for desk top display purposes, this is a beauty. I wouldn't suggest pushing it around to simulate a battle, it is much too delicate! If you find one, snap it up!

Steve Richards - December, 1998