H.M.S. Hood Today - Scale Models & Miniatures of Hood
In-box Review of Airfix's 1/600 Scale Hood
by Frank Allen
Updated 30-Nov-2008

This is a basic review of the venerable Airfix 1/600 scale injection moulded plastic kit of Hood.
Please check with a local or online hobby retailer of your choice for latest prices and availability.

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Kit Background
Box contents of Airfix 1/600 scale kit This is the oldest injection-moulded plastic model of Hood. Since its release in 1960, it has been periodically reissued a number of times. The kit contains 131 pieces (see the photo to the right) and is a full-hull representation of Hood as she appeared in the mid 1930s. Being 1/600 scale, it builds into a fairly large model of 17"/430mm in length.

Moulding & Detail
The kit is of poor quality when compared to newer kits such as the Tamiya 1/700 scale, Testors/Italeri 1/720 scale plus Trumpeter/Pit Road 1/700 and 1/350 scale kits. It suffers from a lack of detail and from large, bulky features. As for the quality of he moulding, it is generally crisp, with a small amount of flash. No sink holes were noted, but a few ejector marks were present.

Hull
Correct in overall shape, taper and shear, with the exception of the torpedo bulges. These are present, but do not correctly conform to the true shape of the ship's bulges. The hull also lacks an armour belt. Another odd feature are the open torpedo mantlets. Fortunately, most of these problems can be fixed with a combination of plastic strip stock, putty and a good deal of sanding.

Decking
The deck planking is far too wide for the scale. The deck machinery and features (ventilators, capstans, winches, hatches) are all moulded into the deck and are somewhat bulky for the scale. On the other hand, some items which were prominent on the real ship are not-so-prominent here. One such example is the forward break water. Another deck planking problem is the forward Shelter Deck- on this model, there are planks. On the real ship, however, this area was painted metal.

Guns

Main Guns- The main gun barrels are nicely molded but a bit too flat in appearance. The director "wings" need a good deal of work to make them accurate.

Secondary Guns- Most of the secondary armament is well moulded, but as with the rest of this kit, are somewhat bulky or thick. These may be replaced with White Ensign Models' "600 Professional" (or photoetch equivalents).

Completed Airfix 1/600 Hood by Jon Iverson
A completed Airfix 1/600 kit. Photo courtesy of Jon Iverson.

Superstructure
Mostly accurate in general shape and layout. It does suffer, however, from an extreme lack of detail. As with the rest of the kit, the parts tend to be a bit bulky/thick. There are a few notable errors: Both funnels are completely missing their base structures. They have venting around them, but are missing the small rectangular structures that the funnels passed through.

Another problem area are the batteries situated on each side of the ship. These areas are completely lacking in detail and accuracy. Instead of a planked deck with undulating/curved walls, each side is moulded with smooth decks and straight walls. This can be corrected, but it will take a lot of work.

Masts
Very thick and bulky. The starfish platforms are poorly done. These can be replaced with ultra-detailed photo-etch starfish by White Ensign Models. Be advised that the front starfish platform in said photoetch set is not quite correct (but it's still better than the starfish from the kit).

Other
Boats are accurate in basic shape. They could be a bit more detailed though. The same applies to the various rangefinders and sighting devices. These are mostly correct, but all are somewhat lacking in detail.

Painting Instructions
One major problem to note here are the kit's painting instructions. All known releases to date have very inaccurate instructions- particularly in reference to the bridge area. Hood never had green bridge decks. If you are building an older release of this kit, please sure to throw the painting instructions away and use our detailed Hood painting instructions instead.

Summary
A good kit for its day (1960), but it looks its age. It's certainly not in the calibre of the aforementioned Trumpeter/Pit Road, Testors/Italeri and Tamiya kits. If you want something more accurate, albeit a bit smaller, we would recommend those kits. Despite it's deficiencies, the Airfix kit can still be built-up into a good representation of Hood with some aftermarket parts and a good deal of scratch building. This kit can be found in many stores, or ordered from any of several online model retailers. A new release of the kit is anticipated for 2009- and yes, we did provide Airfix with correct painting instructions! We only hope they use them.

1st edition Airfix 1/600 Hood box
1st Edition Airfix Hood box.
Photo courtesy of Tony Flashman

2nd edition Airfix 1/600 Hood box
2nd Edition Airfix Hood box.
Photo courtesy of Ted Johnston

Current edition Airfix 1/600 Hood box
Current Edition Airfix Hood box

 

 

 

 


After Market Accessories

Snyder and Short Enterprises
Royal Navy Paint Chip Set 1: A superb set of paint chips which will cover the colours worn by Hood (as well as most other Royal Navy vessels) during her career.

White Ensign Models
WW2 Royal Navy Anti-aircraft Weapons (WEM PE 613 1/600 Scale):
Includes 2 x 8-Barreled Pom-Poms, 2 x 4-Barrelled Pom-Poms, 3 x 0.5" machine guns.

1/600 H.M.S. Hood for Airfix Kit (WEM PE 616 1/600 Scale): Big sprue. 8 inches x 3.8 inches. Includes: Guard Rails, 0.5" Quad machine guns, 8 barrelled Pom-Poms, Spotting Top starfish assembly, Anchors, Life buoy Racks, Mainmast rigging, Jack and Ensign Staffs, Main boat boom tackle, various davits, Semaphores, Various ladders, 284 and gunnery radar, Main director arm stays, Stern boarding pole, Searchlight lens cruciforms, Type 279 radar assembly, Spotting top yardarms, Funnel Cap grilles, Foredeck ladders, Wireless House Aerial Spreaders, Mainmast Starfish Assembly, Funnel Housing Vent grilles, Spotting top Station lights and Aerial Spreader, Degaussing Cables, Anchor Cables, Boarding Ladders, Vertical and Inclined Ladders doors hatches and more!

White Ensign "600 Professional" plastic 8 barrelled pom-poms and UP launchers.

White Ensign Models Colourcoats- Exact paint matches for Hood's known paint schemes (first see our Paint Schemes article to determine which paints you will need though.

If you know of a quality after market accessory that we have overlooked, please contact us.