H.M.S. Hood Today - Scale Models & Miniatures of Hood
Review of the Italeri/Testors 1/720 Scale H.M.S. Hood
by Frank Allen
Updated 07-May-2014

This is a basic review of the excellent and versatile Italeri/Testors 1/720 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
This is a mostly accurate representation of Hood circa 1933 - just after her aircraft and catapults were removed. This was the time that Hood was at her best and at her most beautiful. Even in the odd scale of 1/720, this kit builds into a perfect size (@14-15").

Moulding & Detail
This kit is extremely nice - superior in some ways to the Tamiya 1/700 offering. In detail and accuracy it is almost equal to the Trumpeter/Pit Road 1/700 offering. The mouldings are quite crisp (although a tad thick) with a only a few notable/serious sink holes and/or ejector marks. It does have its fair share of seam lines on certain components however. Additionally, the locations of the aforementioned sinkholes can give modelers a bit of a problem. Although definitely trickier to assemble than the Tamiya kit, if built with care, the final model can be made extremely accurate.

Rather than try to describe the entire model within this one paragraph, I'm going to assess each major area one at a time:

Italeris Hood Box Contents
Contents of the kit.  Hull shown already glued together.

Hull
Correct in overall shape, taper and shear. A nice feature of this kit is that it can be built either waterline or full hull. This feature is a definite plus as it's meant to please all ship modelers. The hull detail is superb...Italeri included the armour belts, torpedo bulges and all scuttles. Everything appears to be the correct shape and size.

The only problems noted aside from a few small sink holes (nothing serious), was the hull's finish (slightly textured) and the fact that (if built full hull) the lower and upper hull halves do not fit well...there is a bit of a gap at the bow. With the exception of the textured finish (which is hardly noticeable), all problems are easily correctable.

Deck
Extremely tricky though nicely moulded. This kit has numerous deck "layers" which need to be carefully applied. Follow the instructions plus perform some dry-fitting and sanding before gluing, and everything should go well. Pay particular attention to the deck edges abreast of "B" turret...the deck seems a bit wide in this area and tends to fit poorly. Most of the hatches and ventilators are positioned correctly. As with all kits in this scale range, the deck planking is a bit overdone.

Guns
All guns, from the "pom poms" to the 15" mains, are very nicely done indeed. Even so, some are still best replaced by after market parts. The main barrels are best replaced by brass tubing and the pom poms by White Ensign Models' "700 Professional" series or photoetch. There will be a very slight size discrepancy, but one that is acceptable to most modelers.

Superstructure
Quite accurate in general shape and layout. Very detailed...especially when compared to the rather spartan Tamiya Hood. A key plus are the through deck ladder passageways which Italeri incorporated. One problem noted here were that the splinter/weather shields and superstructure side walls are a tad thick...they really could've been much thinner. Tamiya managed to make these items very thin, so why didn't Italeri? A second and more serious problem is regarding the general fit of the conning tower. The pieces are not easy to arrange properly/in a flush manner. This could require some very careful gluing and sanding to remedy. There are similar issues with the Trumpeter/Pit Road kit, but these are more easily remedied.

Masts/Other
Adequately moulded...could have been more delicate though. Trumpeter/Pit Road and Tamiya's masts were superior. At any rate, these are best replaced with brass rod stock and photoetch yardarms. Boats and fire control directors are quite well done. The Italeri fire control directors are far superior to the Tamiya variants, but not equal to the Trumpeter/Pit Road examples.

Pat Roachs Italeri Hood   Pat Roachs Italeri Hood  Pat Roachs Italeri Hood
Above- Pat Roach's wonderfully detailed Italeri kit. Click to enlarge.

Summary
Despite the fact that it is tricky to build and is not quite as crisply moulded as the Tamiya kit, the Italeri kit is still probably the better of the two by virtue of its extreme detail. It also lends itself to modification far more readily than the Tamiya kit- meaning that it is easier to modify this kit to earlier and later versions of Hood. You're not stuck with 1939-1941 only. It is fairly comparable to the Trumpter/Pit Road 1/700 Hood, but the newer kit has a slight edge in terms of accuracy. Despite this, the Testors/Italeri kit remains one of the better small scale plastic kit of Hood currently available. It is also one of the more affordable Hood kits as well. Highly recommended.


Alternative Reviews/Additional Resources
Building the Italeri/Testors 1/720 Scale H.M.S. Hood by Raymond Biggs


After Market Accessories
Eduard
1/700 H.M.S. Hood photo etch set -
Superb! An excellent addition which features numerouse features (most notably ready-use locker doors and UP "tube ends").

Gold Medal Models
1/700 WW2 British Warship photoetch set- Absolutely marvellous assortment of detailed photoetch parts for various 1/700 scale Royal Navy capital ships, to include Hood. Includes railing, radar, yardarms, crane/derrick rigging, funnel cap grilles, boat rigging and oars, ladders and more.

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 720 1/700 Scale): 2 x 8-Barreled Pom-Poms, 2 x 4-Barrelled Pom-Poms, 3 x 0.5" machine guns...multi-part designs in relief-etched 3 thou brass.
1/700 H.M.S. Hood (WEM PE 722 1/700 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, Lifebuoy 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 "700 Professional" Plastic 8 barreled 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.