H.M.S. Hood Today - Scale Models & Miniatures of Hood
Building the Italeri/Testors 1/720 Scale H.M.S. Hood
by Raymond Biggs
Updated 07-May-2014

This article is to help aid in the construction of Italeri/Testors 1/720 scale model. It is intended for the modeller who wants to create a simple out-of-the-box version of the model and has never built this kit before.

Chainbar divider

Italeri Hood box art
Above- Box art for the Italeri kit

This article has been split into 4 sections:
1. The Deck | 2. The Substructure | 3. The Superstructure | 4. Details


Firstly you will notice how nicely moulded and crisp the parts look, but be prepared! As this model is not as innocent to construct as it seems. Firstly I recommend the following: scissors, knife, Emory paper (fine sand paper), tweezers and patience.

Firstly after you separate the deck you will notice that the deck fits perfectly at the back (well at least on my model) badly everywhere else.
The following crude drawn diagrams might help you fix any problems in conjunction with model instructions.

Focsle modifications

This part, like the forward part of the deck requires a bit of cleanup, as the floor of the substructure does not fit flush into the hull. So I recommend deepening the groves (see diagram) to improve the fit. But be careful, too much, and you will have a gap showing, in which case putty is recommended. I also recommend giving the sides of the deck a quick rub with Emory paper as it makes the fit more sharp.

Amidships alterations

I found that the aft deck had no problems with fit and that just a quick swipe with Emory paper should do the trick.


THE 5.5' GUNS:
This was, I found, one of the more tricky part of the kit as the 5.5 inch guns, being in 1/720 scale are very tricky to do, but with care are worth the effort. Firstly I recommend doing one gun at a time. Start by removing the gun shield. Although it looks acceptable in its current state, once you position it on the model you can see how rough the shields are. To remedy this, swipe all sides lightly with Emory paper and instantly you will notice the difference. As for the gun barrels, they need a bit of work. Firstly, at the tip of the barrel cut of the very end but be careful! Because if you cut off too much you can ruin the barrel. Secondly, give the barrel not the mount a quick wipe with Emory paper. Now paint (carefully!)

I now recommend painting the deck, for the obvious reason that after this you place the "roof" on. Remember to be accurate when painting this model and there is very detailed section on painting on this website, which is a gold mine for people wishing to create an accurate model.

Now you have painted everything its time to place it on the model. Take care with this, as it can be tricky to get all the 5.5ers in line. If you've been to the gallery section of this web page you will notice that all the 5.5ers point forward. I am no exception. You will notice that all the guns point nicely forward except for the front pair, as the shield bumps into the "gun window". I simply recommend having the forward pair face out in line with the shield, its up to you, but in doing this I feel it gives it a more "Dreadnought" look. It's up to you.

Italeri Hood built by Jim Kloek
Italeri Hood built by Jim Kloek


By now the Hood's basic silhouette can be recognised. The next step to the model is to add the superstructure. I personally recommend starting from the aft (back) and working forward. This way you can finish the basic aft stations and then work on the intricate bridge structure further forward.

Basic hull and shelter deck
This diagram represents the current state of the model. Note: this is a fairly accurate rendition of the model side on.
** REMEMBER: this is to be used in conjunction with the kits instructions and not as a supplement J **

This is one of the easier sections to start on. Firstly, I recommend sanding down the flagpole to a better size (part 107c) be careful though, as too much, and it will break. Now for the Turrets. My turrets have excessive bolt marks on them and are best sanded down a bit. I also recommend just giving the barrels a quick, light swipe with Emory paper being careful not to overdo it. Then give the "T-shaped thingy" a quick sand and glue them onto the turret. Place the turrets how you see fit (I personally just have them facing straight forward).

Italeri Hood built by Jim Kloek with insert showing builders model
Hint: Buy or make a flag for the flag poles, believe me it makes a difference (see above).
Left- Builder's model of Hood; Right- Italeri Hood built by Jim Kloek

Now here comes the tricky part! Since this model is one of the more detailed models of the Hood, and also its smaller 1/720 size, placing some of the many details can be tricky. You will require time and patience if you want to complete this successfully. Firstly working our way back we come upon the AA guns. As for the 5.5ers, lightly sand the barrels and be careful to position them the right way up. I recommend painting the barrels and the mounts with 1 coat before placing them on their stands, and then giving them the proper treatment once they are in position. Repeat for both guns.

Funnel baseNext is the rear gunnery control station. Same as before, swipe, and that should be it. Now you will come upon the rear control stations. This is a bit trickier; make sure you place the stairs correctly (probably using tweezers!). Pay the same treatment to the fittings on the roof, but be careful, as they break easy!

For the moment, leave the boats, cranes, AA guns and any other surface details. Now is the best time I recommend for placing the funnel mounts (parts b59 & 65). After placing these in the correct mountings remove the funnels. This is probably the worst part of the kit, as the funnels require careful sanding if they are even to be considered. I have no real solution for this except for cutting away the grove that the funnel fits into (see diagram to the right). Now glue in the parts for the centre structure, keeping in mind the spotlights, etc.

Hopefully that has helped correct the "funnel dilemma".

By now you should have a half-completed superstructure and something that looks like a pre-Dreadnought (see diagram).

Rear armament in place

Firstly I recommend gluing parts 20c, 21c, and 22b before you glue them onto the main superstructure and then placing it onto the model.
Adding the bridge base

Next with the conning tower. Remove the fitting tabs in the tower and the tower roof as the do not fit. I recommend gluing the roof on first, before gluing on the top half of the tower.
Adding the conning tower

For the rest of the bridge and the command structure I recommend just cleaning up the "poles" and sanding the edges before gluing. Take patience on this area! (I did just one level a day!!!!!!) And don't forget to add the details.
Adding bridge pieces

Italeri Hood by Pat Roach
Italeri Hood by Pat Roach

By now you should have the basic structure pretty much completed. "But something's not right" you say. And you're right. Detailing the model will determine its final quality. Luckily, you don't need to spend oodles of money on after market items, and you can create a fine rendition of the model by simply using your brush. Sounds crazy?? Well it's not.

Side view of nearly completed kit

These are adequately moulded but need that "something extra." I recommend painting the exteriors a grey colour, and the inside a wood colour. After that has dried I recommend dry brushing the boats with a bit of mat black. Don't use too much though you only want to create the illusion that the boats are not brand sparkling new, not covered in soot!!

Boat detailing
I recommend leaving the boats off until you have detailed the deck.

***For an excellent example of dry brushing and how effective it is see Ian Beattie's 1/350 scale White Ensign Model of the Hood***

It is a good idea to be realistic around these areas. I recommend dry brushing around the top of the funnels.

Basically is the same all round: after painting, dry brush it!!! For the 5.5ers on the deck I recommend giving them the same treatment as the below deck ones. But this time dry brush the muzzle area of the gun with a tiny but of gunmetal. I also recommend making the guns look a little more warn the there below deck companions. As they were exposed to the elements a lot mote than the others. The same applies to the anti-aircraft guns. For the deck there is only 2 pieces of advice I can give. Firstly use different shades of grey- face it, who wants to look at a model that only has one type of grey. Use different colours for the deck than for the walls/bulkheads. But remember: don't go for extremes. Go for colours that are different, but don't stand out like a sore thumb. Secondly, weather! But don't go overboard (as I once did). I recommend doing turrets and the main structure the most, as they are exposed to the elements the most.

I recommend just sanding down the masts to an acceptable size and for miscellaneous items (cranes, ladders) just give a quick swipe and be careful!

*** HINT: if you can make clocks for the tower I recommend doing it as it adds a human touch!!( see Hood photos) ***

In Brief:
1. Detail the guns, as you would imagine they would have looked or how they look in photos
2. Don't go for a really bright deck colour, trust me it ruins it. I recommend Tamiya XF-57
3. Use correct colour schemes (not trying to stunt "creativity" but let's make it fairly accurate!)
4. It's the little details that count. I recommend painting ALL port holes/ports.
5. *This is a personal preference*. I recommend making the conning tower as menacing as possible e.g. painting the ports black and using weathering around the area as It makes the hood look a more menacing battle cruiser.
6. Perfection comes from patience and practice.

WEM Hood by Ian Ruscoe

WEM Hood by Ian Ruscoe

There are probably hundreds of tips I missed or areas that need attention that I never covered. BUT as this can easily be updated e-mail me at drummerguy5@hotmail.com with any tips and I will add them to the article.

So in conclusion I hope this article has helped remedy some of the errors that this kit has, of course, if you had a perfect kit it wouldn't be as nearly as enjoyable!! And feel free to contact me about updating it. I would also personally like to thank the H.M.S. Hood Association for letting me post this on this awesome site. Without their help in letting me post this, my article may never have left the scrap of paper!!!

Happy model making!!!!!!!
Raymond Biggs
August 2001