H.M.S. Hood Today - Scale Models & Miniatures of Hood
Review of Navwar and Skytrex's 1/3000 Scale H.M.S. Hoods
by Ingo Hohm
Updated 07-May-2014

Special thanks to our miniature specialist and friend the late Ingo Hohm of Hamburg, Deutschland for the following review.
Please check with the manufacturers or a local/online hobby retailer of your choice for latest prices and availability.

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Navwar and Skytrex 1/3000 scale wargaming Hoods
Above (L-R): N1152 (Navwar, 1920), N1152a (Navwar, 1941), N1152b (Navwar,
hypothetical rebuild) D1152 (Skytrex, 1920) and D1152a (Skytrex, as sunk)

NAVWAR
The Navwar 1/3000 ships are intended for wargaming and for that purpose they are well suited. An expensive, delicately detailed model is not exactly what you want for shuffling around the tabletop...for wargaming you need inexpensive and sturdy items.

The Hood from Navwar is inexpensive (in UK you can get it for £1.50, US importers offer it for $4) and as solid, one piece casting it is sturdy too. Navwar N1152a shows the Hood in her final 1941 configuration (also available: N1152 in 1920's configuration and N1152b as the planned rebuild would have changed her).

As she is cast in one piece no assembly is required - only painting is necessary. The small scale and the one piece casting require some abstraction in the details: the tripod masts are solid triangular pyramids and the main gun barrels are indicated on a solid mass of metal. I will not discuss whether the absence of bulges or the 1920's look of the bridge are due to necessary simplification or avoidable error.

Navwar 1152a-  Hood as sunk in 1941Navwar 1152a (right): The main flaw is with the main guns. The shape of the turrets is well done, but due to the single piece casting the barrels are indicated by some block of metal in front of the turrets that is divided in two parts. That gives the impression of a two barrelled turret, but could not compare to the turrets cast as separate parts I am used to from 1/1200 scale. The advantage of these symbolic barrels is that you never get the problem of a bend or broken turret (as you sometimes get with the delicate Neptun barrels in 1/1250). But certainly a "really to scale" barrel is impossible in 1/3000 and if your barrels would be too thick no matter what you do, this solution is the simplest and most sturdy. The heavy AAA and the pom pom's are also present, here the simplification forced by casting is less prominent, even the boats are there. I have not found all the UP projectors, but these are really tiny. The overall shape of the superstructure is well done and all prominent structures are present - with no doubt this piece of metal is easily recognised as a 1941 Hood.

Navwar 1152- Hood as completed in 1920Navwar 1152b-  Hypothetical appearance of Hood after proposed 1942 refitNavwar 1152 (left) shows the Hood as completed. There is nothing special to say about this one, the remarks about the 1941 version apply also to this one.

An interesting item is Navwar 1152b(right): It was planned for Hood to be thoroughly rebuilt after the completion of Queen Elizabeth's overhaul - the outbreak of the war prevented it. From the rebuilds/refits that were done to other British battleships one could guess what a rebuilt Hood would have looked like. If you look at the Navwar model from the side it represents what is shown in a sketch in S. Breyer's book about battleships (I guess this drawing was basis for the model), but the overall impression of the model is somewhat strange.

From the massive new bridges on other rebuilt British battleships I would have expected a massive, broad and high bridge, which would have made the Hood to something roughly like the H.M.S. Valiant. But on the Navwar "would be" model the bridge that is only higher than the 1919 version, but not broader and thus looking as tiny as in the other versions, giving an impression contrary to what I expected. I severely doubt that this could be called correct.


SKYTREX
Skytrex also offers a range of 1/3000 models. Their line is quite similar to the Navwar range, even the numbers identical. So I assumed that one of these companies was only selling the models of the other. But that is not true...both are producing their own range of models with an intentionally interchangeable numbering system as Phil of Spiritgames told me: "A little bit of history here. Around 1966 the Naval Wargames Society was formed, with battles fought using 1:1200 ships. Most white metal models came from Germany; with the devaluation of the Pound in 1967 they became quite a bit more expensive, and two club members started producing 1:3000 models. So Navwar and Skytrex/Davco were born; they produced similar ranges, and used the same code numbers so that they could use each others ships if any of their own were out of production for any reason. In most cases the ships are nearly identical, but sometimes there are clear differences."

The Hood belongs to the "clearly different" class. The Skytrex Hood is significantly broader and the proportions seems to be better. The general remarks about the Navwar Hood also apply to the one from Skytrex: just as the Navwar ones they are a single, solid peace of metal - sold in small plastic bag with a small piece of paper with the main technical data. Before unwrapping the only recognizable difference is the other name ("Davco" instead of "Navwar") and the colour of the label. The Skytrex model is nearly (£1.10) as cheap as the ones from Navwar and similar sturdy.

A side by side comparison reveals the differences: The models from Skytrex are considerably broader and shorter than the Navwar ones. The proportions of bridge and other superstructures seem to be better. Probably the impression of somewhat wrong proportions I strongly had on the 1944 "would be" Navwar 1152b was because it is sincerely too "slim."

Skytrex D1152-  Hood as sunk in 1941The Skytrex models show some indication of the side armour, which is completely missing at the Navwar ones. The main guns on Skytrex have better proportions and less clumsy barrels, but the range finders clearly visible on Navwar's models are totally omitted.

The secondary guns on the 1920's D1152 (left) from Skytrex are well made and good recognizable single-barrelled mounts, whereas the Navwar N1152 has something not clearly identifiable where the guns are expected.

 

Skytrex D1152a- Hood as completed in 1920

The heavy AA guns on the Skytrex's D1152a (right) are clearly twin mounts, whereas on Navwar's N1152a, it is hard to tell whether there are one or two barrels.

The masts on the Skytrex-models are considerable rougher than those on the Navwar-ships. The platforms on top of the mast are considerably too small at Skytrex. Navwar's platforms might be a touch too large, but their masts look much better.

The real surprise came when I went to measure the models. Not surprisingly the Navwar ones are too narrow and Skytrex's are a bit too broad. But it really surprised me to find out that both manufacturers have their ships made too short. The Skytrex ones are so near to the length pp. that I am tempted to assume that the creator erroneously took the wrong figures as basis for the creation of the model. But also the Navwar ships are shorter as even the length cwl would say.

Comparison of as built (1920) Hoods):  Top- Navwar 1152;   Bottom- Skytrex D1152aAccording to the figures in the German edition of Raven/Roberts the Hood was 31.77m broad, so a correct model should be about 10.6mm, both Skytrex are about 11.4mm and Navwar ranges from an acceptable 10mm for N1152 over 9.4mm for N1152a to 9.3mm for N1152b, which is about 3 Meters too small if calculated back to original size.

The length of the Hood was 262.48m oa. (87.5mm). The "over all" figure is the one most important to the model (and most easily measured). For Comparison here are the other figures too: 259.43 cwl. (86.5mm) and 247.18 pp. (82.3). Skytrex's models are severely too short, with 82.2mm (D1152) and 82.1mm (D1152a) they are very close to the "perpendicular" figures of the original. The Navwar ships are longer, although 85.6mm (N1152), 83.9mm (N1152a) and 84.4mm (N1152b) is still too short. There would be 6 (N1152) to 15 (D1152a) meters missing in original size.

 

SUMMARY
For the intended purpose these models are recommendable and well suited. Skytrex is a little bit better detailed but also a bit more expensive, but for usage in Wargaming these small difference don't really matter. If you want a well detailed model you are forced to go to larger scales. The 1/2400 (considerably bigger and significantly more expensive) ships are a better detailed alternative, but for real details nothing smaller than 1/1200 will do - at least for commercially available models.