Orange Hobby 1/700
HMS Ocean

Reviewed by Sean Hert

HMS Ocean is an amphibious assault ship in the Royal Navy. Launched 1995, she entered service in 1998, and is the single member of her class. Displacing around 23,000 tons, this ship was intended to serve as both an amphibious assault ship and/or helicopter carrier, and comes equipped with a large deck mounted crane, a stern ramp, and 4 Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel (LCVP) mounted on external davits (two on each side). HMS Ocean also deploys with a Mexeflote diesel-powered landing raft.

HMS Ocean comes nicely packaged in a sturdy brown cardboard box, with the parts bagged and the hull tightly wrapped in bubble wrap. However, this did not prevent some delicate parts from being broken during shipping.


This waterline hull is resin cast in one large piece, with the flight deck in place as part of the assembly. The bottom of the hull has Orange Hobby's distinctive large casting stubs. The are various hull openings- primarily where the LCVP's are stowed- are well done. Both the stern and starboard loading ramps are molded in such a way to allow them to be displayed closed or deployed.

The hull is hollow cast, but this class does not feature a well deck. The flight deck appears to be at least 5mm thick, so any attempt to model the flight deck elevators would be problematic.

The flight deck is perferated with regular tie downs, which appear appropriately sized for this scale. The elevator are deliniated with a raised outline, presumably to aid in decal placement; some modelers will want to remove this to enhance fidelity of scale.

The island is provided as a single part to be attached to the flight deck. The instructions do not show an assembly sequence for the island, but there is a rebated area on the flight deck, positively indicating the placement location. It has good details of hatches and openings, but sadly a delicate extension from the bridge was snapped off on this sample. The part also has the extended resin pour stubs, as seen on the hull.


There are 14 sprues of resin parts for Ocean. These sprues comprise the bulk of the parts in this kit, spanning a wide array of items. These items are mostly well cast and highly detailed, with the most delicate parts molded with supporting protective structures in place, like the eight davits for the LCVP's, and the life raft cannisters.

The deck crane, a more common occurance with modern assault ships, is very nicely detailed, and will prove to be a focal point of the model.

The mexeflote raft is available with both a deployed and folded option, allowing either a diorama-style display, or safely stowed on deck. The Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel (LCVP) Mk5's are neat little models by themselves; it will be a shame to conceal them all stowed in their davits.

Some other delicate parts did break free from the casting block sprues- the LCVP ramps, for example, but these parts were readily found in the bag.


The kit has two types of aircraft for HMS Ocean: Apache AH1 attack helicopters, and AW101 Merlin HM1s. The Apache AH1 is a licensed version built by Agusta Westland of the Boeing AH-64D Longbow Apache of the US Army. The Merlin HM1 is a medium helicopter which has had a long development cycle, but has providing good service in the Royal Navy. HMS Ocean has also been known to equip with Lynx, Sea King (Commando) and Chinook helicopters.

There are two of each Apache AH1 and Merlin HM1 helos included. The Merlins have the side landing gear sponsons are separate resin parts, cast on the sprue with each fuselage, which will need to be attached to complete the assembly. The Apache's have a metal Longbow radome which needs to be attached as well. Each of the helos have great shapes and look correct, but have some residual artifacts from the rapid prototyping process that may require fill and sand.

Merlin HM1

There are 5 turned metal satcomm/sensor domes, a sensor mast, and two Longbow radar domes for installation atop the two WAH-64 Apaches. The Longbow domes will require some sanding to remove leftover metal from the turning process. This stub is opposite the mounting hole, drilled on the other side of the dome.


There are seven frets of photoetch included with HMS Ocean; six of brass and one of stainless steel. They are:

  • Apache AH1 (WAH-64D) x2
  • Merlin HM1 (EH-101)x2
  • Fret B
  • Fret C
  • Fret D
Fret B

This fret of stainless steel etch is mostly pre-shapeed railings, with deck-edge saftey netting, mast supports and antennas.

Fret C

This fret of brass etch has the various fittings and details you expect to find in a detail set, like postionable watertight doors. Additionally, there are details for the loading ramps as well as landing craft details for both the LCVP and mexeflote.

Fret D

Fret D appears to be the many trumpet-shaped spotlights for placement around the island. These come in 2 shapes, a long and short "horn" section, which the modeler must choose.


The decal set has a long sheet of dry-transfers of flight deck markings, flags, warning circles, etc, and a standard water slide decal sheet of limited duplicate markings. The dry transfer sheet is more extensive in subjects, but some may prefer water slide decals.


There are eight pages of instructions on four double-sided pages. The steps appear easy to follow, but they are not numbered. The pages can get a bit "busy"; meaning, there are many arrows and indicators swirling around each page, so plan assembly sequences accordingly.

The last two pages have line drawings to aid in the painting and application of decals and transfers.

The English language translation of the Chinese instructions has some minor missteps, but the gist of the actions needed are clear.


HMS Ocean is a great addition to Orange Hobby's growing line of modern assault ship in 1/700. It is refreshing to see such attention to this oft-neglected subject matter. This kit is well executed, like all the other models see so far from Orange Hobby, but some included deck vehicles would have been a nice addition, and a bit more care in packaging would not be remiss. Nevertheless, an excellent release, and is Highly Recommended.

This kit of the 1/700 HMS Ocean, produced by Orange Hobby, is item number N07030, priced around $55.00USD. See the whole line on their website- including a new kit in *1/350*, a Russian Steregushchy class corvette!