Cyber-Hobby 1/700 HMS Dragon
Cyber-Hobby 1/700 USS Virginia CGN-38
Reviewed by Timothy Dike
July 2012
The HMS Daring is the lead ship of a new class of Air Defense Destroyer intended to replace the older Type 42's. The latest ship in the class to complete is the Dragon. The ship appears virtually identical to her sister ships, however when completed Dragon had a huge red dragon painted on both sides of her bow. The markings made her really stand out and while intended to be temporary, there were petitions to retain the markings permanently. 

Cyber-Hobby a division of Dragon Models has followed up with their HMS Daring with this new colorful release. The kit is mostly the same as the earlier release but has new Helo and colorful decals to help celebrate the Year of the Dragon!

The main sprue includes a one piece main deck. This is a big plus as some companies chose to mold these are two or even three parts. Having one piece minimizes the amount of fitting that the modeler will have to do.  Click images
to enlarge
The superstructure parts and even some deck parts are molded separately. This will make painting a little easier as you can assemble and paint the main deck before adding some of the details that are difficult to mask around. Five bladed propellers and thin propeller shafts are well molded as are the main deck gun and various parts. Even the antenna parts are nicely done for plastic. If you think they are overly thick, don't worry you have a photo etch option too. 
The superstructure parts are included on this sprue. Slide molding is used to allow for some parts to have detail molded on more sides. This allows the parts to be produced without having to join several parts and then fill the resulting seams. Detail is very nice overall and even the hanger has some interior detailing. 
A separate upper and lower hull are included giving the modeler a choice of full hull or waterline display. Both feature nice molding and sharp features. The lower hull includes some really nice thin molding around the bilge keels and stabilizer fins. 

The fit between the upper and lower hull is good. So the modeler shouldn't have to spend a lot of time filling and sanding. The engineers at Dragon have designed the tool for the lower hull to allow maximum detailing in a single part. Very impressive!
This is the standard Royal Navy weapons sprue with parts found on typical warships. In this case you only need the Helo, so you will have a lot of nice spare parts to upgrade your other Royal Navy ships. A Lynx helo is provided on this sprue. 
A single Merlin is included nicely molded. Separate rotors and landing gear are provided and a separate set of optional photo etched rotors are included. I like that the helo is molded in the softer gray styrene that is much easier to work with than the clear. This is a nice addition to the kit, but the Lynx is the proper helo for this ship. 
A photo etch fret is included with the safety netting for the help deck on the stern and the optional brass antenna for the mast. Also included are the roll up doors for the hanger and accommodation ladders. 
The decals are supplied for the Dragon and even include large Dragons to apply to the hull. They include warning circles hull number, deck markings and ships badges . Roundels for the Helo are also included. They are all sharply registered and of the typical quality you would expect from Cartograph of Italy. It has been pointed out to me that the the code letters for the flight deck are wrong . The DR should be DN.
The base for this kit has been designed based on how most modelers like to display their ships in full hull mode. The stands which resemble lamp finales are even slide molded so they have no seams to fill and sand. Hole locations are provided so all you have to do is open them up with a knife or drill. 
The instructions are six pages with lots of subassembly views that are easy to follow. The last page features a painting guide showing decal placement. I don't really care for the order of assembly as most modelers will finish the hull and deck before adding the superstructure parts and details that can get knocked off while trying to fit the parts. . 
On the right is the promotional poster showing some of the features of this kit. 

The HMS Dragon is the latest of the Daring class destroyers. One that will be popular among modelers if only for the colorful Dragon that was displayed on her bow. What a way to break up the monotony of Navy Gray warships. Now you can celebrate the Year of the Dragon in style with this colorful HMS Dragon. 

This is HMS Dragon (Item No. CHC-7109) now shipping to stores. You can get it now direct from Dragon USA or CyberHobby for about $36.50 US. A great price for a nicely optioned and detailed ship of this size.