HMS Hood 1941

Reviewed by Timothy Dike
The HMS Hood is without a doubt the most well known ship of the British Fleet. She was built in 1920 following the first world war at Clydbank, Scotland. At the time she was the worlds largest warship weighing in at 42,100 tons on a long sleek hull. The Hood was a Battlecruiser, built for speed and thus sacrificed additional armor plating. The theory was that what she couldn't outfight, she could outrun.

The Hood flew the flag during throughout the 20's and 30's. At the start of world war two, the Hood was assigned to the Home Fleet and operated in the North Atlantic and North Sea. The Hood operated briefly in the Mediterranean during the Mers-el-Kebir battle in July 1940. She returned to Scapa Flow to counter the German surface raider threat. In May of 1941 the HMS Hood set out with the HMS Prince of Wales to intercept the German battleship Bismarck which was trying to break out into the Atlantic. The result was the battle of Denmark Strait where the Bismarck and his heavy cruiser escort Prinz Eugen engaged the two British ships. The elderly Hood proved to be no match for the brand new battleship Bismarck as the Hood was so vital to the Home Fleet that she never received a much needed refit and upgrade that would have improved her fighting abilities.

The British ships sighted the Bismarck and proceeded to close the range while opening fire with their forward guns. The Germans returned fire concentrating on the Hood as she turned to expose her after turrets. Hits from both ships started fires on the Hood and soon a salvo of 15" shells from the Bismarck found the after ammunition magazines and the ship exploded with a huge fireball that opened the hull and let sea water pour in. The bow of the Hood rose out of the water and she sank with over 1,400 men. So devastating was the blast that only 3 men survived. The Prince of Wales now began to take the concentrated fire of the Germans but was able to score a few hits before retreating. These hits slowed the Germans enough that the rest of the British fleet could catch up and exact their revenge for the loss of the Hood. 

Finally a 1/350 plastic kit is being produced of this long sought after ship. Trumpeter has obviously poured a lot of research into this ship as it looks very much like the plans and photo's of the ship that I have seen. 

The hull is molded in one piece with either a waterline or full hull option. The lower hull is molded in red plastic and is fairly well detailed. The upper hull has some nice surface detail and crisp clean lines. It looks good in the box, but you will have to be the judge as to how well the parts fit. Click images
to enlarge
The deck is broken up into four parts with the bow and stern showing very nice surface detailing. The deck has a nice wood planking and hatches and bits are nicely done.
The mid upper and lower decks are molded as two separate parts to allow for plenty of detailing possibilities. These also feature nice planking and surface details.
The upper deck has quite a bit of detail. The splinter shields are a bit more tapered than others I have seen, but only on the inside where it is not as noticeable.
The main superstructure parts are provided on this sprue. Port holes and windows are molded open as are the stairwells. The doors and hatches are well done and appear to all be oriented the correct way. Doors and hatches should always be hinged towards the front of the ship. 
More superstructure parts with equally pleasing details are found on this sprue. Smaller parts are molded at the limits of injection molding technology.
More superstructure walls with plenty of open doorways and port holes.
The mast and related parts are molded nice and thin. Many items such as the waterways and splash shields are molded separately. The prop shafts and rudders are also included on this sprue.
There are two of these main weapons sprues included with some nicely molded turrets that appear to be the proper shape. Main guns are nicely done and the gun barrels have hollowed out ends, not bad for plastic. The smaller weapons have quite a bit of detail for this scale. The secondary turrets are molded open, with twin guns that can be modeled at any angle the real ones could. Searchlights and other fittings are also well done.
The funnels are included on this sprue with all of the ships boats and the davits to handle them. The boats are molded  with separate decks. The davits as very thin, and some even have some nice hook details. 
A full hull display base is provided if you choose not to build your ship as waterline. A nameplate is also provided.
A single photo etch fret is included, etched out of thick .012 brass. Included are mast parts with loops for the rigging, as well as some crane details. These are a little thick and while the fret is relief etched, the half thickness sections are limited to just the attachment points. This will make it easier to cut the parts, but doesn't little to improve their appearance. They are still much better than is possible in plastic, and I'm sure we will see a host of after market parts to remedy this.
A simple decal sheet is included with different types of  flags. There appears to be draft marking included as well, but they are hard to make out on the light colored background.
The instructions are an extensive easy to follow 20 page booklet with all kinds of exploded views. They are step by step and cover all the assembly steps. A large 11" x 17" folded color camo guide shows the colors in detail.
Here are some photo's from the Trumpeter website showing a completed model built out of the box.

The single best source of HMS Hood information on the web
Also don't forget to check the "Calling All HMS Hood fans" thread on the forum. You find the very latest information and tips there as well as asking any questions you might have about this kit.
Yet another impressive kit from Trumpeter. This one does the HMS Hood justice and is one of the nicer kits to hit the market today. There is still room for improvement, but this one should be well received by all HMS fans. This one is kit #TSM-5302 1/350 HMS Hood Battleship with a suggested list price of $149.95.

Thanks to Stevens International for the review sample. They are the exclusive importer for Trumpeter kits in the US. If your hobby shop does not carry Trumpeter kits have them contact Stevens International or try their Hobby Shop Locator to find one.