Heller 1/400 HMS Hood
Review by Michael Morse

Heller's kit of the Hood is currently the largest scale injection molded model famed Royal Navy battlecruiser. Heller's Hood is also a rarity because it has been many years since it was last available on hobby shop shelves. So, I consider myself fortunate to have been able to acquire one.

My cursory review of the kit is that it is a fairly good representation of Hood circa 1941, her final appearance when she was sunk by the Bismarck. The details are on par with most of the other Heller offerings. In some places, the details are good and in others, the details are less than robust.

The hull, which comes in two halves, looks good with adequate armor belt details and bilge keels. One error that I found is that the hawseholes should be located a little more astern. The decks have a few details molded into them, such as storage boxes and hatches, but not enough to be completely accurate. The main deck comes in three sections. The turret barbettes lack any detail at all. The funnels have only very slight details, such as vent piping, and what is there should be a slightly more pronounced. The funnels do have nicely formed caps.

The main gun turrets are decent, with rivets on the housing and "slip on" blast bags that slide down over the barrels to be glued in place where they meet the turret. The turrets do not have any sighting ports on their faces, which would have been a nice detail.

The smaller parts, such as the boats, rafts, secondary and anti aircraft armament and gun directors, are good enough. There are quite a bit of the smaller parts included in the kit that need to be added. Actual chain is provided for the anchor chains. A decal sheet with flags are also included in the kit.

The fighting top lacks any detail, with the most conspicuous being the windows, and the tripod supports appear a bit too large in diameter but I can't actually tell without dry-fitting them. The starfish are way over-scale, too thick to be realistic.

Overall this appears to be a kit that would yield a nice looking Hood in her final 1941 fit. The addition of photoetch details, such as rails, ladders doors and hatches, and scratch built masts, storage lockers, barbette details and starfish would help immensely. The fighting top is the one true drawback; a lot of work would have to be done in this area to overcome the omissions.

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