Italeri 1/720 HMS Hood

Reviewed July 2015
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. 


Italeri has reissued its 1/720 HMS Hood as the ship appeared in the early thirties.
.The upper hull is one piece with nice surface detailing.  The hull shape appears very accurate with nice taper and shear and correct torpedo bulges. Port holes and door openings are hollowed out  and the armor belt as well done. Click images
to enlarge
If this sprue features of turrets off with separate barrels and rangefinders.  The forward deck is included here with molded on deck planking and other details.  Anchor capstans are separate and anchor chain is molded on.  The latter if would look better yet scraped off and replaced with real chain.  Ships boats and davits as well as other details are included here.  A lower hull is also included, half on this sprue and the other half on the C sprue.
The majority of the superstructure is featured on the sprue overall molding is pretty good with thin splinter shields deck openings and window features.  The finals are molded in two halves.  The tops include molded on funnel grills.  These would look better if opened up.  The secondary guns and have nicely done shields with barrels again be posed.
Instructions are eight pages with nice subassembly views and painting instructions.  The back of the box features a color plan and profile also showing the paint colors.

While this kid has been around for awhile it is one of the better versions of the HMS Hood.  Don't let the low parts count fool you this is a nicely detailed kit and should be an enjoyable build.

Thanks to Hobbico (Great Planes) Model Distributors for the review sample. Hobbico is the exclusive US importer for Italeri. Locate the nearest hobby shop to carry their products using the online Dealer locator.