Samec 1/700 HMS Vanguard Preview

Reviewed by Pavel Vacata
I have to make an admission right off. I have been awaiting this model for some time. When I heard Michal Samek was making one, I stopped my scratch building efforts to await his kit. About 8 months ago I gave Michal a copy of all the information I had gathered on the Vanguard, including my 250 photo CD of the 11 foot Builders Model housed at the London Science Museum. This was, I have been told, of benefit in finishing the kit.
Now to the actual model.
The kit comes in the standard Samek Models box, with art work on the cover.

Inside on a 8.5” by 11” (29.5 cm by 21 cm) sheet is a color plan and profile drawing of HMS Vanguard, a second sheet of this size has the assembly instructions. A 16.5” by 11.75” (42 cm by 29.5 cm) sheet with a good line plan and profile, with a set of instructions on the other side. 
All are of good print quality.

The actual model is well protected in the sturdy box; the small parts are in plastic bags, in bubble wrap. The hull has a polystyrene bow insert to prevent it from moving around in transit.

The only damage I had was a barrel coming off a sprue.

Click images
to enlarge
The Hull:

This measures out at an exact 354 mm. Well in keeping for a kit this size.
Now for the amount of detail and accuracy. 
Looking at the hull from a bow on view, it has a nice flare and the correct recess for the anchors. The side armor belt is also correct. Deck detail from the bow aft, consisting of vents and other items are not only abundant, but quite well done and correspond accurately with the photos that I have. Breakwaters, three in all, are of fine and thin execution. 


There are three main parts, the forward bridge structure, midship boat area and aft superstructure. These are accurate, and alive with detail and undercuts. Please note on the aft superstructure, there is a round overhang with fine detailed supports underneath. Very well done. The actual open bridge is a separate piece with details. 


The 15” main turrets are done well. On first look, the angles at the rear are too excessive, but on checking against my plans, they are dead on. They are accurate.

The 5.25” secondary’s are also accurate, but I must warn you all, at first look they do not look “right” because we are used to seeing the KGV 5.25” and these are completely different. Look at the plans and you will see they are correct. They are well detailed and correspond to the Science Museum photos well. 

The 40 mm Bofors, of a unique design are depicted well. These are the Mk. VI 40 mm Bofors 6 barrel AA guns. Also included is the Mk. II STAAG 40 mm Bofors 2 barrel AA gun and finally the Mk. VI 40 mm Bofors singles.

Photo Etch:

This is an Eduard produced, stainless steel, ship specific fret with all you will need to do justice to the kit. One thing I am most happy about is the inclusion of netting in photo etch to go around the Mk. VI Bofors on the superstructure. (see photo)

The Rest:

The Gun directors are nicely done. The ships boats are in adequate numbers and the boat cranes are done in both resin for the pedestal and photo etch for the arm. A small White Ensign flag is included.


After looking at this kit and studying it for a week, I have to say that I am most impressed with it. Those of you who have purchased Samek kits in the past will know the level of detail and generally the high quality this manufacturer has attained. If there is a comparison then the Royal Oak is the his second best kit. Vanguard wins hands down.
I think that those of you who have the Royal Navy and Battleships close to your heart will not be disappointed. Go out and enjoy this kit.