by: Kevin Brant [ ]
The Royal Navy H.M.S. Sheffield is the second ship to be named after the city of Sheffield. This Type 42 Guided Missile Destroyer was built by Vickers, being laid down on January 15, 1970 amd being commissioned on February 16, 1975. She served the Royal Navy for short life up until the Falklands War, where she was sunk on May 10, 1982, the result of being hit by an Exocet missile 6 days prior.
The Sheffield has a displacement of 4,820 tonnes and was propelled by 4 Rolls Royce engines, and had a top speed of 30 knots. She had a main armament of 2 Sea Dart Missiles, 1 4.5 inch gun, and Lynx Helicopter.
Now let me start off by stating it has been a real long time since I built a ship model, so please excuse any terms I may have wrong.
The kit is a 1/700 representation of the H.M.S. Sheffield, as she served in the Falklands War, just prior to her sinking. Opening the box, there are four sprues of grey molded plastic, a fret of PE, small sheet of decals, a printed instructions.
Being the first model ship I have seen in a bit, I am surprised by the quality of the molding, especially the very small bits. (Beats those old Tamiya 1/700 kits I remember). I found very little to no flash on the parts, did not notice any ejector marks that will be visible on completion of the model. The detail on the Lynx helicopter is exquisite, being able to make out the windows and doors. As for the ship, all the molding are sharp and clear, with great detail all around, including some fine antenna work, considering the scale. And if the plastic molding is not fine enough for you, some of the antenna work is replaceable with PE. The PE fret also contains railings.
The ship can be build full hull or waterline, and does contain a small stand for the full hull version. This where I found an issue, the kit contains a molded sign for the base, but in the kit I received, the sign states H.M.S. Exeter, also being a Type 42 ship, but not the Sheffield. I am presuming that this was a packing error for my kit, and hope it does not affect all Sheffield kits shipped. A quick test fit of the lower and upper hulls, shows that the lower hull is a very tad short, and will need some filler to get a smooth flow on the hull. I am not sure if this fit issue is due to the lower hull being on the same sprue as the incorrect name plate.
As for the decals, they are printed by Cartograf and are very sharp. Considering the scale and size of the lettering, they are very crisp and readable. There are even decals for the small helicopter.
The instructions are the usual Cyber-Hobby/Dragon format, printed on folded paper. The building of the ship is broken down into 14 steps, and it includes two paint versions, one for the Sheffield, the other for the Argentinian Hercules(note there is no name plate for this version). The instructions include many steps where there are options and parts that will need to have pieces cut off, depending on the ship you are building. From looking over the instructions, the steps are clear and show good diagrams of the assembly.
There are a good number of paint call-outs throughout the instructions referencing Aqueous, Mr. Color, and Model Master.
Overall for the scale, it looks to be a well detailed representation of the H.M.S. Sheffield. The moldings are clean and sharp, and there is plenty of fine detail. The addition of the PE for the radar and railings really adds to the ship. But there seems to a fit issue if building the full hull version and the name plate for the stand, in my review copy, has the wrong name. In my opinion, it still looks like a decent little kit to build, and should be enjoyable to build.