My Review and Build of Mini Hobby's 1/350 scale Kit #80709,
The PLAN DDG-168 Guangzhou, Guided Missile Destroyer

Last updated: Railings, PE, Decals and completing the model - March 14, 2013

Introduction and What's in the Box - March 8, 2013

About the ship:
This model is a 1/350 scale model depiction of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) DDG-168, Guangzhou, a Type 052B guided missile destroyer.

In 2002 the Chinese began building four large, indegenous destroyers. It soon became apparent that all four were based on the same hull design, but two of them had significantly higher superstructures than the other two. The lower superstructure vessels became the Type 052B, Guangzhou Class guided missile destroyers, while the higher superstructure vessels became known as the Type 052C, Lanzhou class guided missile destroyers. The latter incorporated large phased array radars and vertical launch systems (VLS), while the former utilized more traditional Eagle Search 3-D radar and single arm missile launchers for their anti-aircraft missiles and they also carried a very large anit-shipping missile armament of 16 long range anti-shipping missiles loaded in four quad cannister mounts amidhsips.

These Type 052B vessels were built simultaneously, completed, outfitted together, and were commissioned in 2004. They were the first indegenous Chinese destroyers capable of providing area anti-air coverage to Chinese Navy task forces. They utilize the Russian designed SA-N-12 Grizzly missile system, carrying a total of 48 missiles with an approximate 25-30 mile range, launching from single arm missile launchers fore and aft. The anti-shipping missiles carried consist of sixteen of the Chinese made YJ-83 (C-803) missiles with a range of 150-165 nautical miles. These vessels are otherwise armed very similar to the Russian Sovremenny Class destoryers, including an aft helo deck and hanger for one medium sized ASW helicopter, normally a KA-28 ASW helicopter. Prior to this date, the Chinese had purchased four Russian Soveremenny destroyers and operate them to this day. But these newer Chinese vessels have a significantly stronger anti-surface missile capability.

After the two Type 052B destroyers were built, the PLAN decided to standardize on the Type 052Cm Lanzhou Class which were completed later, and of which the Chinese have now built six of the initial variant. They are now building at least 8 of a follow on improved variant, the Type 052D with stronger radars, a larger main gun, and more VLS tunes launched from a new system similar to the US Mk-41 VLS system. I have also built a 1/350 scale model of the second in class of the Type 052C destroyers, the Haikou, DDG-171 Type 0532C destroyer.

The Kit:
The Mini Hobby model is an older kit, aproximately 7-8 years old. It is motorized, though I will not be building this vessel to use the motor at all. As far as I could find, this is the only kit for this class of vessel in 1/350 scale. I am building it as a part of my Chinese PLAN Carrier Strike Group (CSG). centered on their new aircraft carrier, the PLAN aircraft carrier, Liaoning, CV-16.

The detail for this model is fairly good, but some of the pieces are thicker and larger than they would appear in true scale, and there is some flash left on the sprues and the pieces.

The hull comes as a single piece, fairly well molded, but with some flash and residue on the lower portion that will need to be removed. The entire main deck is a single piece with another single piece for the aft helo deck. Outside of this, there are five sprues and a small bag with the metal parts for the props. A total of 290 parts, and quite a bit of detail.

There is also a decent slide-on water decal sheet, and a decent instruction manual, though no color scheme is included. I have a standard color scheme for my Chinese Navy vessels, so that is fine, otherwise you will have to use the pictures on the cover of the box, and the pictures of the completed model on the sides of the box as your guide. Generally I will use Tamiyya's Hull Red for the portion of the hull below the water line, and Model Master Light Gray for the vertical surfaces above the water line. I will use Testor's Flat Gray for the horizontal weather decks.

I will be using an after market set of Photo Etch rails and sensors to equip this vessel.

Here's how the parts all looked out of the box:

Decent instructions with detailed, yet easy to follow steps, but no paint sheme.

The Build - Painting the Hull, the deck houses and the weather decks - March 8, 2012

I masked off and painted the lower hull in Tamiya's acrylic Hull Red, along with the prop supports, props, and rudders. Here's how that turned out:

I will continue painting the rest of the hull and all vertical surfaces on the deck houses and masts in Model Master's Light Gray and the weather decks in Testor's Flat Gray. That, along with the initial building and placement of various major components should all be included in the next session.

Attaching the main deck, building & detailing all sub-systems, attaching all sub-systems - March 11, 2013

Got a lot of work done over the weekend, starting Friday after work.

First I completed painting the main deck according to my coloring shecme and then glued the main deck and helo deck to the hull, using clamps to hold in place until a good set was established. While that was drying I went through and began painting all of the smaller pieces in their respective colors (Light Gray, Flat Gray, Steel, Light Ghost Gray, White, etc.). Here's how that turned out:

Then it was time to build all of the various sub-systems. This included the bridge, the main mast, the aft mast, the SA-N-12 missile launchers, the C-802 SSM missile launchers, the CIWS, the main gun, chaff dispensers, and all of the small detail parts for the decks.

One note here: The main gun (a 100mm DP main gun) was overly large and appeared far too large on the deck of the vessel. Luckily, I had a correctly sized, and detailed 100mm main gun left over from my build of the PLAN Haikou, DDG-171, by Trumpeter, and was able to use it. I show the two here in comparison.

The Type 730 CIWS are also too large, but not as noticably so. So I went ahead and buit those, but will replace them with a more to-scale version at a later date. Here's all of that:

Then it was time to attach all of these parts to the vessel. This went fairly well, though with some of the very small, tiny, detail parts, cutting off the additional flash after taking it off the sprues proved somewhat of a hassle...but part of the game.

Also, as another note: The windows on the bridge are far too large. Also, there are not enough of them. 7 included across the bridge in this model, 11 smaller windows on the real vessel. In order to help here, I fabricated a "plate" to attach to the bridge on the face of that main deck house, which reached up and covers approximately 1//3 of the vertical hieght of the windows. This makes the scale of the windows look much more realistic, and you can see this in the 2nd and 3rd pictures depicted below.

All in all, the vessel is looking very nice. Perhaps twenty more detail pieces to add and then the props and screws. Then I will add PE railing, the decals, and be complete.

It is going to turn out making a very decent model, and a vessel of significant capability to add to my Chinese, People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) Carrier Strike Group.

Props, screws, stabilizors, anchors, and final deck pieces - March 12, 2013

Last evening I added the props and screws, the stabilizors, the anchors, and some final detail pieces on the deck. Outside of the railing, the decals, and any rigging, the vessel is complete. Here's a quick peek at how that looks:

Hopefully over the next couple of days, I will be able to complete the model. I have already painted some 1/350 scale handrails (left over form my Ticonderoga/Spruance PE detail set by Tom's Model Works) and will cut those to length, bend and install hopefully this evening, leaving the decals and rigging for the following day.

Railings, PE, Decals and completing the model - March 14, 2013

I was able to fairly quickly go through and add the railing to this vessel. There were many areas where the vessel had raised sides and bulwarks which did not require railings, and the others were straight forward. I then added a few additional PE details and the decals.

The decals were very simple, basically the Pennant numbers on the bows and the helo landing markings, though the lateral marking nearest the hangar I replaced with a left-over straight whie line because the one that came with the kit was far too short. Also, I added the "168" pennant number just aft of the landing circle which is cha4racteristic of PLAN vessels, but was not included in the model's decal set.

Here's how that all turned out:

And a few close ups:

I will add rigging and the helo later, but as it is, there is the completed PLAN DDG-168, Guangzhou guided-missile destroyer.

SCHEDULE for Future Activities - March 14, 2013

  1. By Mar 15, 2013: Complete entire PLAN Carrier Group (Including DDG-168).
  2. By May 01, 2013: Complete entire US Carrier Group (Including USS Freedom, LCS-1 and USS Texas, SSN-775)
  3. By Jun 15, 2013: Start the UK Carrier Group Centered on Airfix's HMS Illustrious.
  4. By Aug 01, 2013: Start the JMSDF Carrier Group Centered on Fujimi's JMSDF Hyuga.
  5. By Sep 15, 2013: Start the French Carrier group centered on Heller's Charles de Gaulle.
  6. By Nov 01, 2013, Start the US ARG centered on the USS Iwo Jima and USS Sommerset.
The completion of the PLAN Carrier group, centered on the already completed Trumpeter's 1/350 scale PLA Navy's Aircraft Carrier CV-16, Liaoning, (in addition to the other escorts already completed) will incluide Mini Hobby's's PLAN Guangzhou, DDG-168. If a 1/350 scale model of the PLAN Type 071 LPD, Yuzhao Class, is ever released, I will add one of those, propbably LPD-999, Jinggangshan, add the PLAN- DDG-139, Ningbo, and perhaps the PLAN DDG-115, Shenyang, and build a PLAN ARG.

The completion of the US Carrier Strike group, centered on the completed Tamyia's 1/350 scale USS Enterprise, CVN-65, (in addition ot the other escorts already completed) will include Trumpeter's, USS Freedom, LCS-1, Dragon's USS Preble, DDG-88 and Hobby Boss's USS Texas, SSN-775. (All of which I already own). When a 1/350 scale USS Enterprise, CVN-80 (or any Gerald R. Ford Class) is released from Trumpeter, Tamiya, Dragon, or whomever else, I will add it to this group along with another AEGIS Cruiser. Whatever Ford Class coms out, I will build her as the USS Enterprise, CVN-80.

The UK Group will indlude the Airfix 1/350 scale HMS Illustrious (which I already own), two Airfix 1/350 scale Daring Class DDGs (which I also already have), two Trumpeter 1/350 scale Type 23 HMS Duke class Frigates (which I already own), and the Hobby Boss 1/350 scale HMS Astute SSN and Airfix 1/350 scale HMS Tragalgar SSN (both of which which I already own). One day, when a 1/350 scale HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier and a 1/350 HMS Ocean LPD come out, I will add both.

The French CSG will be centered on Heller's 1/400 scale Charles De Gualle (which I already own). I have purchased the 1/400 scale Heller French De Grasse, D612 DDG, which is an ASW DDG, the French Duquesne, D603 DDG which is an anti-air multi-purpose DDG, and the French Aconit F713 FFG and Gueprattet F714 FFGs, both of which are Lafayette class frigates. These five vessels will round out my French CSG. As soon as a French Robin class nuclear sub, like the French Perale S606 SSN is released in 1/350 or 1/400 scale, I will add that to the group. Also as soon as the Forbin D620, Horizon class anti-air DDG is released in 1/350 or 1/400 scale, I will purchase two of them and replace the De Grrasse and Duquesne with them, and then save those tow for when a Misteral Class LPD is released so I can create a French ARG with those vessels.

The Japanese JMSDF group will be centered on Fujimi's very finely detailed, 1/350 scale Hyuga, DDH-181, which I own. It will be escorted by Trumpeter's 1/350 scale DDG-177, Atago, an AEGIS class DDG and the JMSDF, DDG-178, Ahigara (which I have purchased), Trumpeters's 1/350 scale DDG-114 Susunami (A Tachanami Class DDG which I own), and by the 1/350 scale SS-503 Hakuryu (which I own), one of Japans new, very modern and capable AIP Diesel Electric submarines. As soo as a DDG-115 Akizuki in 1/350 scale is released, I will add it to this group.

The completion of the US ARG will include Tamiya's 1/350 scale, USS Iowa, BB-62 (which I have already completed), Trumpeter's 1/350 scale USS Iwo Jima LHD-7, Gallery's 1/350 scale USS Sommerset, LPD-25, Bronoc Models 1/350 Scale USS New York, LPD-21, Cyber Hobbies USS Independence, LCS-2, Acadamy's 1/350 scale USS Rueben James, FFG-57, and andother Flight IIA US AEGIS class detroyer based on Trumpeter's 1/350 scale USS Lassen, DDG-82...all of these models which I already own.

Then, finally it will be a complete Russian CSG (centered on Trumpeter's Kuznetsov which is available but I have not purchased yet) the Russian Slava Class cruiser, Varyag by Trumperter (which I own), two Trumpeter 1/350 scale Udaloy DDGs (which I own), Hobby Boss's Akula II class SSN (which I own), and the Russian Alfa Class SSN, which I have already completed.

Recently I purchased Heller's 1/400 scale Foch, the Clemceau Class carrier that was sold to the Brazilians in 2000 and in 2002 was refitted and became the Brazilian CV, Sao Paulo, using steam catapaults. I will build the model as the Sao Paulo and thus start a Brazilian group, though the Type 22 DDGs and the FFGs the Brazilians use are not available at present. I have however purchased a set of 1/400 scale A-4 Skyhawks and S-3 Trackers to build a suitable airwing for the Sao Paulo.

Then, again, once the models are available, I'd like to build an Italian Group centered on the Cavour and their Horizon DDGs, a Spanish Group centered on the Juan Carlos and their F-100 AEGIS FFGs, and ultimatly an Australian Group centered on the new Canberra Class LPD and the Hobart class AEGIS DDGs. If they ever build the models, an Indian group centered on either the Vikramaditya or their new ADS Carrier the Vikrant and their Kolkata class DDGs and Shivlak class FFGs would also be nice.

Years worth of work!

You can see all of these actual carriers, read their histories and specifictions at my site:


...and most of their surface escorts at:


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