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Finished - PLAN Type 054A+ guided missile frigate 579 "Handan" - 1/700


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Well, I just learned that DC schools are closed now until next academic year. That's late August, early September. Working from home, and teaching the kid, was looking hard enough when we thought it would be for another month or so. Now we'll have no school, childcare or summer camp until September! And had we had a crystal ball - oh if only! - we'd have gone home to Australia where things are shaping up to be relatively back to normal much, much sooner than here in the US. 

 

So....why not crack out yet another ship from the stash? These late night sessions are all that winds my mind down enough to get to sleep.

 

This one is something I picked up a bit unwillingly when I was in China. I thought I was getting a PE set for my Type 071 amphibious warfare ship model kit, but by not paying enough attention one night on Taobao I ended up with the PE set for this instead. So then, I went and bought the kit! Now I'm glad I did because these Dream Model kits are great. I recently finished the Type 071 corvette and really enjoyed it. 

 

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I painted the deck the other day before realizing I needed to start this in the GB. That's all I've done on it, and that isn't even finished.

 

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The kit comes with a little PE too, separate to the additional set, and two great little resin parts for the self-defence guns. 

 

Here's a little about the real thing, for those not so familiar with the current fleet of the Chinese navy (the PLAN - People's Liberation Army Navy, which always sounds weird until you think of the USAAF and realize it's the same type of name). 

 

China has 30 of these frigates, plus two of the earlier Type 054 (as opposed to 054A). From #17 they got the A+ designation following an upgrade to some systems and the close-in guns. 

 

Remember the Malaysian 777 that was shot down? This ship has that same missile system, the "Buk", with 32 missiles, plus 8 anti-surface missiles of about 180-200km range, a 3 inch (76mm) gun, twin CIWS as well as torpedoes and anti-sub rockets. There's a hangar and flight deck for one Z-9 which is basically modelled on the Aerospatiale Dauphin.

 

At 4,000 tonnes and 134 meters long it's lighter than, but the same size as, a Type 23 frigate of the Royal Navy, but with a far more capable SAM system than Sea Wolf or Sea Ceptor - the Chinese ship's "Buk" system has a range of out to 75km (depending on the source) but at least 35km, compared to 25km for Sea Ceptor and just 10km for Sea Wolf.

 

Anyway, I'll use some of the PE in this build but not all of it. Sometimes I think PE sets are really just overkill - for example, this one has you folding tiny bits of brass to make up the launcher boxes for the SSMs, which I can guarantee in my hands will look a lot worse than the injection moulded parts. I'll use the railings and antennae and other parts that will look better, though.

 

Might take me a while to get started on this one, but I'm sure I'll make some good headway on it before June.

 

I'm going to do pennant number 579 which is the 邯郸 Handan. Handan is a provincial city which was once - a very long time ago (550-577AD) - the site of the capital of the short-lived Northern Qi dynasty. When in Beijing I was fascinated with that dynasty and always wanted to visit Handan. But I never made it. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by bianfuxia
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I've been painting this lately and not putting pics up, but tonight I did some basic construction. 

 

IMG_20200425_233355596.jpg

 

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You can see there's some work to do on the main hull - the frigate has the stealthy design on the side there which means there's that inevitably seam along an angled edge. Not sure what to do about that. Fudge it I guess. I usually prefer not to have to use putty and sanding on ship models - one reason I enjoy them is there's less of that that's truly necessary compared to an aeroplane (at least to my mind and at least with the Japanese kits I usually do). But that bow area obviously needs some remedial work.

 

Meanwhile, here's two other views to show what nice lines the ship has.

 

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The PE set I bought for this is already shaping up to be a disappointment. It won't take the paint at all, it's kind of floppy and a lot of it is total overkill.

 

One clear example is the VLS missile tubes there. The PE instructions would have you remove that plastic, then replace it all with PE. Um, no way. So I guess I will use it for the railings and some of the antenna. 

 

Anyway, though started, this one clearly has a way to go.

 

The colours, meanwhile, are unusually accurate for me. I bought the Dream Model PLAN paint set when I bought this. The deck is SP303 PLAN Deck Grey. The rest is SP301 PLAN Pale Grey. The paint is quite nice, not as good as my preferred Vallejo for brush-painting but looks nice with a few coats.

 

 

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Here comes the fun part, hahaha:

IMG_20200428_233641578.jpg

 

So much for choosing all these ships because you can get away without lots of sanding (in my no-garden small apartment iso state...)

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On 4/18/2020 at 6:34 AM, bianfuxia said:

we'd have gone home to Australia

Gidday Bianfuxia, what bit are you from? I'm from the west bit. And our schools re-opened today, although attendance is not compulsory for the students.

 

Good luck with the sanding. Regards, Jeff.

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3 hours ago, ArnoldAmbrose said:

Gidday Bianfuxia, what bit are you from? I'm from the west bit. And our schools re-opened today, although attendance is not compulsory for the students.

 

Good luck with the sanding. Regards, Jeff.

East coast, the capital, born and bred. But we've been away a long time (since 2005). I'm trying hard to extricate us from DC but I'll probably have to wait until my current contract is up at the end of the year. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well it's been a couple of weeks on this one. Today I persuaded the kid to sit on the stoop out front with me and do some sanding. I gave her something else to sand while I did this one. It's not perfect but it's good enough. 

 

I then painted one coat on it, but it needs more as this paint is pretty thin. 

 

Also a couple of shots of the really neat little close-in self defence guns. These resin parts came with the kit, which is cool.

 

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That's a typical small cutter blade thing there, not a big one. These guns are very small.

 

 

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Edited by bianfuxia
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I decided I did want to re-do some of the putty along the side of the ship in one or two spots, so I've done that now and it's waiting to be sanded. Meanwhile, I started adding some of the PE set. As I think I mentioned above, I am not going to do it all, and especially not the parts where it requires first to sand off the existing detail just to replace it with PE. Also, those little resin guns up there - the PE set wants you to basically build those out of folded up PE. Um, no. 

 

I've done a bit of PE before but only really railings and antennae. This one has ladders, doors, and other stuff, and I have to say I'm not yet convinced it's going to be worth the effort. But I'll give it a go before I decide either way.

 

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I know some of it looks a bit messy - it's not easy! (For me, anyway)

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I like the tiny PE doors, although small really improve the look of the model.

 

AW

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  • 2 weeks later...

More progress on this now - I fixed the mess on the hull and repainted it, added the PE flight deck and some smaller parts (still some to go). The two resin guns have been added too. They're bigger than the main gun but pics online seem to confirm that these really are that big on the 054A+ version.

 

Still a way to go but the finish line's in sight!

 

IMG_20200607_003701026.jpg

 

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Closer and closer:

 

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Decals are done, and they were very good. The kit came with scribing templates for those panels on the side there, but I went with the decals. I think that large panel is not meant to be a vent but a roller-door. These stealthy modern ships hide boats and other things behind doors to maintain the lower radar profile.

 

Meanwhile on Chinese wikipedia I found this (creative commons) image of the 579's self defence gun. It has radar, thermal and optical guidance systems, plus a 7 barrel 30mm gun (the US Phalanx is 20mm). According again to Chinese wikipedia it can also be used against small craft and even shore targets.

1599px-Handan_(579)_Frigate_-_Type_730_C

Photo by Rhk111 under Creative Commons: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en

 

As I may have mentioned I decided to do pennant number 579 which is named Handan (pronounced more like Hun Dun where both rhyme with "sun"). 

 

Handan is a city in Hebei Province, near Beijing. I always wanted to go there because in the dim past it was the location of the capital of the short-lived Northern Qi dynasty - I was interested in that because the Northern Qi built a huge amount of Great Wall including around Beijing where I lived. Those walls were 1,500 years older than the Ming Dynasty wall which is much more widely known (and what you picture when you think of the Great Wall).

 

Anyway I never got down there so building the Handan will have to do. 

 

All I need to do now is the PE, add the anti-ship missile launchers in that empty area in the middle, and build that little helicopter.

Edited by bianfuxia
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Tonight I made a start on the remaining PE. into the home stretch now.

 

Here's the main mast - the big panels are meant to be at a weird angle, although for whatever reason the plastic pylon wasn't correct - either the part was broken or I'd somehow accidentally chopped off the top of it. So I had to build up the plastic mount from some scraps, meaning the PE panels maybe aren't exactly at the right angle.

 

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Meanwhile I also finished up the Z-9 chopper. I managed to lose a main wheel but I pinched some from my Tamiya Chinooks on my LST build.

 

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Those side mounted things are torpedoes - I wonder if maybe they look a bit big but when you view it with the naked eye (unmagnified) it actually looks pretty cool. There was a tiny red decal for the PLAN insignia but it was just too small to use. 

 

Just the railings left now, and painting up all the PE.

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10 hours ago, exdraken said:

Looks really good!

Your bullseye technique for the details is nice by the way!

thanks! I put the eyepiece of my magnifying glasses thing over my cellphone camera - works pretty well!

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13 hours ago, ArnoldAmbrose said:

Gidday, She's looking very good. Close-up photos are not kind to me, they show up my rough workmanship but they show your models to advantage. Regards, Jeff.

I think your work is great Jeff!

 

OK, I'm calling this "all done bar the touch up paint and the front radome". It's late here and I build in the corner of our room. My wife fell asleep so it's lights out!

 

This is the first time I've done a full PE set, and only the second time I've used it on a ship all.

It looks better un-magnified. Especially the dollop of superglue in third photo 😱

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This ship kinda says, "don't mess with me", huh?

 

Edited by bianfuxia
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21 hours ago, rob85 said:

That’s some great detail, so much PE it would hurt my eyes! 
 

it’s coming together very nicely.

 

Rob

Thanks - yeah it hurts my back more than my eyes. I have a magnifying glass thing, but I need to crouch over at my desk which gets pretty uncomfortable!

 

 

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And this is done. Ready for sea!

 

The 579, named Handan after a Hebei Province city, is a Type 054A+ guided missile frigate. It's armed with the "Buk" SAM, fired from a vertical launch system (VLS) at the front behind the main gun. It also has anti-submarine rocket launchers ahead of the gun, two 4-pack SSM launchers, and two 7 barrel 30mm radar/thermal/optical guided self defence guns. There's a Z-9 helicopter in the hangar.

 

The kit was pretty good, from Chinese brand Dream Model. The PE set was pretty frustrating and you can see the mess I made of the railings in the middle deck area. Paint was also from Dream Model, PLAN-specific colours.

 

But all in all I reckon this one looks pretty good.

 

Proper pics coming soon in the gallery.

 

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