by: Bruce Miller [ ]
Originally published on:
History of the Zhu-Hai
The type 051 (NATO code name Luda class) missile destroyer was the first surface warfare vessel ever designed and built by China. It also was the first Chinese ship fitted with an integrated combat direction system. It was based on a Soviet class destroyer design.
The Luda 3 (051G1/G2)
On the whole the new Luda 3 had the SJD-2 and SJD-4 sonar system installed. These sonar systems allowed submarine detections up to 18 knots (33 km/h) in rough seas. Hull 166, the Zhu-Hai, was equipped with 4 x-twin YJ-8 (C-801) AshMs, 1 x triple Whitehead A244 torpedo launcher, Thomson-CSF TAVITAC combat data system (two systems were purchased from France in 1985), EFR-1 Rice Lamp fire-control radar, and ESS-1 VDS towed sonar. During its mid-life upgrade, the #166 Zhu-Hai was upgraded with HQ-7 SAM, 4x YJ-83 (C-803) SSM, Type 344 fire control radar, and Type 79A 37mm AA guns.
The HQ-7 SAM system is reported to be equipped with “semi-automatic reloader” system with 16 spare missiles this brings the total number of air-defense missiles to 8 (ready to fire) 16 (stored). The Zhu-Hai is the Flagship of the Hong Kong Navy.
This model is a very simple and inexpensive kit. It comes in a sturdy box with good box art. Upon opening the box the sprues are found to be in one clear bag. The hull and deck are loose, not in a bag. In looking over the hull and deck there is some small damage to both the hull and deck, probably due to shipping. Other than that both are well molded with good detail.
As I said before, the sprues are all in one clear bag. Mine had some rips in it and some small pieces escaped out of the bag. The three sprues are well molded and only have some minor flash around some pieces. They are molded in a light gray color. They are not marked A, B, C, etc. as with other model kits. The parts have no rhythm or rhyme to their placement on the sprues. The AA guns and SAM missiles are well molded and look to be in scale.
The instructions are printed double sided with basic drawings showing part placement. The instructions have both the part number and the Chinese equivalent, but extra information is in Chinese, so if you cannot understand the drawings you will need an English-Chinese dictionary. From everything I have looked at this model seems to be easy to build, but of course there are other problems with this kit.
There are no paint instructions included in this kit. I researched for more than three months to find out what colors to use. So far all the information says that the hull should be a gray-blue-green color. The deck should be either a light gray or white. The superstructure should be either white or light gray. I guess if you do the deck light gray, then do the superstructure white, or visa-versa.
There are no clear parts for the bridge windows, so if you want to put them in you will have to cut the windows out and make your own clear parts. You also can do the same with the port holes if you wish.
There are no decals or a national flag included in the kit. You can either order some online or make your own, either using a computer or by scratch.
The stand is made up of two plastic end pieces and a center support piece. If you super detail this model, I would suggest that you either make or buy a better stand. If you just do an OOB build, the stand given will do fine.
This kit also gives you the option of installing a motor. It comes with a battery holder, motor mount, and instructions in Chinese to show you how to put every thing together. There is no room to make it remote controlled so if you do put a motor in it, I hope you have a way to retrieve it if the batteries give out!
There is no A/M or P.E. being offered by the aftermarket suppliers as of this writing that I know of. As the Chinese Navy progresses, and more kits are put out for builders, this can open up a new area of interest for all Model Ship Builders.
I am again disappointed in Trumpeter for putting out a kit without paint schematics, or without any decals or national flag. As a Chinese company it seems to me that they would be proud to put out a kit to showcase their Navy to the Modeling Community.
That said, this model is perfect for a beginner, or for someone who wishes to super detail an interesting subject. With so little out there for the modeler interested in building Chinese Navy ships, this model will work for now. Hopefully the companies that make models will put out more kits on the Chinese Navy, as this is a gap in the modeling community.
Since this is a static model, I cannot suggest you use it in a diorama, unless waterline modifications are made. In spite of all the research efforts that you have to put into building this model, and with the shortcomings I discussed earlier, the finished subject still should look great and compliment with your other builds.