The following introduction is provided via the text on the instruction booklet included with this Bronco Models
The 056 class patrol ship replaces the older 037 class and was first suggested in the 1980ís, but did not emerge until 2012. The ship is a thoroughly modern design with modular hull featuring stealth properties. It weighs 1,400 tons full load and has a length of 89 metres and a beam of 11.6 metres. Power is provided by 2 marine diesel engines giving a maximum speed of 28 knots and a range of 6500 kilometres. A mixed armament is carried consisting of a 76mm gun, 4 x YJ-83 anti-ship missiles, 10 x HQ-10 SAM missiles and 6 torpedo tubes. The rear deck has a helipad to operate small to medium size helicopters. A total of 20 ships have been ordered for the PLA Navy, and the type has been offered for export with different hull and armament options.
The model is packaged in a cardboard tray with a very tight fitting card lid. The contents inside are individually packaged inside heat sealed plastic bags. The contents break down as follows;
- 3 grey sprues
- 1 grey plastic upper deck
- 1 black plastic display stand
- 2 clear sprues
- 1 photo etched fret
- A decal sheet
- An instruction booklet
A look at the various parts of this model gives me the impression of a very complete model, by this I mean that I see no reason for after-market parts to be purchased. The moulding are all very clean as regards push out marks and flash. There is a large plastic injection tab present on the upper deck which is unsightly, but will not be seen after construction. I will mention that this model represents 1 of 3 identical ship releases from Bronco Models
The hull is supplied split length ways; it has brace detail inside the hull to prevent warping and at the same time give the hull mouldings a strong structure. I have started to put one of these ship models together and other than being difficult to remove the parts from the sprue, there are no other issues with the mouldings. I have visually checked the hull against images online and the match looks quite good. There is some question over the shape of the bulbous structure on the bow of the ship, but there are no pictures I could find of the bow of a Type 56 and drawings vary greatly.
What I think of as the deck of a ship is very minimal in the case of the Type 56 Corvette, consisting of a small area at the bow of the ship. This area is where the 76mm gun turret is mounted. There is some nicely moulded on detail, but it represents a very small portion of the model. One big plus for this area is the fit; the model I am building of the Type 56 this deck part has a very good fit.
The superstructure of the ship looks to be a very good match for photographs online, with Bronco Models
looking to have captured the angles of the various structures very well. At the bow of the ship Bronco Models
has supplied what I would consider to be the Captains launch, this area is hidden when construction is complete beneath the ships helipad: Bronco Models
has given this some thought and offered up the option of cutting away part of the moulded structure and replacing it with a photo etched part which I believe can be placed to allow a view inside. One area I am not looking forward to building is what would have been called the smoke stack in years gone by; there are a large number of what look like window frames to be added in photo etched parts, I am not only concerned about my ability to place these parts cleanly, but also removing them from the photo etched fret without damaging or distorting them. Bronco Models
has included some very fine plastic parts with this model as well as the photo etch, items such as the radar, inflatable life rafts and various antennas which will take a steady hand to apply and to get the most from them.
has supplied with the model all of the need railings, they are supplied in the form of photo etched parts. The placing of these parts should not be overly difficult, but it will take a good pair of scissors to remove these from the fret with causing damage.
The weapons systems on the ship all look to be well represented despite their very small size. The 76mm gun turret has even been supplied with the ability to elevate the barrel should you wish to play. There is a helicopter supplied for the helipad in clear plastic, this is surprisingly well detailed for such a small model and being supplied in clear plastic means the glazing can be represented well with careful painting. The model reminds me of a Dauphin, but I do not know the Chinese designation.
This is an area of the model that would not usually get a mention, but I rather like the shapes of the supports. The application of gold leaf to the support should make them even more eye catching. Bronco Models
has also supplied a very nice photo etched brass plague for the stand which will finish it off a treat or save the modeller some money if they get a wooded base instead.
The decals supplied with the model are of a good quality, they are very fine with good colour. The carrier film is minimal and so should be easy to apply. I believe the decals are very complete as they even include offerings for the helicopter to test your eyesight with.
The instruction booklet is the usual high quality glossy paper affair we have come to expect from Bronco Models
. The various stages are presented in manageable chunks even if it is covering very small parts. The painting instructions cover both the ship and the helicopter.
NB5041 Hong Kong Garrison
NB5042 East Sea Fleet
NB5043 North Sea Fleet
This is the first ship in 1/350th scale I have looked at in a very long time, and I have to say I am impressed with the progress that has been made in that time. Detail in this offering is crisp and has some very impressively fine moulded parts. The accuracy of the model is limited to the Mk 1 eyeball in this case, looking at photographs online and then the model, all I can say is that the one I am building at the moment looks right. I do question why Bronco Models
has released 3 identical models other than the ship numbers on the decal sheet, I cannot see what is gained by this approach other than the increased packaging costs, however I am sure that Bronco Models
knows what they are doing.