by: Bruce Miller [ ]
Originally published on:
History of the Admiral Kai-Feng
The Type 051 Missile Destroyer(NATO code name Luda class) was the first Surface warfare oriented vessel ever designed and built in China, and the first Chinese ship to be fitted with an integrated combat direction system. It was based on the Soviet Neustrashimy class destroyer design, with some design influences from the Kotlin class destroyer.
The Admiral Kai-Feng is one of two of the Luda Class Destroyers which were modified for ASW and C31 duties. The aft 130mm and AAA guns were removed and replaced with a helicopter deck, hanger space for 2 helicopters, and a 5-cell HO-7 SAM system. A Chinese copy of the Thomson-CSF TAVITAC combat data system, ZKJ-4 was added for C31 duties.
KAI-FENG (109)- was upgraded with Crotale SAM and YJ-83 (C-803) missiles. (However, it is unclear as to whether Hull 109 is the KAI-FENG or the DA-LIAN.)
This model is a very simple and inexpensive one. It comes in a sturdy box with good box art. Upon opening the box there is one clear plastic bag holding the sprues and another bag holding the deck and hull. The sprues and parts are molded in light gray plastic as is the hull and deck. The parts are mostly flash clear and are well molded. The hull is in one piece and shows very good detail. It has the sonar dome for the sonar and it is also very well molded. The deck is also one piece and well molded. The deck details are simplified since all the clevises are pre-molded so you do not have to fix them on. This makes it easer than having them as separate parts that must be assembled. More on this when I cover painting the model.
The instructions consist of a single, double-sided page, which is very vague as to the placement of the parts. You must be very careful when putting this model together. In looking over the instructions and the part sprues, make sure that what the step says and what the part number says are the same. Part number a-49 and a-18 is backwards on the instruction. Also remember to wash all of the sprues as they have a heavy oil feel to them. You also might want to have a Chinese dictionary handy for some of the part numbers. They are in Chinese with no English numbers. As there is no part numbers list, I counted about 176 parts. The sprues are divided in an A sprue and a C sprue. Hopefully there was not a B sprue that was not included.
Trumpeter did not include any paint or decal instructions with this kit. The box art shows what the hull, deck, superstructure, and weapons color might be. In researching this class of Chinese destroyers to make this model as accurate as possible, I found that the box art is wrong.
The hull should be a gray-green, the deck should be a dark gray, the superstructure should be white, and the weapons should be a mix of white and yellow. As there were no paint color instructions, the best advice I can give is to research all you can. The colors I am using on my build for this model are from Humbrol:#27 sea gray matt, # 22 white gloss, # 19 bright red gloss, # 33 black matt, # 28 camo gray matt, # 54 brass metallic, # 209 fire orange gloss, Testors flat yellow, Reapers Miniatures #18037 sea foam with some titanium white added. These colors are the best I could find after all the research I did, but you may find that different colors work better.
As there are no decals included with this kit, you will have to order them from an aftermarket seller. You will have to order a national flag and a hull number, and anything else you might want to put on, such as safety markers, stand clear lines, warning labels, and so forth. As of yet there is no P.E. or A.M. for this model, and I do not anticipate seeing any in the near future. In researching this for building and doing this review, I spent 100 hours on the net, and got 40 books from my local library. So this may be a simple and cheap model, but be prepared to spend a lot of time on research.
I am disappointed in Trumpeter in releasing this model, as I did expect a lot more from them. To release this very well made model without including any paint instructions or decals to showcase their Navy’s ships, to me is very disappointing.
Since this is a static model, I cannot suggest you use it in a diorama, unless waterline revisions are made. The kit provides a basic plastic stand. But with all the research you have to do, I would suggest you buy or make a better stand to show off this model. All in all this is a very simple kit to put together, so if you have never put a ship model together before, this might be the perfect kit to start with.