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Takom 1/350 scale Italian ‘Horizon’-class destroyer plastic model kit review

Disappointing decals in an otherwise great ship model
Kit:6007 // Scale:1/350 // Price:$78.99
Takom (Sample courtesy of manufacturer.)
Subject matter; overall great fit
Hard plastic difficult to work with; missing decal markings
Injection-molded plastic (gray, clear); 386 parts (118 photo-etched metal); decals
Horizon-class destroyers were a joint effort between France and Italy to create powerful, modern destroyers focused on air defense missions.

The Takom 1/350 scale Italian Horizon-class destroyer includes options for both Italian members of the class, D553 Andrea Doria or D554 Caio Duilio. A nice EH-101 Merlin helicopter is included to dress up the deck, along with numerous photo-etched metal (PE) items. Unlike its earlier Sachsen-class frigate kit, Takom has included all the necessary railings in the PE for this kit.

Though it isn’t stated, the three-part hull construction can lend itself to a waterline model, although no “lower plate” is included. There are a handful of options depending on which hull number you select, all of which are pointed out in the instructions. Sprue gates tend toward the larger size, and the plastic seems harder than usual, so take care in cleaning up parts.

Injection-molded pedestals are included in the kit for display — they make the ship a bit unsteady, so beware. The two parts for the bulbous bow fit well together but need filler to blend into the hull.

The hull assembled using tabs and notches for alignment and included a substantial aft deck incorporating a detailed hangar and multi-mission bays on the ship’s sides. Zodiac-style assault boats and cranes detail these bays, or you can model them closed. Make sure to paint the hangar roof if you are leaving it open. I left off the screw assemblies, rudders, and stabilizers for later in the build.

The deck parts fit very well, although there were slight gaps at the bow — they may have been of my own making. I assembled and painted all the deck details separately and mounted them at the end of the build. It employed tiny PE parts for the 25mm cannon assemblies, including the gunner’s seat and ammunition tracks. The Horizon-class has several radars mounted, which I left off the model for painting.

The Picasso-esque superstructure generally goes together well, with only scraping and touch-up with sanding sticks needed to remove seams. Careful alignment is key; I added a swipe of Perfect Plastic Putty to a few gaps caused by a tiny misalignment during assembly. Another quick swipe of putty took care of some of the slightly oversized slots for the platforms. Make sure you install the funnel caps when you assemble the funnel structure. The angles make fitting them later a problem.

With all superstructure assemblies mounted to the hull, I folded the PE railings to match the deck angles and taped them to cardboard scrap for painting off the hull.

Unfortunately, the decal printing only accounted for the sides of the vessel and helicopter shown in the instructions — only two hull numbers are provided instead of the required three, and there is only one Italian roundel for the helicopter. Other smaller decals are impacted by this mistake as well. I scrounged around until I found an acceptable “D553” (from a Revell 1/32 AsK glider sheet), and I hand-painted the roundels on the helicopter. The decals that are in the kit work well. Placing all the small details and adding a little weathering finished the kit.

With its 1/350 scale Italian Horizon-class destroyer plastic model kit, Takom has given modelers a nice kit of an important modern destroyer class that builds easily and accurately in under 50 hours. It’s simple enough that someone who has completed a few kits can do it. Unfortunately, the miscue on decal quantity lets the kit down.
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