by David J. Salvin
1/700 Horizon Class Frigate (Dodo Models)
The latest commission from my favorite patron is the Horizon class Frigate from Dodo Models. While certainly not the most attractive class of ships ever devised, and although it doesnít so at first blush, this kit comes with a number of interesting details and actually winds up being a rather detailed little ship.
While the hull and most of the superstructure are already molded in one block, the kit does allow for some interesting detailing. For example, the main bridge is actually PE that gets folded into place and put on the hull. This allows for the builder to use Crystal Clear (or other white glue) to recreate the bridge windows which can then be tinted from the inside leading to a rather nice effect. A bit better than just using black paint.
In addition to the block of resin for the hull, the kit does come with two full PE frets. This allows for lots of small details to be added. The other unique feature that this kit has is the use of PE for the complicated swagging rigging lines so prominent with this ship. This allows for even a basic modeler to achieve a rather nice result when the alternative is the attempt to make the netting rigging out of stretched sprue etc., which would be much more difficult to get right. While admittedly the PE rigging is over scale especially when compared to the halyard lines is added using stretched sprue, I think the ability to get the lines perfectly straight and square makes up for it. Iíd like to see more kit manufacturers consider PE for some of the more complicated rigging called for on some ships - at least as an option.
The instructions were adequate, however, like MANY of the new kits I seem to run across these days, many of the fret numbers donít match the numbers called for in the instructions, and particularly in this kit, several parts are simply not addressed in the instructions, leaving the builder to speculate as to their placement and build order. I simply do not understand why kit manufacturers donít have a third party builder to simply build the kit from the instructions. If they did this, they would catch virtually all of these errors and omissions in the instructions.
Instruction omissions notwithstanding, the kit is very well done and makes for a great build.
David J. Salvin