Review: Youfeng 1/700 Chinese 053H3 Jiangwei II Frigate

First – if you want to buy this kit it’s available at our shop and there’s a 10% off coupon code in the video above.

History
The Type 053H3 (NATO codename Jiangwei II) were Chinese frigates that entered service with the People’s Liberation Army Navy Surface Force in the 1990s and 2000s. The class comprised 10 vessels, all of which remain in active service. They were a follow-on of the Type 053H2G Jiangwei I class. The Zulfiquar-class frigate used by the Pakistan Navy was based on the Type 053H3

A limited, mid-life upgrade was observed for the 053H3 starting in 2015. Visible differences include the replacement of the ESM/EW suite/radars to similar systems from the Type 054, replacement of the HQ-7 with the HHQ-10 short-range air defense missile and replacement of the 4 x Type 76A 37mm guns with a new 2 x 30mm CIWS similar to the Gryazev-Shipunov AO-18K.

In plastic, I can only see 2 other kits from Dreammodel in this scale. It looks like one kit is for the ships as built and another kit as they were after the mid-life update. I might be wrong on that though as the images for both ships seem to be from before the mid-life update.

Inside the box:

  • Approx 82 resin parts
  • 1 solid resin waterline hull
  • 1 PE sheet with about 168 parts
  • 1 decal sheet
  • 1 double-sided colour sheet of instructions
  • Available from our own shop. (See the video for money off coupon)

The box is a very solid cardboard box and everything is inside plastic bags and everything is then wrapped up in bubble wrap. The resin looks to be nicely detailed and comes in many small plastic bags. The PE fret is quite extensive.

The instructions are pretty straight forward but there is no historical background to the ships that we see quite often in instructions. The images show you the unpainted kit with the PE in place. The resin parts are numbered as are the PE parts. There are close up views of certain areas where more detail would be useful. There is plenty of detail to allow you to build the kit.

There is one section of the instructions that shows you the changes to make to build a post-mid-life update ship. The decal sheet allows you to build any of the 10 ships. The ships are numbered 521-524, 527-528, and 564-567. The instructions show you where the decals are placed on both versions of the ships.

There isn’t a painting guide. You will have to choose your own colours although it does seem to be a pretty simple light grey superstructure with dark grey decks.

Conclusion
This looks to be pretty easily the best model of this ship on the market. The other kits by Dreammodel have about half the resin and PE parts count. You will end up with a very well detailed model of any ship of the JiamngweiII class.

Paul Tosney – Editor
ModelBuilder International
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Paul Tosney

Paul has been with Model Builder International since almost the beginning. He started building models as a boy, and took a hiatus, but started building again a few years ago. He builds pretty much anything, but mostly WW2, with a smattering of modern and the occasional SciFi model.

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