Thursday, March 16

Long range detection & destruction from Hobbyboss in April

The Chinese AWACS & Russian missile air defence are the two new releases for Hobbyboss' April releases. We look at the sprues, colours, & decals in our preview...

Long range detection & destruction from Hobbyboss in April

Russian S-350E Vityash Surface-to-Air Missile System
1/35th scale
Price: $213 USD from Hobbylink Japan
The S-350E Vityaz 50R6 is a new mobile ground-to-air defense system designed, developed, and manufactured in Russia by the Russian Defense Company Almaz-Antey. Development of a Vityaz began in the early 1990s with a series of successful system firings against various target types. It was unveiled in 1998 by Almaz concern and is roughly a counterpart of the European SAMPT. It is probable that the system is mainly aimed at the export market and is designed to complement the S-300 / S-400 missile family. South Korea is developing a simplified version of the Vityaz called Cheolmae-2 with the help of Almaz Central Design Bureau. The Vityaz is expected to replace the outdated S-300PS systems, whose service life is coming to an end in the next two years. The new system will have more advanced radar and a launcher with 16 missiles compared to only four on the S-300. In February 2013, the Russian Ministry of Defense and Almaz-Antey announced the first flight test for the Vityaz 50R6 for autumn 2013. 

The colour scheme presented in this kit
The decals in the box
The system was unveiled for the first time to the public during the MAKS AirShow in Moscow, August 2013. According to Almaz, Vityaz could replace older SAMs like the S-125 while adding multiple-target and anti-missile capabilities. According to information released in 2003, the system can be delivered in two configurations: a version optimised for protecting against high-precision weapons (cruise missiles, ARMs, smart bombs and tactical UAVs) able to simultaneous engage up to eight targets, and a multi-role version, in the former configuration the battery consists of a radar and up to four launchers with 32 "small" missiles each, while in the latter the heart of the battery is a mobile command post linked to up to two radars and up to eight launchers. On December 23, 2019, it was announced by Almaz-Antey that Russian troops have received the first set of the advanced S-350 ‘Vityaz’ surface-to-air missile system.

The parts & sprues of the kit
Model Length: 345.2mm / Width: 80.1mm
Total Plastic Parts 840+
Total of 23 sprues, cab and tires
> Detailed multi-directional slide-molded cab
> Full drive train assembly complete with engine transmission, differential housing and suspension units.
> The main tires are hollow rubber with very good tread pattern & the wheel hubs are in great detail
Masks are provided for the transparent parts
Three frets of photo-etch are included to replicate the thinner parts of the vehicle.

Shaanxi KJ-500
Model: 83904
1/144th scale
The KJ-500 is the newest version of China's airborne early warning aircraft based on the An-12/Y-8/Y-9 series of transport aircraft. It's main radar antenna is housed in a .circular fairing on top of the aircraft. This does not house a rotating antenna, as earlier AEW types with a similar-looking "rotodome" do, but a triangle of antennae with electronically scanned beams.

The colour schemes presented in this kit
The decals in the box
The KJ-500 was required to have three important features, which are good detection capability, good identification ability, and quick responsiveness. The KJ-500 was also required to be the core force of the information combat system, its equipped technology has four major characteristics, which are networking, multi-functionality, high-integration, and lightweight. The aircraft carries a fixed dorsal radome containing three AESA radar arrays for 360-degree coverage, and is said to be more efficient than the two-planar 'balance beam' array design used on the earlier KJ-200. Production of older AEW&C types reportedly ceased production in 2018 in response to the KJ-500 reaching full operational capability.

The sprues of the kit
Model Length: 239.1mm / Wingspan: 264.4mm
Total Plastic Parts  120+
Total of 7 sprues
Photo-etch parts included in the kit as well as transparent sprues for clear parts. 
These new kits are (or should soon be) available soon from Hobbyboss' Distributors Worldwide...