Takom- Sachsen-Class Frigate First Look
OK...I am going to start this review out by saying I don't really know the first thing about frigates...especially modern German ones. And yes, once again, this one won't be on any AMPS show tables any time soon. However, I have been slumping a bit of late, and usually find that building something out of my normal habits is a great way to break out of it. So.....here goes. I will be relying heavily on the Takom instructions for the history....and an excellent article on the kit from The Modelling New website.
The F124 Sachsen air defense frigate class, ordered by the German government in 1996, consists of three ships- which are all available to recreate in this 3 in 1 kit. The lead ship, F219 Sachsen was commissioned in 2003, followed by F220 Hamburg in 2004, and F221 Hessen in 2006. They were built under a trilateral frigate agreement between Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands. The ships are 469 feet long, with a beam of 57.2 feet, a draft of 16 feet, and a full displacement of 5780 tons. Built using the MEKO modular construction, they incorporate seven watertight compartments which allow for easy maintenance and upgrade capabilities. They possess a crew of 38 officers, 64 petty officers, and 140 enlisted sailors and can remain at sea without resupply for three weeks at a time.
Ships of the class are powered by a combination diesel and gas propulsion system. The two operating shafts work independently, each driving two five-bladed variable pitch propellers. The GE LM2500 PF/MLG gas turbine is rated at 31,500 shaft horsepower and the MTU 20V 1163 TB93 diesels provide a combined 20,100 brake horsepower. The total 51,600 hp system provides a top speed of 29 knots. When operating at diesel power only, the ships can cruise for 4,000 nautical miles at a speed of 18 knots.
The primary anti-air weapons are the 32-cell Mk 41 Mod 10 vertical launching system, equipped with 24 SM-2 Block IIA missiles and 32 Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles. Point defense against cruise missiles is provided by a pair of 21-round Rolling Airframe Missile launchers. The ships are also equipped with 2 four-cell RGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missile launchers. For anti-sub defense, they carry two triple-launchers for the 324 mm MU90 impact torpedoes. There are also a variety of guns on board, including a dual-purpose 62 caliber 76 mm gun and two Rheinmetall 27 mm MLG 27 remote-controlled autocannons in single mounts. Sensors for electronic countermeasures are the long-range surveillance radar SMART-L and the multi-function radar APAR, as well as two STN Atlas 9600-M ARPA navigation radars.
What's in the Box
My apologies ahead of time to those who build ships out there as I really have no idea what things are called and usually have to look up which side is starboard- but I do enjoy Takom kits and this looks pretty straightforward and I will do my best. The kit was designed with the help of Snowman Model studios and also has the Das Werk logo on the box.
Sprue A (there are two) contain mostly the smaller parts of the kit-- I can see that some of the parts are weapons and the plinths to display the model...
Sprue B has more small bits, the rotor for the helicopter, and part of the ship.
Sprue C looks to be the superstructure of the ship- decks, hull parts, etc...detail is quite nice.
Sprue D has more of the same, as well as the housing for the ship screws, propellers, rudder, torpedo tubes, and inflatable boats.
Sprue E and F contain the rather long lower hull and deck parts...
A clear sprue G contains the two halves of the Westland Lynx helicopter...
There is an extensive PE fret and decal sheet with markings for the three ships of the class...
The instruction manual is typical Takom with clear, concise steps. I am at a disadvantage here as I will have no idea whether a step makes sense in the overall build- whereas with an armor kit I would know to divert from the instructions where it doesn't make sense...we will have to hope for the best. There is only one paint scheme and the only difference between the three ships I think is the hull number.
Well-- if Takom can leave their comfort zone and branch into ships, then I suppose I can try to do the same. This may take some time- but hopefully I will make the ship builders among you proud. Some of the parts are quite minuscule so care will definitely be needed in removing them from the sprue. Details are crisp however, and I see no flash or difficult sink marks of note. Here goes nothing....
Highly Recommended for Beginner to Advanced builders, pending Full Build.
Thanks goes out to Takom for this review kit.
Reviewed by Michael Reeves
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