Bronco 1/350 Type 056 Corvette

KIT #: NB 5041
PRICE: $37.00 SRP
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: New tool with p.e. parts


Type 056 corvette (NATO codename: Jiangdao) is a new Chinese light warship that entered service with the People's Liberation Army Navy in 2012 as a replacement for the Type 037 series of patrol vessels. It has been described as a stealth missile corvette which is also armed with a 76mm main gun.

Following the designing and building of the Pattani class corvette for the Royal Thai Navy in the mid-2000s, speculation of a domestic variant of the design was rife. The speculations were confirmed in November 2010 during a visit by Maj. Gen. Wang Junli, Deputy commander of the Hong Kong Garrison and the Hong Kong University's Vice-Chancellor Tsui Lap-chee when a model of the Type 056 was presented. The first ship was launched in May 2012.

Though the Type 056 appears in the 21st century, the design concept can be referred to as early as the 1980s, when the PLAN were considering developing a larger patrol ship to replace the Type 037 to improve the living conditions on the ship, which was firstly called by Type 038. However, this concept was not realized until the appearance of Type 056 in 2012 due to the shortage of funds. Already fifteen ships are on active duty with another ten either fitting out or undergoing sea trials.


This is the first of at least three kits of this class of ship, at least according to the markings on the etched fret. Bronco has provided a nicely done, full hull ship kit of these new Chinese corvettes. Bronco has also realized that ship modelers want railings when offered a photo etch fret and those are what make up most of the p.e. that is included in this kit. Perhaps other ship kit makers will catch on and follow suit.

The hull is split into right and left halves. Each half is extensively reinforced to prevent flex an includes a large horizontal brace in each half as well as the vertical braces. This means no flexing when assembling the kit. As expected of a full hull kit, you get prop shafts, props and rudders. The forecastle is where the ship's gun is located and this is a separate assembly. In the back, is a lower deck boat deck that also includes what appears to be equipment for a towed sonar array. This piece is also the boat deck and fits under the flight deck. The builder can cut away the boat deck access door and replace it with a photo etch piece if one so wishes or leave it open to show what is on the deck. There are additional bulkheads to help enclose this area and add strength to the hull.

Most of the rest of the upper deck is a single casting onto which a forward bridge assembly is installed. This includes your close in defense guns as well as the various radar arrays. Another item added to the upper deck is a stack assembly, which is surprisingly complex, something that is part of the lowobservability design of the ship. Some of the photo etch is used in this assembly as well. Once all this is built, there is a bewildering array of antennas and weapons to fit on the other surfaces. The kit includes a helicopter which is also armed. All this fits atop a nice base which includes a brass plaque.

Instructions are well done in Bronco's usual booklet style with the p.e. bits colored so they are easy to find. Decals are provided for the two ships based at Hong Kong, the Huizhou andQuinzhou. There are also some markings for the helicopter.


China has been on a major ship building program over the last decade or so and will soon have a very large navy. Those who like to model modern combat ships will be quite pleased with this one. Best of all, it is relatively small (a bit over 10 inches) so will not overwhelm your display area.


November 2014

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