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Project Notes

#581 PLA Navy Type 054A

Building the Trumpeter 1:700 PLAN 054A Frigate (no electronics - yet).



My first ship model in many decades. I wasn’t sure I had much of an attraction for modern warships until I actually started the build. I was quite intrigued by the modern PLA Navy, and once I started working on the model, I must admit the sleek lines had me suckered completely.

The Type 054A is a multi-role frigate with impressive air-defence and anti-submarine capabilities, and the class first entered service in 2005. The 黄山/Huangshan (570) I’ve modelled here is still in active service.

In retrospect, I think I chose the wrong scale. At 1:700, the Trumpeter kit has noticeable structural differences from photos I’ve seen of the ships, and there’s not much scope for even photo-etch to make up for missing detail.

It also turned out to be a bit too small to do anything particularly interesting with custom electronics. I’ve set my eye on some 1:350 subjects for Trumpeter to have another go.

Nevertheless, I’m now quite enamoured with this ship, and look forward to adding a few more PLA Navy subjects to the stash/display shelf.

The Kit

I got my kit from the Colorfulday Store on Aliexpress. All arrived in good order..



PLAN 054A Humbrol Tamiya Vallejo Model Color Paint Used
Tire Black - Z-9, KZ-27 helicopter tires   XF85 70.862 Black Grey  
Light Grey - Z-9, KZ-27 helicopter body 147 XF14 70.907 Pale Grey Blue  
Flat Black - funnel, chains, anchor 33 XF1 70.950 Black 70.950 Black
Medium Gunship Grey - deck 128 XF58 70.868 Dark Sea Green 70.868 Dark Sea Green
Grey - upper hull, superstructure 127 XF19 70.990 light grey 70.990 Light Grey
Hull Red - lower hull 177 XF9 70.985 Hull Red 70.985 Hull Red
Gold - propellors 16 X12 70.878 Old Gold 70.878 Old Gold


So it’s been a while. And I think my first mistake was assembling the desk and hull before painting the desk (I turned out to be a helluva challenge).

Primed and partially assembled:




Credits and References

Project Source on GitHub Project Gallery Return to the LEAP Catalog

This page is a web-friendly rendering of my project notes shared in the LEAP GitHub repository.

LEAP is just my personal collection of projects. Two main themes have emerged in recent years, sometimes combined:

  • electronics - usually involving an Arduino or other microprocessor in one way or another. Some are full-blown projects, while many are trivial breadboard experiments, intended to learn and explore something interesting
  • scale modelling - I caught the bug after deciding to build a Harrier during covid to demonstrate an electronic jet engine simulation. Let the fun begin..
To be honest, I haven't quite figured out if these two interests belong in the same GitHub repo or not. But for now - they are all here!

Projects are often inspired by things found wild on the net, or ideas from the many great electronics and scale modelling podcasts and YouTube channels. Feel free to borrow liberally, and if you spot any issues do let me know (or send a PR!). See the individual projects for credits where due.