Sunday, June 8, 2014

Kuang Hua VI Fast Attack Craft

The Kuang Hua VI Fast Attack Craft - Guided Missile (FACG) class ship is a (relatively) new missile boat for the Taiwanese Navy. The original prototype was delivered in late 2003, but various issue delayed the final production version until 2009 with the last ships being delivered in 2011. Currently the Taiwanese Navy operates 30 ships of this type, armed with a single 20mm gun and four Hsiung Feng II anti-ship missiles.

A few years ago I purchased four Kuang Hua VI FACG from PT Dockyard with plans to create a small Taiwanese missile boat force. However, these went into the ships box until I could come up with an opposing force from the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). After building the PLAN force for my Enfilade 2014 game, I decided to pull out the Kuang Hua VI boats to include in the game. After starting some internet research, I figured out that a slight redesign had happened to the Kuang Hua VI FACG between the prototype and final production versions, as can be seen in the following photos.
Kuang Hua VI class prototype FACG 60
Kuang Hua VI class production version (FACG 64)
The PT Dockyard boats were based on the prototype version, FACg 60, which has a rounded superstructure and a civilian style bridge. The final version has a flat superstructure and bridge, presumably for better ‘stealth’ capabilities for the FACGs. The only other major visible change I could see is that the forward 20mm mount was removed (although it does look like the area to mount the gun was retained, but it is hard to tell from some of the photos).

Looking at the new pictures, I decided I wanted to modify the PT Dockyard ships to look like the current ships. But I also decided to keep one in the original FACG 60 layout. I originally thought I might need to pull out some sheet styrene to flatten out the ship. I studied the photos and model, then decided to try just cutting and sanding the superstructure of the ship. Once I started down this path, it turned out to be a pretty easy modification. I thought about removing the forward 20mm mounting ring, but decided to leave it in place.
My modified ships with the production version on the left and the original on the right
Initially the modification looked a little rough, but once the paint was applied everything looked pretty good.
Final versions with the prototype on the left and final version on right
Hopefully Dave G at PT Dockyard will look at redoing the Kuang Hua VI boats, but even if he doesn’t it should be easy for anyone to fix them up.
My Kuang Hua VI squadron