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Tamiya IJN Kagero

RELATED TOPICS: SHIPS | WARSHIP | MILITARY
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Tamiya’s 1/350 scale kit represents the Kagero, the lead ship of its class, in its 1939 fit. Similar in design to previous classes, the Kagero class was considered the pinnacle of Japanese destroyers, with a streamlined bridge structure, 35.5-knot speed, 5,000-mile range, and balanced weapons fit; it was the first class to carry the deadliest long-range naval weapon of World War II, the 20km Type 93 Long Lance torpedo.

The kit offers optional barrels for the six 12.7cm Type 3 guns in three Type C turrets to set the elevation at 5 or 45 degrees. Terrific detail graces the two Type 92 torpedo mounts and pair of Hotchkiss license-built twin 25mm mounts. Vinyl retainers leave the turrets and rudder movable.

No deviations from the 16-page, 32-step booklet were required.

Step 1 gives the option to build a waterline or full-hull model. I modified the lower hull, removing the internal guide rail to display it either way. The rest of the hull built quickly and without problems.

Step 8 has info about cutting and bending photo-etch, perfect for novices.

Clear instructions quickly guide the build through the PE radio direction-finder tower, compact bridge structure, and masts.

In Step 27, I added the main gun barrels, using the high angle in one and the low angle in the other two for visual interest. It’s great to have the option.
The remaining steps cover deck details, including fine PE depth-charge racks and paravane cranes.

Color instructions and decals show large white characters for the hull sides and stern, but these were painted out for the Pearl Harbor raid and never replaced. I added one to the port side but not the starboard so both aspects could be viewed. I painted the hull with Testors Model Master Acryl Maizuru gray (No. 4252) and the deck with Tamiya linoleum brown (XF-79). Stretched-sprue rigging was added to the masts to match the box art.

This excellent, detailed kit is perfect for beginners, and a great starting point for an advanced modeler who wants to add aftermarket or scratchbuilt parts. I spent just over 11 hours on the build, aided by the terrific instructions and the logical assembly sequence. This is one of the most relaxing models I’ve built recently.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the July 2016 issue.

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