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Joe Simon’s 1/350 scale Yahagi

This Hasegawa build is loaded with detail
RELATED TOPICS: SHIPS
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Read Joe’s history of the Yahagi here.


Every couple of years, Joe Simon comes to FineScale Modeler with another magnificent ship model. This is a normally efficient turnaround time for Joe, who spends hundreds of hours and an average of two years on each model.

You could say his exquisite builds have a magnetic appeal; they attract metal — mostly gold. His Russian missile destroyer Otlichnyy (February 2010 FSM) and Japanese battleship Kongo (April 2013 FSM) have each won first place in their category at the IPMS USA National Convention.

And now comes his Hasegawa 1/350 scale Japanese light cruiser Yahagi (November 2017 FSM), loaded with all the accessories Hasegawa offers for it as well as Joe’s considerable scratchbuilding and general modeling skills. It has yet to compete at the IPMS nationals, but is sure to gain notice there.

The magazine article shows plenty of the build. Yet there still wasn’t enough room to show it all. We hope you enjoy seeing a little more of it.

But enough talk — let’s have a look!
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An overall view shows the various materials involved in a deluxe build, with plastic, photo-etch (PE), and resin all visible and the decks masked before painting.

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Non-skid linoleum decking is a distinctive feature on Japanese vessels. The strips holding down the decking are molded on the kit, but Joe sanded all that off to replace them with PE strips. The smallest marks are guides to locating the PE strips later.

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The PE tie-down strips for the decking are from Flyhawk. Joe spent three months sanding off the molded lines and installing the PE tie-downs. No wonder ship models take so long!

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Replacing a damaged part, Joe burnished foil over a tread-plate pattern.

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Some of the molded detail on the foremast looked too thick to Joe. He replaced it with PE and stretched sprue.

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Joe rigged the main loop with 1.5-pound fishing line and used stretched sprue for all other lines. He painted the lines black before installing them and tightened them with a small iron he also uses for covering R/C aircraft with stretchable film. Note the dry-brushed paint on lockers and guns.

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On the Aichi E13A “Jakes,” Joe passed up the plastic for PE floats. He also used PE for the canopy frames along with window-making glue for the glass.

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Joe says, “I thoroughly enjoyed building this wonderful kit. It took a lot longer that expected, due to the numerous modifications and the use of three Hasegawa detail sets, but 955 hours later I had my Yahagi.”

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