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Tamiya 1/350 scale Imperial Japanese Navy heavy crusier Mogami

The Imperial Japanese Navy’s Mogami entered service in 1935 and participated in several crucial Pacific campaigns of World War II, including Midway and the Philippines.
Kit:No. 78023 // Scale:1/350 // Price:$199.99
Tamiya, available from Tamiya America, 800-826-4922
Good detail; posable gun directors, catapults, and torpedo tubes; well-detailed aircraft; clean molding; perfect fit; anchor chain; extra aircraft and guns
No sprue maps; lack of degaussing cable and ladder on smokestack; ejector-pin marks in lifeboats; no apparent reason for metal brackets, screws, and detailed bulkheads within the hull
Injection-molded, 727 parts (67 photoetched metal, 42 vinyl), decals
Tamiya’s new Imperial Japanese Navy heavy cruiser Mogami features the “all-8"-gun” configuration with which the ship fought at the Battle of Midway. The kit comes in a big box that is carefully packed and chock-full. The ship can be assembled waterlined or with a full hull.

Better stick to the instructions: Failure to do so will cause unanticipated problems in the build. The assembly sequence is carefully thought out; there are holes to drill and details to be removed. Ignore the instructions at your own peril, as there are many extra parts that look almost identical to the proper parts! The fits were perfect throughout the build.

I used Plastruct Plastic Weld thin glue for assembly, as the kit includes several different types of plastic, while using super glue and Model Masters liquid cement as necessary.

I did not use the kit’s screws or metal mounting brackets. Simple glue and normal assembly techniques worked fine. For some reason, the kit seems to be designed to be taken apart.

Poly caps on major assemblies allow them to be posed after assembly. The main gun barrels can be exchanged for three different elevations. The aircraft can even strike inflight poses, as the kit provides wire and stands. Photoetched-metal parts detail numerous areas of the ship.

Preparation of the hull took only seconds, as there were no parting lines and only tiny sprue gates. It is the most detailed lower hull I’ve seen on a kit. The prop shaft bulges (parts B20-B23) have recesses that accept metal prop shafts to position the shaft supports. Once glued, the shafts can be removed and super glued into place after painting. The upper hull pieces fit the lower hull perfectly. The three-piece main deck joins in invisible areas.

I spray-painted the lower hull with a generic red oxide primer, and most of the decks with White Ensign Models IJN linoleum. Other areas are painted WEM IJN Kure grey. The top of the stack and main mast are Polly Scale steam power black.

I mounted only the torpedo launchers on the torpedo deck, as nothing else can be seen. Be careful assembling the launchers – they are handed. I glued the two bridge assemblies directly to the deck. With its separate piping and photoetched-metal windbreaks, the smokestack assembly is beautiful – but the prominent ladder is missing. Although placement of Part B24 is vague in the instructions, the painting guide clarifies its location.

Assembling the deck houses and decks involved dozens of tiny parts, and the final effect is good. Removing two sprue stubs and parting lines on some of the tiny parts was tedious; it would have been better if the sprue gate had been at the base of the parts.

The photoetched aircraft cradle for the Aichi E13A “Jake” should be centered on the float struts under the pilot’s cockpit or the plane will be angled downwards. I painted the aircraft with Tamiya flat green (XF-5) lightened with Tamiya white (X-2);  the Tamiya dark green (XF-70) looked much too dark in this scale. I added even more white to the lighter green on the Nakajima E8N “Dave” aircraft, and cut identification stripes on the lower right wing of each aircraft from white decal film. I added hand-painted yellow ID stripes to the aircraft.

With all the perfect fits, I spent a very enjoyable 50 hours to build the ship and aircraft – slightly less than my normal time for a ship this large.


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