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Hasegawa Junyo

FineScale Modeler reviews the 1/350 scale plastic model ship kit
RELATED TOPICS: SHIPS | AIRCRAFT
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Originally intended to be a passenger/cargo ship, the Junyo was the first Japanese aircraft carrier to have the bridge and funnel in the same island. The ship took part in the Aleutian and Guadalcanal operations before being damaged on June 19, 1944, at the Battle of the Marianas. With its flight deck unusable, the ship returned to Japan. Torpedoed by an American sub on Dec. 9, 1944, the Junyo retreated to port, where it waited out the rest of the war.

Hasegawa’s new Junyo is excellent, with perfect fits and first-rate instructions. It consists of 22 gray plastic sprues with little flash. Three of the sprues provide the air wing, three each of four types: A6M5 Type 52 “Zero,” A6M2 Type 21 “Zero,” B6N2 Tenzan “Jill,” and D4Y “Judy.”  Thin wings and landing gear add to the planes’ realism. Hasegawa sells a supplemental set of aircraft that doubles the number of planes (No.72162, $34.99); I used it on my model. A clear sprue provides aircraft canopies and searchlights for the ship. There’s also a metal anchor chain. Decals supply markings for the aircraft and ship. Also included are a nice large poster of the Junyo and a large print with the ship’s top and sides on one side and a detailed rigging plan on the other.

Terrific engineering and moldings allowed many of the parts to click together. But read the instructions carefully: Many of the bridge parts are tiny, so be careful when assembling the island.

I glued all four main flight-deck pieces together before attaching them to the hull to prevent gaps. Be sure to paint the high-angle gun decks (parts 1, 24, 45, 46, and 47) before attaching the flight deck to the hull. Part 44 should be painted deck wood; I used Testors wood.

The boats under the stern can’t be seen, but I painted them anyway.

I painted the hull with Testors Model Master light ghost gray. I used the same color for the undersides of the aircraft; their upper surfaces were painted with Model Master IJN green.

The marking diagrams were clear, but I had trouble positioning the flight-deck decals. A glossy surface was essential.

I recommend Hasegawa’s impressive Junyo to modelers with experience working with small parts. It builds into a great replica, and photo-etched details would make it an outstanding centerpiece.


Note: A version of this review appeared in the February 2018 issue.

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