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Hasegawa IJN Shimakaze

Capable of a 15-torpedo broadside using three quintuple torpedo mounts, the Shimakaze could unleash 43.5 tons of torpedoes in a single salvo. The lead ship of a planned 16-ship class of super-destroyers, Shimakaze would be the only one finished; it proved to be too complex for Japan’s industrial capabilities as World War II dragged on. Hasegawa’s limited-edition kit depicts Shimakaze’s final configuration with increased anti-aircraft armament at the Battle of Leyte Gulf in October 1944. The ship was sunk at the Battle of Ormac Bay a few weeks later.

The parts are molded in five colors — gray, red, brown, clear, and brass-plated — with crisp raised and recessed details and few defects.
Clear, easy to follow instructions, included references to Hasegawa’s photo-etch detail set (No. QG57), which I didn’t use.

But I did apply Hasegawa’s self-adhesive linoleum deck (No. QG58). Precut sections cover the fore and aft decks and have the brass expansion joints printed on.

Using these decks forced me to rethink my building order. First, the decking can be pulled up by masking tape, so in steps 11 and 15, I assembled and painted the bridge and aft wheelhouse and attached them after the decks were down. Second, I removed the molded lines on the plastic parts so the deck would lay flat and seal.

Assembly is straightforward and progressed with few problems. Step 1 clearly indicates holes to be opened to mount the 14 extra 25mm anti-aircraft guns.

The upper deck curves to match the hull. Five pegs along the centerline attach the upper and lower hulls. The fit is firm and snug and I didn’t need to use glue or filler around the deck edges. Very nice!

The instructions number the sequence of part attachment in steps and include multiple views of how parts interact, which eases assembly.

The bridge has nine binoculars or binnacles, all of which are undercover but visible through the windows. A decal provides bridge window frames.

The design of the parts for the aft wheel house impressed me. The joints are at the corners, preventing seams often found on the centerline — nice, logical engineering.

Step 22 adds myriad deck winches, depth-charge launchers, and ammo lockers, but a top view aids location.

Assembly of the complex masts span three steps.

I added the 7-meter cutters and 8-meter boat helped by Step 34’s clear instructions for the davits, boat cradles, and boats.

I found shallow sink marks inside the splinter shields of the 14 single 25mm guns, but decided they would be mostly invisible and left them. 

The painting and decal instructions are supplemented by two pages of rigging diagrams. Be warned: To rig as shown, you will need the PE upgrade. Using stretched sprue, I rigged as much as possible without scratchbuilding parts.

The model measures within 1mm in length and spot on for width.
Hasegawa’a Shimakaze provides a solid foundation for anyone interested in upgrading and superdetailing. I spent 37 hours on mine, a bit more than normal, but that includes time experimenting with the self-adhesive deck.

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

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