by: Anthony Kochevar [ ]
The Yamato was one of he most heavily armed and most powerful ships afloat in the Imperial Japanese Navy during he Second World War. Weighing in with a displacement of around 72,000 tons, she was fitted with nine massive 18.1 inch guns and a plethora of secondary and anti-aircraft guns throughout.
Commissioned just after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the Yamato served as the flagship to the IJN Combined Fleet from 1942 until her demise at the hands of the allies in 1945. The only occasion the Yamato had the chance to fire here big guns in battle were to engage the American invading forces during the battle of Left Gulf. While the IJN was actually at the brink of winning he battle, the order was given to retreat as they were under the impression that they came up against the entire US Carrier Fleet. What was not known is that they engaged a Light Carrier Group and one Battleship only, which would have possibly been eliminated rather easily given the size of the INJ forces present.
At her end, the Yamato was ordered to Okinawa in an effort to slow down the advance of the Allied Forces. She was to beach herself and fight until the bitter end. On the 7th of April, 1945, the Yamato and her Task Force was spotted. Carrier-based bombers were sent and she was soon sunk taking most of her crew to the bottom with her.
Fujimi’s 1/700 Yamato comes well packaged and each fret comes individually bagged. Each Fret was well intact and had no issues with missing parts that came loose and lost in the bag.
The hull comes as one piece and has a high degree of detail. You can see the degaussing cable and several porthole covers all over the sides. One of the best features of this hull is the small internal airplane and dinghy storage areas which adds depth to the build. The waterline plate is simple but fits well to the hull.
This has the Bow and aircraft deck and the large 18” gun turrets and other small details like a few rangefinders, platforms and such. Most pieces are well molded and have lots of details
This has most of the super structure, the stern deck and a few other details. A modeler will be able to easily make all the versions of Yamato from its commissioning to 1945. The superstructure base comes in in three pieces to aid in this. The instructions only show you how to build the 1945 version so you’ll need to use a reference and your imagination during construction but it should not be hard.
This is the mast at the stern of the super structure. While it is molded well, some of the smaller cross braces are too close and over scale.
You get two of these. They have the Type 89 12cm AA and some shielded Type 96 AA. The Type 89 have almost no detail but as the photo etch has details for these that is okay. The shielded Type 96 is good but has molding issues on a few. More of that on the next fret.
These two frets have unshielded and shielded Type 96, some rangefinders and some AA platforms. These frets have a few issues. The unshielded AA is a bit over scale however the shielded ones have divots or holes in their tops due to improper molding. This is a big negative as these will need fixed with putty to get them looking normal like the ones on other frets.
Two frets again come in the box and contain more AA, aircraft and other small details. This fret is molded well and since you get four 15cm turrets you have enough to build the 1941 version of the Yamato.
Has more AA, platforms and rangefinders. These are well molded and each has lots of details.
The two PE frets the kit comes with save this kit! Both frets are flawless and add detail to those parts that are somewhat lacking. Some highlights of this fret are the aircraft deck, AA platforms, diamond tread for larges areas, and lots of davits. Again this is a highlight to the kit.
You get a small set of decal with the kit, the set is well made and the smaller decals look really good.
These are well diagrammed and while they do not contain optional instructions for making anything but the 1945 version, a savvy modeler should have no trouble doing so with what you are given.
While this is a good feature to include for novice modelers, more experienced ship builders will likely opt to make something a bit more realistic. At the very least some may want to repaint it to look a bit better.
Fujimi's 1/700 IJN Yamato with sea base offers a few surprises and some disappointments but overall will build into a good model. Overall an experienced modeler should have no trouble correcting the flaws and making a great build with the included photo etch.