Reference number: 31544 Review by: Graham Thompson (May 2012)
The superb artwork on the usual Tamiya tray-and -id box says it all about this kit. On opening the box, I saw the usual high standard of packaging I have come to expect from Tamiya. All seven sprues are bagged up in either singles or pairs, with the waterline hull and base plate bagged separately. Two metal ‘weighting’ plates are packed in thick paper to stop them damaging or scratching anything. Just casting an eye over the broad hull gives a good idea of the superb build to come. One of the main features of this ship which, with her sister Musashi, were the largest ships built at time at an overall length of 862′ 10″, beam of a huge 127′ 7″ and a full load displacement of 71,659 tonnes is her huge deck, upswept curving bow and centre ‘island’ bristling with guns. These all appear to be beautifully represented in the parts of the kit.
I cannot comment on the accuracy, other than to compare it to pictures and to read other reviews, especially those on respected maritime modelling sites. This is actually the second Yamato produced in 1:700 by Tamiya and, although not a brand new kit, is a complete re-tool of the original and is rated as perhaps the best 1:700 Yamato available.
The parts on the sprues are very sharply moulded, with very good surface detail and are virtually flash free. Guns are a huge feature of this ship, with its nine 18″ and twelve 6″ guns for main armament and then a veritable forest of AA guns surrounding the main superstructure. Many of these AA weapons are in domed armoured turrets to protect the gunners against the blast from other guns around them! All these are beautifully detailed, with the three huge triple 18″ gun turrets standing out as being superb. Another nice feature for these main guns is that the barrels are moulded onto blast bags. This is a huge relief from having to make them.
The instruction sheet is just that, a two sided sheet. There’s not a lot to say about it, but the way that Tamiya engineer their models tends to do away with the huge multi-page booklets that come with some kits. This is no criticism, it just shows how such a kit can be broken down into logical build stages without going into volumes. What Tamiya do supply though is a superb colour chart for painting the kit.
The decals are very nicely printed with two sheets of ‘meatballs’ and markings for the two types of aircraft on the ship, the ‘Pete’ and the ‘Jake’. Also provided is a ’tissue paper’-like material with the various flags and banners for finishing off the model.
The Yamato is an imposing ship. It was huge, and beautifully designed. A slightly ‘off the wall’ look to it compared to western battleship designs, but a very striking and powerful looking ship that I just know this kit will reproduce well. There is a 1:350 scale version to which must be massive, see the build by Les Venus in Finished Now, not to mention a 1:200 if you have a garage to store it in.
|FEATURE||STAR RATING (out of five)|
|Quality of moulding||*****|
Although the kit is just superb, I have decided to add a few things to enhance it. First of all, a Photo etch set from Gold Medals Modals USA. I have never used these before, but they do look very good; unusually they are silver, but I do not know if they are steel or plated brass. The parts and instructions for the PE are amazing, with the name of each part etched into the fret. eally looking forward to making the crane and the two catapults which, if you can make it out on the instruction sheet picture, are made up from quite a few bits! Also, I will be using Sea Master turned brass barrels for the 6″ and 18″ guns. Thankfully, these will still allow me to use the blast bags after gutting off the plastic barrels. I really do like the addition of brass barrels, they make such a difference at this scale. Both the Photo etch and brass barrels were purchased from White Ensign Models.