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In-Box Review
1700
IJN Kaga 1941 1:700
Hasegawa 1:700 1941 IJN Kaga Aircraft Carrier
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by: Anthony Kochevar [ AJKOCHEV ]


Originally published on:
Model Shipwrights

The Ship...

(Taken from Wikipedia)

Kaga was named for the former Kaga Province, in present-day Ishikawa Prefecture. Kaga began as a Tosa class battleship, and was launched on 17 November 1921 at the Kawasaki Heavy Industries shipyard in Kobe. On February 5, 1922 both Tosa class ships were cancelled and designated for scrapping under the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty. The Treaty authorized conversion of two battleship or battlecruiser hulls into aircraft carriers of up to 33,000 tons standard displacement. The incomplete battlecruisers Amagi and Akagi were initially selected, but the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 damaged Amagi's hull beyond economic repair. Kaga was therefore selected for completion as an aircraft carrier. Kaga's conversion began in 1923 and lasted until 1928. As completed, the ship had two main hangar decks and a third auxiliary hangar with a total capacity of 60 aircraft. The hangars opened onto two superimposed flying off decks at the bow. In theory, this permitted aircraft to take off directly from the hangars, while landing on the main flight deck above. Funnel gasses were collected in a pair of long horizontal ducts which discharged at each side of the flight deck ramp. Kaga was armed with ten 200 mm (7.9 in) guns in a combination of twin turrets and casemates. Belt and deck armor were considerably reduced. No catapults were fitted. Upon completion, Kaga underwent trials for another two years before becoming operational. In service, the multiple flight deck arrangement proved unsuccessful.

In 1934, Kaga therefore commenced a second major reconstruction. The flight deck and hangars were extended to the bow, increasing flight deck length to 812.5 ft and raising aircraft capacity to 90. A third elevator serviced the extended hangars. New boilers and turbines increased power from 91,000 to 127,400 shp. The hull was lengthened by 34 ft at the stern and the lengthy funnel ducting was replaced by a single downturned starboard funnel. A small starboard island superstructure was also installed.[2] Standard displacement increased by almost 9,000 tons, from 29,600 to 38,200 tons. Kaga returned to service in 1935. During the late 1930s Kaga supported operations in China, and was involved in the Shanghai Incident and during the early years of the Second Sino-Japanese War.

On 7 December 1941 she launched two strikes against Oahu. In her first strike, 26 Nakajima B5N "Kate" torpedo bombers targeted Arizona, Vestal, Tennessee, West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Nevada, and 9 Mitsubishi A6M "Zero" fighters attacked the airbase at Hickam Field. In her second strike, 23 Aichi D3A "Val" dive bombers targeted Nevada, Maryland, and West Virginia.

In May 1942, Kaga sailed on her final mission. Her aircraft complement was 30 "Zeros," 23 "Vals," and 30 "Kates." On 4 June 1942 Kaga launched air strikes against Midway, and then came under attack from American land- and carrier-based planes. At 10:22, SBD Dauntless dive-bombers from USS Enterprise hit her with at least four 1000 lb(453.6 kg) bombs, which set off explosions and fires among the armed and fueled planes on her hangar deck. Captain Okada was killed by a bomb that hit the bridge. The fires proved impossible to control and the order to abandon ship was given at about 14:00. At 14:10 the submarine USS Nautilus hit Kaga with a torpedo, but it was a dud and did not explode. Kaga's crew were taken off by the destroyers Hagikaze and Maikaze, and at 19:25 she was scuttled by two torpedoes and sank at position 3020′N 17917′W / 30.333N 179.283W / 30.333; -179.283. In 1999, the Nauticos company discovered wreckage that has been identified as coming from Kaga.

The Kit...


It's no secret that I have an obsession with the Kaga. To me it represents the power the Japanese had in their Navy at the beginning of WWII. I was able to obtain this kit through a friend in Japan and thought I'd do a review to let those interested in the kit know what they are up against. I noticed that the box had a copyright of 2004 on it which means this is a rerelease of the old kit and it has a few updated parts in it as well. You get a bag full of the kit frets and hull pieces, two sheets of instructions, a metal weight and a bag of three W levathion frets.

The Hull...


The box it comes in is quite big and upon opening the kit I thought, Wow this thing is huge. The hull comes in three pieces and they were the only things loose in the bags. For the review I dry fitted them as shown in the photos. They all fit perfectly which I thought was great for a kit this old. That was about all that was good about this portion of the kit. You can see overscale portholes, doors, cranes and other coarse details all over the hull. I did think the molded life rafts were the right scale and looked pretty good.

Fret A...


This fret has the smaller decks, AA platforms and other details. You can see that the detail is really course on most of these, but the bow deck was very well done with the anti-skid tread for a model this old. Hasegawa has provided a means of modeling a bit of the internal hangars, again very crudely.

Flight Deck Fret...


I could not find a letter reference for this fret on it. I was very disappointed in the flight deck. Not because all the detail is really bad, but because of the molded "paint white lines here" raised lines. The anti-skid and wood deck look really good but the molded lines mar the deck. These will definatly need removed for a better quality model and since you need to remove so much, you might as well sand everything off and rescribe the whole deck. There are several smaller details on this fret. The two barrel type 96 AA are way overscale and look more like laser turrets out of a sc-fi movie. The other details like the 12cm guns and boats are almost as bad.

Plane Fret...


The planes looked like they might be from a newer tooling and look fairly good. However, it only comes with one fret so plan on getting more from another source.

W frets

You get three of these frets that come with most larger IJN ship kits. It is a good thing too, as the boats and AA here can be used instead of the ones on the flight deck fret.

Instructions...


They are well diagramed but are only in Japanese. The painting instructions are only in Japanese as well. They also do not take into consideration that they included the newer W frets. No decals come with the kit. A second modern sheet is included with general instructions as to how-to work with multimedia parts of a kit.

Wrap Up...

This kit was good a few decades ago, but is in desparate need of a retooling to bring it up to todays standards. Lack of planes is also a low for it. Fortunately, there a a few websites with how-to's on rebuilding the kit.
SUMMARY
Highs: Good detail on some parts; Three modern W frets included; Good fit on the hull pieces.
Lows: Availablity; Crude detail; Flight deck paint lines; Needs more planes; Only Japanese inctructions.
Verdict: The Hasegawa 1:700 1941 IJN Kaga is a kit in desparate need of a retooling but until that happens it is the only game in town.
Percentage Rating
65%
  Scale: 1:700
  Mfg. ID: 43202
  Suggested Retail: $40
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jun 02, 2009
  NATIONALITY: Japan / 日本
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 90.23%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 86.04%

About Anthony Kochevar (ajkochev)
FROM: UTAH, UNITED STATES

I've modeled ships as a teen and started the hobby again in 2005. For some reason I got into the history of the Japanese Navy at this time and started building ships of this navy. I also do N Scale model railroading, reef aquariums and a few video games.

Copyright 2018 text by Anthony Kochevar [ AJKOCHEV ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.



Comments

Yes! A re-tool of the Kaga and Akagi would be most welcome. Aoshima is retooling Soryu. These two should be next hopefully. Bob Pink.
JUN 02, 2009 - 02:20 AM
We broke our quick reply box. Working on it. Until fixed go to topic to reply.
Thanks.
   

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