Black Cat Models 1/350 IJN 12.7cm 40 Type 89 Guns, SKU #AC350061

by Dan Kaplan 

Background
The standard heavy anti-aircraft weapon for the Imperial Japanese Navy leading up to and during the Second World War was the Type 89 12.7cm/40 caliber gun. Introduced in 1932, it was typically mounted on a partially open mount utilizing twin barrels.  As such, it could be found on almost all aircraft carriers, battleships, heavy and some light cruisers. A single mount version, along with the double mount, was used to equip the late war Matsu and Tachibana class destroyers. Other versions were mounted in enclosed blast/smoke shields aboard the Yamato class battleships and aircraft carriers. 

This was a high angle weapon used most effectively against aircraft, though it doubled as a dual purpose, low angle mount against surface targets.  It is not to be confused with the true low angle 12.7cm/50 cal. Third Year Type gun mounted as the main battery aboard most IJN destroyers.

Review sample
A new item introduced in May, 2020 in Black Cat Modelís line-up of 1/350 IJN accessories is their version of the IJN 12.7cm 40cal twin mount. This semi-shielded version was most typically mounted as the secondary battery in many ships as mentioned above. 

Black Cat offers these mounts as a package of two twin units in a light grey printed resin. There are two thin wafers, one carrying the actual mounts, the other wafer carrying two sets of barrels and recoil tube/carriages.  Each wafer has raised side barriers for extra protection. The wafers come within a large, clear clamshell blister pack that allows for plenty of room against accidental crushing. Care is required when removing the wafers from the outer packing. They are very securely held on by two faced tape, and a gently, steady pull works well.

BC127a
The detailing is extraordinary, including open viewports for the gunlayer, sights and internal equipment within the mounts, mounting racks for the recoil tube carriages (which are never seen on styrene versions) stiffening bars on the sides, lightening holes, and small access hatches and access ladders. Amazingly, the access ladder rungs stand away from the surface of the mount. The barrels have muzzle openings, are nicely tapered and, along with the recoil tubes, are scaled extremely well.  BC127b
Itís not clear to me, but I think that the guns can be posed at a variety of elevations.  CA glue or PVA is recommended, as is airbrushing with acrylic paint, so as not to obscure details. 
BC127c BC127d BC127e BC127f
BC127g BC127h BC127i BC127j
(Apologies for the photography; I found it difficult to get good details with the mounts surrounded by the three-sided printing wafer as I did not want to remove the wafer. The light grey color also poses challenges in bringing out the detail.)
Instructions
Instead of an instruction sheet, one is directed to the Black Cat Models website where there is a specific page devoted to this item. There, one finds a guide on removing the printed runners attached to the mounts.
Final thoughts

These are most impressive pieces, truly well done, and worth replacements for any kit part. 

Highly recommended. 

This is set # AC350061, which retails for approximately $12.95 US from Freetime Hobbies, their US distributor. 

Review sample courtesy of Black Cat Models.

More of Dan Kaplan's work.
Updated 11/3/2020

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