ION Model
1/700 Imperial Japanese Navy Chilling on Deck
(x92 Figures)

Reviewed May 2022
by Christopher Martens

ION Imperial Japanese Navy Figures
The advent of 3D printed resin technology has allowed a plethora of manufacturers to bring 1/700 figures to the market with mixed success. Some options are too thick, appearing like a child's stick figure in pose and others are so fragile that you're likely to break 30-50% of them. ION's new IJN figures manage to thread that needle quite effectively. These figures manage to maintain good detail while being both easy to remove from their spures and shockingly capable of not shedding limbs and craniums like some sort of macabre B-level body horror movie from a late 90's Sci-Fi Channel special.

ION Model provides four wafers of figures all comfortably nestled in a dark foam bed. Please note the photo showing this was the result of me realizing that I did not take a picture before taking the bloody things out of the packaging and so needed to snap a quick image. Note: my haphazard and clumsy attempt to get them back in their rows resulted in no breakage. Impressive.

Figures themselves? Positions range from "sprinting to duty station, late" to "is this a poop squat?" They even have a few "angry officers pointing" figures for a truly accurate portrayal of life at sea! Detail wise, the figures lean toward "really good" for this scale, though their poses should be accentuated by a good pin wash and dry brush to really make them pop. Removing figures is a simple matter of a sharp hobby knife and reminder that decapitated or de-limbed men are best left to more, erm, grotesque builds. Again, ION figures seem robust enough to endure abuse by even more clumsy modelers who tend to enjoy a spirit while doing teensy work. (Been there. Don't do it.)


When I found out these were up for a review item, I promised He Who Distributes that I'd buy him a tasty beverage as bribery. It was a wise choice. Not only was much cheer spread, but I got my hands on some beautiful 1/700 scale figures!

In my opinion, model ships truly come alive when we see representations of the crews that lived and worked on them. They provide scale, context, and bring life to what's otherwise a dull thing of (mostly) metal. Unfortunately, crew in 700 scale have been somewhat elusive from most modelers due to tradeoffs in detail and fragility. ION Model does an excellent job somehow managing to maintain a delicate figure that has sufficient integrity for many modelers to paint and fiddle them into place.

I'd like to thank ION Model and Modelwarships for an opportunity to review such a great item!   See the ION website for information on where you can find them in your country. In the US, they are available from FreeTime Hobbies, where they retail for $18.95.