Fujimi 1/700 IJN Kongo Photo-Etch Set

for new-tool Fujimi IJN Kongo (late-1944)

1/700 Grade-up Parts Series No. 1 (G-up 1), Code 111780

Reviewed by Gernot Hassenpflug

Fujimi's 1/700 WW2 IJN Kongo photo-etch set is designed for the brand-new Fujimi 1/700 kit of the IJN fast battleship Kongo (Seaway Model Series No. 23, code 420172, version for late-1944), which is itself a scaled-down version of the 1/350 kit (reviewed on ModelWarships here) released in the latter part of 2008.

This photo-etch set, going by the title and item number, appears to be the first of a new series of ‘grade-up’ sets by the company.


The set consists of one fret of thin relief-etch brass about 15 cm long and 5 cm wide (about 6 in by 2 in) which contains a useful range of parts including railings, ladders, catapult, aircraft trolleys crane, radars, davits, as well as various mast/yard parts and platform supports.

As a generic photo-etch set, this one does quite well. It certainly provides a lot of the spindly detail that is impossible to replicate in-scale using injection-molding. On the other hand, none of the searchlight platform supports so prominent around the foremost funnel, nor any of the bridge structure supports, are included. Neither are funnel grilles, degaussing cable, replacements for some of the light-AA shielding on the deck, and aircraft details. As such, this set could be combined with the smaller Hasegawa IJN Kongo class set and others.

Heavy- and Light-AA detailing too will require further PE sets, of which there are many in supply. It should be noted though that Fujimi's new plastic generic detail parts—including the heavy- and light-AA, boats, and various other paraphernalia—available also as separate sets at present, are very well-done given the intrinsic limitations of injection-molding.


A single double-sided sheet of instructions are included, totalling 2 pages of instructions. The instructions give numbers of the parts on the etched fret as two digits in black, and refer to parts on the original Fujimi Kongo plastic kit via a letter followed by digits in grey. Hopefully modelers using this set with a different manufacturer's Kongo will be able to note the exact parts from the drawings. Where replacement of plastic parts by photo-etch ones is recommended, the numbers of the photo-etch and plastic parts are related by a solid arrow-tip.

The first page describes the assembly of the rear mast top (29, 30) and air-search radar (24, 25), bridge yardarms (31–33), step-ladders (34–39) to the heavy-AA mounts, and gangways port (41, 43) and starboard (40, 42).

The second page describes the assembly of the look-out positions (01, 02), yardarm davits (03), aircraft transport trolley (04, 05), catapult trolley (06), catapult (07–15), deck davits (16), crane (17, 18), small crane (19), boat davits (20, 21), other davits (22), surface-search radar (23), and loop antenna (26–28) on the rear side of the bridge. A top-view drawing shows the positioning of the various railings and other assemblies.

For the deck davits (16) and other davits (22), the advice is to use the package illustration and other references for placement.


While this is by no means a complete set, as a generic detail set for the new Fujimi kit of the IJN fast battleship Kongo this photo-etch set does a good job. Many of the parts are compatible with other vessels of the class, and the quality of the photo-etch, both in terms of thinness and in terms of detail, is commendable. Notably absent—and entirely generic for WW2 IJN warships—are details for weapons and aircraft, for both of which there exist several competing products.

Priced at 1800 JPY, or around 18 USD, compared to the usual prices charged by Japanese manufacturers for photo-etch sets, this is quite reasonable.

Although the Fujimi website itself is not very up-to-date and there is no mention of this photo-etch set to be found, most of the large retail chains and model stores in Japan stock this product.

Last updated: 9 April, 2009

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