Fujimi 1/700
Fujimi 1/700 Premium Option Parts (PE) for IJN Aircraft Carrier Zuikaku - 1944, set #50

Reviewed by Dan Kaplan

In conjunction with Fujimi's recent 1/700 releases have come corresponding sets of kit specific photo etch. While kit specific PE is not unusual in itself, the nature of the new Fujimi sets has been to offer an unusually full and complete set of photo etch fittings for a given kit. It's very welcome development as it eliminates most of the need to piece together various bits from different aftermarket sets and producers.

The new Zuikaku set is no different. I find it very smart in concept and very good in execution. In addition to the usual PE davits, masts, stairs, ladders, railings and cranes, there are very welcome additions such as mesh catwalks, aircraft and personnel safety netting for the flight deck edge, funnel grab rails, funnel grills, landing light arrays (with boom extensions - very perceptive), flight deck wind barrier and box, crash barriers, maneuvering lights, AA sponson support structures with hole lightening perforations, boat deck railings attached to deck edge girders (very nice), boat booms, a host of small platforms and perforated structural supports for some of the catwalks.

It is a near duplicate set to the Shokaku set with three changes, aside from reorienting the position of the parts. The upper yardarms of the mainmast have been changed from straight across to swept back at an angle. Also, a Type 13 radar and two Type 21 radars have been added to the fret. Interestingly, room was made on the fret by deleting two underside braces to the rear flight deck landing light extension platforms. One will never miss them.

The set comes with a 2 page sheet of instructions, consisting of color photograph examples of placement of parts on the kit itself. I've heard that some folks have an issue with pictorial instructions, but I personally find it very straightforward.

Other than some personal temptation to replace some of the railings with the finer GMM ultra fine IJN railings, I find this a very satisfying and comprehensive fret of photo etch. I believe most other modelers will concur.