The ships of the Kongou Class are the 4th generation of DDG in the Japanese Maritime Self-defence Force.
The Kongou Clas comprises of four ships to date:
The AEGIS destroyers of the Kongou Class act as Escort Division leaders. Each Escort Division comprises of 2 to 3 air-defense ships (including the Kongou class) and 5 to 6 ASW units. Usually such a Division features a total of 8 ASW helicopters.
The Kongou DDG-173 was the first non US-built destroyer unit to feature the AEGIS fleet defence system rendering the older TARTAR system obsolete. The anti-aircraft missiles are, same as the ASROC ASW missiles, carried in VLS silos on the fore- and quarterdeck. Starting with the third vessel of the class the improved BLOCK III system was invented. Two tripe Mark 32 torpedo tubes for the Japanese lightweight torpedo, two quadruple Harpoon ship to ship missile launchers, two Phalanx CIWS as well as a bow mounted 127mm Oto-Breda cannon complete the Arsenal of these ships. A chopper can be landed on the quarterdeck, but due to lack of space for provisions due to the aft VLS system it can not be maintained.
300 ratings and officers make up the regular complement of the 161m long and 21m wide vessel. At a displacement of 7250t standard and 9485t full load the ships are capable of maintaining a cruising speed of 30 knots out of 4 Japanese-built gas turbines.
The Kongou-Class ships allows Japan to take over responsibilities as leaders in international fleets and to defend their own units from any aerial threat.
Certainly a growing unrest about the development of medium range ballistic missiles in Northern Korea was reason enough for building these mostly aerial defence units.
Shortly after the release of DDG-174 Kirishima Pit Road from Japan put their injection mould DDG-173 Kongou in 1/350 into the market.
Developed as a common effort, both ship kits will be marketed under Trumpeter's label outside of Japan. Even though Kirishima has been available already for a number of weeks, there is no sign of these international releases under said label yet.
Just in time with the release of the name-sake of the class Lion Roar issues their fitted Super Detail Set for these ships. The set has already been knighted for it will be released as official Pit Road accessory set inside of Japan.
Again the Shanghai based operation has issued a box full of surprises for the avid modeller.
The Super Set presents itself in the well known protective box under item number LS350006. Even tough DDG-173 Kongou is the prominent name on the box the maker deems the set fit all ships of the class.
The cover picture shows a raw and unpainted build of the kit featuring all brass, steel and resin pieces included in the set: It's enough to make your mouth water.
After opening the owner finds nicely wrapped up bundle of cardboard cards protecting the photo etch and sever small bags containing the resin and turned brass pieces. A little Styrofoam block and the assembly instruction fill the void of the box. A few more photos of the subject adorn the side of the box cover.
The instructions are easy to understand and show the use of all parts on 7 pages: It should be difficult to wrong, while following these instructions. In my opinion Lion Roar is, along with Eduard, easily leading the market in this regard.
The box features:
While the styrene and brass rod are quite unspectacular Lion Roar come up with a great idea to present pointed steel wire as whip antennae. I hope these will be released separate to adorn US and Soviet vessels. The brass rod will be part of the UNREP system that will (fortunately) be fully replaced by the set.
The propellers are very finely cast and have fragile look to them. There's one left and one right hand prop so be careful to place them properly and carefully!
Next to a relief etched name plate 7 more frets of photo etch await the owner of this Super Set. As it seems, there is nothing left to wish for: perforated catwalks, pre-shaped railings, a complete UNREP system assembly, anchors doors and hatches and an abundance of ventilation grills so prominent on these ships.
For big scale fans of modern navies Pit Road's Kongou will be a pleasant change of pace and the Lion Roar Set will enable to turn your Kongou into a show stopper!
I am very happy to see that the life raft containers are supplied as lathe turned parts. That will safe at least two hours of tedious parts cleaning. That's another feature that should be made available as a separate set, IMHO.
The lathe turned gun barrel taper very finely off toward the muzzle. The muzzle is open and the sides are extremely thin. Simply beautiful.
The top feature of this Super Set is IMHO the Harpoon launcher assembly. It should provide unprecedented depth of detail to the weapons system leaving even the best cast substitute from Veteran Models behind. LION ROAR hear our calls: Give us this item as twin and quad launchers as separate sets! Many Ticos, Sprue-cans and Burkes are waiting!
|Lion Road has included an etched brass plate, detailing le350006 in Kanji, to add to the base. Also in this picture is a brass rod for the prop shafts|
|A sample from the six pages of instruction.|