Veteran Models 1/700
Imperial Japanese Battleship Kongo 1944 (For Fujimi)
Yet another review
by Sean Hert

The four Kongo class battlecruisers were all named after mountains in Japan. Kongo was the last major Japanese combatant built outside of Japan, being laid down and completed in England. All four ships of the class underwent numerous refits and reconstructions, including being rebuilt as fast battleships in the 1930's. By 1944, Kongo little resembled the battlecruiser she was built as in 1913. After the rebuild as a fast battleship, Kongo as fast enough to keep pace with the new carriers being constructed, and as such was present for many of the major Pacific Theater naval actions in World War 2; Midway, Guadalcanal (both the Naval Battle and shore bombardments), Santa Cruz, Philippine Sea, and Samar phase of the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Kongo was sunk by the USS Sealion SS-315 nearly a month later. Sealion put two torpedos into Kongo which caused her to fall out of the formation she was steaming in, and she began to sink. Two hours later, however, Kongo disappeared in a flash from a magazine explosion, becoming the only Japanese battleships sunk by a submarine, and the last battleship to be sunk via submarine.

This "Ultimate Detail" set for the Fujimi Kongo includes a large number of upgrade parts and accessories. Comprised of 11 frets of photo-etched details, 28 machined brass gun barrels and over 200 resin upgrade parts, this set is full of amazing detail. All these parts are packaged in a sturdy cardboard box, with the barrels and resin parts in bags inside a smaller box, protected by bubble wrap inside. The PE frets are all taped to card stock, and each fret is protected by plastic film. (This is becoming more and more common)


There are so many tiny resin parts included, it is somewhat daunting. Care must be taken when removing sprues from the bags, as sometimes a tiny part may be mistaken for flash!

Veteran has included two "sets" of resin parts in this Ultimate Detail Set; seven parts labled A-H to build up 6 Type 89 12.7cm AA guns and practice loader, and a list of 19 other tiny upgrade parts, focusing on various pagoda platforms' devices.

  1. 12cm Binocular x32
  2. Binocular with signal lamp x6
  3. Binocular with Infra-Red Message Transmitter x6
  4. 18cm Binocular x6
  5. Type 94 110cm Searchlight Controller x6
  6. Type 13 Look Out with 12cm Binoculars x6
  7. Voice Pipe x35
  8. Large Size Paravane x8
  9. Winch x9 (part 1)
  10. Winch x9 (part 2)
  1. 8cm Main Gun Exercise Machine x8
  2. Type 13 Main Gun Fire Control x4
  3. Type 14 Secondary Gun Fire Control x6
  4. Type 95 25mm AA Guns- Fire Control x8
  5. Type 13 Target Tracing Installation x4
  6. Type 11 Target Course and Speed Controller x4
  7. 110cm Searchlight Controller x8
  8. 12cm Observer x6
  9. Compass x8
  10. Target Designation Exercise Machine x2

Type 89 12.7cm AA

The 11 frets of photoetch in this set are all cleanly etched, with no evidence of over- or under- etch evident. Each fret has been relief etched, leaving outstanding levels of raised detail on even the smallest of parts. All but one of these frets is in etched brass, but the thickness of the brass sheet varies depending on the stiffness required in the part. The remaining fret is etched in stainless steel.


Fret A has many details intended for the bridge area, including etched replacement bulkheads for most of the bridge levels. There are some wind baffles to be assembled for each bridge level, as well as additional platforms, yards and antennas.


Platforms and supports for light AA, fire control and searchlights.


C has various details for the bridge structures, and the parts to an impressive crane, complete with a complex etched rig of pulleys and cables.


The big piece here is the aircraft handling deck. This fret also includes the rails for this deck, used to move aircraft around, as well as other platform, superstructure and crane parts.


E is all about watertight doors and hatches. Almost all of them are equipped with coamings that will allow you to model the doors and hatches either open or closed. One amazing detail, doubly so for 1/700 scale, is every door and hatch has an underside/back! So, if you position anything in an open configuration, you won't just have smooth brass showing- in some cases, the underside is much more interesting!


This sheet is all about railings; deck railings, stack rails and funnel grates, with some stock ladders thrown in as well.


This is the 25mm AA fret; it has all the makings for the single, twin and triple 25mm AA mounts that covered all IJN combatants, including Kongo. There are optional shields for the twin and triple mounts, so plan accordingly.


This fret has 2 different styles of 25mm ready ammunition boxes, which can be built opened or closed.


This fret concerns itself primarily with the ship's boats; detailed interiors, stowage blocks and deck details.


J has a variety of parts, from ladders and boat booms to anchors and cable reels to boat davits (with etched ropes and pulleys).


The replacement resin 12.7cm AA wasn't enough for Veteran, they also included this fret of stainless steel photoetch to enhance the mounts.


This set includes 28 brass barrels, all well machined and nicely tapered. Each barrel has a drilled muzzle, and the 36cm guns have a nicely machined crown and base. The 15cm also has a stepped barrels sleeve that is very smoothly finished.





These extensive color instructions have both graphics and photos to illustrate both the contents of the set, and to aid in assembly. The steps reference using a "blower" to help fix bent barrels, which must be an allusion to a blow dryer- although hot water might be a better method.

The eight pages of instructions are very detailed, with over 30 stages- and each stage is comprised of many steps. Close and careful study of the instructions is needed before you start gluing and folding the PE- plan accordingly.


A great, highly detailed upgrade set for your 1/700 Fujimi Kongo. The astonishingly this about this kit is that it is 1/700 scale; this level of detail and accessories would be welcome on any 1/350 kit; the fact that it is half that scale is truly a masterwork. Definitely recommended for intermediate and above modelers.

This is set #VTA-70002 Ultimate Detail Set Imperial Japanese Battleship Kongo 1944 (Fujimi Kit) with a list price of $105.00

Veteran Model products are distributed in the US by Georgetown Hobbies and are available at the following stores. Thanks to Veteran Models for providing this review sample.