Reviewed by  Bob Dedmon  (IPMS 17560)
This was a highly anticipated kit on my part from last year.  Iíve bought several ships from HI-MOLD in 1/700 in the recent past and been highly impressed with their work.  After buying the 1/700 Mini-Hobby kit and being disappointed by the part breakdown and dimension problems I was looking forward to this kit being of the same quality as earlier HI-MOLD kits, I was a little disappointed.

The HI-MOLD kit appears to be an experiment in resin injecting that came off with cottage industry/garage kit results.  There was a large amount of flash on an early run kit (I got mine as soon as Hobby Link Japan got it).  On the plus side you get a very nice main hull with very fine raised and engraved details and it appears to be proportional to the actual ship.  The O-1 deck and the barbette for the number 2 gun-house are separate pieces and well executed.  The shields for the 5Ē 25 caliber are very fine and thinly molded.  The main guns are turned brass and look very good.  The gun-houses are injection-molded resin and except for the pour stem look good.  The boats and superstructure are well cast with passable interior detail for the boats.  The superstructure is cast in the usual manner of each level cast as an individual part.  The superstructure parts include molded hatchways and portholes that are well executed.  A piece of plastic rod is included for the main legs of both tripods though when I build mine I will substitute metal rod for strength.  An interesting feature of this kit was molding the vertical pole of each tripod with the fighting top; this should make alignment and height easier to set.  All the smaller parts are cast resin and have a large amount of flash around them. 

On the minus side of this kit there is no photo-etched parts (rails etc), and the catapults and cranes are injected resin with limited details.  The 5Ē 25ís appear to be from the new release of the Pit Road US Navy Equipment kit; my complaint about these guns is that they still donít look right compared to the actual gun. 

For my kit Iíve added the Tomís Model Works set 750 (for the Mini-Hobby kit) and a set of 5Ē 25ís from Corsair Armada to the box.  All in all this is a very nice kit, however for the asking price of $100 I cannot recommend it.  For the same price as this kit you can buy a couple of the Mini-Hobby kit, a couple of Tomís photo-etched sets a couple of Pit Roads US Navy Equipment, and a couple of Corsair Armadaís 5Ē 25ís and have nearly the same amount of work to do to make a good kit. 



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