model by by Luciano Rizzato
Reviewed by Timothy Dike
The Kirishima, was one of four Kongo class battlecruisers based on a british design but built in Japan in 1915. She was modernized at Kure between 1927 and 1930 and reclassified as a battleship. Another reconstruction followed in 1935-36, where she received new more powerful machinery and had her hull lengthened. In her final appearance she weighed in at over 32,000 tons. She was fast, but lacked the armor protection and firepower of other battleships. 

The Kirishima played an active part in  world war two, escorting the Japanese Strike force that attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941. She went on to serve in the early actions in the East Indies and Indian Ocean in early 1942. She operated in the Slot making bombardment runs on Guadalcanal and escorting Japanese carriers at Santa Cruz. In November she returned to Guadalcanal to try to destroy the American forces then entrenched on the island. Intercepted by an American cruiser - destroyer force early on Friday the 13th, the Kirishima was lightly damaged while inflicting heavy damage on the Americans. However a sistership, Hiei was so badly damaged that she was unable to withdraw from the area and was finished off by Air power from Henderson field the next morning. Kirishima returned on the 15th with other Japanese ships to finish the job, but this time was intercepted by a force consisting of the American fast battleships, South Dakota and Washington. The former drew the attention of the Japanese force while the Washington was able to fire several salvos striking and disabling the Kirishima. The damage was so severe that she was later scuttled and sunk a few miles west of Savo Island.

This large resin kit from Yankee Modelworks was originally mastered by Steve Wiper as a Classic Warships kit. The kit has been reworked slightly to take advantage of recent research on the Kongo class. Some of that information is now available in the excellent Kongo Class Battleship book

The kit is cast in waterline style with a separate lower hull. There will be some sanding needed to join the upper and lower hull, but a test fit seems to show a very close match. The casting on this kit is very good, and there are no defects that I can see. The deck and hull sides feature some really nice surface detail. The anchor handing gear on the bow is cast smartly. Thankfully the anchor chain is omitted, and some of the capstans are separate parts. 
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The cast on doors and hatches will not need replacing with photo etch as they are sharply defined. One thing I really appreciate is the step that is cast along the hull to accommodate the railings. This makes placement of the pe an easier task.
The superstructure parts are also well done, and rich in detail. This really shows up in the funnels and ships boats. My only complaint is that the overpour on these parts is pretty thick. 
The main gun turrets feature separate round bases. The shapes appear to match the turret shapes well. 
Most of the small parts are cast in white metal. These are nicely done with a minimum of flash. The boats feature notches for the oars, and planking detail on the floor. 
A comprehensive brass photo etch fret is included featuring relief etching to bring out the details. The rails have the lines etched at half thickness which makes the stantions stand out better. The catapults and cranes are very well done. The various platforms with their lattice work will really make this kit stand out. 
A nice decal set with flags, and aircraft markings is included
Instructions consist of a 16 page booklet with plan and elevation drawings and many 3D assembly views. These are pretty well done, and should be sufficient to build this ship. If you need more info on this ship get a copy of Warship Pictorial #13 Kongo Class Battleships.


This is a really nice kit of one of one of the most famous Japanese battleships of all time. Sure everyone has heard of the Yamato and Musashi, but this ship actually slugged it out with other battleships. It would make an excellent companion to it's nemesis the USS Washington, and USS South Dakota, also available from Yankee Modelworks. I would not recommend it for a beginner, but anyone who has build plastic ships with photo etch should be able to build this one. I can't guarantee that your ship will come out as nice as the one by Luciano Rizzato built (featured at the top of the page), but it has that potential. This is Stock Number YKM35080 with a retail price: $450.00. It is currently listed (March 07) at Freetime Hobbies on sale  for $359.99. Well worth the price when you consider the detail and inclusion of the photo etch set.