Tamiya 1/350 IJN Yamato

Japanese Battleship
Reviewed by Timothy Dike
The Yamato was the largest Battleship in the world when built. With her 18" guns she would have made a formidable opponent in a surface dual. Unfortunately she represents the end of the Battleship era, and would eventually succumb to the new dominant force, the Aircraft Carrier.
 The first thing you notice when opening this kit, is the secure packing to protect it during transit. The one piece hull is nicely tucked into it's own slot with the other parts along side in a separate slot. The hull is massive and comes pretty close to the shape of the real ship. I'm told that the new 1/700 kit is more accurate in the bow area. I don't have any good sources for this ship so I will leave it at that. 
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The deck is molded in two parts, with pretty good detailing. The molding is crisp and both parts fit nicely into the hull. The modeler has the choice of building a motorized version or a static model, so take note of where the switch goes if you choose to install the motor. 
The superstructure parts are pretty detailed, and are made up of several subassemblies. Hatches and other details are molded on. The rear seaplane hanger is represented as a separate part and is fits well into the hull.
The massive 18" gun turrets are impressive, and the main guns are molded with a nice taper to them. The funnel has quite a bit of piping detail as do the various platforms and deck levels.
Secondary armament is pretty good as well, some of the gun barrels are pretty fine so be careful when removing them. The two types of float planes are pretty detailed even for 1/350 scale.
The 25 mm AA guns are pretty good as well, but before you use them a little research should be done as to their placement on the Yamato. This kit is more like the Yamato of 1944, but needs some of the shielded 25 mm turrets on the side. For 1945 refer to the instructions that come with Gold Medal Models PE set for this kit.

Miscellaneous parts include a base to display your kit. decals are provided for the float planes and the label on the bag that contains the motor doubles as scale size flags. A separate set of propellers is included if you wish to motorize your kit. The motor is an optional part, but a gearbox and set of shafts are included.
.The instructions are well presented in separate English and Japanese booklets. They are several pages and include both exploded views and actual pictures of the sub assemblies. There are many detail views that show you some of the more intricate steps. I scanned a couple of pages to give you an idea of what is in the instructions.

This is a pretty good kit right out of the box with the exception of the AA placement, and perhaps the shape of the bow. The AA is an easy fix, the bow is not really noticeable to any but the purist Yamato-holics. It's a huge kit, just like the real thing and can be built into a stunning model. Just clear out some shelf space because the monster is almost 30" long.

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