Hasegawa 1/700 Japanese Battleship Mikasa
Limited Edition Full Hull Version "Completion 1902"

Reviewed February 2018
by Martin J Quinn
The Japanese battleship Mikasa is one of the most famous ships in naval history.   Named after Mount Mikasa, the ship was a modified version of the Royal Navy's Formidable-class battleships.  Built by Vickers at Barrow-in-Furness, Mikasa was laid down in January 1899, launched in November 1900 and completed in March 1902. 
She participated in the Battle of Port Arthur in February, 1904, a battle against the Russian Pacific Squadron on April 10th, when the Russian battleship Petropavlovsk was sunk, then in the Battle of the Yellow Sea on August 10th, when she sustained over 20 hits and had her aft main turret knocked out. 
Her most famous encounter came the next year, when, at the head of the Japanese 1st Fleet, she helped annihilate the Russian Second and Third Pacific Squadrons in the momentous Battle of Tsushima, on May 27, 1905.

After the peace treaty ending the war, Mikasa was sunk at her moorings due to an internal explosion.  She was refloated in 1906, repaired and upgraded over the next two years.   She spent the First World War as a costal defense ship, and was part of the Japanese force during the allied intervention in the Russian Civil War.

Saved from destruction by a clause in the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922, Mikasa became a museum in Yokosuka in 1926.   She managed to survive World War II - Admiral Nimitz himself forbid US Naval forces from destroying her - and was restored and reopened as a museum in 1961 (thanks, in part, to help from the aforementioned Admiral Nimitz). 

For more information, see her WIkipedia page here, where much of this information was taken from. 

The Hasegawa Mikasa Limited Edition Full Hull Version "Completion 1902" 

The Hasegawa Limited Edition Full Hull Version "Completion 1902" Mikasa comes in the standard Hasegawa box, with a picture of the completed limited edition model on the box top.   Inside the box you'll find 10 sprues.   Nine are molded in white plastic, one (sprue J) is molded in red.   Also in the box are decals, a name plate, instructions and wooden stand on which to display your finished model.    You can can build two versions of Mikasa from this boxing - one as completed, and one from late 1902 until early 1904, prior to before the Battle of Port Arthur. 

Sprue A has the starboard side of the upper hull, one funnel, and various superstructure parts.   You'll find nice planking, bracing under the platforms, and anchor chain molded to the hull.  The detail is good on these parts.  I especially like the piping on the funnel.  On the other hand, the portholes look a little shallow to me, the raised lines on the metal superstructure decks seem to be a little overdone, plus the size of the torpedo net davits are inconsistent, and seem over scale.   With a black hull, it probably won't look too obvious after painting. 
Sprue B is very similar, but not identical, to Sprue A.    The port side of the upper hull, more superstructure parts and the boat deck are found here.   Comments are similar to Sprue A.  The davits that attach to the masts are particularly well done. 
This small sprue contains the two prominent masts, cowl ventilators, and the stern walk.   The detail is generally good, though the molded on ladders on the two masts - and the masts themselves - are a bit simplistic and over scale, as is the tread plating on the deck of the stern walk. 
Here you'll find the one piece main deck, and inserts that go inside the hull during construction.   These latter parts help click the lower hull into place later on in the construction.  Detail on the deck is good, the planking is well done and the details on the deck are mostly sharply molded.  The cable reels are molded to the deck, and are a little over scale and simplistic. 
 This sprue holds the waterline plate, if you are opting not to build the full hull version.  Not much to get excited about here.  After all, it's only a waterline plate. 
There is a pair of these sprues in the box.  The ships boats, davits, more ventilators and one funnel cap adorn each sprue.   Some of the boats come with the boat cradles molded onto the bottoms of the boats (the boats that hang from davits obviously do not have this feature).   There is planking detail on the decks of the open boats.  The davits are nice, the funnel caps are molded as raised and curved, like the real thing.   However, this means the cross braces are a little thick.  Again, as they'll be painted black, it won't be noticeable. 
As with sprue F, there are a two of sprue G.   On it, you have the main battery turrets and guns (one on each), smaller guns, boat booms, anchors, mast platforms and other smaller parts.   The detail on the turrets is pretty nice, and the boat booms look good.  The secondary guns have the shields molded on to them, and look a bit heavy for this scale.  The platform for the mast are two halves, which is going to result in a seam, but with the detail on the mast, there was no other way to mold them. 
This sprue - which is the only one molded in red - has the lower hull (which is in port and starboard halves), bilge keels, props, struts and shafts, the rudder, inserts for the hull, and two plastic stands to use with the wooden base that is included with the model.   The details here are a little soft, and the red plastic gives everything a slightly toy-like appearance. 
A small wooden display stand comes with this limited edition release.  Also included is a small name plate in "brass", with the Japanese writing on it.   I'm assuming is says "Mikasa", or something similar. 
The small decal sheet has numerous Japanese battle flags, a few signal flags, draft markings, the funnel bands and some smaller decals.  I'm unsure of the smaller decals are for.  In general, the decals are a little thick, but appear to be in register. 
The instructions are on a large, two side piece of paper.  The first side has a picture of the box top, color call outs for the two different versions, listing of the sprues and the beginning of the the assembly instructions.   The rest of the assembly instructions take up the back of the sheet.  They are typical of Hasegawa kits - clear and easy to follow. 
Overall, this is a nice little kit.   It's not up to the same standards as Flyhawk's newest releases - compared to those kits, some of the details are simplistic or over scale.  When finished, however, it should build into a nice representation of Mikasa, as built.  Recommended.

This is Hasegawa's 1/700 Limited Edition Full Hull Version "Completion 1902" Mikasa, kit number 30044.  It retails for $52.99.   Thanks to Hobbico Model Distributors for the review sample. They are your US distributors for Hasegawa. 


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