Hasegawa 1/700 Imperial Japanese Navy Heavy Cruiser Kako. 
Reviewed April 2017
by Abram Joslin
History (from Wikipedia)
Kako and her sister ship Furutaka were the first generation of high speed heavy cruisers in the Japanese navy, intended to counter the US Navy Omaha-class scout cruisers and Royal Navy Hawkins-class heavy cruisers.

Kako was completed at Kawasaki Shipbuilding Corporation at Kobe on 20 July 1926. Assigned to the Fifth Squadron (Sentai) from then until 1933, she served in Japanese and Chinese waters, participating in fleet maneuvers and combat operations off the China coast. Kako was given a major refit in 1929–30, improving her machinery and slightly changing her appearance. Briefly operating with Cruiser Division 6 (CruDiv6) in 1933, Kako was in the naval review off Yokohama in late August. She went into guard ship status in November of that year and into reserve in 1934.

In July 1936, Kako began an extensive reconstruction at Sasebo Navy Yard, which was completed by 27 December 1937. At this time, the ship's six single 200 mm (7.9 in) main gun turrets were replaced by three 203.2 mm (8 in) twin turrets.
In late 1941, Kako was in Cruiser Division 6 under Rear Admiral Aritomo Goto in the First Fleet with Aoba, Furutaka and Kinugasa. At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, she was engaged in support for the invasion of Guam.
Kako participated in the Battle of the Coral Sea as an escort to the light aircraft carrier Sh?h?, which was sunk in the same battle. Kako ended this skirmish acting as cover for the withdrawing Port Moresby invasion convoy. She was assigned to patrol duty until July of 1942 when in a major reorganization of the Japanese navy on 14 July 1942, Kako was assigned to the newly created Eighth Fleet under Vice Admiral Mikawa Gunichi and was assigned to patrols around the Solomon Islands, New Britain and New Ireland.
On 8 August 1942, north of Guadalcanal a three-seat Aichi E13A1 "Jake" reconnaissance floatplane launched from Kako was shot down by an SBD Dauntless of VS-72 from the aircraft carrier USS Wasp. This was the prelude to the Battle of Savo Island the following day.

On 9 August, the four heavy cruisers of CruDiv 6 (Aoba, Kako, Furutaka and Kinugasa), the heavy cruiser Ch?kai, light cruisers Tenry? and Y?bari and destroyer Y?nagi engaged the Allied forces in a night gun and torpedo action. At about 2300, Ch?kai, Furutaka and Kako all launched their reconnaissance floatplanes. The circling floatplanes dropped flares illuminating the targets and all the Japanese ships opened fire. The cruisers USS Astoria, Quincy, Vincennes and HMAS Canberra were sunk. The cruiser USS Chicago was damaged as were the destroyers Ralph Talbot and Patterson. Kako's gunfire hit Vincennes in the hangar and destroyed all of her Curtiss SOC Seagull floatplanes. On the Japanese side, Ch?kai was hit three times, Kinugasa twice, Aoba once; Furutaka and Kako were not damaged.

On 10 August, CruDiv 6's four cruisers were ordered unescorted to Kavieng, while the remainder of the striking force returned to Rabaul. At 0650 the American submarine USS S-44 sighted CruDiv 6 on a track less than 900 yards (800 m) away and fired four Mark 10 torpedoes from 700 yards (600 m) at the rear ship in the group, which happened to be Kako. At 0708, three torpedoes hit Kako. The first struck to starboard abreast the No. 1 turret. The other torpedoes hit further aft, in the vicinity of the forward magazines and boiler rooms 1 and 2. Kako had all of her portholes open, and within 5 minutes she rolled over on her starboard side and exploded as sea water reached her boilers. At 0715, Kako disappeared bow first in the sea off Simbari Island at 02°28?S 152°11?ECoordinates: 02°28?S 152°11?E in about 130 feet (40 m) of water. Aoba, Furutaka and Kinugasa rescued Captain Takahashi and most of Kako's crew, but thirty-four crewmen were killed.

Kako was removed from the navy list on 15 September 1942.

The Kit
Hasegawa has been stepping it up in the ship model world with many new kits hitting the market. One of the newest additions to their ship line is the IJN Kako Heavy Cruiser kit, my review sample is the limited edition full hull version. First impressions of the kit are very good. Upon opening the box you can see several bags of parts made up of several different media. The main bag consists of all the plastic sprues to build the ship itself. In a second bag Hasegawa has provided cast metal propellers, turned brass barrels for the main guns, a photo etch fret, and a supplementary anti-aircraft/boat/aircraft sprue, and a nameplate. Also included is a wood display base and full decals with markings for Kako and sister ship Furutaka. Some of the sprues are “generic” and can be used for other kits Hasegawa is producing, but ship specific sprues are also included.
Sprue A
This sprue consists of the main deck piece, which is nicely molded as one piece, and assorted superstructure and anti-aircraft decks/platforms. The detailing on the parts is nice and crisp and mostly in scale. On some of the deck pieces is a molded on diamond tread pattern which would most likely not be visible in this scale. On this kit the diamond tread pattern is very small and could disappear after being painted. SprueA1
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Sprue B
This sprue contains the main hull, main turrets, and more assorted superstructure and anti-aircraft decks/platforms. The hull is finely cast with excellently round and full portholes, rear anchors, and a slight semblance of hull plating. The deck pieces are as excellent before, but again some contain the diamond tread pattern. The main turrets are well molded and seem to be proportional. SprueB1
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Sprue D
This is a ship specific part for the Kako and only includes the main funnel and yardarm. The funnel is well molded and the assorted vents and exhaust pipes on its sides are very well done. SprueD1
Sprue K
This sprue is mainly the waterline plate, but also has the main gun director and main funnel cap. The grill on the funnel cap is finely molded and should look true to scale if you do not wish to replace it with photo etch. The gun director is nicely detailed as well. SprueK1
Sprues L and N (x2)
These sprues are attached on the same runner and consist of assorted small detail pieces such as davits, torpedo tubes, gun barrels, directors, etc. The casting quality on these parts is excellent and fine. SprueLandN1
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Sprue S
This is the main sprue included with the limited edition kits. This is the lower hull and all of the running gear. Also included are the stands to attach the kit to the display base. The propeller shafts and rudders are finely cast and look true to scale. Normally 1/700 kits are only waterline, so this is a welcome addition to provide the modeler with more options. SprueS1
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Sprue W
This is the supplementary sprue mentioned earlier. Not being ship specific it provides the modeler with lots of extras of the smaller parts. The detailing is pretty good, especially on the aircraft and boats. The barrels on the anti-aircraft guns seem slightly over scale, but any smaller and they probably wouldn’t have survived the injection molding process. SprueW1
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Photo Etch
This kit also includes and basic photo etch fret. While most times kit included photo etch doesn’t do much for the modeler, this is a welcome addition to the kit. It includes all of the main deck railings and parts to replace catapults and cranes as well as some other assorted small bits (the box art shows the built kit with the unpainted photo etch added) PhotoEtch
Other small parts
As mentioned before the kit also includes metal barrels for the main turrets, cast metal propellers, a display base, and name plate. These are all excellent quality and will help to make an out of the box build really pop. SmallParts1
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Instructions and Decals
The instructions are printed on a two sided large sheet of paper that is folded into quarters. The front gives a brief history of the ship and includes the painting/marking diagrams. These are very clear and easy to understand. The reverse side consists of the building steps. There is a lot of information here in a small space, so it might be a little hard to follow. Reading over the instructions several times before starting the build is always a good idea. That being said I feel the instructions are very good and progress the building in a logical manner. Being the limited edition the instructions include the folding guild for the photo etch and construction of the lower hull. InstructionsandDecals7
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All in all this is a very good kit and will make an excellent addition to anyone’s IJN fleet. The addition of photo etch and brass parts help to make this an excellent display piece directly out of the box without the need to purchase further aftermarket parts. Another bonus is you should end up with spares of some of the smaller parts to add to your spares box to use on other projects. I recommend this kit and hope Hasegawa continues providing us with more excellent ship kits. Thanks to Hobbico (Great Planes) Model Distributors for the review sample. They are your US distributors for Hasegawa.
This is an in-box review showing the kit contents. We welcome your input and comments in the review section of the forum especially if you can share details about fit, ease of assembly and accuracy. Click the logo on the right to join in the discussion. 

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