IN-BOX Kit-review
 reviewed by Tom Kristiansen


IJN Heavy Cruiser Tone

The Heavy Cruiser Tone formed the 8th Cruiser Squadron with her sistership Chikuma. They operated together through most of their careers, including the covering force for the Pearl Harbor operation in Dec 1941. She participated in operations against Wake Island, the raid on Darwin in Feb, and operations in the Indian Ocean in Mar-Apr. She returned to the Pacific for Midway campaign, and saw action around Guadalcanal. On 24 Aug Tone was damaged by aircraft from USS Saratoga during the Battle of Santa Cruz, while Chikuma was hit by aircraft from USS Hornet. After repairs, both were at Simpson Harbor, Rabaul, on 5 Nov. 1943 when aircraft from Saratoga and Princeton again damaged them. In Feb 1944 they were formed into the 7th Cruiser Squadron and sortied into the Indian Ocean. They returned to the Pacific and were present at the Battle of the Philippine Sea in June, and formed part of Kurita's Center Force at the Battle of Leyte Gulf. During the action with US escort carriers and destroyers off Samar, Chikuma was sunk by aircraft torpedoes, 25 Oct 1944. Tone survived and returned to Japan after bomb damage in Mar 1945. She was sunk in the raids on Kure, 24 Jul 1945, raised postwar and broken up in 1948. 

Timothy Dike


Length: 198.75 m Displacement: 14.070 tons Main armnt.: (twin) 8 x 203 mm / 8" 50cal
Beam:  18.5 m Action radius.:  12000nm@14kts Secondary (twin) 8 x 127mm / 5" 40cal HA 
Draught:  6.48 m speed:  35 kts Anti-Aircraft   
Crew:  1010 Airplanes: 4 (single, twin and triple) 25mm Type 96
The kit comes in YMW's usual white carboard box filled with bits of foam. The upper and lower hull is covered in bubble-wrapping. The resinparts, white metal parts and photoetchparts are packed in plastic bags. My kit had almost no mentionable breakage. However there was some damage to the 4 photoetced brassfrets since they are placed in pairs in the same plastic bags. The main frets 1&2 was intangled in eachother and the railfret was also entangled in the AA-fret. Some brass parts was bent because of this. I had to use my scalpel to cut open the plastic bag from all sides and carefully remove the frets from eachother. Luckily the parts was easy to bend into position again, but I hope this problem will be adressed by YMW by using a couple of extra plastic bags in future.
The kit comes with 4 PE-frets. Two sets with shipspesific details, one set with IJN AA guns and one set for seaplane deck rails. Details are plentiful and looks excellent and comprehensive. Perhaps some extra cm's of spare railing should have been provided, but what is provided should be enough for this kit. The railings for the superstructure are etched in the length that fits the superstructure. YMW saves the modeler for measurements and cutting. Tone and Chikuma had plenty of seaplane deckrails and the set of deckrails will really help to the kit's appearance.  The anti-aircraft armamentset also is quite a piece. A lot of work to be done - however with some patience the result will doubtless be spectacular.
The hull comes in two pieces. The top waterline part and the lower hull. The usual pourplugs have to be sanded away. The deckdetail is quite nice. There are a few bubbleholes in the mushroom vents, but they are often quite easy to fix. If some of the mushroom vents are beyond repair YMW have provided a few replacement mushroom vents in white metal. The torpedodeck can be modeled closed or open. The torpedocovers are molded shut and must be opened with a drill if you want the torpedotubes to be visible. To ease the installation of the tubes the roof is molded in a single piece. My piece was sligthly bent and needs some heatforming. I have little to put my finger on when it comes to accuracy and historical correctness. I did not bother to count the portholes as I trust the master craftsman Mike Bishop and Yankee ModelWorks to have done their homework. The kit is qiute well put together. Perhaps the onmolded degaussingcable could have been more detailed and mastered in reliefetched brass instead of strip styrene, but such a addition is unneccecary with the rest of the detail in this kit. I have no need to whine about it. I am very very pleased with the rest of the kit. 

Some pictures have been colorcorrected for better contrast

The 5" twin barrel shields are molded hollow. Various white metal parts and brass parts are to be fitted onto the shields to improve appearance. The main 8" turrets are very nicely done. Torpedotubes, boats and airplanes follows the same path. Just remove the pourplugs and install eventual metal/brass parts. Some directors have crude details. Can be replaced, fixed or slightly sanded down depending on how condition each director is. 

The superstructure are quite acceptable detailed for a resin-kit. Not overdone, but more than enough to satisfy resinkit builders. The funnel is nicely shaped. The front and back parts of it has a piece of resin that  need to be removed. Platforms are patterened. 


The quality of the white metal parts is perhaps this kits weakest point. Not to say it is bad - the detaillevel is what you can expect of white metal, but after all the nice brassparts and resinparts I realize once again that I am not a fan of white metal parts. I know that not all parts can or should be reproduced in resin. White metal is much easier to bend and work with, however the surfacedetail seldom reaches the level that resinparts can have and demands some attention in order to get a nice finish. The gun barrels provided in this kit is something that I already had decided to replace the with brass barrels the same instant that I ordered it. Neither 8" or 5" barrels are usable to my taste of detaillevel, but the aftermarket guys need to stay in business as well. Some sanding with fine grating sandpaper and grinders will improve the finish on directors and other parts with larger surfaces.
The decals are good and give you jacks, flags and ensigns for the ship and various admirals. Sailplanes have their share of emblems to fit on the fuselages and wings. The instructions are very comprehensive and seems to give clear instructions of what to do and suggest the sequence of building. I have not studied the instructions in depth yet, but the illustrations ( sometimes corny) and instructive text make sure that few modelers are left in the dark when modelingtime comes. Excellent!

This kit is well crafted and will truly be a displaypiece when finished. I did not like the whitemetal gun barrels, but that is mostly all that I did not like with this kit. Good overall detail. The brassdetails and instructions are well done. 

This kit does not have brass barrels as Minekaze's1/350 Tone, and I am not sure how it compares with MineKaze when it comes to detail but it seems YMW is slightly a bit sharper on some areas and MineKaze sharper on other areas. The breakdown of parts is different and I think there are fewer seams to fix on YMWs kit. With better instructions and since YMWs also is a bit cheaper even with extra aftermarket brass barrels I would pick the YMW Tone if I had to choose one.

Bought directly from Yankee ModelWorks - $ 295

Excellent kit! Highly recommended!!

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