Hasegawa  1/700 Light Cruiser Tatsuta "Super Detail"
Hasegawa review
Reviewed January 2017
by Timothy Dike
Iron lance of the IJN Tatsuta and her sister ship Tenryu were tough Japanese light cruisers commissioned just after the first world war and used in WWII. Tatsuta followed Tenryu into the Second Sino-Japanese war then, during WWII, fought at Wake Island, off Guadalcanal, and extensively in the waters around New Guinea before catching a torpedo from USS Sand Lance in 1944. The vessels of the Tenryu class were new designs intended to lead destroyer flotillas. Long, thin, and fast for cruisers, their only flaws were in their light armament
The Tenryus were the first modern light cruisers of the IJN. This ship type, the 3,500 ton or small-model cruiser, was somewhat new and without many contemporaries. Essentially, they were enlarged destroyers with some design cues inspired by the Royal Navy’s Arethusa and C class light cruisers.

To quote on their anticipated role, from LaCroix and Welles “Japanese Cruisers of the Pacific War”:  “they were intended as high speed, protected flotilla leaders or destroyer squadron flagships…… to accommodate the flag officer and his staff, as well as facilities for command and control. Tactically, they were to lead and sustain torpedo attacks by the destroyer flotillas, or squadrons, against the enemy fleet, and to protect the destroyers against gunfire from enemy destroyers and any accompanying light cruiser.”

The Tenryus mounted four Type 3 14cm 50 cal guns in open backed shields as their main battery, all mounted on the centerline. Also included in their armament were smaller AA guns and two unshielded Type 6 torpedo mounts, each carrying three of their 53cm diameter torpedoes, also mounted on the centerline. No reloads were provided for.

They incorporated destroyer type machinery and three sets of geared turbines driving three shafts, along with a mix of coal and oil fired boilers, to achieve a high speed of 33 knots. To keep weight down and to increase the hull strength required in a ship with a high length to beam ratio (for speed), high tensile steel was used in their hulls.  Light armor for protection from 4” shells was also installed. The new bow form, commonly called a spoon bow, was adopted from the new Isokaze class destroyer. 

For a more in-depth look at the Tenryu class design, please see Dan Kaplan's review of the Tenryu here. More can be found in the TROM here.

This new Limited Edition "Super Detail"  version from Hasegawa adds finer detail options to this newly tooled kit. The kit is depicted in its early war appearance from 1941 to 42.

The hull is molded into halves on the A and B sprue.  Each have features sharp detailing with nice hull plating detail.  Degaussing cables are molded on as they were from around 1941 on.  I'm not a big fan of the molded on anchors as this restricts you to displaying your ship under way.  The hull halves have interior bracing to help hold their shape.  Also on the sprue are the funnel halves and the bow fore deck. Click to
enlarge image
The waterline base plate and various superstructure walls and platforms are featured on the sprue.  Detail is pretty good overall.
The main decks are molded on the sprue with nice surface detailing.  Gun platforms, the main mast, and the bridge parts as well as other details.  Bridge windows can be represented by flowing black paint into the recesses.
SPRUE J, K, L, N, R, S, & T
Many the finer details are molded on these sprues.  I've left them connected to make it easier to photograph them.  Hasegawa is taking a modular approach to molding some of these parts.  The main guns are finely detailed with separate gun shields.  Boat davits, mast parts, and other fine detail parts are included here.
A brass fret is included with hand rails, funnel foot rails, new platforms and even a new fighting top and bridge assembly.
Plastic rod is included for fabricating some platform supports.
A new improved decal sheet includes markings for December 41 and July 42 (after anti-aircraft weapons was increased).
The instructions are two sheets, extra large with painting and marking guides and several well illustrated subassembly drawings showing where all the parts go. I am showing the images broken down into 8 pages due to their large size.
This new kit from Hasegawa is light years ahead of the original offering with complete Photo Etch.  It should allow you to build a great kit with nothing else to buy. This is kit #HSGS0038 1/700 Japanese Navy Cruiser Tenry "Super Details" Limited Edition . with a list price of $62.99 US.

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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