Hasegawa 1/350
IJN Light Cruiser Noshiro
The Battle of Leyte Gulf

Reviewed by Sean Hert
February 2014

The Imperial Japanese Navy had standardized on 5,500 ton displacement light cruisers as flagships for destroyer and submarine squadrons, and numerous vessels constructed shortly after World War I served in this role. The Agano class was conceived in the 1930's as a replacement for the aging Tenryu, Kuma and Nagara classes. Larger than these previous light cruisers, the Agano-class vessels were fast, but with little protection, and were under-gunned for their size.

For most of its career, Noshiro was an extremely lucky ship. At the Battle off Samar, one of the components of the Battle of Leyte Gulf, that luck ran out. In company with a force of battleships, cruiser and destroyers, Noshiro surprised the destroyers and escort carriers of the US 7th fleet. Outnumbered, outgunned and outclassed, US forces proceeded to win one of the most lopsided engagements in naval history. Noshiro engaged USS White Plains (CVE-66) with gunfire and helped sink the USS Gambier Bay (CVE-73) but was in turn sunk by aircraft the next day.

This limited edition kit features details to represent Noshiro's last refit, modelling her appearance at the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

(Source: Press Release, Wikipedia)


This kit's full hull comes in two halves, split down the centerline and keel. As Hasegawa has done with previous 1/350 releases, there are bulkheads spaced throughout the interior to provide rigidity. Raised lines to denote hull plating and the boot topping and bilge keels are molded on the hull. The hull also has a molded on degaussing cables, and has some slots for ship-specific hull details; Hasegawa has used this hull for all three releases of Agano-class cruisers.


This sprue has a variety of small parts, but only the launch and the cutter from this sprue are used on Noshiro.


Sprue F is comprised mostly of anti-aircraft weaponry; Noshiro uses the single and triple 25mm guns from here, as well as some ammo lockers and directors


This sprue combination has the Type-92 quad torpedo tubes, as well as an additional ship's launch, Type-94 high angle gun directors and other various fittings like davits, winches, etc.

One particularly nice part is AJ9; this is a jig to assemble and align the telescope "ears" to the Type 95 Machine Gun Fire Control (see page 6 of the instructions.) Another great detail is not only are the torpedo tubes and weather housing here, but the torpedo reload storage it finely detailed- but also includes two "Long Lance" Type 93 torpedoes!


Sprue AM is the sprue with the parts to assemble two Aichi E13A1 "Jake" float planes. These airplanes appear to be very finely detailed, which is fitting; the embarked float planes were an important part of Noshiro's mission, and should will certainly attract close inspection when mounted to either catapult.


The five parts on the sprue build into the Kure Type No.2 Model 5- however, Noshiro should be equipped with the older, less powerful Type 1 No.2 catapult Model 11.


Sprue B has the main decks of the kit, broken into three sections. This sprue also has the prop shafts with skegs, and separate shaft bearings with struts also present. The decks have a textured bow, and raised lines to simulating the Linoleum deck covering. There are a few details, like bollards and hatches molded on, with holes in the deck to place mushroom vents, cable and hose reels, as well as other deck "clutter."


Sprue D has inserts for the slots in the hull, while E has the bulk of the superstructure parts. Sprue E has more than just deck houses, however; it also had the rudder for Noshiro, funnel grills and the halves to make the large air handlers present on Japanese ships.


Sprues G and F are also attached, so will be described together. These sprues have some of the remaining deck structures, like bridge levels, and also the kingspost for the aircraft handling crane.

Sprue G

This sprue has two of the Type-41 twin 15.2cm (6"/50) guns- one of each style of gunhouse (with and without Type 14 6-meter rangefinder) and parts to assemble one Type 98 twin 8cm (3"/60) high angle gun. The gunhouses are actually labelled as sub-sprues, and are different from each others.

The 15.2cm barrels have both bagged and non-bagged versions; both barrel types have drilled muzzles, albeit with thick-walls to the barrels. These could be opened fairly easily. Each pair barrels is in a right-hand and left-hand orientation to insure proper mounting- don't' mix them up, or they will not fit properly.


Sprue NA is the aircraft handling platform; the configuration of the turntables and rails is unique to Noshiro, making this one of the unique parts to this kit.


This sprue has many fine parts, including the masts and yards, external steam pipes and the boom for the aircraft handling crane.


Sprue X has the classic IJN bifurcated stack. The two-piece stack is well detailed, with hand holds molded on and openings to mount the external lines from sprue S.


This kit includes two decal sheets. One sheet of classic water slide decals has markings for the embarked aircraft, nameplates in both English and Japanese, while the other sheet is various self-adhesive stickers of IJN flags.


These sprues have the plastic display stand and bulkheads for hull.


A 20 page instruction book is included, There is also a full 1/350 scale poster with a painting guide, with a rigging diagram on the reverse.

The instructions are quite good, and laid out in a simple, logical style. When assembly order influences parts fit, there are directions indicating this. Hasegawa has also started to identify parts by actual names and designations in the instructions, which is a great learning tool.

Please see page 6 of the instructions for the unique alignment jig used to assemble the Type 95 Machine gun fire control director.


These light cruisers serves as workhorses for the IJN, and are welcome to the existing "stable" of 1/350 IJN ships. While this ship is pricey, when compared to some of the competition, Hasegawa's known attention to detail in both research, accuracy and fit should provide a value that goes beyond the purely fiscal. Great kit, recommended!

Thanks to Great Planes Model Distributorsfor the review sample. It is listed as #40084 1/350 IJN Light Cruiser Noshiro with a MSRP of $149.95 US. Great Planes is the exclusive US importer for Hasegawa.