Hasegawa 1/700 Asashio Class Destroyer “Asashio 1942”

Reviewed March 2018
by Dan Kaplan


The Imperial Japanese Navy regarded their destroyers as a key component of a strategy that looked to maximize the impact of lighter forces upon an enemy battle line prior to engagement by the main fleet. By the late 1920s, Japanese destroyer design had evolved from what had been the core of their destroyer corps - the Minekaze, Kamikaze, and Mutsuki classes - into the larger, longer-ranged, more heavily armed, and far more modern Fubuki Special Type, a destroyer that typically outclassed many existing light cruisers.  Introduced in 1928, the class went on to revolutionize worldwide destroyer design. Eventually, 24 such ships were commissioned.  Their existence helped to spur on an escalating response by other nations to this type and, eventually, to a tightening of existing naval limitation treaties. As a signatory of the various naval disarmament and limitation treaties of the 1920s and 1930s, Japan was forced to tailor its battle doctrine within the boundaries of the treaties.

The London Naval Treaty of 1930 led to reductions in both individual destroyer size and overall destroyer tonnage for all the signees. Japanese compliance with the treaty meant two things: 1) a cancellation of the last 12 planned units of the Fubuki types, and 2) new destroyers that could only be had by shrinking the successful Fubuki hull form.  The result was the subsequent Hatsuharu class ships. However, the size restrictions also meant a corresponding reduction in power, range, speed and firepower. Attempts to maximize firepower on the smaller hull led to a top-heavy design which subsequently required a redesign (and rebuild of the first two ships) in the wake of the tragic Tomozuru torpedo boat incident.

The revised Hatsuharu design was reworked again with the following Shiratsuyu class ships, resulting in a more stable ship with an increase in the torpedo broadside. Despite earning a reputation as both good and powerful ships, the Japanese were still dissatisfied with the overall shortcomings of the Shiratsuyu design when compared to their “ideal” of the Fubuki type. For a variety of reason, the Japanese chose to let their participation in the naval disarmament treaties to lapse while the last of the Shiratsuyus were under construction. Doing so permitted a return to a larger destroyer. The first IJN destroyer class to emerge under these new conditions was the Asashio class. 


The final four vessels of a projected 14 destroyers in the Shiratsuyu class were cancelled, and ten ships of the new, larger Asashio class vessels were authorized under the Circle 2 (Maru 2) Supplementary Naval Expansion budget of 1934. Their construction to commissioning spanned the years 1935-1939. These new ships were designated Type A (Koh) cruiser-type destroyers, the first of several new classes of such large, powerful vessels.

The Asashios were given an improved hull form that reverted in size to that of the Fubukis.  The new class was approximately the same length as the Fubukis, with subtle changes in width and draft, but on a larger displacement of over 2000 tons. These were the first Japanese destroyers to surpass that displacement mark.

The hull form provided for greater stability, which allowed a return to three twin mountings of the 12.7cm 50 cal. main gun in new Type C turrets. It also enabled the retention of the two quadruple 61cm torpedo tube mounts of the Shiratsuyu class, along with a full set of torpedo reloads.  Essentially, the Shiratsuyu hull was enlarged by inserting additional length to accommodate the superimposed #2 turret atop a full deckhouse aft, along with somewhat greater draft. The hull also showed a little less freeboard than the earlier Fubukis. The bridge form of the last batch of Shiratsuyus was also carried over to the new class. 

The power plant used three steam boilers and Kampon geared turbines to drive two shafts, with a rise in total shaft horsepower from the 42,000 shp of the prior two classes up to 50,000 shp, the same as the earlier Fubukis.  Speed rose by one knot, and most importantly, the range increased by 20%, to 5700nm at 15 knots.

Initially, two twin 13mm AA mounts were installed on a platform to either side of funnel number two. Some ships may have been upgraded to twin 25mm AA mounts by the start of the Pacific War in 1941, with all the ships changing over to the larger mounts within the first year of the war. All ships received six single rack roll off depth charges placed at the extreme stern and an athwartships depth charge rack feeding a Y thrower aft of number three turret. 

Unfortunately, the new class was not problem free. The first four ships were completed with a stern shape that utilized a slightly rounded knuckle at the waterline at the extreme stern end of the ship.  Unexpectedly, the turn radius of the ship was much larger than expected at trials, and wholly unsatisfactory. The knuckle had to be reshaped with a much sharper crease at the waterline. Further, the rudder shape was revised, the propeller blades shortened slightly, and engine rpm upped slightly. The changes gave positive results. The turning circle shrank, and top speed rose by over half a knot.  The last six ships of the class were completed to the revised set of specifications without further trouble.

There were also unexpected problems with the turbines. An inspection shortly after trials revealed that several turbine blades had cracks in them. A series of tests were run, ultimately revealing issues with blade resonance within the intermediate pressure (IP) turbines.  The blade design was changed, the blades rebuilt, and the problem eliminated in all class members by 1940.

Ship History

Asashio was the lead ship of her class, laid down at the Sasebo Naval Arsenal on September 7, 1935. She was launched on December 16, 1936 and commissioned on August 31, 1937. She was initially assigned to the Sasebo Naval district as a guardship. During trials, she experienced the aforementioned steering problems; her maneuverability was deemed unacceptable. By late in the year, she also developed issues with her turbine blades. Identical issues also surfaced with Oshio, Michishio, and Arashio, all class sisters commissioned before the end of 1937. All ships were subsequently designated reserve ships while these problems were rectified. 

Early in 1938, while still in reserve and under repair at various naval yards, all four ships were assigned to Destroyer Division (DesDiv) 25. Oshio was designated flagship. Sometime in mid-1938, repairs were completed on all four ships.  They spent that autumn working up again, and in November, the division was redesignated DesDiv 8 and assigned to Destroyer Squadron 2. The division spent the years 1939-40 supporting various operations in China.

At the start of the Pacific War in December, 1941, Asashio and DesDiv 8 accompanied the Japanese Southern Force in a series of invasion operations that resulted in the conquest of the Philippines and Malaya. By February, 1942, the Japanese had reached the Dutch East Indies.  On the night of February 19/20, DesDiv 8 was in the Strait of Badung escorting the invasion force when a sizeable force of light cruisers and older destroyers under the Allies ABDA command entered the strait. This force sought to disrupt the invasion by destroying the invasion convoy. 

The division had temporarily split up into pairs, with each pair escorting a damaged cargo ship. Closest to the opposing force, Asashio and Oshio did not hesitate to engage the ABDA force with torpedoes and gunfire, eventually driving them off after two rounds of engagement over several hours. Asashio is credited with sinking the Dutch destroyer Piet Hien by torpedo, and inflicting notable damage on light cruiser Tromp as well as the destroyer USS Stewart. In turn, she suffered light damage to her searchlight, with four men killed, and eleven wounded. Oshio also inflicted considerable damage upon her opponents while incurring significant damage of her own. 

Eventually, Arashio and Michishio joined the engagement, with Michishio also suffering a fair amount of battle damage. Afterwards, Asashio had to tow Michishio out of the area to Makassar for makeshift repairs.  The battle is considered the first in which the Japanese demonstrated their considerable prowess in night fighting over the Allies during the early war years.

The division returned to Japan shortly thereafter for repairs at the Yokosuka Naval Base at the end of March. Michishio remained out of action until mid-November, while Oshio did not return to duty until the end of December. Asashio and Arashio departed for the Philippines at the end of April to assist in the reduction of Corregidor, returning to Kure in May. Some convoy duty to Guam then ensued.

In June, Asashio and Arashio escorted CruDiv 7 (heavy cruisers Mogami, Mikuma Kumano, Suzuya) as part of the Close Support Force covering the Midway Invasion Force. In the immediate aftermath of the devastating loss of the four carriers of the Kido Butai on June 4th, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto ordered CruDiv 7 to bombard Midway atoll in the hopes of salvaging some momentum and inflicting damage upon the American forces. The order was reversed after several hours upon the realization of the vulnerability of the force to American aircraft.

Unfortunately, two of the cruisers (Mogami and Mikuma) collided during evasive maneuvers after sighting a submarine (USS Tambor).  While the undamaged pair of cruisers withdrew, the two destroyers stood by to assist the two injured cruisers. Eventually, all four ships came under several air attacks on June 6th. Mikuma was sunk, Mogami was badly damaged, and both Asashio and Arashio were each hit by a bomb and strafed several times. The destroyers were able to rescue a few hundred crew from Mikuma and then escorted Mogami to Truk, where all three vessels underwent emergency repairs meant to enable them to return to Japan. Both destroyers eventually reached Sasebo Naval base by the end of June. 

The entire division was designated reserve as Asashio and Arashio underwent extensive repairs. Asashio complete repairs in mid-September, 1942, and spent the next month working back up while performing convoy escort duty. Arashio’s repairs were completed at the end of October, at which time the division was reactivated. Both ships then headed for Rabaul. 

Asashio was promptly earmarked for participation in the Guadalcanal campaign. She made multiple transport runs to Guadalcanal, and was part of the Support Force during the November 13-14 Naval Battle for Guadalcanal. She continued to participate in transports runs and was slightly damaged by near misses off her stern in early December, though she continued to participate in those missions.

Asashio returned to Kure Naval Base in early January, 1943 for refit and repairs. (It is not clear if she received any upgrades to her AA at this time, though it is likely.) By early February, she had rejoined her DesDiv8 sisters Arashio and Oshio at Rabaul. The division was tasked with escort duty for several convoys.  Oshio was lost on Feb. 20 off New Guinea, torpedoed by USS Albacore. Asashio took over her duties as division flagship.

In the meantime, the Imperial Japanese Army had decided to reinforce its position in the Southwest Pacific. A convoy was organized to deliver approximately 7000 Imperial Japanese Army troops to Lae, New Guinea in early March. The convoy consisted of eight transports and eight destroyers, including Asashio and Arashio, along with air coverage by land-based fighters drawn from a variety of units. The convoy departed Rabaul on February 28th, hugging the northern coast of New Britain while heading west for the Vitiaz Straits that divided New Guinea from New Britain. 

Unfortunately for the Japanese, Allied intelligence and codebreakers had intercepted Japanese communications and ascertained their intentions. The Allies planned an ambush of the convoy using a massive concentration of aircraft from both the US 5th Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force operating from Australian bases. The attacks took place over March 2-4 and annihilated the convoy, sinking all eight transports and four of the destroyers, including Asashio and Arashio.

Attacks began on March 2nd and resumed on the 3rd. By the end of the 3rd, most of the merchants and three of the destroyers were hit and sunk, including Arashio. On the 4th, Asashio was rescuing survivors from both Arashio and the troopship Nojima Maru when the remnants of the convoy were attacked again by more aircraft in several attack waves. Heavily strafed, Asashio was fatally hit by a 500lb. bomb dropped from a B-17. She was lost with all 299 hands save for a few survivors in a lifeboat.

The kit
As with Hasegawa’s just released Yugumo class kits, this is the third generation 1/700 offering of the class. The initial Asashio class kits also came from Hasegawa as part of the original Waterline Consortium range of kits introduced in the early 1970s. Those models were fairly typical of the original waterline kits in that they were relatively simplistic in appearance, with a mix of positive and negative features. Those Asashios had a good, basic hull shape, and generally correct bridge and superstructures in terms of size and scale. The kits were woefully short on all details, excepting linoleum tie-down strips, while weapons and boats were comparatively crude and generic. 

The second-generation kits were issued by Pit-Road in the early 1990s, during the years 1993-94. The first of the IJN Type A destroyer class kits (Asashio, Kagero, Yugumo) that Pit-Road released, these remain the best of those types from them, in my opinion.  They came with a good amount of small details, an accurate bow profile, and generally fine shapes all around. Accuracy-wise, these kits fall short in one glaring regard, the shape of their torpedo tube mount shields.

Both the Asashio and proceeding Shiratsuyu class ships had new quadruple torpedo mounts (Type 92 Mod 2) covered with a weather/splinter/gas covering shield that had a squared off rear end when viewed in profile. The kit provides the more commonly known type of quadruple shield mount, the Type 92 Mod 4 utilized by later classes, which was a longer shield whose rear end sloped down towards the tube ends. There is no replacement option for the earlier type torpedo mount currently on the market, unless one strips the Fujimi Shiratsuyu class destroyer kits of theirs. Other details, like doors and hatches, are a bit simplistic when compared to what today’s kits now offer.

Now, Hasegawa continues to freshen its 1/700 kit line with updated Asashio class offerings. These kits are brand new, utilizing more extensive research and modern injection molding technology to create vastly improved models of extremely high detail, all properly scaled. The kits are molded in the typical Hasegawa light grey styrene.  The plastic is hard and clean, with no soft or greasy aspects, nor any flash.  Eighty-eight pieces are used for assembly. More subtle details are molded on than ever before. 

The fit of the kit is meant to depict Asashio in December, 1941.The most likely change to her fit prior to her end in early 1943 was the upgrade to twin 25mmAA from 13mm AA, parts for which are available with the kit. This fit is likely true for all the ships of her class as well during that timeframe. 

Sprue A - Hull
Like their new Yugumo class kits, this hull is a one-piece waterline hull, cleanly molded with extremely sharp and properly scaled details including metal deck treading, hatches, deck level skylights for the engineering spaces, linoleum tie downs strips on the main deck, portholes, porthole eyebrows, properly shaped anchor recesses, a degaussing cable with brackets, spurnwaters (with runoff outlets) all around the perimeter edge of the decks, bollards, turret base, and hawser reels. There are no lines or strakes to depict any hull plating.  Sprue-A-Hull
The bow profile is excellent, with a hint of a curve as it approaches the waterline. It’s also very fine and sharp when viewed from ahead.  (The photo of the hull sprue from the underside shows off just how fine the bow is, on the left.) My sample has the barest hint of a sinkhole to either side of the bow at the waterline, running 1 to 3mm back.  A dab of putty and a light sanding would easily correct that. Sprue-A-Hull-bow
The deck edges on the rear half of the forecastle are properly shaped with rounded edges that begin forward of the aft set of bollards. The degaussing cable is sharp and wonderfully scaled, with brackets. (It follows the only documented pattern, that of Arare.) Also included is a pair of small, tertiary air intakes mounted on the engine housing just aft of #1 funnel. While the size is correct, the shapes are simplified and not fully formed. While most folks will be content to leave these as is, they could be replaced with brass rod in order to be reasonably accurate.  Sprue-A-hull-alt
The deck is nearly free of superstructures, excepting the engine case housings at the base of both funnels.  Nor is there any deck equipment molded on, aside from the hatches, vents, and some hawser reels at the stern. The reels are properly sized, and do have tiny, individual cable lines molded in. The forecastle deck and the treaded portion of the stern have been molded as separate pieces. The bullnose at the top of the bow has been separated and is a separately molded piece. Sprue-A-overhead
The only real disappointment is that my review hull bowed upward ever so slightly at the bow and stern. This molding flaw is present on the new Yugumos as well, although here, it’s not quite as pronounced. The hull has been engineered to fit more closely with the waterline plate, with more attachment points along the centerline axis of the hull. It’s possible that by inserting the forecastle deck piece, and by gluing the waterline plate to the hull, that the bowing at the ends will be eliminated. Sprue-A-stern
This is not a certainty, however. I’m far more hopeful that the bowing can be mitigated with temporary weights at the bow and stern when glued, or by using the hot water immersion method. Obviously, if one attaches the hull to a fixed base, this is not going to be an issue. There’s no weighted metal plate to help keep the hull upright.

The hull scales out amazingly well. Asashio’s particulars versus the scale and kit:
Overall Length:  118.3m/388’1” 1/700 scale OA length:  169mm  Kit OA length: 169mm*
Waterline Length:  115m/377’4” 1/700 scale WL length:  164.29mm Kit WL length: 164.3mm
Beam:  10.39m/34’1” 1/700 scale beam: 14.85mm Kit beam: 15mm

*This is an estimate. The separation of the bullnose from the hull makes it impossible to take a true measurement without gluing the bullnose onto the hull. The OA of the hull without the bullnose is 168.5mm, so it seems reasonable to assume that the OA length is accurate.

(Note: A photo comparison of this kit hull to that of the Pit-Road Asashio kit will be posted shortly on the CASF Asashio class thread.)

Sprue B

This is the largest sprue of the kit and it holds: the forecastle deck, the waterline plate, funnel halves for both funnels, funnel grills,  both halves of the emergency steering/RDF compartment, most of the components to the aft deck house, the primary engine intake that sits immediately aft the forecastle break, the engine air intake that sits at the base of funnel #1, the upright portions of the fore and aft torpedo reload gantries, the galley pipe, auxiliary piping for the funnels, and last but not least, a complex substructure that combines a) the housing and base of funnel #2, b) the platform upon which sits torpedo mount #1 and c) the two horizontal torpedo storage bays that sit astride funnel #2.

As with the hull, everything is beautifully scaled, detailed and sharply molded. The detailing on all surfaces of the aft deckhouse is superior, though perhaps not as detailed as their recent Yugumo class kits.  The deck treading is incredibly fine, yet sharp, for the forecastle deck and other horizontal surfaces.  It would have been nice to have seen Hasegawa dispense with the molded-on hawser reels on the forecastle deck (and the main deck), but at least the reels are properly small, and show separation between the coiled lines.  The ancillary funnel pipes have the properly shaped exhaust tips on top. The grill for funnel # 1 has been divided into two pieces as befits the actual appearance, but solid plastic can never appear as nice as a photo etch version. 

My one nitpick, a minor one at that, has to do with the breakwater on the forecastle in front of the base for turret number one. Its thickness is significantly overstated. Hasegawa appears to have used each end as an injection point, or maybe an excess runoff point. Regardless, it probably made sense from a production standpoint, and most folks won’t notice, but it does seem a little heavy handed.

Also noticed is that the waterline plate has raised ridges that could hold a waterline weight in place. I’m guessing that was the original intent, but the weight was subsequently omitted. 

Sprue E x 2
A small sprue that holds the quadruple Type 94 Mod 2 torpedo mount and separate shield, two davits for a 7m cutter, and two uprights that support the torpedo reload girders.

Unlike the new, one-piece quadruple Type 94 Mod 4 torpedo mount that comes with the new Yugumo kits (and is also included in this kit on a separate sprue), the Mod 2 mount comes with a separate shield. The mount is nicely detailed and properly scaled.  It may not have the degree of detail that some of the Mod 4 mounts that are out there do (i.e. FineMolds NanoDread and Pit-Road NE series versions), or even the Hasegawa Mod 4, but it is more than adequate. The torpedo warheads are molded into the bottom of the tubes.

Sprue-E-TT-mount Sprue-E-TT-mount---torpedo-bodies Sprue-E-TT-shield-(2)
Sprue F
This is a small sprue holding the all four sides of the bridge base, the compass bridge deck roof, an early war stern deck insert, the roof of the aft deckhouse, and what maybe two small vents or 30cm signal lights (Part F9).

Again, everything is beautifully molded, detailed and scaled. Two bridge faces are provided; the one labeled F5 is apparently specific to Minegumo and not used here. Nor are the parts labeled F9.

As with the Yugumo kits, my one nitpick here has to do with the way the depth charges are detailed. They sit nicely in individual roll-off racks as befits an early war ship. Viewed from the inside looking outward, one can even see the delineation between the rack and depth charge. Strangely, the same fidelity is not offered on the outside of the depth charges sitting in their racks. I do think that the charges can be delineated with a scribe tool and a little care.

Sprue-F-back---bridge-parts Sprue-F-depth-charges-closeup
Sprue G
This is a small sprue containing an early war foremast and main mast, the early war version of the platform that supports the twin 25mm AA mounts to either side of funnel number 2, and the compass bridge deck.

Much is commendable here. As with the other sprues, detailing is sharp.  The AA platform wisely comes without solid rails or siding, which too often misrepresents the open railings and canvas that typically ringed them. The compass bridge deck has a properly recessed deck, suitable for additional detailing. There’s actually a chart table molded next to the central support housing, and tiny, raised circles indicating the placement position of lookout binoculars and a compass binnacle.

The foremast is molded as one piece, with the rear legs integrated with the foreleg. It observes the correct angles of the tripod legs, particularly where the rear legs are 90* vertical to the ship’s axis. Integration also eases the proper placement of the mast on the ship. A set of light yardarms are properly swept outward and back. As far as I know, this one-piece setup is a relatively new innovation for an IJN tripod mast, having been introduced by Hasegawa with the recent 1/700 Yugumo class kits. I find this rendition superior to that of the Yugumo kits, as the tripod legs are slightly thinner.  The uppermost set of yardarms might be a little low and too close to the set of yardarms under it, but overall, it looks really nice. 

The same configuration and stance is true for the smaller main mast that sits atop the aft deckhouse. 

Sprue-G-back---compass-bridge-deck Sprue-G-side-view
Sprue M x 3
This sprue is shared with the new Hasegawa Yugumo kits, and holds: a 6m launch, a 7m cutter, a 7.5m motor launch and canvas cover, a twin 13mm AA mount, two twin 25mm AA mounts, two triple 25mm AA mounts, six single 25mm AA mounts, a twin set of 12.7cm barrels and canvas boot assembly for one of the 12.7cm main mounts, two davits for the cutters, two more davits for the motor launches, a crow’snest,an anchor, a small hawser reel, the quad 61cm torpedo tube mount with shield, all torpedo reload girder supports and an overhead girder for the rear torpedo reload station (Kagero & Yugumo classes only), and a support for a late war AA bandstand.

Only a few items are used for this kit, those being the 7m and 7.5m boats with cover, the 13mm twin mount, the twin set of 12.7cm barrels with boot coverings, the rear boat davits, the crow’s nest, anchor and small hawser reel. Everything else goes into the spares box, though one could swap out the 13mm mount for the twin 25mm mounts for a slightly later war appearance. If one choses to do so, it might be best to look at some of the other twin 25mm mounts on the market in accessory sets as an alternative. The kit supplied guns are certainly better than what has typically supplied the Waterline Consortium kits, but there are superior versions available.

The ship’s boats may not contain quite as much detail as some aftermarket versions, but they are very nicely shaped and sized, particularly the motor launch. 

Sprue N
This is another equipment sprue that is carried over from the new Yugumo (H) kits.  Included are the bullnoses set at both the bow and stern, both paravanes,a paravane winch, the athwartship depth charge rack and Y-thrower,a couple of vents for the aft deckhouse, a 12.7cm practice loader, bow and stern jackstaffs, a 90cm searchlight, an RDF antenna, a deck winch, a 2m direction finder for aiming the torpedo tubes, the main gun director, early and late war versions of the cupola for atop the main director, a small sea anchor for the rear deck, a Type 13 radar antenna, the port and starboard torpedo reload housings that are placed to either side of funnel #1 for Kagero and Yugumo class ships, and some supports for mid/late war 25mm AA bandstands.

As with the M sprue, several items are not used for this kit. These would include the Type 13mm radar, the AA bandstand supports, the late war cupola, the torpedo reload housings, the supports for the AA bandstands, the stern bullnose, and (supposedly) the anchor and deck winch. I say supposedly because these items were standard equipment on board IJN destroyers.

The detailing is particularly sharp on many of the little pieces that are used. The cupola, the paravane and deck winches, and the Y-thrower are most notable. Even the depth charge rack, solid as it is, has more depth than usual to the outline of the latticework of the rack. 

The biggest issue here, and probably with the kit, is that the main gun director (part N24) is not appropriate for these vessels. The model of director included in this kit was specific to the Yugumos and Shimakaze. For whatever the reason, Hasegawa neglected to include an earlier type housing that was used. It certainly could have been accommodated on one of the Asashio class specific sprues.

The earlier directors were fully more round in circumference shape. The differences would be very noticeable in a side by side comparison, though it is not a deal stopper here. There are alternatives; the best being part B27 from the original Pit-Road accessory set E-10, one of which is still included with every one of their Akatsuki, Hatsuharu, Asashio, Kagero & Yugumo class kits.  Barring that, the director from the Aoshima or Fujimi Kagero class kits could be used as well. 


Sprue R x 3
These are one-piece sprues, with a Type C/D turret attached. These are also carried over from the new Hasegawa Yugumo kits. They are particularly well done with regards to details which are almost as comprehensive as the C/D turrets from the Pit-Road NE05 set. Those versions include the grab rails atop the turret, which these Hasegawa versions don’t have, but the Hasegawa versions do properly have three protected air vents on their port side; the NE set only sports two. Sprue-R1
Sizing appears correct, and the scaling of the details appears a bit more accurate than the NE version. Stiffening bars along all the sides of the turret are included.  However, note that for the Asashio class ships, only number one mount would carry these bars. To be completely accurate, one would have to remove the bars for turrets two and three.
Sprue-R2 Sprue-R3
These consist of one large format sheet printed front and back, then folded several times. The front portrays the usual blackand white reprint of the cover art, a brief ship’s history in Japanese and English, plan and line drawing views with color callouts for painting, and some guidelines to assembly. The color callout and fit illustration is specific to Asashio in December, 1941, with DesDiv 8. Instructions-1
The back has a step-by-step progression of assembly using exploded, three-point perspective illustrations.  There’s also an illustrated parts guide, with block outs denoting equipment not used in this fit.
Instructions-1a Instructions-2 Instructions-2a
The kit comes with a small, beautifully registered decal sheet. Asashio’s name is rendered in both Japanese and English, in two formats, which are good for a small nameplate or even the bottom of the waterline plate. Her name is also rendered in Katakana characters for the sides of the hull. (Note:  Such an application, in conjunction with the presence of a degaussing cable, would only be applicable to the latter half of 1941.)  There are several Imperial Japanese navy ensigns with the Rising Son, and the ship’s name in several sizes.  These are meant for both the stern of the ship and, in a nice, accurate touch, the ship’s boats.  Draft markings are also included. Oddly, the instructions specify placement of the ship’s name on the boats, but there is no guide for placing the draft markings on the hull.  Decals
Final Thoughts
I’ve always liked the Asashios.  While not quite as well known as the following Type A Kagero and Yugumo class ships, they generally gave good service and a very good accounting of themselves. The timing of the new kits is quite fortuitous for Hasegawa, as the sunken wrecks of class members Asagumo, Yamagumo and Michishio were discovered late last year in Surigao Strait by the Paul Allen expeditionary ship R/V Petrel, and interest in the class has risen.

Yes, there are a few nitpicks, and the absence of a proper main gun director is a bit surprising, but none of these make the kit less desirable.  Nor am I as dismayed about the bowed hull for these ships as I was with the new Hasegawa Yugumos, as the flaw here is less obvious. I hope that Hasegawa moves to correct this problem in this kit in the near future, perhaps with harder styrene. And, as I wrote before, this is not going to be an issue for anyone who mounts the hull to a solid base. The rest of the kit is extremely well done, and a welcome freshening of the available class kits.

Thanks to Hobbico Model Distributors for the review sample. They are your US distributors for Hasegawa.  MSRP for the US is $25.99.

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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