Hasegawa 1/700
IJN Destroyer Asashimo

Reviewed by Petr Osipov

Asashimo (Morning Frost) was one of the later Yugumo class destroyers. Yugumo design was virtually a repeat of Kagero, which in its turn was a slightly modified Asashio class. Those destroyers, armed with three twin turrets with 127mm DP guns and two quadruple 24" long lance torpedo tubes with 8 reloads were very powerful and versatile ships. Initial weaknesses of a limited ASW and AA capabiliy have been rectified by 43-44. Asashimo, laid down in 1942, entered service on 27.November 1943 had 14 25 mm guns (1x2 in front of the bridge, 2x3 on the both sides of the front funnel, 2x3 on the both sides of the rear funnel), and received all three 127mm turrets. To allow for this, only 4 reload torpedoes were carried. It also had 2 DC rails and 2 DC throwers, with 36 DCs. It carried a Type 93 mod. 3 sonar and a Type 92 hydrophone, as well as a Type 22 mod. 4 radar. Asashimo joined the fleet in Singapore, and escorted a number of convoys before participating in the battle of Philippine Sea. Later, it mainly missed the battle of Leyte Gulf, being detached to escort home the torpedoed cruiser Takao. Then it participated in a number of transport operations, escorting transports and bringing supplies and reinforcements to the Phillipines. It was a lucky ship, as it survived a number of air and PT boat attacks undamaged, usually being the only survivor of the entire convoy. It survived the Philippines campaign only to be ordered to escort Yamato in its death run towards the Okinawa. Before the air attacks started it fell back due to machinery problems, and has been sunk by TF 58 aircraft, with all hands lost.)

I get this kit quite occasionally. I went to my local dealer and saw this kit sitting on the shelf for a very nice price. After a short glance into the box, I understood that this kit would fit to my May 1944 diorama, as the fit was looking mid-war. After I came home, I checked the fit, and found out that the outfit is exactly matching Asashimo in its April-June 44 fit.

After opening the box, you find 2 carefully packed sprues of the ship details, hull, base, weight, decals, and a separately packed new weapon sprue. The kit looks to be quite old. There is some flash on the parts. Hull sides are totally undetailed, there are no anchors, no portholes, no degaussing cable - just plain. In contrast, deck is quite nicely detailed, with fine (but a bit overscale) tread plate, linoleum holding bars, torpedo rails, anchor chain, different bitts and hatches. The hull form is generally right, only bow needs some minimal form change, compared to the drawing in Apalkow "Japanese destroyers, 1918-45, vol.2" book. There are no inclined ladders at all, so adding the PE ones would be easy. There is also a base, molded in red plastic. Click images
to enlarge
On the main sprue most parts common to all Yugumo class ships are located. Superstructure platforms have generally right form, and the horizontal surfaces are detailed. There are no details on vertical surfaces however, except the funnel sides, which have some raised panel lines. Adding some PE doors and ladders would be a good idea. Bridge windows are decals. Weapons on this sprue are useless. Masts are a bit thick, and if you want to do rigging, replace them with brass or steel rod. There is some flash but no sink or eject marks on this sprue.
The second sprue is quite small, with the parts characteristic to Asashimo, especially the extra AA platform. Dump the AA guns and something what looks like a type 22 radar antenna to the trash, but the platform itself is usable. It has a ejector mark on its top side, which will have to be sanded.
The kit contains also the weapon sprue which is a standard one for all recent Aoshima/Fujimi/Hasegawa/Tamiya destroyer kits. It is very nicely molded and will provide a large number of quite nice weapons and accessoires for sparebox, in addition to the all-new weapons, boats and radars for this ship. 127mm guns, quadruple torpedo tubes, boats, searchlights, anchors and a type 22 radar are light years better then the ones on the original sprue, and are comparable to the modern skywave items. Four floatplanes (Rufe, George, Glen and Saiyun) included on this sprue are a very welcome addition to my diorama. I will still use 25 mm AA guns from skywave, they look minimally better, but can be placed to different angles.
There are two decal sheets included. One is for the main kit, and one with the weapon sprue. Both are very nicely registered, and clearly printed. The weapon kit one is not really relevant, as it includes an assortment of Hinomaru roundels for the floatplanes. The main one includes bridge window decals, 4 different funnel stripe sets, 2 flags, shipname for the base in both english and japanese, and the decals of ship name as written on ship's sides. The latter is useless, as it was never carried by the ship, all ships had their names painted over by 1941.
The instructions are dual language, English and Japanese, and are easy to follow. Colors are given in Tamiya and Gunze systems.
click to go to NNT's website

Kit is ageing, but with some work and PE it would let you build a fairly realistic Asashimo as completed.

  • Pro: Configuration matches the real ship, quite nice detailing on the hull deck, very fine decals, fine weapons on replacement sprue
  • Con: Bare vertical surfaces, flash

I never saw Skywave's Yugumo (Yugumo, Asashimo..) class ships in close, but I would suppose they would be a better choice, as they are much younger mold, and cost about the same (Hasegawa 11.70 Eur, Skywave 13.50 Eur at www.nntmodell.com ). In total - limited recomendation.

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