Pit Road 1/700 IJN Destroyer Ayanami

Reviewed by Timothy Dike
The Ayanami Fubuki class destroyer launched on October 5, 1929. Ayanami was  a Type II model with modified 5" gun turret which could elevate to 75° as opposed to the original 40°. During World War II, the Ayanami was assigned to Destroyer Division 19, Squadron 3 of the first fleet. She and sister ship Yugiri sank the Dutch submarine O-20 on December 19, 1941.  Ayanami also participated in the Battle of Midway as  an  escort for the Main Body fleet. Ayanami operated in the Solomon Isles and was part of the bombardment force that attempted to attack the Marines on Guadalcanal on the night of November 15, 1942. Part of the  scouting force with the light cruiser Sendai and other destroyers she was the first to come in contact with the American forces. She engaged the American destroyers leading Admiral Lee's task force 64, and managed to get in some hits on the USS South Dakota. Following close behind was the Washington, which took her under fire and critically damaged her. The damage was so severe that the ship was sunk by the Uranami with a single torpedo. Her wreck is now part of  Iron Bottom sound, aptly named for all the ships from both sides that rest there today.
Displacement 2,050 tons
Length 378 ft 3 in (115.3 m)
Beam 34 ft (10.4 m)
Draft 10 ft 6 in (3.2 m)
Propulsion 4  Kampon type boilers driving 2 Parsons geared turbines with 2 shafts @50,000 shp
Speed 38 knots (70 km/h)
Range 5,000 nm at 14 knots (9,200 km at 26 km/h)
Armament 6 × 5" (127 mm) / 50 caliber guns in 3 twin turrets (later 4 x 5")
22 × 25 mm AA guns
2 × 13 mm AA guns
9 × 610 mm torpedo tubes
36 × depth charges
Complement 197
This new kit from Pit-Road represents another step forward from a company known for high quality and detailing. The kit includes a full lower hull and display stand and an all new approach to tooling a 700 scale ship. The kit is modeled in her early 1942 appearance. This kit is similar to the previously reviewed Shikinami. new decals, an upgraded C-sprue, and instructions are the primary differences.
The hull on this kit is very nice, it is molded in two halves separated at the waterline at around the full load mark. Open portholes and hull plate lines are evident. The deck is now molded separately with very nice surface detailing. The diamond tread plate is exaggerated, but looks very good to me and I think it will look even better with some light weathering. Click images
to enlarge
The superstructure parts on this sprue are also well detailed. The various platforms also feature raised diamond tread plate detail. 
This new sprue contains the lower hull and display stand. The molding is very nice with separate bilge keels a big plus! The shafts and propellers look nice and too scale.
Many of the main weapons are included on this sprue and are even more detailed than those on the weapons sprue. The funnels are supplied in halves with separate bases so even more detail can be molded on. The tops are also separate with molded on funnel grills. The latter doesn't quite have the appearance of an open funnel so I would drill these out and replace with photo etch. The mast and piping details are pretty thin and are closer to scale appearance.
What Pit-Road kit would be complete without a weapons sprue. This is basically the same as the later versions of the IJN weapons sets found in newer Pit-Road releases. Still they are among the best on the market.
The decals include ship name and numbers, flags and squadron markings. These are sharp and well registered.
The instructions are step by step views of the assembly process. They are well illustrated and supplemented by the art work on the back of the box showing color and decals.
This new Destroyer kit by Pit-Road represents another move forward in detail and accuracy. It is the best IJN destroyers I have seen yet. Perhaps the best 1/700 scale destroyer in plastic to date. Many modelers will appreciate having a full hull option and waterliners will rejoice in having a new highly detailed kit on the market. Thanks to Pacific Front Hobbies for the review sample. You can get yours online at Pacific Front Hobbies secure site  for $19.00 US.

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