JMSDF DD-158 Umigiri
Box Art
Asagiri Class Destroyer
Reviewed by Jeff Hughes
The eight ships of the Asagiri Class Multi Purpose Destroyers joined the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) from 1988 to 1991.  The class is powered by 4 Kawasaki-Rolls-Royce Spey SM-1A gas turbines, generating 53,900 shaft horsepower to two controllable pitch propellers.  The class is well suited for anti-submarine work with, ASROC, Type 68 ASW torpedoes, a SH-60J ASW helicopter, towed tactical passive sonar array and Mitsubishi OQS-4A bow mounted medium frequency sonar (an improved version of the US SQS-23).  In addition, they carry 8 RGM-84C Harpoon SSM, a Mk 29 Sea Sparrow missile launcher (18 missiles can be carried), 2 20 mm Mk 15 Phalanx CIWS, one 76-mm 62 cal. OTO Breda Compact gun, Mk 36 SRBOC decoy systems and the U.S. SLQ-25 Nixie acoustic torpedo system.  All this on a length of 449 ft, max beam of 48 feet, 4,300 tons full load, quite a punch for a vessel this size.
Either in plastic or resin, Skywave and its resin sister companies (Hi-Mold and WaveLine) have released just about all the current vessels of the JMSDF. I have always liked the look, style and the powerful punch the JMSDF ships. The Skywave kit J14, DD-158 Umigiri, depicts the last ship of the Asagiri class.
This kit is not a new release but has been around for some time. The kit is highly detailed, the molding is extremely crisp with very little flash evident.  The detail on the superstructure matches well with published pictures.  The hull of the kit I have has no sink marks and can only be built as waterline, standard Skywave practice.  Also in standard practice in 1/700, the helicopter deck and the main deck have raised lines to depict painted lines and walkways.  The hull depicts the sheer line well and specs out extremely well with published dimensions. 
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The masts are over-scaled but not as thick as older kits and, in my opinion, look okay as is.
 The back of the box is loaded with information about the ship's dimensions, weapons, sensors, complement, painting guide and decal location.  The painting guide uses Pit-Road Ship Colors, Gunze Sangyo Mr. Color paints plus FS numbers when applicable.  The painting guide is easy to follow except in one area.  On the bow of the ship the guide says to paint the walkway (distinguished on the model with raised lines) with USS Gray (2) (USN modern deck gray) but the color shown on the guide is the same as the rest of the deck, which is to be painted PC-2 (JMSDF Gray (2)).  Amidships the walkways are shown with a different color but again the stern is all shown the same color.  Luckily the front of the box has a wonderful paining by Y. Mizuno which clearly shows the walkways a shade darker than the rest of the deck. The back of the box also contains painting instructions for the SH-60J helicopter, no confusion with this illustration.
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The decals provide hull numbers to build anyone of the last 5 ships of the Asagiri Class.  Decals are provided for the SH-60J helicopter as well as the helicopter landing markings.  If you want the decals to lie flat then the raised lines must be sanded down.  While usually this is not an overly difficult task, on JMSDF ships Skywave also depicts the helicopter tracks with raised lines but provides no decals for these if you sand them off.  On previous JMSDF kits I have chosen not to sand the lines off and the decals on top of the raised lines do not look that bad.  Warning circle decals are provided for the OTO Melara 76mm gun, the ASROC and the Sea-Sparrow launcher.  Hull numbers, ship names, helicopter landing pad numbers are also provided.  There are plenty of decals for the SH-60J helicopter.  All decals are crisp and well defined.
The only disappointment in the kit I can find is that it does not come with a modern weapons sprue.  I love the all the extra parts that come with these sprues and I guess I expect this in all Skywave kits.  Overall this is an excellent kit with a great deal of detail and would make a nice out of the box build.