Pit Road 1/700 IJN Destroyer Shikinami

Reviewed by Timothy Dike
The Shikinami was an improved Fubuki class destroyer laid down in July 1928. She was built with dual purpose 5" guns, better anti aircraft protection and a strengthened bridge design. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Shikinami part of the Malaya invasion force escorting convoys out of French Indochina. Later taking part in the Battle of Sundra Strait and putting the final torpedoes into the USS Houston. A near miss caused minor damage to the propeller. But she was back in time for the Midway operations as part of Yamamoto's Main Body escorts. For the next few months she was in the thick of things in the Solomon's. She made frequent runs up and down the slot, sometimes participating in nightly gunfire support on Guadalcanal. As the tide turned in the Solomon's Shikinami was there to help evacuate the troops from Guadalcanal. 

In February 43 she was reassigned to the 1st Surface Escort Division, Southwest Area Fleet resisting the Allied advance up the Solomon's and New Guinea. Shikinami spent much of the rest of 1943 operating in and around Singapore on convoy missions. Early in 44 she escorted the Aova, Tone, and Chikuma into the Indian Ocean on various raids. In March she entered Singapore for a major rebuilding that saw her #2 turret removed and replaced with 25 mm gun mounts in response to the increased threat from air attack. Shikinami was lightly damaged in an air attack that set off some of her aft depth charges. These were jettisoned before more damage could be done. Her luck finally ran out  in September when the USS Growler caught her off Hong Kong and sank her.
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
10 × 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 1944 appearance with all three twin turrets installed. Backdating to 42-43 should be as easy as removing some anti aircraft guns and platforms.
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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