Hasegawa 1/350
IJN Hospital Ship Hikawa Maru

Reviewed by Sean Hert
January 2014

This third variant of Hasegawa's Hikawa Maru is the long awaited IJN Hospital ship variant. Hikawa Maru was converted from an ocean liner into a hospital ship in December of 1941, and spent the entirety of the war in that capacity.

The Hikawa Maru kit was previously reviewed in 2012 here. This Limited Edition kit contains an addition plastic sprue labelled "Q", a fret of photoetch, and a sheet of decals. These additional parts are required to convert the passenger liner Hikawa Maru into a military hospital ship.


The small sprue of parts is for six items; two deck houses, and four cross-shaped lighting arrays. Two of the crosses are for placement on the port and starboard sides of the funnel. Another of the arrays goes atop the deckhouse, aligned with the ship's centerline, and the fourth goes atop the stern deckhouse, facing aft.


The included photoetch has a replacement for the centerline cross lighting array, but is mostly parts to equip the hull with a degaussing coil.


The decal sheet includes the green band for the hull as required for a military hospital ship by the Geneva Convention. It also has some signal flags, life rings and the ship's name.


A 24 page instruction book is included, There is also a full 1/350 scale poster with a painting guide for the Hikawa Maru in hospital livery, with a rigging diagram on the reverse.

The instructions are quite good, and laid out in a simple, logical style. When assembly order influences parts fit, there are directions indicating this.


This long-awaited hospital ships variant of the Hikawa Maru would be a unique entry to most warship modeller's collections. It might be a nice challenge to paint a ship white for once! Recommended!

Thanks to Great Planes Model Distributors for the review sample. It is listed as #40086 1/350 IJN Hospital Ship Hikawa Maru with a MSRP of $149.99 US. Great Planes is the exclusive US importer for Hasegawa.

NOTE: The wooden deck, basic, and super detail sets previously released for the Hikawa Maru would still make a fine addition to this kit as well.

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