by: Jim Adams [ ]
The Mutsuki class ships were ordered under the 1923 Program. They were improved over the previous class, Kamikaze, and similar in appearance to the earlier ships. This was also the first class of ship to carry the 24 inch torpedo , which turned out to be a delay weapon. Even with the slight increase in overall tonnage compared to the Kamikaze class they could still run at 37 knots.
The class also features another innovation, the double curvature bow. This became the standard bow configuration on all future classes of ships. During the 41-42 time frame the ships were used as transports. The torpedo launchers were given protective shields, mine sweeping gear was removed, depth charges were added, and its weapons were changed.
The class suffered heavy losses in and around the Solomon Islands during 1942-43. None of the class survived past 1944. Originally the ships in the class were numbered only. In 1028 they were given names as were all IJN ships.
Displacement: 1,313 tons
Horsepower: 38,500 shp
Armament: 4 x 4.7, 2 7.7mm MG, 6 x 24in Torpedo tubes(2x3), 18 depth charges
Crew: 150 officers and enlisted.
The kit comes in a lidded box featuring the IJN Mutsuki on the cover wearing the black and white camouflage. Very few IJN ships carried any camouflage during the war. One thing you will notice is in the upper right corner of the box. There is a sticker added to show off the additional PE fret that was added by PIT Road.
The back side of the box features the painting schemes for the ship. The colors for both the grey and black and white schemes are pointed out.
Inside the Box…
Inside there is one bag with the two sprues for the kit, the included PE, decals, and two pages of instructions. From the beginning you notice, this is a small ship. This can be a problem because some of the attachment points are a little heavy.
The hull and main deck section looks very nice. The various deck surfaces are fine molded. The main deck also has the torpedo loading rails for the forward torpedo launcher. There is some flash at the very from of the ship. This will need to be cleaned up. Possible the best way to do this is to add the foc’sle decking them it should e easier to make things clean. Several parts on this sprue need to have some clean up work done. Be careful, they are small and delicate.
Several of the parts needed to make the deck houses feature watertight doors and ladders on their bulkheads. The look nice and not out of scale like on other kits. One nice feature is the bridge. The upper section has the windows molded into it. So replacement with some PE window frames should be straight forward.
The second sprue holds all of the weapons and small detail parts of the ship. There are small amounts of flash on these parts as well, also be careful cleaning them as they are small and delicate. The weapons are not as crisp as some of the newer kits, but they still look good.
The Added PE…
To give this kit a boost Pit Road added a small fret of PE. Included are the double and triple 25 mm AA mounts. Also included are bridge windows, radio antennas, cable reels, and superstructure extensions. This is a heck of an added value to the kit when you think about it. The only draw I can see with the PE are the instructions, they are in Japanese. But if you do your homework you should not have a problem figuring out what goes where.
There is one sheet of decals for the kit. It features bow numbers, ships names, funnel stripes, and flags. I wrote the review prior to taking pictures and seem to have misplaced the decals, so no picture. But they were nicely done and should only add to your end product.
The instructions are printed on a single page, front and back. They are straight forward relating to the plastic parts. Since the PE parts are number similar to their plastic counterparts it should be simple enough to make the proper switches.
Fans of IJN DD’s will want to get this kit for their stash. Not only does it feature the Mutsuki in her wartime camo, but you get the added value of the extra fret of PE. The construction seems straight forward and the overall detail of the ships is above average. There will need to be care taken when cleaning up the small parts.