In-Box Review
IJN Atago
IJN Atago (World of Warships series)
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by: Rade Marjanovic [ DERANIUS ]

IJN Atago History

Atago (愛宕) was the second ship of Takao class of heavy cruisers, in the Imperial Japanese Navy during WWII. Ships of this class were among the largest and most modern cruisers of IJN and they were supposed to form a backbone of multipurpose long-range strike force. There were a total of four ships in the class, which besides Atago comprised of Takao, Maya and Chokai. Atago is one of four Imperial Japanese Navy heavy cruisers of Takao-class, which were built between 1927 and 1932. As t was the case with sister ships, Atago got its name from the mountain, this time the one near Kyoto. The design itself for this class of heavy cruisers comes from the previous Myoko-class vessels that were built in1920s. With improved armor protection, dual-purpose main armament and increased safety of torpedo launchers the ships of this class became the backbone of the IJN. Their main armament consisted of ten 20cm/50 type 3 naval guns distributed in five two-barrelled turrets and 24 torpedoes of type 93, better known as „long lance“, which were launched from four four-barreled launchers. This is why Atago was the best armed heavy cruiser of the world at the time. It was soon discovered that the design was top-heavy, which affected stability and seaworthiness, therefore resulting in rebuild of Atako and Takao. They got reduced bridge, main mast was moved aftwards, and they got hull bulges that all resulted in increased stability of the ships. Atago was laid up on 28th of April 1927 in Kure naval arsenal, the same shipyard that will later build the biggest battleship of the world, Yamato. Atago was launched on 16th of June 1930 and its outfitting and sea trials took almost two years. The ship finally entered service on 30th of March 1932. She was sunk on 23rd October 1944, by USS Darter (SS-227) a Gato-class submarine.

Class and type: Takao-class cruiser
Displacement: • 9,850 long tons (10,010 t) (standard)
• 14,616 long tons (14,851 t) (full load)
Length: 203.76 m (668.5 ft)
Beam: 19–20.4 m (62–67 ft)
Draft: • 6.11 m (20.0 ft) (standard)
• 6.32 m (20.7 ft) (full load)
Installed power: 133,10 shp (99,300 kW)
Propulsion: • 4 Χ geared steam turbines
• 12 Χ Kampon boilers
• 4 Χ shafts
Speed: 34.2–35.5 kn (63.3–65.7 km/h; 39.4–40.9 mph)
Range: 8,500 nmi (15,700 km; 9,800 mi) at 14 kn (26 km/h; 16 mph)
Complement: 773
Armament: • Original Layout: 10 Χ 20 cm/50 3rd Year Type naval guns (5x2)
• 4 Χ 12 cm/45 10th Year Type naval guns (4x1)
• 2 Χ 40 mm (1.6 in) anti-aircraft guns (2x1)
• Type 90 torpedoes (4x2 8 reloads)
• Final Layout: 10 Χ 20 cm/50 3rd Year Type naval guns (5x2)
• 8 Χ Type 89 12.7 cm (5 in) dual purpose guns, (4x2)
• 60 Χ Type 96 25 mm (1.0 in) AA guns
• 4 Χ Type 93 13.2 mm (0.5 in) AA machine guns
• Type 93 torpedoes (4x4 8 reloads)
• depth charges
Armor: • Belt: 38–127 mm (1.5–5.0 in)
• Deck: 37 mm (1.5 in) (main, max); 127–25 mm (5.00–0.98 in) (upper)
• Bulkheads: 76–100 mm (3.0–3.9 in)
• Turrets: 1 in (2.5 cm)
Aircraft carried: 3 Χ floatplanes (1 Χ Aichi E13A1 "Jake" and 2 Χ Mitsubishi F1M2 "Pete"s)
Aviation facilities: 2 Χ catapults

She fought in the battles of Java Sea, Guadalcanal, Philippine Sea and Leyte Gulf where she was sunk.

The kit

Model of the heavy cruiser IJN Atago from World of Warships series from Italeri is not noticeably different from other models of the series in any sense. This is as well as a rebox of another very good model already published by Aoshima. This kit is packaged nicely in an illustrated box including all of the associated model parts for the kit along with a poster of the ship in A3 size. Italeri again includes a bottle of liquid cement and plastic tweezers to assist the modeller with this series of models.

The model itself is nicely molded and comes on thirteen trees, one of which is transparent, one is made of white vinyl and the three of them have a slightly different shade of grey. Transparent tree has two parts on it, both parts are for the bridge windows. The white vinyl sprue has the rings for the main turrets support under deck. Two out of three grey colored trees have boats, recon planes and additional AA armament included on them. They sprues are usually sold separately as the IJN Leviathan set, which represents additions to all capital IJN ships from WWII period. The third grey sprue contains parts for the ship stand.

The parts themselves are very clear and show no amount of flash and no visible sink marks. Certain parts are greyed out on the instruction sheet, which means they are not to be used for Atago build. In addition, parts in the Leviathan set trees there are a number of part that can be put in the spares parts box. The level of detail is imposing and contributes to the quality of the model. The anchor chains supplied in the kit are a bit on the bigger side, but not too bad compared to the rest of the model. What would, in my opinion, add to the overall great impression about this model is addition of some basic photo etch sheets with railings and the usual stuff. At the moment, here are readily available aftermarket parts sold for this ship. One good idea Italeri has provided is that among the parts there are structural reinforcements for hull assembly in order to prevent the misalignment of the ship's hull halves.

The number of parts in this kit go towards the great detail of the kit itself; parts count is 325 in total. From this number, roughly half are in the Leviathan set. Small details on the deck and superstructure are nicely molded as well. There are three sheets of decals in the box, one with ship markings, one with two IJN flags and one with markings (hinomaru) for the planes of Leviathan set. There is also a booklet with explanations about the game and codes for bonus content. As for the color schemes, there is only one, and there is a paint chart provided which gives all of the colors for Italeri and FS codes.


In all, the IJN Atago kit is a nice continuation of Italeri’s World of Warships Series. Those of you who are into ships of this scale, this would be a nice addition to the stash. Of course this is not the best kit out there and can benefit from an investment of an aftermarket photo etch set and brass barrels, however, the kit also can be a great project just out of box. This kit would make a fine collectible at the same time, as it is part of the WOW Series. Although this kit can provide some headaches due to number of small parts in my opinion it will be enjoyable build. I would recommend this model to all IJN fans. I would like to thank Italeri for this review sample.

Highs: Very accurate, highly detailed kit with almost no flash and little if any need for filling.
Lows: Anchor chains molded on the bow are on the big side a little. Kit would benefit from additional PE fret in the box with railings, radars and other small parts, as well as brass barrels.
Verdict: Very nice scale representation of IJN Atago. The number of parts, especially smaller ones means this is not meant for beginners but for at least medium experienced modeler. Therefore this is not a quick build, but will end up as potentially great model.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:700
  Mfg. ID: 46502
  Suggested Retail: 39.90 EUR / $44.00 US
  Related Link: Italeri IJN Atago
  PUBLISHED: Jul 15, 2016
  NATIONALITY: Japan / 日本

Our Thanks to Italeri!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Rade Marjanovic (Deranius)

Professional astronomer hooked on ship modeling with some excursions to other modeling topics.

Copyright ©2021 text by Rade Marjanovic [ DERANIUS ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Model Shipwrights. All rights reserved.


It is great to see these newer Aoshima kits; back in the 1970s Water Line Series, that company was a byword for mediocrity, but their more recent efforts are first rate. Go Aoshima! And good job Italeri for expanding their availability.
JUL 19, 2016 - 10:00 PM
Yes, this model does look much better than their original efforts.
JUL 29, 2016 - 01:52 AM

Click image to enlarge
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