In-Box Review
Antarctica Observation Ship SOYA
Antarctica Observation Ship SOYA, Antarctica Observation 1st Corps

by: Mark R. Smith [ GUNNY ]

Model Length-238mm

Snow cars;

Inside the Box...

This kit comes to you packaged in an extremely sturdy, open end style cardboard box, which upon opening, you will find another box inside, which slides out of the first box, in a “drawer style”, open topped design.

The box-art is extremely splendid, on the front, an oil color, artist rendering of the SOYA, breaking through the frozen seas of the Antarctic, as the Bell helicopter dispatches from the helipad onboard. On the rear and sides of the box, some of the best color photography that I’ve seen, of one of the most detailed ship model kits being displayed , as well. Close-up shots of various angles and views, of all the intricate details just makes you want to start building the kit immediately!

Sliding out the inside “tray”, the first thing you’ll notice is that there are large number of parts that make up this kit, 294 parts in all. There are three clear plastic bags total, two stuffed with model sprues, molded in a white plastic, while the third bag contains the bonus snow cars, and four sprues of clear molded plastic parts.

You will also find inside, the special bonus, full color booklet, highlighting the SOYA, packed with full color photos, but unfortunately, the text is entirely in Japanese.

Bits, pieces, and parts...

Bag #1 contains one large sprue of parts, sprue “A”, which contains the lower hull section, molded in two halves, front deck section, hull supports, and a smattering of miscellaneous deck fittings, ranging from the screws to the funnel. All parts are clean, well molded, with clean and crisp details, and no flash. The mounting lugs for the parts are extremely fine, but sturdy, which will make clean-up of even the smallest parts a breeze.

Bag #2, contains eight separate parts sprues, B, D, M, G, twin K’s, twin J’s, twin N’s, and a “Q” sprue. “B” sprue contains the two piece upper hull sections, fore-deck, main structure wall parts, and miscellaneous deck fittings.

“D” sprue holds the aft and upper deck, upper cabin, and some very delicate radar masts (which there are plenty of in this kit, remember, it’s an observation vessel!).

Next, the “M” sprue, which contains the three different styles, and sizes, of work vessels of the ship, and also more delicate radar and mast components. We also find some of the boat supports part here.

Moving on to the “G” sprue, we find the kits supplied base-plate, deck hatches, boat racks, and tiny vertical ladders.

The twin “J” sprues hold all of the components to build the vessels foredeck main derrick booms, while the small twin “N” sprues have the tiny Bell 47G helicopter rotors, landing gear, and engine parts.

The twin “K” sprues hold primarily the balance of the deck fittings, from storage tanks and life preservers, to mast components and boom supports. The “Q” sprue holds all necessary parts for the construction of the vessels onboard sea plane, the Cessna Type 180, with floats.

The kits clear parts sprues, “U” and “V”, contain the window sections of the upper deck structure, and the tiny twin “W” sprues hold the Bell 47G helicopter bodies. There is also a tiny length of anchor chain, and a tiny steel rod to cut the dual antenna to length.

Once again, note that all kit parts are superbly detailed, well molded, and very clean with no apparent flash whatsoever.

Reading material. . .

The extensive instruction manual is typical Hasegawa, 20 pages in length, with extremely fine, well detailed, and layed out assembly drawings. There is also a two page rigging chart that shows the entire main rigging scheme, which is very extensive on this vessel...an optional requirement for the build, but absolutely necessary for the complete accuracy of the build, in my opinion. The twenty color paint scheme is Gunze-Sangyo and Mr. Color colors, but crossing over to other manufacturers should not be a problem.

The cartograph decal sheet is packed with all deck markings, landing pads, and markings, in full, vibrant colors. The name-plate decals are provided in both English and Japanese, builders choice.

The Photo-etch...

The designated photo-etch set for the SOYA kit, is an amazing work in itself. It is a large fret of many different parts, including vertical and horizontal ladders, replacement parts for the onboard plane and choppers, railings, netting assemblies, and baskets. There are even tiny PE crewmate figures, with snow hounds in sitting, standing, lying, and walking poses, as well as a tiny pet cats and even 1/350 scale photo-etch (and I’m NOT joking) penguins! The set is fantastic, professionally etched, and overall a beautiful upgrade. This set will definitely compliment the accuracy and overall appearance of your finished vessel. 128 total pieces in all, a must have if you’re going to build this boat! The enclosed instruction manual is well drawn, very clear, with no “gray areas”.

Highs: Superb, clean details, clean, crisp molding, and a very unique subject matter.
Lows: None.
Verdict: Overall, a fantastic model kit, though not for the beginner, this kit comes highly recommended from this modelers point of view!
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:350
  Mfg. ID: #40064
  Suggested Retail: 56.66 USD
  Related Link: Official Hasegawa Website
  PUBLISHED: Feb 17, 2007
  NATIONALITY: Japan / 日本

Our Thanks to Dragon USA!
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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  • Antartica Observation Ship SOYA
  • Antartica Observation Ship SOYA
  • Antartica Observation Ship SOYA
  • Antartica Observation Ship SOYA
About Mark R. Smith (Gunny)

I have been building models of all sorts all of my life, concentrating mainly on the coolest one's when I was younger, but now I focus directly on all military subjects, from armor to warships. After years of counting rivets, I put away the calipers, dial indicators, and micrometers and now just ha...

Copyright ©2021 text by Mark R. Smith [ GUNNY ]. 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.


I want to see you paint the 1/350 penguins!
FEB 18, 2007 - 11:31 PM
:-) :-) Paint em, shoot, I can hardly see the lil buggers! I do believe that I'll opt out of this request, mate! ~Gunny
FEB 18, 2007 - 11:51 PM
Fine. I'll paint them and put them on a 1/350 sub. :-)
FEB 19, 2007 - 12:15 AM
Hmmm, an Arctic Sub dio, in 1/350 scale...not a bad idea, Gator! You want the critters, just let me know! ~Gunny
FEB 19, 2007 - 05:21 PM
Hello, I just bought the kit on EBAY and it didn't have the instructions for the model or fotoetch. Would you still happen to have them or know where I could obtain copies? If you do have them I'm happy to buy them. Thank You
MAY 11, 2015 - 10:09 AM
I have this kit in my stash, haven't started it yet, but the sprues look superb! I just wish Hasegawa hadn't used clear plastic for the superstructure...
JUL 20, 2016 - 01:17 AM
Is that Boaty McBoatface?
JUL 21, 2016 - 06:53 PM

Click image to enlarge
  • Antartica Observation Ship SOYA
    Box Art
  • Antartica Observation Ship SOYA
    Box Rear
  • Antartica Observation Ship SOYA
    What you get in the box!
  • Antartica Observation Ship SOYA
    Included booklet
  • Antartica Observation Ship SOYA
    Inside the booklet
  • Antartica Observation Ship SOYA
    Bonus white metal Snow Cars (2)
  • Antartica Observation Ship SOYA
    Sow car close-up
  • Antartica Observation Ship SOYA
    Sprue A
  • Antartica Observation Ship SOYA
    Sprue B
  • Antartica Observation Ship SOYA
    Sprue N
  • Antartica Observation Ship SOYA
    Sprues V and U
  • Antartica Observation Ship SOYA
    Sprue F
  • Antartica Observation Ship SOYA
    Sprue N
  • Antartica Observation Ship SOYA
    Sprue D
  • Antartica Observation Ship SOYA
    Sprue M
  • Antartica Observation Ship SOYA
    Sprues J, K and G
  • Antartica Observation Ship SOYA
    Sprue J and K
  • Antartica Observation Ship SOYA
    Sprue Q
  • Antartica Observation Ship SOYA
    Sprues V and U
  • Antartica Observation Ship SOYA
    Sprue W
  • Antartica Observation Ship SOYA
    Decal Sheet
  • Antartica Observation Ship SOYA
    Bonus Photo-etch