by: Jacob Walker [ ]
This ship was one of the carriers to strike Pearl on December 7 and then went on to damage the USS Enterprise and aid in the sinking of the USS Hornet.
In late 44 she was the last of the Japanese carriers from Pearl Harbor to be sunk. During the battle off Cape EngaŮo she suffered nine bomb and seven torpedo hits before taking more than 800 men with her to the bottom of the Pacific.
The Kit comes in a 2-part box with the lifting off to open it. The top shows a picture of the Zuikaku and the sides show other kits available by Fujimi.
Inside the parts are sealed in three separate plastic bags that are stapled shut. The two metal strips are in a blue paper envelope stapled shut.
I did notice three small parts had come lose in the one bag put didnít notice any damages.
The Instructions are on a piece of folded paper. They show the process for building the many needed subassemblies followed by the main steps for building the ship itself.
I noticed that all writing in the instructions is in Japanese. I wish some of the areas where they appear to be pointing some things out could have included an English translation.
The instructions themselves appear to be cluttered at times making them hard to follow at places and I even noticed the pieces for the elevators being misnumbered.
All in all I found the Instruction sheet in this kit lacking and I wish they had done a bit of a better job with it.
In total the kit contains three sprues of plastic pieces, three large separate plastic parts, two metal plates and stickers. Two of the Sprues contain the parts for the ship and are made of grey plastic.The Last Spue contains 16 planes. There are four each of four types of planes ranging from fighters, dive bombers, and torpedo planes. The planes are well molded and done in clear plastic allowing the finished plane to have a clear canopy.
The larger parts of the kit include the hull, flight deck, and a bottom plate for the ship.
Also included in the kit are two metal plates that fit in the bottom of the hull to add weight.
Last is a small sticker set containing two Japanese flags, one straight and the other blowing in the wind.
The Molding of the kit isnít the greatest.
The kit is lacking some details that would have been nice. The support pieces around the hull are the worst. They are molded as solid pieces lacking any openings.
The kit also has some pin marks showing up on details and masts. They really get in the way and can be a pain to remove without damaging anything.
Also I noticed that two holes that should have been on the flight deck to attach pieces to were missing.
There was also a good bit of clean up work to do on some pieces.
All in all the molding of this kit is nothing to brag about but with a little work it will turn out a decent looking model.
There was a bit of putty needed around the lower deck parts and walkways. Some of the parts in these areas were also extremely difficult to get in place and glue.
Also there were two holes missing from the deck where parts were to go. The problem was a simple fix with a small drill bit.
Other then that the rest of the ship fit together without any problems.
Overall, the kits got a few flaws but with a little bit of work you can turn out a decent model.
The worst part of this kit is the instructions and if they had been done a little better the kit would have probably been an enjoyable build.