In-Box Review
Heavy Cruiser Haguro
Hasegawa Japanese Heavy Cruiser Haguro, High Grade Full Hull Version (Limited Edition)
  • CH109

by: Mark R. Smith [ GUNNY ]

This inbox review is of Hasegawa Models, Japanese Heavy Cruiser Haguro, High Grade Full Hull Version (Limited Edition), in 1/700 scale plastic.

a little history. . .

“The conditions of the Washington Naval Limitation Treaty signed by Japan, America, England, France, and Italy in 1922 limited both the size, and number of battleships and carriers of all of these nations. According to the terms of the treaty, all other naval ships that didn’t fall into these categories were referred to as “support vessels”, limited to 10,000 tons of displacement, and the main armament not to exceed 8 inch (20.3cm) bore guns.

The number of these “support vessels” which could be maintained by each nation, however, was not covered by the treaty at all...Taking full advantage of this loop-hole, the Japanese Navy began an ambitious endeavor creating what came to be called “treaty cruisers”. The Myoko-class of 10,000 ton “treaty cruisers” included, including the Myoko herself, the Nachi, Haguro, and the Ashigara. The actual displacement of these vessels exceeded the treaty limit, but of course, the information was not made public at this time.

The Keel of the Haguro, sister ship of the Myoko, was laid on 16 March, 1925, and she was finished at the Mitsubishi Nagasaki Shipyard on 25 April, 1929. After two re-fittings in preparation for the outbreak of hostilities in the Pacific, the Haguro set sail for the Philippines in November 1941, with the Myoko and Nachi, as part of the 5th Squadron of the second fleet. She saw subsequent action in the Battle of the Coral Sea, the Aleutian and Marianas campaigns, suffering a direct bomb hit to turret #2 in the Battle of the Philippine Sea, 1944 October. The Haguro was sent to her final rest by torpedos in the Malacca Strait, 16 May, 1945 during combat with Royal Navy vessels.

Specifications (after second re-fitting)

Standard Displacement-13,000 T
Boilers-Kampon Ro (oil burning)
Engine Output-132, 830 hp
Main Armament-20cm guns X 5
Aircraft- Zero Observation Seaplane X 2, Zero three-seater Scout Seaplane X 1
Speed-33.88 kts.

Second refitting completed December 1939, at Mitsubishi Nagasaki Shipyard

Inside the box...

I was quite interested to see this limited edition version of the Haguro, from Hasegawa Models, as I had previously built the waterline version (#335) and was very impressed with that kit’s overall quality. This version has the added goodies to turn the previous waterline kit into a full hull, high quality showpiece, with additional sprues of plastic and white metal kit parts, as well as a dedicated photo-etch set to upgrade the quality and accuracy of your final build, as well as a real walnut base with brass nameplate.

The box is of typical, open lidded style, medium weight cardboard, with full color photography of the completed ship model displayed, as well as kit details. I was very surprised when I cracked the seal and opened the box...there is a lot of parts inside, six separate clear plastic bags, each with various kit parts and sprues contained herein.

There are 219 total plastic pieces included, molded cleanly and clearly, of typical Hasegawa quality, and we will breakdown the contents, examining each sprue individually, in the coming paragraphs.

“A” Sprue-contains two of the larger of the kit’s parts, the starboard upper hull half (the kit’s upper hull is molded in two half sections), and the upper deck plate assembly, molded in one piece. Details are plenty on the upper hull half, as well as the upper deck plate assembly. At this point, there is no apparent warping of the large parts, and flash is at a bare minimum to non-existent.

“B” Sprue-contains 5 total pieces, including portside upper hull half, the waterline plate (which will not be used in this build), and the hull braces. As with the starboard hull half, portside is equally detailed, clean, and apparently warp free.

“C” Sprue-this sprue holds the bulk of the small parts of this kit, 58 parts total. Included are multiple masts, gun turrets, super-structure assemblies, stacks, and misc. radar parts. (some of these parts will be replaced by the PE upgrade options)

“D” Sprue- there are two identical sprues, 17 pieces each, (with two pieces per sprue not used). This sprue contains the main gun barrels, lower turrets, and misc. radomes and radar supports.

“E” Sprue-again, twin sprues, only two parts each, main gun turrets.

“G” Sprue- contains six parts, fine uprights, and cross trees. These pieces are used in conjunction with some of the PE upgrades also.

“J” Sprue- holds 8 kit parts, one of which unused; small superstructure decks and parts, as well as the “second re-fit” crane boom are found here.

“W” Sprue- another twin sprue, each holding 44 kit parts, but only 25 of each will be used on this build. The “W” sprue holds the ships sea-planes and launchings, the ships boats, 20cm gun turrets and barrels, and small fittings, such as searchlights.

Kit sprues “A” through “W” are the standard kit parts, from the original waterline release of this kit (#335). There are the following new kit sprues and parts added, to make this the special, limited edition kit that it is:

“L” Sprue- this is the “red” sprue, containing the red molded kit parts, 14 total, including the lower hull, with separate fine bilge keels, prop shafts, struts, and bearings, as well as the rudder, and the lower base uprights.

“MB1 & 2”-, 4 pieces, these are the well casted, white metal screws. Very clean, with minimal cleanup will be required.

“UA1 & UA2” -the special walnut base, and brass nameplate, ships name emblazoned in Japanese. The base is supplied raw, and will need to be finished to the modelers preference.

And lastly, “MA 162” , which is the super detailing, stainless steel photo-etch upgrade set supplied with the kit. A very clean, detailed etching, 36 separate pieces, with two radar supports unused in this build (this set is also used for the Ashigara, in which these two are destined for).

All kit parts are well molded, in typical Hasegawa fashion, with great details, and clean lines. The waterline version of this kit builds into a fine model, and this full hull version, complete with photo-etch upgrades, and a special show base, should only be even better, producing a fine looking, as well as quite accurate, version of the Haguro.

A full set of markings is provided on the kits decal sheet, which is a generic set for the Myoko, Nachi, Ashigara, and Haguro. Quality and color looks very good. There is also a full set of markings for the kit's airwing.

The kits enclosed instruction sheets, are well drawn, one from the original waterline kit, and the additional sheet lists the special photo-etch additions, as well as the full hull construction steps. Color scheme provided in Gunze Sangyo Aqueous Hobby and Mr. Color, as well as Tamiya paint numbers.

Highs: Clean and crisp details, good molding, minimal to non-existent flash. The additional special features included gives the opportunity to produce a museum quality build.
Lows: The only gripe that I have is that a rigging diagram and instruction would have made for a perfect compliment.
Verdict: Overall, a real winner, taking the original waterline kit, and adding the special bonuses, will make for a fine rendition, full hull display of this interesting cruiser. Highly recommended, from this modelers point of view!
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:700
  Mfg. ID: CH109 (43159)
  Suggested Retail: $60.00 U.S.
  Related Link: Official Company Website
  PUBLISHED: Jul 21, 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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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.


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