First Look Review
1/350 Scale Kongo Upgrade
Photo-etch sets
  • Kon065

by: Frank Portela [ CLANKY44 ]

"This MSW "First Look" style review is of Fujimi Models, 1/350 scale photo-etch upgrade sets for the IJn Battleship, Kongo."


Fujimi Models have released two grade up sets concurrently with their new 350th Kongo. The Kongo is an impressive model, but as all plastic models go, a touch of photo-etch is always called upon to highlight and improve the completed model.

set details...

Grade up Set # 1 (item ID: 111513)

Fujimiís first set is comprised of a single stainless steel photo etch fret. Details are best described as useful and well designed, and includes the following:

I.) Replacement windows for the superstructure tower. Parts 21,16,19,20 and 23 replace clear parts G7, G6, G5, G4, and G3.

II.) Catapult PE parts 22, 39 replace plastic parts L7, L13, L8 and L14.

III.) Trolley for floatplane PE parts 32 (3) replace plastic parts L24 and L25.

IV.) 13 GO Type air search radar PE parts 17, 13, 14 and 15(4) replace plastic part F38.

V.) Type 21 Radar PE part 1 replaces plastic parts D22 and J24.

VI.) Crane jib PE part 3 replaces L9 and L10.

VII.) Tripod aerial masts parts 28 and 31 replace plastic parts F4, F6, F22, F36, which incidentally are not used on the Kongo, possibly for use on the Haruna.

VIII.) Funnel frame for canvas cover parts 35 and 36 replace plastic parts H12 and H13.

IX.) Funnel upper rail parts 33 and 34 replace plastic parts H10 and H11.

X.) Accommodation ladder and side plating parts 37 and 38 replace plastic parts D1 and D2.

Three propellers are supplied as well as are other parts which are not identified in the instructions. Included in this are Goniometer antennas, parts 26 (2) and 27 (6), upper mast support parts 4 (2) replacing parts F40, and an assortment of different sized vertical ladders.

Grade up Set # 2 (item ID: 111520)

The second set supplies the modeler with a nice set of pre-dimensioned railings to cover the entire model. Instructions, while only in Japanese are easy to follow, thanks to the diagram supplied within the package.

Railings vary from having a slight sag to no sag at all. Fujimiís railings have a folding tab at their base, this in my experience helps greatly in adhering the photo-etch to the plastic parts.

in conclusion...

Many modelers will be content with these two sets, others will see a need for a more comprehensive photo-etch set. The choice is up to you. Fujimi Models have done an admirable job with the Kongo kit as well as their dedicated photo-etch sets.

Highs: Fujimi has given us a good selection of photo-etch, allowing the modeler to spice up the Kongo, with the the advantage of having pre-measured railings. The use of stainless steel gives you a stronger and more durable photo-etch as well.
Lows: Japanese only text and incomplete diagrams will leave us foreigners scratching our heads. Vertical ladders are simplistic in nature and many modelers will find replacements. Light on parts, some modelers maywait until more comprehensive sets are available
Verdict: Many modelers will be content with these two sets, others will see a need for a more comprehensive photo-etch set. The choice is up to you. Fujimi have done an admirable job with the Kongo and their dedicated photo-etch sets.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:350
  Mfg. ID: 111513, 111520
  Suggested Retail: $45.00 USD ea.
  Related Link: Official Company Website
  PUBLISHED: May 13, 2008
  NATIONALITY: Japan / 日本

About Frank Portela (Clanky44)

I'm an avid modeller, with about 20 odd years of experience. I belong to a very small group of modellers here in Guelph, Ontario that formed GPMG (Guelph Plastic Modelling Group) over 12 years ago. We have our annual show (WELCOME - Wellington County Modellers Exposition) in the spring. We pride ou...

Copyright ©2021 text by Frank Portela [ CLANKY44 ]. 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.


Another good review Frank Thanks for sharing it with us! I have some doubts about the tab on the railings... I know it will help the modeler, but still I have to see one of these "tabed" railings live to see if they convince me Cheers, Rui
MAY 12, 2008 - 11:52 PM
The Nagato PE have these same tabs and the are hardly noticable once painted over. Now they might be slightly thicker due to them being stainless steel. Frank
MAY 13, 2008 - 06:42 AM
only a 70%?? I take it no staircasetype ladders included. Stainless steel I have found to not want to bend and hold the shape very well. How is it on these sets?
MAY 13, 2008 - 07:59 AM
Sorry Steve,... none included, this is a very basic set. I tried to be impartial in the review, but will give my honest opinion here, save your money and wait until someone like WEM releases their set. Frank Edit (May13/08): HLJ has a listing for a future release (May) for an Advanced Photo Etch Parts set, 3 stainless steel frets for 6800 yen. LINK
MAY 13, 2008 - 08:02 AM
Is this 3rd set inclusive of the first 2 or is it all new. These are such super kits (Nagato as well) that they don't cry out for a whole lot of PE unless you just want to upgrade everything. I'm not looking out swapping everything out or doing the multiple piece PE replacement part (to small and fiddely for me). I pretty much limit my self to adding railings and replacing cranes, catapaults and the like. Sometimes I'll do the inclined stairs and sometimes ladders. I may or may not just order the first 2 Nagato sets and thefirst 2 Kongo sets. Bt as I am not going to do it for a while, I guess patience will be a reward. I did it with the San Francisco and look, GMM is on the verge of releasing a set. Problem with me is, my fingers just get so itchy to dive into one of these super kits. I've still got the Hood, Hornet, Enterprise (CVN), and the Bama that have got all the stuff for them. I'm getting close to finishing the NJ, still have to do a lot of the specail PE and final assembly on her, then maybe do a quick tank kit to reafirm my Armor skills. If I'm smart, I'll tackle one of the carriers next., by then the PE market should be flooded and I can choose a set that is right for me.
MAY 14, 2008 - 09:26 AM
Hi Steve Based on your description, you're better off sticking to the two sets I've reviewed. These two sets have all that you have described, all the railings and some extras. Frank
MAY 14, 2008 - 10:13 AM

Click image to enlarge
  • Kon065
  • Kon062
  • Kon064
  • Kon061
  • Kon060
  • Kon063