In-Box Review
700th Triple Deck Akagi
Aircraft Carrier Akagi
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by: Frank Portela [ CLANKY44 ]


Hasegawa's release of the triple decker Akagi is one of the most original models to be released in a long time. Hasegawa have done themselves proud.


The Akagi was laid down on December 6th, 1920 in the Kure shipyard as Battlecruiser No.5. as part of an aggressive and costly expansion program intended to increase the fleet by four Battleships and four Battlecruisers. This increase in naval expansion stretched the Japanese economy which was further weakened by the collapse of the Tokyo Stock market in mid-1921. Growing social discontent in Japan culminated in the assassination of Prime Minister Hara on November 1921. Given the turmoil at home, the Japanese gladly joined and signed on to the American led Washington Naval Conference of 1921-1922.

With itís pre-conference written treaty limiting the growth of the four leading naval powers, Japan would be forced to scrap two unfinished Battleships and four unfinished Battlecruisers, the Akagi included. The Japanese, using Article 9 of the Treaty, continued with the 40% completed Amagi and Akagi in a new role as carriers, this was allowed as long as they abandoned the plans for construction of two new 12,500T carriers.

The Ship

Conversion of the Amagi and the Akagi Battlecruisers into Aircraft Carriers began in November 1923 at the Kure Naval shipyard with design layouts modeled on the British Furious, Courageous and Glorious conversions from cruisers. Akagi as an aircraft carrier was launched on April 22nd 1925 at the Kure Naval shipyard with a three level flight deck. Countless configurations where tried between the launching and the commissioning on March 25th, 1927 to solve problems and improve operations, such as the turbulence from exhaust fumes on the landing aircraft, and the closing of the side hangars. In and around 1934, Akagi underwent further modifications, most notably being the addition of a small starboard forward island on the upper flight deck and the inclusion of more advanced defensive guns. November 1935 saw her recategorized as a reserve vessel third class and brought to Sasebo for extensive changes and reconstruction which radically changed her outline. She emerged in 1938 with a single flight deck and a port island. During trials, Akagi reaches a record speed of 32.5knots.

The top deck measured 190.2m (624ft) long and 30.48m (100ft) wide was designed for the recovery of aircraft only. The aft 60% of the deck was angled up 1.5 degrees to facilitate the landing aircraft as they would have to climb upwards as they landed helping them to slow down. The fore decks where angled down 1.5 degrees to help them attain take off speeds. The middle flight deck was placed at the edge of the shipís bridge and measured a scant 15m (49ft). Only the smallest of fighters such as the Nakajima A1N1. could take off from this deck. Operations from this deck proved impossible as fighters grew in size. At what point in Akagiís history this occurred is unknown to this author. The lower deck was 48.8m (160.1ft) and 22.86m (75ft) wide in its widest portion. It was an extension of the lower hanger deck. It was long enough to allow Type 13 Carrier Attack aircraft 2MT1 and their later variants 3MT2 (later redesigned B1M1 and B1M3). The three deck configuration was designed to facilitate the deck crew in launching aircraft as fast as possible.

The Model

This waterline model comes in one of Hasegawas larger 700th boxes, and itís needed as the box is tightly packed. The first thing you will notice is the stunning box artwork, possibly the finest art work Iíve ever seen on a ship model. I can only hope that Hasegawa releases a glossy print size poster for those interested in framing this worthy artwork. Inside you will find twelve sprues of light grey plastic, three decal sheets and two strips of self adhesive tape to tack down the metal bar to the base.

Sprue Breakdown:

Sprue A gives you the hull halves, well engineered and free of the old hard to reach sink marks which marred older renditions of the Akagi.

Sprue B is comprised of the top flight deck and the lower flight deck hangar rear box.

Sprue C gives you the waterline base.

Sprue D supplies the lower aft hull deck and lower flight deck which sits almost on top of the hull deck.. Part D1 shows the slightest hint of sink marks, fortunately in spots that are easily filled in.

Sprue E provides the fore hull deck which has incredible detail, and which will mostly be hidden by the lower flight deck. The two other parts give you the mid flight deck and the second deck bridge.

Sprue F is comprised of 25 smaller parts including the funnels and caps, hangar elevators and supporting walls.

Sprue G is comprised of 28 parts including support braces, hull supports and hull superstructure walls.

No sprues H or I are given.

Sprue J is comprised of 25 parts including AA gun supports and islands as well as the middle configuration starboard island.

Sprue K (2) These two sprues come wrapped up separately, and should be available on their own. They include three fighters and three torpedo bombers per sprue. Included are torpedoes and landing gear, no plastic propellers are given.

Sprue L (2) 52 parts per sprue. Gives you the finicky parts. AA guns, small structural supports, life boats, twin 8Ē gun turrets, anchors and searchlights.

Decals and instructions...

Three decal sheets are provided. The first one provides all the necessary deck markings, and flags/banners. The second and third sheets provide you with a multitude of plane markings. The decals are very thick and will require a great deal of gloss or future to hide the decal edges.

Instructions are given in a large fold out double sided page. Closer inspection of the construction steps shows that the triple decker Akagi can be built in either the early configuration or her middle configuration. Painting guide for the planes is minimal and will require outside reference for accurate decalling.


Akagi vol. 1, Adam Jarski, Miroslaw Skwidt, AJ Press, Encyklopedia Okretow Wojennych 49

Kaigun Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the IMPERIAL JAPANESE NAVY 1887-1941, David C. Evans, Mark R. Peattie, Naval Institute Press
Highs: Kudos to Hasegawa for releasing something new and exciting. The parts look well designed and flawless in execution. Good selection of aircraft, with the option to buy additional planes on their own.
Lows: I for one, wish that Hasegawa would offer dedicated photo-etch frets in a similar fashion to their 350th scale releases. This model screams for some photo-etch enhancements.
Verdict: Looking at the contents in the box, all looks fine. Recent Hasegawa releases would dictate that the build will be equally simple. A fantastic model!
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:700
  Mfg. ID: 43220
  Suggested Retail: $40
  Related Link: Official Company Website
  PUBLISHED: Jul 03, 2008
  NATIONALITY: Japan / 日本

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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.


Aargh! I already have it Yes it is great for details - the cgi is very good on some renders and a little bit poorer on others, but still a good book Rui
JUL 07, 2008 - 12:04 AM
Looking at HLJ's future releases, there will be wooden flight decks for this kit from Hasegawa and Shinsengumi.
JUL 16, 2008 - 08:43 PM
I as well as others that might read this share the same opinion as I do, I hope the model companies continue this early I.J.N. fleet. I mean how awesome would it be if someone made modded 30"ies" Kongo class. I will be buying this kit as well as the aftermarket aircraft sets as well as in the near future building a diorama with the Hosho, and back dating one of the two Tenryu or Tatsuta. The once stagnent 1/700 scale plastic area was dwindiling with only Pit-Road, Tamiya, and maybe Hasegawa would throw us a bone every now and then, but now most of the larger companies are releasing multiple kits with some of the best molds I've ever seen.
JUL 18, 2008 - 09:19 AM
I always wondered why the early version was built that way. Then I saw the thinkng, as they were using bi-planes at the time, 2 decks could release planes at a time. Thanks for the pictures from the reference book. I hope Hasegawa is referencing it for their 350 scale build. I remember one of the compaies announcing doing the Isein 350. Was it Fujimi (I hope) or Hasegawa? Oh and while I am at it, has anyone seen the Fujimi super PE set for the Kongo (350) for sale at a stateside retailer?
JUL 18, 2008 - 01:04 PM
I'd love to see them build some Japanese carriers in 1/350th scale , I'd sell my cats to get one Bob
JUL 18, 2008 - 04:25 PM
Hi Bob, We will see how the upcoming 350th Akagi sells with it's anticipated restrictive pricing. In my opinion this model might top $300, and if you factor in the aftermarket P.E. sets, could top[ off at $500. That's a lot of coin for anyone to try to justify. Frank
JUL 20, 2008 - 02:22 AM
Does anyone know if there are detail sets for this monster yet?
AUG 02, 2008 - 07:00 AM
Hasegawa has released the aircraft set, which has two identical sprues of three fighters and three torpedo bombers each, 12 aircraft in total. No other AM sets have been announced as of yet. Frank
AUG 02, 2008 - 08:41 AM
Ahoy Mates, Well, I went by the local Hobbytown USA and snapped up my copy of the 3D Akagi today. It is quite the boxfull, reading Franks in box review sort of prepared me for the contents. Now to do the wait and see thing for PE. I suppose I will have to snag up both of those books now as well as the extra aircraft set. I am wondering if some of Lions Roar perforated support material might work for some of the parts, I know that there are a few things that I will be shopping about for unless WEM does one of their usual "everything that you could possibly replace or imagine" PE sets for the ship. If IJN Aircraft Carriers float your boat, this one has got to be pretty high on that list, at least up there next to the Shinano.
SEP 07, 2008 - 10:02 AM

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