First Look Review
IJN Kaiyo
IJN Aircraft Carrier Kaiyo
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by: Frank Portela [ CLANKY44 ]

"Fujimi releases a fine new tooling 1/700th model of the escort carrier Kaiyo"


Launched as the 12755 ton passenger liner Argentina Maru for Mitsuiís Osaka Shosen Kaisha line on December 1938, she served as a troop transport from the outbreak of war. In 1942 she was purchased by the IJN and slated for conversion after the loss of the four carriers at Midway. Conversion commenced in December 1942, with her diesel engines being replaced by two sets of destroyer turbines. Completed and renamed as Kaiyo (Sea Hawk) on November 1943, Kaiyo underwent shake-down and sea trials from November 1943 to December 1943. She served as an escort carrier, aircraft transport and training carrier. Kaiyo was seriously damaged by Fleet Air Arm planes from HMS Formidable, Indefatigable and Victorious in Beppu Bay, Kyushu on July 24, 1945, and subsequently stricken from the Japanese naval registry in November 1945. Kaiyo was refloated and scrapped from 1946 to 1948 at Beppu.


Displacement: 13600 tons
Length 166m
Beam: 21.9m
Draft: 6.4m
Propulsion: steam turbines, 52100 hp
Speed: 23.8 knots
Complement: 829
Sensors: Type 21 air search radar
Aircraft Carried: 24
Armament: 8 x 12.7cm AA guns

The Model

This new tooling waterline model contains three model specific sprues, two generic sprues and one clear aircraft sprue. In addition, Fujimi provides a small photo-etch fret a decal sheet for the hinomarus, the ubiquitous 700th water line metal weight and one fold out instruction page.

Sprue Breakdown:

Sprue A: 10 parts, including the flight deck, the port side hull and numerous hull islands.

Sprue B: 44 parts comprising the starboard side of the hull, the bow and aft decks, additional smaller hull islands funnel, island supports and braces.

Sprue C: 3 parts giving you the waterline base plate and two cross members to fasten the metal weight.

Sprue D: 2 generic sprues, 35 parts each giving you the necessary weapons, life rafts, directors, radars, anchors and davits.

Clear Sprue: 16 aircraft, includes 4 each of Zekes, Vals, Kates and Jills.

The Photo-Etch

The small stainless steel fret provides the funnel bracing, funnel frame, searchlight covers for the flight deck, below flight deck bridge with hollowed out bridge windows and the landing flight deck stations.


Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869-1945 by Hansgeorg Jentschura and Dieter Jung, Naval Institute Press 1999

Highs: A welcome addition to the 700th water line series. Simple build with plenty of detail, includes in box photo-etch for added detail and can be further enhanced by Fujimiís grade up photo-etch set. (part number 111582, see separate review)
Lows: English instructions continue to be excluded on Fujimi models, not realy a major headache on such a simple build as this.
Verdict: Great quick build that can be built straight out of the box or if need be, super-detailed with dedicated grade up sets and generic sets.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:700
  Mfg. ID: 400808-1/700-2400
  Suggested Retail: $38 CDN
  PUBLISHED: Sep 07, 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.


Hi Frank, Looks like there will be a new addition to my IJN Carrier fleet pretty soon thanks to your review. Fujimi has a good looking bit of work there and with an added PE set or two should come up looking quite nice. Thanks for your time and effort.
SEP 14, 2008 - 01:17 AM
Thanks Jay and Mark, Jay, this looks to be a simple yet detailed build, with the dedicated PE and the up-grade set. It's an interesting choice from Fujimi, and should tell us that they are running out of new kit potentials in 700th. The market of the big four from Japan is for Japanese builders, and all things Japanese will take priority over any potential US, British or other foreign navy subjects. This mind set is founded so strongly, that their options after saturating the 700th market is to switch over to 350th scale, giving them a clean template to redo all previous titles. I'm not complaining, I'll gladly continue to purchase and build these new models. Frank
SEP 14, 2008 - 03:27 AM
Great work, Frank! I've been thinking about getting one of these wacky little guys and I'm glad to see a review. I'm very impressed they went the PE window route. I'm also actually glad they used stainless steel for the PE knowing that the railings are the "foot" type. In 1/700, brass always ends up being too weak and fiddly unless it is the "gutter" type, so I'm glad they used a stronger material for this.
SEP 14, 2008 - 03:53 AM
Good review Frank! It makes justice to the model and it's PE parts! Some parts (plastic and PE) can still be updated/enhanced with other generic and dedicated from Lionroar We have a good start inside the box Rui
SEP 15, 2008 - 05:05 AM

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