In-Box Review
Akagi Wooden Deck
Wooden Deck for Aircraft Carrier Akagi Three Deck Flight Deck
  • QG24_B1

by: Rui Matos [ SKIPPER ]

With the recent release of Hasegawa's Triple deck Akagi, the excellency of the injected plastic ships bar was raised. But this was already covered by Frank Portela and Jim Adams here and here.
So what brings me here is the release by Hasegawa of the first AM set produced that I am aware of.

It consists of real wooden decks, dry transfers and a small PE fret. Lets look at it closer:

Set presentation

The transparent plastic envelope, reinforced with a printed card, brings a smaller plastic bag with the wooden sheets, another plastic bag with the PE set, both of this plastic bags glued to the card - which can damage the PE set while removing it, so pay attention. The dry transfer sheet with is protective backing sheet is also in front. On the back, the instructions sheet.

Instructions sheet

The set of instructions is printed with diagrams on where the wooden parts go, where the PE parts go and a selection of dry transfers for both pre-war versions of the Akagi. This is what we could expect from Hasegawa, but they have also included instructions on how to apply the wooden sheets and dry transfers. All these are bilingual (Japanese/English) which is good (at least to me, since I can not read Japanese - this could be a must for other Japanese manufacturers).

Wooden Deck Parts

The set includes 6 (six) wooden pre-cut sheets, paper thin, with self adhesive backing, protected with a transparent film.
The longitudinal planking is excellent, with wood color variation, which makes it really impressive and very realistic.
The way of applying the wooden sheets is by pealing off one bit of the protective film and when in place, carefully pealing off the rest, making sure that the start of the plank is in the correct place.
This will need some prep work, mainly removing some details that are in the plastic part and are going to be replaced by the PE parts.

PE Set

This PE set has 20 parts, that are going to be used in the flight deck alone: Wind deflectors, elevators, arrestor cables, searchlight covers. There are parts included if you want to display the wind deflectors open, although the bottom part has a "bogus" detail, nothing compared with Lionroar kind for these areas. The parts are intended to be glued over the pit on the deck plastic part, with no surgery what so ever.
The overall detail is good, with good etching.

The Dry Transfer Set

Very thorough, fine, with the red/white stripes on register. Options for early type (1927~1934) and middle type (1934~1935) are included and well pointed out in the instruction sheet.
The only issue I have discovered on this first look is the fact that some of the dry transfers will have to be placed on PE parts (wind deflectors) and if you intend on having them open, you'll have to paint it, since the white marks are placed on the cover and in the pit too.

Dry Fitting

I have placed the wooden sheets on the kit parts, and the accuracy and fitting to the parts is excellent. It looked a little bit high, but it still has the backing protective film, so I guess it will be a spot-on fit.
The only thing that may cause an issue is where the deck has it's slope. The engineering of that particular part (Part E) could have been split in three, but I am anticipating an issue... Perhaps it will fit perfectly!
Highs: Fitting, texture, scale realism. Good value for the money.
Lows: Wind deflectors pit flat, dry transfers to the wind deflector areas
Verdict: A mixed media AM set, that surely will enhance a already great model.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:700
  Mfg. ID: QG24
  Suggested Retail: 23.20
  Related Link: QG24 at HLJ
  PUBLISHED: Sep 24, 2008
  NATIONALITY: Japan / 日本

About Rui Matos (skipper)

Hi all Crew Members!
Rui Matos, 39 years old (in 2006), married, former Portuguese Navy Fire Control Radar Operator , and "owned" by two cats - James, Stripes (Riscas in portuguese, now deceased) and Moon (Lua)!
I've been modeling since I was 6, but only have turned to Submarines in 1991 o...

Copyright 2021 text by Rui Matos [ SKIPPER ]. 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.


Excellent, thanks for the review, Rui! I've been wondering about Hasegawa's wood product and this sounds good. How soon until we get a build review? I'm really curious about how the self adhesive works in execution, as well as the dry transfers...
SEP 24, 2008 - 07:48 AM
People are going to think we are all Akagi crazy over here. Looks like a great AM product for the ship. That small transition section might casue problems with the wood, just depends how strong the adhesive is. Nice review thanks Rui!
SEP 24, 2008 - 08:22 AM
Sealant???? Is anyone sealing the wood or just gluing / adhering it and leaving it at that? I was thinking on stopping by Lowe's or Home Depot on my way home from wrk and seeing if they have a light spray can of sealant or can give me a demo on the pieces I have for my Kongo....can't see buying a gallon of the stuff LOL
SEP 24, 2008 - 12:02 PM
Hi Steve Here, I think that the way to seal it, would be varnish (first gloss, dry transfers, weathering, flat varnish). For your particular case, perhaps 3M Spray Mount (you can find it at the art department) would do the trick. With this set, since it has already the glue in it, I am clear We can ask Dade when he reaches the phase of planking his Kongo (I guess he is a guinea pig on this) Thanks guys!! And Dade, I bought this after our Shinsengumi talk over your own Kongo set. Just went to HLJ and see what they had, and there it was: this set on pre-order! I still have to see some Shinsengumi sets (wooden, not decal) for IJN Yamato/Musashi.. but only after the Akagi built! Rui
SEP 24, 2008 - 12:13 PM
Yes, I'm definitely sealing my deck as it's one of the recommendations. I'll probably be going the spray route as we talked about in the Kongo build log, but we'll see... I'm curious if the Hasegawa deck needs to be sealed or not. But if the instructions don't say so, maybe it's pre-treated? Rui, how does it seem? Shinsengumi produced a wooden deck for the Yamato in 1/700, but since their products are limited, it sold out pretty fast. HLJ has it on back order, so it's always possible another may come. http://www.hlj.com/product/SSGMCP007 HWJapan may also have it too. By the way, as a side note, Mr. Nedachi, president of Shinsengumi, has told me that a wood deck for the Musashi in 1/250 will be released within a year. I was overjoyed to hear this as that is the one upgrade my Musashi build was missing, but no longer! Since I had to put the Musashi on hold for a few months anyway, I can wait a little longer for a beautiful wood deck.
SEP 24, 2008 - 12:40 PM
The first of many aftermarket sets for this great kit!! Thanks for the review Rui. Frank
SEP 24, 2008 - 12:45 PM
Hi Dade The wooden deck sheets, as it can be seen here it looks "raw". I guess that the treatment I described above would work, mainly because the wood like this would get naturally weathered and would also collect dust (mainly in expo and contests, since here at home, my built models are in a glass door cabinet). Also, when attaching the planes to he wooden deck, glue would stain the wooden area affected by it The instruction sheet don't mention any sealing phase (at least in english). Thanks for your input Thanks Frank - this is one of many (AM sets) for sure! Rui
SEP 24, 2008 - 12:47 PM
The guy at Lowe's told me it was pretty much not necessary. It would put a shine on the wood. I'm using Gator Glue to glue mine down, and later on will spray entire built kit with enamel flat. So that oughta take care of sealant as I don't ever plan to leave mine outside in the rain. Probably wil never ever leave the house unless I move or house is on fire.
SEP 25, 2008 - 11:50 AM
I'm still going to seal mine. I don't know about Fujimi's product and Hasegawa, but Shinsengumi should always be sealed. It's not that the model is going outside (I don't expect someone working at Lowes to understand this since they're dealing with much different wood processes). It's that without proper sealing, glue can play havoc with thin wood. The glue can soak into the wood and during the expanding/ contracting process that all wood goes through, can cause thin wood to crack or break. The other thing is that thin wood can very much be affected by the environment- humidity levels in the air and such. And this is where it gets very key: over the years, without sealing, the wood can become discolored and distorted just from indoor humidity and temperature. Here's the second part to the whole thing: I plan on putting a light wash over my deck to bring out the details between the planking. Without sealing, the wash will just soak into the wood. I've built paper models and without fail, sealing is always recommended. Since Shinsengumi's decks are paper thin and are basically the same material (paper in fact is actually more weather resistant than thin wood), I would much rather play it safe with my almost $100 dollar investment. So for me, it's the same as in the Kongo log: sealing, wash, dull coat. Speaking of dull coat, without sealing, there's a chance the dull coat may not lay down properly due to all the microscopic pits in the wood that sealing would eliminate...
SEP 25, 2008 - 12:36 PM

Click image to enlarge
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    The Set and the recipient of it
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    Back of the set
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    Instructions sheet - front
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    Instructions sheet - back
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    wooden sheets, dry transfers and PE set
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    Part A and B
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    Part B and C
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    Part D
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    Part E and F
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    Detail on texture on part E
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    Part F
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    PE Set
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    PE Set
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    Dry Transfer sheet
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    Back of the wooden parts: note the protective film
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    Back of the wooden parts: note the protective film
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    Dry Fit: like a glove
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    Dry Fit
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    Dry Fit
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    Possible issue? We'll see...
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    Dry Fit... with a little pushing down... just to check!