In-Box Review
IJN Yamashiro Photo Etch Set
1/700 Scale, IJN Yamashiro Photo Etch Set
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by: Dade W. Bell [ KARYBDIS ]

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"Dade W. Bell gives us a closer look at Flyhawk Models' 1/700 scale PE set, dedicated to the IJN Battleship Yamashiro, in this MSW Inbox Review!"

the vessel history...

The IJN Yamashiro was the second Fuso class battleship. She was laid down at Yokosuka in 1913 and commissioned on March 31st, 1917.

She was reconstructed from 1930 to 1935 where her coal burning boilers were replaced with more powerful oil burners, received torpedo bulges, was lengthened 24 feet, got an increase in armor on three decks and main armament elevation increased.

The Yamashiro was most easily recognized from the Fuso by the dead angle of its C turret. Whereas the Fuso's C turret faced forward, the Yamashiro's faced aft- this also gave the Yamashiro a larger, better proportioned superstructure compared to the Fuso.

She was sunk at the Battle of Surigao Strait when, after receiving four torpedo hits, she bravely sailed on where her T was crossed by USN Rear Admiral Jesse Oldendorf's battle line. She was hit by multiple 14" and 16" shells and sunk; the last battleship in history to meet her end from shells fired by other battleships.

and now, the kit...

Flyhawk Model has been producing some extremely comprehensive PE sets. When I started putting together the materials for my "ultimate" Yamashiro build, I remembered reading the MSW press release on the Flyhawk Fuso set and was happy to see that Flyhawk had the Fuso's sister covered.

I purchased the set from Pacific Front Hobbies for a low $30 plus $4 for shipping. Considering just how complex this set is, $34 total is a bargain. With the vast amount of included parts, the thing to remember during this article is that this is 1/700 scale!

The brass has a nice thickness to it and is very sturdy. Nothing flimsy, with a high quality on level with Gold Medal and Lion Roar. The bending cuts are all there and look straight.


The set comes with each fret individually packed, secured with a piece of tape to a piece of card backing and inside individual plastic sleeves. A really top notch presentation.

Fret A:

This fret has 36 different parts and the amount grows when considering that some parts are multiples. Here we have many parts for the pagoda, PE windows, gantries, and platforms. A very nice catapult, airplane crane, and radar also jump out here. A funnel grill is made up of multiple pieces. The Fuso class pagoda superstructure/ bridge is the most noticeable aspect of the ships and this set will really bring it together! The float plane carriages and carts are also present, along with PE rails for those carts to run along. There are even grills for signal lights.

Fret B:

Fret B has 40 different parts. On this fret can be found even more gantries and items for the pagoda. Turret rails are also found here, as are smaller radars. The aft mast star platform becomes 100% PE. The parts for the boat crane are works of art with tiny pulleys and microscopic PE rigging. There are also loads of underside support work pieces that will make the Yamashiro look great from sea level.

But perhaps the most noticeable aspect of this fret are the watertight doors. These items are amazing because they're exactly like some of the more complex 1/350 pieces out there. The door is double thickness to add depth, and there is a door frame if you want to pose any of these little guys open. Last but not least, a tiny lip at the top of the frame to fold over into a deflector. Incredible. There are two different types of doors included.

Fret C:

Fret C has 26 different parts including stairs, anchors, lines, ladders, various boat derricks and mast pieces. There are no less than 6 parts for the F1M2 Pete alone!

Fret D:

Fret D has 17 different parts (much more considering multiples) that includes the main rails and funnel rings. A nice funnel with walkway rings is always a good looking upgrade and this set doesn't disappoint.


A PE set containing about 150 parts needs comprehensive instructions and thankfully Flyhawk includes just what is needed. For PE, its nice to know where to bend and what the part should look like when done.

Flyhawk has done just that with this rather involved set of instructions. In such a complex set of PE, you can rest easy that you'll be bending the brass properly.

Customer Service:

There is an axiom that a company is as good as its customer service and Flyhawk Model has proven themselves golden. When I received my Yamashiro set, I noticed that the "B" fret included was for the Fuso. After checking to make sure that this wasn't maybe a "generic" fret with often used parts, I wasn't surprised to see that Flyhawk's product is so complex and tailor made that this set is very specific to the Yamashiro.

I placed a call to Pacific Front and spoke with the always great Bill Gruner who referred me to Flyhawk's Yiyi Wang. Mr. Wang answered my emails quickly and courteously and sent the correct fret to me by EMS from China. The whole thing was resolved in record time and at no extra cost. Bravo!

in closing...

Flyhawk Model has created something really spectacular here with this set. It is no exaggeration to say that this set includes more stuff than many 1/350 sets I've seen. When the inevitable 1/350 Yamashiro comes along, Flyhawk could literally scale this set up by a factor of two and have a show winning PE set right there.

The only possible drawback I can think of is that it doesn't include PE replacements for many of the small weapons, but that is in accord with most PE sets on the market, so it doesn't bother me.

Now I have to resist the urge to drop all of my current projects and work on my Yamashiro with this amazing set of PE!

Special thanks to Bill Gruner from Pacific Front Hobbies for his help, and to Yiyi Wang of Flyhawk Model for the excellent customer service.

Highs: Large amount of parts on high quality brass. Overkill is a good thing! Great instructions, and great Customer service!
Lows: None!
Verdict: 1/350 scale parts quality and number in 1/700 scale. A show winner in one set!
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:700
  Mfg. ID: FH 700009
  Suggested Retail: $30.00 USD
  Related Link: Official Company Website
  PUBLISHED: Sep 29, 2008
  NATIONALITY: Japan / 日本

About Dade W. Bell (Karybdis)

I'm a third generation modeler who builds a little of everything (mostly Japanese)- all while being a 45 year old hermit who lives a happy, simple life, with my fiancée (author Jaclyn Dolamore) and three cats. My father was an MM3 aboard the USS Saratoga (CVA-60), my grandfather was in one of the...

Copyright ©2021 text by Dade W. Bell [ KARYBDIS ]. 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.


That is one heck of a set. Then throw in the fact it is 1/700. Thanks for the review Dade!
SEP 29, 2008 - 12:34 AM
This is the first Flyhawk set I have seen. l Looks to be a very nice set. Thanks, Dade
SEP 29, 2008 - 05:14 AM
Hi Dade I've read and seen online/magazines some Flyhawk PE sets, but reading about your Yamashiro set, makes me want one I have to restrain myself Very comprehensive, includes a lot of specific details and has you said, what isn't included, can be found on other generic IJN sets (from several manufacturers) BZ and looking forward for your Yamashiro Feature (no stress!!!) Rui
SEP 29, 2008 - 07:43 AM
Great review Dade. I've had this set for a while and had planned to build the Yamashiro for the 'Forgotten Sisters" campaign. The Flyhawk set is everything that Dade states, it is the most comprehensive set of PE I've come across for 700th scale. The bridge details alone will test your resolve! Highly recommended If you could answer me one question Dade, you mentioned that one of the visual differences between the Fuso and the Yamashiro lies in the turrets, could I still use the Voyager model set of resin turrets for the Fuso on the Yamashiro?
SEP 29, 2008 - 10:03 AM
Thanks for the nice words, guys. I'm glad you enjoyed the review. Rui, the Yamashiro is about 4th on my ship docket, so it'll probably be next summer or so before I start work. Must hold out... Frank, the turrets should pretty well work for both as the main difference was in the positioning of the C turret's dead angle- Fuso faces forward, Yamashiro's faces aft. Keep watch over the AA stuff that was mounted to the turrets depending on fit, but the base turrets should work out well for both ships.
SEP 29, 2008 - 10:19 AM

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