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Imperial Japanese Navy
Aircraft Carrier

(Nichimo 1:500 Scale Kit)
Built by Fred Heil
Photographed by Peter Chow
Fred Heil writes:
"The Akagi was reconstructed using the Nichimo 1/500 kit. Using photos and drawings obtained from the Naval Institute and various other sources I converted her to the 1935 pre-war version. I cut her bow superstructure above the hull and stepped it into the original 3 deck configuration (flight deck, bridge/8"gun deck, and hangar fly-off deck). I rebuilt the superstructure using Evergreen sheet plastic; Cut the main flight deck back to the proper curvature using a drafters curve and dremel and built the 2 lower decks using Evergreen corrugated siding to simulate planking (and again the drafters curve and an x-acto).

I used GMM photo-etch wherever possible; however their Akagi set IS under scaled (a point which I discussed with Loren Perry and he IS correcting on his next reissue-however I do think his products are the best with this being the only exception), so I used Plastistruct girders (sanded and shaved down to scale thickness) in lieu of the GMM girders that are too small. I added these additional girders to support the aft 1/3 flight deck, as the aft superstructure had to be cut off and moved in 1/8" on each side to simulate the older/smaller hangar deck. I passed on the dimensions for the two 8" gun turrets to Jon Warneke and he scratchbuilt 2 of them for me (he is a good friend and expert model maker who can create anything from scratch)! I replaced the Akagi kit airwing with a/c from the Hiryu (which has the correct era a/c for this version of the Akagi). Using my spares boxI also replaced the many lighter calibre AA guns with the large heavier calibre used on prewar ships."

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