Hello again fellow modelers and ship fans. I have finally completed the Doyusha kit of the IJN Shinano in 1/250 scale. It has been a labor of love and hate!! As I said in part 1 (click for article), I knew I was in trouble upon opening the box. The kit is an old mold and probably pretty good back then but is poor compared to today’s standards. I rebuilt about 65% of the kit. I have tried to show here what is possible with an inferior kit with some research and some spare parts. In short I have tried to save the "Bathtub Toy". I used as much of the kit as was possible and the rest is scratch-built. I will go over this in the following photos so lets go!!!
Photo #1: A good shot of the bow area. The chrysanthemum is from the kit as are the triple AA guns. The smaller 25mm MG's are cast metal from HR Products, as well as the anchors. I added the bow hawse and small platforms aft of the anchors. All gun platforms are scratch-built. Photo's 2-5: Some shots of the stern area of the ship. The railings are from GMM's Yamato photo-etch fret as is the crane boom assembly. The netting on the aft end of the flight deck is brass mesh from Special Shapes. The separations I added from strip styrene. Note the rocket launchers. There are 6 aft and 6 forward. I made these from balsa wood and leftover parts from a Nichimo 1/200Yamato kit. Also note antennas on the edge of flight deck. I stole these from Tom's Modelworks photo-etch fret for US Navy battleships in 1/350. Aircraft are from the kit. I added the radio antenna and a small peg to act as a tail-wheel. Each plane consists of 8 parts and are time consuming to get right. The kit only comes with 12 aircraft. I was able to get 18 more so I have a total of 30 on deck. You can also see the 25 mm cast metal MG's a little better in these photos. The red & white striping was airbrushed on.
Photo #6: View of the flight deck from port side amidships. Note I tried a couple different color schemes for the aircraft. The arrestor cables are 0.10 steel wire. 0.05 would have worked better. Ladders and railings are photo-etch. Photo #7: Port side bow. Anchors are cast metal from HR Products as are the small 25mm AA guns. Note rocket launchers. I did not have a picture or a drawing of these at the time I made them so they are a little inaccurate. Girders under the flight deck are from the kit. Photo #8: Starboard side bow area. Pretty good shot of the Zeros. Note that these are gray on gray. Photo #9: Port side aft by the boat hanger deck. I used leftover girder parts from the kit and some styrene rod for the supports. Small anchor is cast metal. Note detail on gun tubs. The propellers are from the kit. I scratch-built the shafts and struts.
Photo #10: Starboard side aft. You can see the propellers and rudders here a little better. I added the secondary rudder. Photos # 11-15: These next few photos show the island area. I scratch-built the entire assembly and then added a myriad of small details. They consist of photo-etch, cast metal, parts from the kit, and scratch-built stuff. I spent 3 months trying to get this right. According the MYCO plans I think it is pretty close. Crash barrier nets on flight deck are photo-etch railings in a slightly larger scale.
Photo #16: Forward overhead view of the ship. Photo #17: Starboard side. Photo #18: (Title Photograph) Port side full view.
Epilog: Well another project completed. If I had to do it again I would use the Arii kit of Yamato in conjunction with some of the Doyusha kit. For all the work I put into this poor kit, I could have scratch-built the whole thing!! Hindsight is 20/20. However, I am pleased with the results. Special thanks to the following folks: Loyalhanna Dockyard, Pacific Front Hobbies, Gold Medal Models, Colourcoat Paints (White Ensign Models), Steelnavy.com.
Comments or questions are always welcome here in Michigan. Next project is IJN Soryu in 1/144 scale. Should be interesting!! Happy Modeling and stay tuned.