With the release of the second Hasegawa 1:350 scale warship, the destroyer Yukikaze, warship modelers everywhere can celebrate this long established company producing the best 1:350 scale injected plastic models in the business. While some plastic models in 1:350 scale from other companies are hit or miss, with some very good releases mixed with some dogs, Hasegawa has demonstrated a uniformly excellent quality of plastic models with releases for some time. The Hasegawa Mikasa is one of the best plastic kits that can be acquired and now Hasegawa has released the Yukikaze. This destroyer fought everywhere and yet managed to survive the war. Hasegawa released an early war Yukikaze and apparently will be releasing a late war version. With the Hasegawa Mikasa, as well as most 1:350 scale models from other companies, established photo-etch suppliers have been very prompt in developing brass detail sets to further enhance the plastic models.
Lion Roar Models is one of the first off of the mark with a Hasegawa Yukikaze super detail set. This set is for the 1945 fit of Yukikaze with only two twin 5-inch turrets but with a much augmented ASW and AA capability. In fact all of the additional anti-aircraft platforms that Lion Roar has provided in this kit make the Yukikaze appear as busy as Saturday night in the Ginza. This is the fifth 1:350 scale super-detail set released by Lion Roar to super detail a specific plastic model. The others have been developed for the Trumpeter North Carolina (click for review), Tamiya Yamato, Hasegawa Mikasa, and Trumpeter Hood (click for review). As with previous releases, Lion Roar provides more than photo-etch. Included with the Yukikaze release are brass gun barrels, depth charges, propellers, name plate, and brass rod.
Fret A - Railings
This fret is composed exclusively of railings of all sorts and types. These include not only deck edge railings but also the short safety railings as found on the turret crowns. The deck railings come in four designs. The main deck rails feature two rows of railings with not bottom gutter (A1). The bottom of these railings, or attachment points, are the stanchion ends, so a tiny drop of super glue goes on the end of each stanchion. The railings are extremely fine, much more thin than the stanchions, and really look like link railings going through the thicker cast iron stanchions. The forecastle parts are of a different design (A5 & A6). They two are designed as the straight deck railings (A1) but have the sweeping sheer to fit the sheer of the bow of the Yukikaze.
Superstructure railings are of a different design (A2). They are three bar with two rails and a bottom gutter so can be attached to the model by spreading glue along the lowest row. The railings are shorter than those on the main deck and are found on the superstructure and platforms. Another type (A3) is a two bar rail with one rail and a bottom gutter. It is found on the roof of the bridge. Both the turret and torpedo mount crowns had short safety handrails ringing the perimeter of their tops and along their sides. Lion Roar provides an ample four runs of this railing (A4) on this fret.
Fret B - Degaussing Cable & Porthole Covers
Fret B covers an interesting array of brass parts, almost all of which are relief-etched. The most numerous parts are for the parts for the external degaussing cable. There are eight straight runs and six runs of angled cable (B1). The angled cable are of three different patterns and have starboard and port parts where the cable changed directions. There are found abreast of the bridge (B7 & B8), at the bow ( B5 & B6) and at the stern (B2 & B3). All of the degaussing cable parts have relief-etched holding brackets running over the top of the cable boxes. This fret also includes some of the smallest and yet detailed parts in the set. As was common in most navies, the Imperial Japanese Navy warships had numerous hill portholes at the start of the war. Collectively, they could provide an additional source of flooding for battle damaged warships low in the water. Most navies, including the IJN and USN, started sealing these portholes as the war progressed. The USN would weld circular porthole covers over the portholes. The Japanese also welded these plates over the portholes but apparently also used rivets to attach the plates over the portholes. Lion Roar provides 135 almost microscopic porthole covers (B11) on Fret B. To make these even more incredible, there is even a rivet pattern on each plate. There are eight rivet heads on each plate and I could only count them by examining the macro photographs of the parts. Other parts included on this fret are AA platform support frame (B4), propeller guards (B9) and life rings (B10).
Fret C - Anti-Aircraft Guns
In 1945 the IJN had greatly augmented the anti-aircraft gun fit on all of their warships. This was also true with Yukikaze, which landed one of her twin gun 5-inch turrets in order to provide room and weight for additional AA guns. Fret C consists of 108 parts, 88 of which are relief-etched. Parts for five triple 25mm guns and twenty single 25mm guns are provided. The triple 25mm mounts are assembled from six parts, mount (C1), gun cradle (C2), three guns (C3) and a combined base plate/gun shield (D33) on fret D. The mount and cradle have fold lines to simplify folding the parts to the correct shape and the guns are of double thickness, folded together to add extra thickness for the third dimension. Single 25mm guns consist of four guns for each gun. These are the mount (C4), gun (C5), base plate (C6) and cross brace (C7). The guns have very fine detail with ventilation holes and pneumatic recoil cylinder ribbing relief-etched.
Fret D - Platforms & Bulkheads
This fret consists primarily of AA gun platforms and various bulkheads. There are five platforms, four large and one small and all five have the IJN non-slip grid pattern on their steel decks relief-etched into the parts. The four largest platforms are for the triple 25mm gun mounts. These platforms and mounts are found at the following locations: one in front of the bridge (D5) on a square open lattice column (D14); one forward of the second stack with two triple mounts (D1) with 11 support members underneath (D4x8)(D7)(D8x2); and the last two at the stern with one (D2) super-firing over the other (D6). All four large platforms have solid splinter shields attached with fold lines incised to ease folding the shields to match the angles on the platforms. The small searchlight platform (D23) is aft of the second funnel and unlike the AA platforms is surrounded by two bar railing.
The side bulkheads for the torpedo reload positions (D15 & D16) are also found on this fret. Each bulkhead consists of four parts; the main bulkhead; two hinged lower openings (D3); and a door (D9). Since the bulkhead has a door opening and a separate door is provided, you can assemble the position with open or closed doors. Eight separate bulkheads are provided as replacement parts for plastic pieces. Bulkhead D10 replaces plastic 17 & 18; D11 replaces plastic 21 & 22; D12 replaces plastic 19 & 20 and D13 replaces plastic 23 & 24. Each separate brass bulkhead also has incised fold lines. The use of these bulkheads will present a greater fineness of detail as separate perforated inside braces are provided (F10). Other parts include two anchors of two pieces (D21 & D22); side frame (D29); four stern deck hatches (D17, D18, D19, D19); nine runs of vertical ladder of different lengths (D25, D26, D27, D28, D30, D31, D32); five base plate/gun shields for the triple 25mm mounts (D33) and two small side platforms for the bridge (D24).
Fret E - Fittings
This large fret includes a myriad of various fittings. The numerous stack fittings include top grates (E2 & E3) and side railing (E31, E32, E33, E34). Since the funnels are very different in size. obviously the top grates and side railing varies between the two sets of fittings for the funnels. Depth charge fittings are prominent on this fret with all of the components for stern racks (E1,E4); loading rails(E36), support platforms(E13); reload storage cage (E5) and reload crane (E18). Foremast fittings include two perforated platforms (E27,E35) with another perforated platform (E29) and identification lights display (E39) for the mainmast. The complex Type 13 radar is composed of four pieces (E6,E7,E8,E9). Three reload/lifting frames are included. Two are for the torpedo reload positions with three pieces per frame (E10,E11,E40).The aft superstructure also has a similar frame on the port side. This assembly consists of three parts (E17,E26,E40). Ship's boats are enhanced by davits (E38) and crossing braces (E22). Other parts include: DF tripod and loops (E14,E15,E16); flag staff (E9); jack staff (E20); bridge lookout safety cages (E21); large perforated ventilator intake cover (E23); bridge antenna (E25); and searchlight cover (E28).
Fret F - Small Fittings
Some may call these generic fittings but the quality is there to lift them above the common. There are six types of fittings on this fret with more than one design per type. The first type is the humble door. Lion Roar provides four door designs all with a door attached to an open frame. Therefore you have the choice to have the door open or closed. The four patterns of doors are square top with sill (F1); round top with top sill (F3); square top without sill (F4); and round top without sill (F2). Various hatches are provided with access hatches (F5) and torpedo mount vision ports (F6). Large (F7,F8) and small cable reels (F9) are included. Generic items do include a huge number of vertical perforated support braces (F10) and incredibly, individual hand rungs (F11). The fret is completed with 23 folding, relief-etched ammunition lockers (F12).
Barrels, Propellers and Depth Charges
This is what distinguishes Lion Roar Models super detail sets from other photo-etch companies. The inclusion of turned brass items in addition to photo-etch has been a hallmark of Lion Roar with all five super detail sets in 1:350 scale that they have released. The set for the Hasegawa Yukikaze, 1945 fit is no exception. Lion Roar provides four turned brass 5-inch gun barrels for the two twin gun turrets carried by Yukikaze in 1945. Since there are only four barrels, you would not have enough barrels for the ship when she mounted three turrets. As with previous turned brass gun barrels from Lion Roar, they are hollow at the muzzles, showing the open bore of the ordnance. Two brass propellers included. Unlike most kit supplied plastic propellers, which use the same propeller for starboard and port sides, Lion Roar accurately supplies the two propellers with blades slanted in different directions. Starboard side propeller blades would be slanted in an opposite direction from those on the port side to counteract torque. The propeller shafts would turn in opposite directions with the torque from one side cancelled by the torque from the other side.
Fifteen brass depth charges further compliment this set. You will have to clip a lost war pour stalk found on one end of each depth charge. Although this is incredible enough, these miniature canisters are further enhanced when placed in the relief etched depth charge frames provided in Fret E. Other metal products included in this set are a relief etched white metal name plate for the model, with Japanese characters, as well as a brass rod for the propeller shafts.
The Lion Roar instructions for this set consists of four sheets. One unnumbered sheet shows a diagram of all six frets and 23 three-dimensional parts. The other three sheets are back-printed and are numbered. The attachment of various parts is shown in various modules, which are presented in no particular order. Page one shows hull fittings; gun mount fittings; torpedo mount fittings and bridge fittings. Page two includes both triple and single 25mm gun assembly. Page three includes masts' assembly' funnels' assembly, and platforms' assembly. Page four includes assembly modules on radar, reload frames; anchors and ship's boats positions. Page five covers depth charge rack assembly; stern fittings and side deck house fittings attachment. The last page covers forecastle fittings attachment and depth charge fittings attachment. With some items such as cable reels and ready ammunition lockers, parts are provided but the instructions do not show their placement locations.
All four past 1:350 scale super-detail sets from Lion Roar have been produced for battleship models. With this release for the Hasegawa 1:350 scale Japanese destroyer, Yukikaze, Lion Roar provides all of the detail for the little boy modelers that have previously been enjoyed by the BB crowd. With six brass photo-etch fret, plus 23 three-dimensional metal parts, Lion Roar set LS350005 for the 1945 fit brings a level of detail to an injected plastic destroyer that is rare.