Aoshima 1/700 JS Ashigara
KIT #: 008386
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken


JS Ashigara (DDG-178) is an Atago class guided missile destroyer in the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). Ashigara was named for Mount Ashigara, and is the first Japanese ship to bear the prefixJS (Japanese Ship) instead of JDS (Japanese Defense Ship).

She was laid down by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Nagasaki, Nagasaki on April 6, 2005, launched on August 30, 2006; and was commissioned on 13 March 2008. This ship was one of several in the JMSDF fleet participating in disaster relief after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. 


The 'waterline' gang have been moving towards doing more modern warships and so it is with Aoshima's new Atago. The kit itself is very nicely molded and has all raised detailing. This may seem a bit odd to some, but for a ship kit, it looks a lot better than all that engraving.

The kit can only be built as a waterline model and to that end, comes complete with a large weight for the lower hull. Interestingly, this weight is to be trapped between the outside of the underside of the hull and the flat lower hull piece rather than within the main hull as in older Waterline kits. The deck is a single piece onto which the two major superstructure pieces are attached. These pieces carry the various smaller guns as well as the ship's masts. There are the usual variety of bits and pieces for the weatherdecks which include the ship's boats.

As these ships carry a helo, the kit includes an SH-60K for the flight deck area. Also included are a bevy of JASDF aircraft, including three F-1s, a pair of F-4s, a pair of F-15s and a single E-2J. The kit includes a nice decal sheet that includes the various hull and deck markings as well as markings for the aircraft and the rocket.


Overall, it is a very nice kit and should be a nice change of pace for the modern warship builder.


October 2013

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