Trumpeter 1/350 JMSDF Destroyer Takanami
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The class destroyer is the newest class of Japanese guided-missile and ASW destroyer, serving with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). It is an evolution of the Murasame-class destroyer, fitted with a larger 127 mm gun, a Mk 41 vertical launch missile system, and an improved fire control system, as well as a new sonar system.
The older Sea Sparrow anti-air missile has been replaced by the new Evolved Sea Sparrow ESSM (RIM-162) missile in these new-construction warships.
There are five ships in the class, each displacing about 4,700 standard tons and able to easily reach a published speed of 30 knots. They each are capable of carrying an SH-60K ASW helicopter.
The Takanami was built by IHI Marine United in Uraga and commissioned into service on 12 March 2003. All ships in the class are named for World War II destroyers.
Trumpeter continues its modern 1/350 ship series with this kit of the lead ship of the class, the Takanami. I had thought it was a new tool kit as I've not seen others, but the etched frets are listed as Murusame so obviously this is not the initial boxing. This is a full hull kit and comes with a very nicely done display stand. It also comes with three frets of etched brass, including all the ship's railings, something that other companies should take to heart. In addition, an anchor chain is provided with the metal bits.
All of this and the various plastic sprues are superbly packaged with the one-piece hull and the main deck in their own cardboard protected area. The deck itself is wrapped in bubblefoam to protect it from having any detail broken away during shipment.
You would think that a modern ship would not be all that detailed, but you would be wrong. This one has a ton of deck detail from the various weapons like the 'sea-whizz' guns, deck launched torpedoes and, of course, all of the various antennas and other fixtures that are so prevalent on modern ships. Each of these items are little models in and of themselves with several of these items requiring some of the photo etch. Even the Seahawk helo is a beauty. Molded in clear plastic, you have the options of extended or folded rotor blades, while even the horizontal stabilizer can be folded. In addition to all the photo etch railings, there is a considerable amount that is dedicated to the shield around the rear flight deck. I do not know if this is movable to the horizontal or not as it is only shown in the vertical.
Instructions are very well done with 20 well drawn construction steps. Typically, all color information is saved for the large, full color painting and decal guide. This guide uses a variety of paint company references so you are sure to find what you need in your area. Something I found rather interesting is that no where is there information on attaching all of the railing photo etch that is provided. I have to assume that Trumpeter assumes that those who will use it will know where and how to apply these items. One thing for sure, I would attach it after everything is painted. The large decal sheet provides all of the various deck markings needed as well as markings for the helo. Name information in both English and Japanese are provided for the stand.
In all it makes for an excellent kit that lacks in nothing. Thanks to all the photo etch, the builder will not have to go to aftermarket for this item. This will, for most, not be a quick build, but the end result will be a beauty that the modern ship modeler will be proud to display.
My thanks to Squadron Products for providing the preview kit. You can get yours today at your local retailer or have them order it for you.
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