Fine Molds 1/350 IJN Destroyer 'Shikinami'

KIT #: 38901
PRICE: $142.00 SRP
DECALS: Two Options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: New tool kit


Construction of the advanced Fubuki-class destroyers was authorized as part of the Imperial Japanese Navy's expansion program from fiscal 1923, intended to give Japan a qualitative edge with the world's most modern ships. The Fubuki-class had performance that was a quantum leap over previous destroyer designs, so much so that they were designated Special Type destroyers(特型Tokugata?). The large size, powerful engines, high speed, large radius of action and unprecedented armament gave these destroyers the firepower similar to many light cruisers in other navies. Shikinami, built at the Maizuru Naval Arsenal was the second in an improved series, which incorporated a modified gun turret which could elevate her main battery of Type 3 127 mm 50 caliber naval guns to 75° as opposed to the original 40°, thus permitting the guns to be used as dual purpose guns against aircraft.Shikinami laid down on 6 July 1928, launched on 22 June 1929 and commissioned on 24 December 1929. Originally assigned hull designation “Destroyer No. 46”, she was completed as Shikinami.

The 4th Fleet Incident occurred only a year after her commissioning, and Shikinami was quickly taken back to the shipyards for strengthening of her hull.

For more on the Shikinami and her combat record, visit the Reference link.


Sorry for not providing a sprues image, but there are too many for a photo layout and the instructions do not include the normal layout we have come to expect from most companies. Suffice it to say that the kit is comprised of quite a few small parts. Molding is superb, as we have come to expect from Fine Molds. The kit contains no metal parts or photo etch, though does include anchor chains. Fine Molds offers railings, deck plates and metal gun barrels as separate items and this is shown in the instructions at the start of the build.

As is common nowadays, the kit can be built as full hull or waterline. Both bottom parts come with horizontal bulkheads that add considerable stiffness to the construction and help keep things aligned. The full and waterline lower hull are molded in a dark red plastic. You have to decide from the start if you want a waterline or full hull kit as the ship's sides are attached to the bulkheads placed in whichever lower section you have chosen.

The turrets and torpedo tubes can be rotated. There are only two options that I spotted, and those are to have the guns elevated or not and to have torpedoes showing in the tubes. Fine Molds depends on its variety of aftermarket sets to supply some of the smaller bits. As such, some of these will need to be modified prior to installation. The kit also comes with a display stand on which to mount your full hulled version.

Instructions are in booklet form and on very thick paper. The superbly drawn construction steps are easy to understand and any modifications required are clearly shown. Decals are for two times in the ship's life. One is late 1936 and the other is late 1941. There are tiny differences in fit between the two so pay attention to the instructions so you don't miss these.


With fewer than 250 parts, this is probably a light-weight amongst 1/350 ships, but it is one that will make into a superb display when done.


August 2011

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