This is my first build in 25 years! As a kid I built a lot of plastic kits. Mostly planes in 1:72 scale, but also all of Airfix ships in 1:600 scale. For some years now I had a dream of building all of the Imperial Japanese Navy's Battleships from the Water Line Series in 1:700 scale at first. Then I would go on to the aircraft carriers, cruisers and destroyers. The learning curve has been quite steep. There has been a lot of improvement over the years on how to build model ships since I was in that alley. Back in the 1970s there was some glue in a tube and Humbrol enamel paint. It was a matter of hours and the model was "finished" with some differences in quality! Now in 2005 Hyuga was built with some extra things of improvement: Photo-etch sheet from Eduard: Figures 1/700, Japanese ship railing, Kirishima 1/700 Detail set, and IJN Miscellaneous set. For custom work: Evergreen plastic strip, styrene rod, tube and sheet and also thin steel, copper, and silver wire.

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The kit comes in the new mould version (#118), but still has some things that can be done to improve the finished model. I made new tripod bars of styrene for the pagoda mast. Also all of the braces under the platforms were made in that way. I used a Dremmel to cut out all the plastic windows in the Tower/command Bridge and replaced them with photo-etched "horizontal ladders". The lattice structure under the platforms of the funnel was also scratch-built, as well as the top of the funnel. The starfish structure on the back mast was homebuilt too. Household metal sheet was used for the canvas covers for the lifeboats and some of the flags. The rigging was made of nylon invisible tread. The degaussing cable around the ship was made of a thin copper wire from inside an electrical wire, as well as the oars in the lifeboats. I used Rewel Contacta professional liquid glue for plastic and Super glue (Cyanoacrylat) for the small parts and photo-etch. The paint I used for the kit was water based acrylic paint from Model Color Vallejo . The paint was applied with a paintbrush, as the method of use of an airbrush is in the future for me. This is the first time that I used weathering on any kit and it was a fun part of the painting too. I tried to find the right colour of "Kure Naval Grey". Maybe the colour is a little bit too light but its hard to tell for me because of the different lightning conditions. In the last process of painting the model I applied a layer of matte varnish and to get rid of the too matte "concrete look" I gave the model a little more gloss.

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The diorama was made with painted cardboard to illustrate water. I then put on silicone from a local building store with a spoon. The "blue water" and sky was made from large colour cardboard to make for a more realistic background. The pictures were taken on my desk with two 20-watt halogen lights. The camera was a 3.2 Mpixel Fuji on a tripod on macro mode. The "Rising Sun picture" was made in Photo Shop. HYUGA has 3 planes on her deck. I was not able to find out if she only had one type (ALF) so I built her with 2 Alfs and 1 PETE aircraft. I know that the green camouflage scheme was used in the war period, so maybe the aircraft were silver prior to the Pearl Harbour attack (up to Nov. 1941)? I spent nearly 200 hours to build and research the ship. It has been quite fun and one thing is for sure -its not may last model warship from my yard! I would like to thank all the model makers around the world for the indirect help of putting all the pictures on the web to guide a new-bee such as me in the right direction, especially the websites of www.steelnavy.com and www.modewarships.com and www.modelmarine.de

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Lars Juel Mosbaek
Denmark

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