The Tamiya Yamato is still one of the most popular 1:350 scale plastic kits on the market place. Numerous brass photo-etch sets have been produced for this landmark kit, providing an extraordinary level of detail for the heaviest battleship ever to steam to battle. Now Lion Roar has gone a step further. The new Lion Roar Set LE350005 includes not only brass photo-etch but also nine brass barrels for the 18.1-inch main armament. This set is devoted to super detailing the three main gun turrets of the Tamiya Yamato.
As can be seen from the Lion Roar photographs appearing above, this Lion Roar set greatly increases the level of detail for the Tamiya 1:350 scale Yamato. First and most dramatically, the set includes all nine 18.1-inch main gun barrels. These barrels are brass and have open muzzles. These barrels alone will make a dramatic improvement for your Tamiya Yamato but in keeping with the value added treatment that Lion Roar introduced with their 1:700 scale brass barrel releases, the Shanghai company provides a full brass photo-etch fret to provide all of the additional detail and frills for the gun turrets. However, with the 1:350 set Lion Roar has gone far beyond the level and quantity of detail that they included in their Yamato 1:700 scale brass barrels and turret photo-etch set. (Click to see review of Lion Roar 1:700 scale brass barrel and photo-etch set.)
As for the brass fret, it is chock full of relief etched detail. As nice as the barrels are, Lion Roar includes additional brass photo-etched parts to further spruce them up. There are the nine collars for the barrel openings with their relief-etched bolts. Underneath the barrels at their base are perforated platforms and lattice structures are found for the inside face of the exterior barrels. On the sides of the range finder "ears" are relief-etched plates. At the rear of each turret is an entrance door mounted on a horizontal perforated platform with step rungs leading to the platform. These doors have relief etched access wheels. Lion Roar even throws in additional riveted plates for the barbette. Standard vertical ladder is included for the sides of the turrets.
The turret crowns also receive significant additional detail. Both turrets B & C have two triple 25mm AA gun positions. Lion Roar produces these position with relief-etched grid pattern platforms with fold up splinter shields. The guns are double width brass that folds together to create additional width. Each 25mm mount and guns have excellent detail, even including the holes found on the sides of the ammunition clips. Additional crown detail includes a full set of railings.
The instructions use diagrams to show the locations for attachment of the parts. However, it appears that Lion Roar omitted the locations for parts numbered 2 and 3 on the fret. I could not find these two numbered parts in the instructions. Both of these parts are riveted plates. The photographs included as package art seems to show that the longer riveted plates (#3) are placed on the barbettes and the shorter riveted plates (#2) may be on the turret crowns inside of the 25mm mount openings. No matter how you cut it, this is a significant omission by Lion Roar for the instructions that could be easily corrected. They provided excellent relief-etched brass plates but forgot to show where they go.
The Lion Roar 1:350 scale brass set for the Yamato main gun turrets, LE350005 expands upon the concept that the company introduced for brass barrels and turret detail in 1:700 scale. Not only does the modeler receive brass barrels but also gets a more than generous amount of relief-etched detail in the accompanying brass photo-etch fret. Lion Roar has produced an excellent product.