Imperial Japanese Navy Battleship Yamato , Ten – Ichigo Operation , 6th April 1945 - I will not go into relating the story of this mighty battleship and this particular operation as it has been documented and written many times over, so I will go directly to the build of this model which I enjoyed very much.  It took me approximately 6 months to build this model. I used the now old Tamiya 1/350 scale kit, which had been laying on the shelf for quite some time.  I also included the White Ensign Models photo etch detail set as well as the detail sets of the AA guns from Veteran and boating equipment from Voyager Models. The hull was sawn off at the waterline keeping in mind that this was going to be a waterline model.  The model literally cries out for real wooden deck planking.  I already was beyond the prospected budget for this model and these decks being so expensive I decided to scratch build my own. First thing was to literally prize out the centre superstructure from the mid deck section of the ship, using various tools and circular saws. Some damage was done to the said superstructure, but was easily repaired.  The 25 mm AA towers and the 25 mm triple gun deck emplacements had now to be scratch built as the ones molded on the cured deck  were destroyed in the process.  The thickness of the plastic of the parts taken off, were also sanded to keep the levels of the items in scale.

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Once that was completed measurements were taken to prepare the wooden deck which I decided had to be completed in one whole section.  Various attempts were made until finally I was happy with the result.  This was first prepared in 20 thou plastic card and then covered with a very thin layer of veneer wood which was made for the job after searching all over for what I wanted.  A jig was made with a steel rule and the planking was all done with very gentle pressure using a fine tip common pencil. Once this was ready, many and I mean many coats of gloss varnish were applied to the completed deck.  When dry it was vigorously sanded and a couple of coats of matt varnish was applied.  A final light coat of matt varnish mixed with just a hint of grey was applied to simulate the grayish tint of the wooden deck which unfortunately doesn’t show very much in the pictures submitted.

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The hull was detailed using the odd thin telephone wiring, airbrushed in enamels, and shadowed in acrylics.  Oils were also used to simulate the weathering of the sea battered hull.  A hint of drybrushing with a lighter colour was applied.  When dry the detailed sections of the deck which came in three parts, were attached to the already prepared hull. I now started on the guns and superstructure with much needed added scratchbuilt detail to achieve a close look of the real thing as shown in the plans of the ship. These included more 25mm triple AA gun emplacements, piping and structure reinforcement piping in the middle superstructure, which as you all know was bristling with AA guns. The Guns themselves were detailed.  More detail was added to the 15.5 gun towers and the guns themselves adding more ladders and blast bags made out of putty.  The main turret guns were also detailed adding new ammo crates and discarding the ones already molded on which were in incorrect in position and amount. The stern concrete deck was detailed with extra launches and a lot of personnel to give a busy look to the ship.  A suspended pinnacle was also added in the stern.  Rigging was a nightmare but that done it really enhanced the model.

Reference.

Anatomy of the ship by Janusz Situlski

Requiem for Battleship Yamato by Yoshudu Mutsura

Warships 30 IJN Yamato and Musashi Battleships by Chihaya.M

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Louis Carabott
Malta

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