Kit Reviews: IJN Heavy Cruiser Haguro
(in box and built reviews):


Manufacturer: Nichimo

Scale: 1/500

Medium: Plastic Injection

Reviewer: Sinosauropteryx

Model rating: 7.5/10

Nichimo have been producing naval vessel models in various scales for a long period of time and personally I like their 1/500 series IJN warships very much. I bought the 1/500 Haguro right away when I saw it being 're-released' by Nichimo recently. Now I would like to provide you folks a brief in-box review here.

IJN Heavy Cruiser Haguro was a member of the famous Myoko class which saw heavy actions in the Pacific waters during the Second World War. The Myokos are well-liked by IJN fans for their heavy armament, graceful lines, balance design and respectable war records. Haguro was laid down in March 1925 in Mitsubishi's Nagasaki Shipyard and completed in April 1929. After being modernized twice before the outbreak of the war, she fought in the battles of Surabaya, Coral Sea, Midway, the second battle of Solomon, and later in the battle of Philippine Sea. During the battle of Leyte Gulf she was damaged during an air-raid in 24 October and returned to Singapore. Haguro was finally sunk during a torpedo attack by British destroyers in May 1945. For more details of the ship, please check the wonderful www.combinedfleet.com.

Nichimo have been marketing the 1/500 Haguro (and other members of the Myoko class) for a long period of time, properly over 25 years. Nevertheless, the quality, in my humble opinion, is still quite fine and acceptable. The mould is quite good, and the details are fine. I particularly like the Type 89 12.7cm Twin AA Gun Shield, which looks great. The main 8" gun houses can allow individual barrels to have different elevation angles and the hull is as graceful as the original.

However, my past experience with Nichimo products tells me that sometimes the parts do not fit very well as in other new, fine 1/700 waterline models. I find the fitting of the lower hull to the upper hull of Haguro, for instance, not perfect enough, and some parts are come with plastic leftover. Yet a little amount of putty and some filing work will solve the problems.

All in all, I give this kit a 7.5 out of 10. I personally like it over the Haguro by Hasegawa, it may due partly to the fact that I always like something bigger than 1/700. The 1/500 Haguro is large enough for modelers to detail it up (though I am an assembler myself), and the two-section hull permits full or either waterline hull construction.

One last note: the "re-released" kit does not come with motorized parts and on the box cover it states clearly that the kit is a "display model". Nevertheless, it is the same old hull and, under the strong urge of my lovely eight year old nephew (he says the ship is soooooooooo beautiful), I am going to "re-motorize" this Haguro, that means I am going to build a bathtub, or pond toy for the kid. As long as he wishes.

Luckily I had the money and bought the Nichimo Ashigara already.