Kit Review: Hiryu
(in box and built review):


Manufacturer: Aoshima
Scale: 1/700
Medium: Plastic Injection
Reviewer: ANKEN
Model rating: 8.5/10

Spec Sheet on the Hiryu class

Aoshima Hiryu by ANKEN


Box art of the Hiryu. Top is 1942 Midway version and bottom is 1939 version.

A Brief History:
HIRYU was completed at Yokosuka Naval Dock Yard on July 5th, 1939. Her superstructure was larger, further aft, and located on the port side of the flight deck rather than on the starboard side as was the case on most carriers. Soon after commissioning, HIRYU was assigned to Carrier Division two with SORYU and this combination didn’t change until their loss during the Battle of Midway.

In 1940, HIRYU took part in operations against the Chinese, the following spring she began
working-up for the raid on Pearl Harbor with AKAGI, KAGA and SORYU.

In the fall of that year they came to be mightiest task force with new Carrier Division Five
consisted of SYOKAKU and ZUIKAKU. On December 7th, 1941 HIRYU and the Japanese task force arrived 230 nautical miles to the north of Hawaii and launched their strike forces against Pearl Harbor.
The military achievement was astounding and the attack acted as the trigger for the war in the Pacific.

In 1942, HIRYU took part in some operations in west Pacific Ocean and attacked enemy bases and
ships. In the Indian Ocean her Val dive bombers showed surprising hit rates and sunk the HMS
Hermes. In May HIRYU sailed for Midway with AKAGI, KAGA and SORYU. On June 5th,They were attacked by enemy aircrafts from Enterprise, Hornet and YORKTOWN. HIRYU survived this attack and her strike forces inflicted serious damage to YORKTOWN.
Finally HIRYU was hit by 4 bombs and became uncontrollable. Abandoned, she was scuttle by MAKIGUMO with torpedoes.

The Model:
You can choose to build the normal 1942 Ç£attle of Midway¡¦version or the limited release 1939 edition. This kit is very easy to assembly. Only some parts for the hanger walls do not fit to the hull well.

Flight deck
Details are pretty good. You can choose two options for the crane, assembled for operation or take it in. All lines are represented in the decals. To reproduce the strips of red and white, you have to paint red and apply the white decal.

Bridge and main mast
The parts of the bridge are sharp and their size is more accurate than the former Aoshima offering of the Hiryu. Main mast does not look accurate, it should be taller.

Hull
Hull including the waterline underside is molded as one piece! The shape looks good, but details are lacking when compared to the deck detail or the Tamiya Shinano hull.

Armament
You will put kit parts to use for all of guns and directors except the covered twin guns. These covered twin guns looks poor. They have no detail. Props are not triangle plate, like Shinano. They are small and accurately sized parts.

Aircraft
Normal version kit includes former version of aircraft set. Limited edition kit includes New type 96 fighter, bomber, and attacker, and they look nice. But only 3 of each aircraft type is too few I think.

Package and instruction
Please do not laugh at the side view drawing on the side of the box, it must be Unryu! Japanese instructions are not good. They are not detailed and there are some mistakes. You have to study to build and paint this kit and not trust most of the text. Like most non-Japanese speaking builders it is best to simply follow the detailed diagrams and drawings."