Kit Reviews: Tamiya Shinano (old mold)
(in box and built reviews):


Manufacturer: Tamiya
Scale: 1/700
Medium: Plastic Injection
Reviewer: Jason Abraham
Model rating: 6/10


Tamiya box art for old Shinano mold

Many moons ago Tamiya released the H.I.J.M.S. Shinano. The team has since created a new tooling for the ship, but I'll leave that for another review.

A Brief History: Laid down as the third ship in the Yamato class all construction was halted in early 1941 as material was deemed necessary for other projects. The hull lay around for over a year until the devastating losses incurred during the Battle of Midway in June of 1942 pushed the Japanese to increase their flagging carrier force numbers. The Shinano was taken in hand to be converted into the largest carrier the world had seen. She was to have an armored flight deck and open hangar configuration. In November of 1944, nearly completed, the Shinano was moving through the Japanese home waters for her final fitting out (her water tight doors had not all been installed) when she was torpedoes four times. The sea slowly crept in and she sank several hours later.

Please keep in mind that I am an Assembler and I built her 12 years ago :)

I bought this model 12 years ago and I had just started to collect IJN models. The Shinano was a nice model at the time, but as most models do, she was quickly outclassed by new techniques in injection and mold technology. The model comes in two major parts: The Yamato hull and deck (complete with barbettes) and the hangar box that you glue on top. The pieces fit nicely but some major work was required to join the hull with the hangar box and close the joint lines that appeared. The guns, especially the triple 25mm mounts, are oversized and don't fit properly into the round gun tubs. Indeed, the tubs look like they needed another 2 millimeter or so in diameter to make the triple mounts fit properly. Since the new release SEVERAL discrepancies can be found in the older mold: The gun tubs are not round but octagonal. The number of triple mounts on the bow has increase from three to four, the funnel is teardrop shaped and NOT the odd horse race track oval that the older kit boasts. There are no aft flight deck wings to aid in landing either on the newer mold.

Gun tubs and funnel close up

Old and new mold comparison image

Overall I'd give this model a 6 out of 10 presently and perhaps a 7 out of 10 when I bought her. I couldn't get over the awkwardness of the 25mm mounts in their tubs and the long joint line between hull and hangar. It was a fun model to build however and if you happen to find one at a garage sale or a dusty corner of a model shop buy it and display her next to the newer kit. Just the conversation about the incredible differences between the two models, old and new, should make it worth the $10.00 you'll probably shell out.