"This MSW "First Look" style review is of Fujimi Models, 1/350 scale photo-etch upgrade sets for the IJn Battleship, Kongo."
Fujimi Models have released two grade up sets concurrently with their new 350th Kongo. The Kongo is an impressive model, but as all plastic models go, a touch of photo-etch is always called upon to highlight and improve the completed model.
Grade up Set # 1 (item ID: 111513)
Fujimiís first set is comprised of a single stainless steel photo etch fret. Details are best described as useful and well designed, and includes the following:
I.) Replacement windows for the superstructure tower. Parts 21,16,19,20 and 23 replace clear parts G7, G6, G5, G4, and G3.
II.) Catapult PE parts 22, 39 replace plastic parts L7, L13, L8 and L14.
III.) Trolley for floatplane PE parts 32 (3) replace plastic parts L24 and L25.
IV.) 13 GO Type air search radar PE parts 17, 13, 14 and 15(4) replace plastic part F38.
V.) Type 21 Radar PE part 1 replaces plastic parts D22 and J24.
VI.) Crane jib PE part 3 replaces L9 and L10.
VII.) Tripod aerial masts parts 28 and 31 replace plastic parts F4, F6, F22, F36, which incidentally are not used on the Kongo, possibly for use on the Haruna.
VIII.) Funnel frame for canvas cover parts 35 and 36 replace plastic parts H12 and H13.
IX.) Funnel upper rail parts 33 and 34 replace plastic parts H10 and H11.
X.) Accommodation ladder and side plating parts 37 and 38 replace plastic parts D1 and D2.
Three propellers are supplied as well as are other parts which are not identified in the instructions. Included in this are Goniometer antennas, parts 26 (2) and 27 (6), upper mast support parts 4 (2) replacing parts F40, and an assortment of different sized vertical ladders.
Grade up Set # 2 (item ID: 111520)
The second set supplies the modeler with a nice set of pre-dimensioned railings to cover the entire model. Instructions, while only in Japanese are easy to follow, thanks to the diagram supplied within the package.
Railings vary from having a slight sag to no sag at all. Fujimiís railings have a folding tab at their base, this in my experience helps greatly in adhering the photo-etch to the plastic parts.
Many modelers will be content with these two sets, others will see a need for a more comprehensive photo-etch set. The choice is up to you. Fujimi Models have done an admirable job with the Kongo kit as well as their dedicated photo-etch sets.
Highs: Fujimi has given us a good selection of photo-etch, allowing the modeler to spice up the Kongo, with the the advantage of having pre-measured railings. The use of stainless steel gives you a stronger and more durable photo-etch as well.Lows: Japanese only text and incomplete diagrams will leave us foreigners scratching our heads. Vertical ladders are simplistic in nature and many modelers will find replacements. Light on parts, some modelers maywait until more comprehensive sets are availableVerdict: Many modelers will be content with these two sets, others will see a need for a more comprehensive photo-etch set. The choice is up to you. Fujimi have done an admirable job with the Kongo and their dedicated photo-etch sets.
About Frank Portela (Clanky44) FROM: ONTARIO, CANADA
I'm an avid modeller, with about 20 odd years of experience. I belong to a very small group of modellers here in Guelph, Ontario that formed GPMG (Guelph Plastic Modelling Group) over 12 years ago. We have our annual show (WELCOME - Wellington County Modellers Exposition) in the spring. We pride ou...