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In-Box Review
IJN Tone 1944 - 1/700
Fujimi IJN Heavy Cruiser Tone Leyte Gulf 1944 - 1/700
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by: Jim Adams [ GOLDENPONY ]

Originally published on:
Model Shipwrights

The Ship…

Some ships of the Pacific war are known for their exploits, such as Enterprise, South Dakota, Akagi, and Prince of Wales. There were also some ships that just seemed to be in every fight every time, Tone was one of these ships. One of Tone’s scout planes sent in the final weather report to the fleet on December 7th, 1941.

Later on that same year Tone helped in the invasions of Wake Island, Rabaul, New Britain as well as attacks on Lae and Salamaua, New Guinea. In January of 1942 she took part in attacking the Admiralty Islands. The in February she took part in the Raid on Port Darwin, Australia.

Back on the hunt again in March she was involved in the Battle of Java Sea. Then quickly on the heels of this operation she took part in the highly successful Indian Ocean raids of April 42. After returning to Japan she was once again hot on the heels of another famous group, the Hornet group who had just launched the Doolittle Raiders.

Possibly the largest battle in which Tone played a historic role was that of Midway. The Japanese command was never certain if the Americans had sent their carriers to protect Midway. Scout planes were sent out from all available ships, but Tone had troubles with her catapults. The planes were launched late. When all other planes reported nothing command made plans to attack Midway. However Tone’s plane did spot the American carriers, but its radio was not working correctly.

The delay caused, the commanders on the carries to switch between ground attack and ship attack. The decks were jammed with fueled aircraft and weapons. All the while American planes searched for the carriers and the carries lacked the vital picture of American ships being present in the area.

After the Midway attack Tone was sent north to protect against an American attack in the Aleutians. Tone then took part in the following battles, Battle of the Eastern Solomons, Battle of Santa Cruz, Battle of the Philippine Sea, and Battle of Leyte Gulf. Tone then returned to Japan for the final time in November of 1944. She was dry docked for repairs and upgrading. Her AA guns were increased to 62 and the Type 21 Radar was upgraded to Type 22.

She remained in Japan as a training ship until she was finally sunk by an air raid in Kure Harbor. Her hulk was attacked in follow up raids by rockets and bombs. She was officially struck from the naval register in November 1945. Her hulk was raised and scrapped in 1947.

She was the lead ship of her class. Her sister ship Chikuma was sunk during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Tone was named after the Tone River, in the Kantō region of Japan.


Class and type: Tone class cruiser

Type: Heavy Cruiser
Displacement: 11,213 tons (standard); 15,443 (final)
Length: 189.1 m
Beam: 19.4 m
Draught: 6.2 m
Propulsion: 4-shaft Gihon oil geared turbines
8 boilers
152,000 shp

Speed: 35 kn

Range: 8,000 nm @ 18 kn

Complement: 874
Armament: • 8 × 20 cm/50 3rd Year Type naval gun‎s (4x2)
• 8 × 127 mm guns
• 12 x 25 mm AA guns (6x2)
• 12 × 610 mm torpedo tubes (4x3)

Armor: 100 mm (belt)
35 mm (deck)
Aircraft carried: 6 x floatplanes

The Kit…

The kits comes in the standard lidded box featuring the Tone sailing through the sea at high speed. Inside you will find a bunch of bags filled with sprues, decals, and an instruction sheet.

This kit is one of the new releases from Fujimi which adds new technology into the mix. The kit is a nice improvement from the Tone kits of old. However I was a little surprised to find flash on a good many of the small parts.

Sprue A… This starts your ship out with the waterline hull. You will notice right away how much more there is on this hull. The degaussing cable runs around the entire hull, so that’s one detail you won’t have to add. There are also fairheads and large and small portholes.

Sprue B… Here we have the waterline plate and some other odds and ends. You will also have anchors, the Chrysanthemum crest, floats, and gun tubs. I always seem to hack on thicknesses when it comes to small parts like the gun tubs. These tubs are actually very nice. The decks have the non-skid pattern and the insides have the vertical ribs.

sprue C… Now we start to get into the decking sections. The foc’sle and stern sections to be exact. On a 1/700 ship you hardly ever get the level of detail like you will see in this one. The deck sections come with scuttles, cable reels, non-skid, and linoleum molded on them. Ammo lockers, aircraft rails, anchor chains, and even the chain stays are present. Defiantly a nice looking deck section!

You also get the torpedo tubes on this sprue. Hands down, theses are the best looking ones I have seen in 700. The other parts on this sprue also deliver you nice looking parts, from the ships boats down to the gun tubs.

Sprue D… The Tone had that unique arrangement of 4 gun turrets forward the bridge. You find those turrets on this sprue. The turrets are once again top notch. The have nicely molded lines on their surfaces. One potential problem I would point out is the attachment points seem a little heavy on the smaller parts. There are several small parts on this sprue as well. And there are a couple of sink spots on a couple of the pieces in this sprue.

Sprue E… The Tone also had a very unique funnel, now its time to talk about that. The funnel had a very graceful curved forward section and a unique double outlet at the top. The funnel caps are nicely done and some of the finest seen in any scale, let alone 700. The bridge sections have nicely done non-skid and this wall sections. But there was some thin flash on a couple of the people and you will need to clean those up.

Sprue F & G… Here we have some more sections of the superstructure. These are again nice, but the attachment points seem heavy. The watertight doors, portholes, and grills molded on these parts are crisp.

Sprue J… One of the best single parts of the entire kit is here, the forward radar mast. It is molded in one piece forming a proper hollow lattice. You also get the stern section of the deck. This part is also jammed full of deck details just like the forward and mid sections. One thing to notice is you must drill out a bunch of holes in this part. So, be careful when doing so. I say break out the drill bits to make a clean hole.

Sprue K… We have more mast sections and other small miscellaneous parts to go around the ship. The mast sections are mostly open and not the typical solid as on many other 700 kits. The search light towers however are solid and there is some flash present.

Sprue L, N,P,O,&Q…These sprues all hold small parts for the ship. The ships boats, small AA guns, boats davits, paravaes, and catapults. It is odd for a 700 ship to have separately molded paravanes, but this one does. Just be careful cutting them off the sprue. The ships boats are once again nicely done, but a couple of the cutters have flash around their rims, so be careful cleaning them up. The catapults are solid, but are represented nicely. All of the secondary weapons are top notch as well. The davits are really nice in this like. They are small and even have the block and tackle.

You will also get the turret covers for your AA weapons. These have the side details molded into them.

Sprue M… These two are transparent. They include the aircraft, search lights, and bridge windows. The aircraft have recessed panel lines.


There is one small sheet of decals. The decals include marking for the ships planes and also two different fags.


The instructions come on one large fold out. They are easy to follow and have English directions. The only draw back is a black and white painting guide. A color painting quite would have been a really nice touch.


I have mixed feelings. On one had there are some really great parts in the kit. But there are also some problems you not expect on a kit of this level, flash and sink holes.

Adding a few pieces of PE will really push this one over the top. All you will need to railings, radar, and some ladders. Both beginners and advanced builders will be happy they have this kit in their stash.

I would for sure rank this one much higher had it not been for those couple of problems. But remember you kit couple be perfect. You will be glad you grabbed one of these for your stash if you happen to pick one up.
Highs: Nicely detailed small parts.
Lows: Some flash on smaller parts.
Verdict: Pick one of these up and you will not be disappointed.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:700
  Mfg. ID: FUJ41016
  Suggested Retail: 49.95
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jun 14, 2010
  NATIONALITY: United States

About Jim Adams (goldenpony)

Copyright ©2021 text by Jim Adams [ GOLDENPONY ]. All rights reserved.


I honestly enjoy building both heavy and light IJN cruisers, I spend much of my time hunting around on ebay for a bargain, many to be had, and sadly there's points also to look out for, ''new'' doesn't reflect in the model as being new, just the fact that its never been open or out of the bag, I brought such a ''new'' heavy cruiser and like you've discribed was in fact 20 + years old, now I look for ''new tooling'' which I still haven't found lol. The review is really useful, and I normally look for details on the structure and hull, the more detail like you said, the less PE required,
AUG 02, 2010 - 02:59 AM
As the callsign would suggest, I also enjoy the big IJN ships. One thing that has always disappointed me with the earlier Tone and Chikuma kits is the lack of detail in the aircraft trolleys at the stern. A major oversight in my oppinion as these ships had a very interesting arrangement, second only to Mogami in their complexity. On the 1/1 scale ships there was a descending trestle-like structure, leading from the catapult deck down to the stern. As I have read in this review, it looks like we are still in the days of solid catapults and cranes with this kit, which suggests that the trolley is also still molded as a solid ramp. Can anyone confirm this ?
AUG 15, 2010 - 05:22 PM
If I read your question correctly, then yes the ramp is improved in the new tool. (it's on sprue O in the review, but the picture only showed the top of the ramp, but not the bottom which isn ot moulded solid) The support underneat though would still benefit from PE replacement as they aren ot quite to scale. Aircraft trolleys and catapults/cranes are moulded solid. Given the abundance and low price of replacement PE for such common items though, I don't see manufacturer would want to invest new moulds on these any time soon. Since Fujimi is now selling PE sets following each kit release, all the more reason not to do something 'good enough' when you are selling an upgrade for it! Nor do I think given the effort required to upgrade fittings in plastic, IF such items are released the price will be anywhere near economical. Just look at the fine molds nanodread sets: They occupy a niche in parts that's not easily replacable with PE (eg search lights), or a degree of difficulty exists in assembly of said PE (eg AA guns and davits), but they don't come cheap.
AUG 15, 2010 - 05:48 PM
Thanks Jim for the info ! I was unaware of a Fujimi PE release that was Tone class specific. (I assume that the "rollercoaster ramp" is addressed in that set.) Not knowing of the available PE, I had been contemplating the sacrifice of a few catapults to get the truss work materials. It's gratifying to also hear that Fujimi left off that solid molded on ramp, less cutting and filling.
AUG 15, 2010 - 06:52 PM
First off, thank you so much for the review which I enjoyed reading! It is sad that Tone did not receive that much attention as the Kongo or Yamato. For reasons of historical significance - at least in regard to the Japanese Navy and there specially regarding Midway- the Tone should be manufactured in a 1/350 injected version. Any manufacturer reading along?!
SEP 02, 2010 - 02:32 PM
Thank you for your time in viewing this model. The first thing I thought of as the pages were clicking by, this could have been better, it seemed that someone was intent on producing a darn good plastic model then got distracted half way through and simply lost the heart to continue. The asking price I can only guess the top end of £30.00. I honestly enjoy building the IJN light and heavy cruisers, I've brought what I thought were new tooled kits only to find out the box art was new, the model inside as old as me (old and feeling bloody old after a good old drink up) but I honestly expected something better, while some pieces look good, should there really be an excuse for mould lines and flash on a new kit ?
JAN 05, 2011 - 07:07 AM

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