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IJN Battleship Yamato

a 1/200 scale IJN Yamato by Nichimo
(much as I hope mine will appear when I am finished!)

By now you've likely noticed the IJN Yamato pics everywhere on this site ;) The ship has interested me for a great long time due primarily to it's unique place in history. The Yamato class battleships were a class of ship singular in scale and power, the epitome of the battleship design. Yet these awesome ships came into being just before the self same nation which made them made all battleships obsolete by introducing the age of naval airpower through the devastating carrier attacks on Pearl Harbor. My studies have shown that the crew of the Yamato and sistership Musashi were fully aware that they were manning warships whose power had been eclipsed by that of naval airpower - but with the world at war all around them they were powerless to do anything about it.

I have long wanted to craft a large scale model of the IJN Yamato to display in my home because the ship brings to mind so many stories and issues ranging from the technical challenges of their construction across a variety of topics including theories of strategic defense planning, naval warfare evolution in the second World War and finally the personal stories of the people directly involved with the ships and with fighting them.

I'm presently completing a trio of models of the Yamato to hone my modeling skills and familiarity with the ship so that my final large scale model will be accurate and (hopefully) detailed with some degree of finesse :) Aside from offering opportunities for modeling practice, these models will indeed be my primary references for my large scratch built model :) The first in my trio of reference models is the 1/350 scale IJN Yamato by Tamiya. It is nearly complete now, I'm presently outfitting it with a photo etched detail kit from Gold Medal Models (I'll post photos when the ship is complete). Thereafter I have a 1/250 Arii model of the Yamato which is large enough to have a new level of detail over the 1/350 kit, and it too will have an extra level of detail added by another GMM photo etched set. The third and final reference model is the famous Nichimo 1/200 Yamato (although I'm purchasing the more recently produced "Upgrade" version which comes with some RC fittings and some trick items including rotating turret assemblies and working searchlights. To see an online guide to the construction of a kit like this go visit this excellent site and look over
Bill Waldorf's 1/200 Yamato Construction Diary

Another inspirational model is Chris' 1/144 scale RC Combat Musashi (sister ship of the Yamato), visit his website to see many detailed photos of his great RC model! And also Brian Finster's IJN Yamato despite his many warnings about how challenging the model is to make it too is inspiring!

The epitome of the truly scale IJN Yamato model though belongs Takaatsu Fukuoka.
His 1/200 scale display only model is breathtaking in accuracy and realism.

Clearly I've got a bit of work ahead of me, but this hobby is more comparable to a journey ever towards the horizon rather than a journey to a specific destination - the fun is in the process. As things stand now (September 2003) I'm adding brass photo etched detail set to my 1/350 Yamato and then I'll begin my 1/250 Arii model (of the Yamato). I'll post photos now and then as my projects progress :)  With a luttle luck I should be receiving the Nichimo 1/200 scale "upgrade" kit sometime in October, considering that I've wanted to build this model for over a decade now it's fair to say that I'm really looking forward to October :)

Until next time then ~ Edward
September 6, '03

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