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In-Box Review
1350
IJN Suzutsuki
Monochrome Super Fine Ship Models, 1/350 Scale IJN Suzutsuki

by: Dariush [ DR_WHO2 ]


Originally published on:
Model Shipwrights

  • Box31

"This "Inbox Review" is of Monochrome Super Fine Ship Models, 1/350 Scale IJN Suzutsuki model kit."

Intro, and a bit of history...

The IJN Suzutsuki was a Akizuki class destroyer. The Akizuki class destroyers are accounted for being one of the finest ships the Imperial Jpanasese fielded during WW II.

They mounted a superb 3.9" dual-purpose gun in four twin mounts and they were among the first japanese vessels to be equipped with radar. The main purpose was AA escort duties hence the single mount of four tubes, plus reloads in the torpedo section.

The Suzutsuki was completed 20th December 1942 in Nagasaki. She fulfilled various escort missions. From 7th to 12th December the Suzutsuki escorted ZUIKAKU and CHIKUMA from Truk to Kure. The IJN Suzutsuki is hardly to be called a lucky ship.

On 15th/16th January 1944 she got badly damaged by a torpedo attack of USS Sturgeon (SS-187). Her bow and stern got blown away with 135 dead including Commander Seo and additional 89 soldiers. The ship was towed to Kure by IJN Hatsuzuki on 18th Januar and the rapairs lasted until 12th Oktober 1944. After leaving the Kure dockyard for her next escort mission (convoy from Oita to Formosa) the IJN Suzutsuki was torpedoed by USS Besugo (SS-321) and lost a portion of her bow again.

The repair of the medium damage lasted until 11th November 1944. After a few training and escort missions the IJN Suzutsuki was assigned to IJN Yamato on 6th/7th April 1945. This was the "Ten-Ichi-Go" mission, the last cruise to defend Okinawa. The IJN Suzutsuki did not share the fate of the Battleship Yamato but was heavily damged by TF 58. Direct bomb hit forward and near-miss aft. The forward gun turrets was knocked out, the bow flooded, 57 dead and 34 injured. The ship returned stern first to Sasebo and was utilized as a floating AA battery.The ship was broken up sometime after the 20th November 1945.

...and now, the kit


The Box
The IJN Suzutsuki comes in a sturdy box showing her in the Pacific Ocean alongside what appears to be another destroyer. The parts do have some little room to swim inside the packaging but there are not more than two sprues packed within one plastic bag. The PE parts are taken care of by including a sturdy cardboard as "backbone" preventing any damage.

... and what is inside ...

The Model
This kit depicts the Suzutsuki in her 1944 configuration - so reading up her history already indicates this kit does really go well along with the 1/350 scale Tamiya Battelship Yamato kit or even the upcoming Fujimi Zuikaku kit.

The hull comes in one piece and the over all shape looks to be right spot on. The
demagnetization cable is molded on very well as is true for the tiny eyebrows over the portholes. However, there is no plating of the hull visible. For this, the armor belt is missing as well.


The Stand:
The kit comes with a reddish drydock scene in full length of the hull which gives the hull some support.


The Deck:
The deck comes in two seperate parts which have few items molded on. Mainly these are are the bollards and secondly the brass lines of the linoleum.


The Sprues:
Having noticed the sad facts about the hull I was very surprised to notice the fine details provided with the sprues. Regarding them I strongly recommend looking up the parts list provided.
Even though there are only nine sprues it would take me a lot of pictures from each and every part to show how detailed and crisp the superstructure, funnel doors and hatches, turrets etc. have been performed. Disregarding the hull problem the kit shows that someone spent a lot of effort and skill into representing as much detail as possible. Note the doors even have hinges.

All the parts show sharp edges and details. Just check any of the close ups to visualize. As a prominent example I added an example of the torpedo housing. The rivets, door etc. - it is all there.


The PE parts:
This kit comes with a small PE fret giving the modeler the option to build the radar antennas, to add some ladders as well as closing the portholes on the ships hull. What is missing are the railings. However, it is not hard to find after market japnese 1/350 PE railings these days.


Decals:
The decals are basic by giving the ships name, the white band for the funnel and some flags.


Plan:
A full color plan view is included which shows the colors of the ship with the matching Gunze Sangyo numbers.


The instructions:
The instructions guide the model builder within 16 steps to the finished model. The illustrations are easy to understand and involve the PE parts when needed. Upon closer inspection there is some confusion regarding the PE parts.

However - I never have seen that happen anywhere before - the manufacturer published a revised version of the instructions correcting the errors.

You may find the revised instructions here:

There are no rigging diagrams to be found anywhere in the instructions so you'll have to use your references and the box top. Also, the placement of the decals is not indicated.


conclusion ...

I love this kit for several reasons but formost because it has to stand up against Hasegawa´s, Fujimi´s and Aoshima´s latest 1/350 developments by convincing the modeler not by the ships name but the quality of the product. And quality there is. The superstructure parts are really convincing. The included PE parts help out perfectly where the plastic parts can only lose.

Yes, there are details within this kit that are not truely up to scale. However, the details are at least there and it will be up to the modeler to emphesize them as he feels appropriate. The second reason I love this kit is the fact it gives everyone -from beginner to pro model builder - a nice opprtunity to build a respectable 1/350 scale model. Out of the box one can achieve a really stunning result without fighting through 800 parts.

The third reason I love this kit lies in its history. Having been escort for Zuikaku and Yamato this kit is a nice addition to emphesize the sheer size of those other vessels.

One can achieve relatively easy a more than just representative model by adding some 1/350 sailors and some railings along with a fix for the missing hull plating.

On the downside the hull is missing the plating which costs vital points regarding the over all rating.
The hull - and I am sure serious manufacturer and model builder would sign that - is the most prominent piece of a ship model. In fact, it is THE determining factorfor the first impression.

If I was to recommend a kit for someone with interest in a 1/350 scale model my first choice would be right this one, because it gives a nice start also in handling PE parts and at the same time enough details to evaluate different painting techniques.

I used GAKKEN 1/100 AKIZUKI pictures as reference for this kit review.
The information about the detailed history of the Akizuki can be found at combinedfleet.com

SUMMARY
Highs: Sharp molding around surface textures. Detailed representation of the superstructures. Basic PE fret included
Lows: Missing hull plating; Missing PE railing.
Verdict: An outstanding kit that benefits from its PE addition. The missing hull plating lowers the rating and stands pretty much in contrast to the overall very well performed kit.The missing PE railing would have greatly added to the over all impression.
Percentage Rating
70%
  Scale: 1:350
  Mfg. ID: MCT-103
  Suggested Retail: $53.75 USD
  Related Link: Official Company Website
  PUBLISHED: Jan 21, 2009
  NATIONALITY: Japan / 日本
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 77.87%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 80.00%

About Dariush (Dr_Who2)
FROM: NORDRHEIN-WESTFALEN, GERMANY

... being father of two lovely children brought me back what was a hobby of mine in my own childhood. I guess everyone with at least one child in the household can figure what I am talking about. Despite what I have built in my younger years (most of them blew up or sank in a pond) I learned to lov...

Copyright ©2019 text by Dariush [ DR_WHO2 ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

An excellent addition to the hobby, though I wish manufacturers would spread the coverage around to other classes instead of pouring their talents into the same type. --Karl
JAN 23, 2009 - 05:43 AM
Not what I consider "very notable" weld lines. A monitor resolution 2000x1500 on 19" gives you about 1/350 scale on the screen. LINK
JAN 23, 2009 - 06:06 AM
I didn't say "very notable", I said "very noticeable". There is a difference in this as "notable" would mean something that really jumps out and takes over your view. I said "noticeable", which means you can simply see the lines-- you notice them. But at any rate, you can't really compare a monitor image in 72dpi taken in black and white with atmosphere to what works well in a "scale effect" format. Just so everyone knows what we're talking about... I can clearly see the lines of the ship in this shot. Thus, "noticeable". In other words, the hull may be fairly smooth, but welds CAN be seen. In that case, this aspect should also be seen on the model-- also bearing in mind scale effect, which will always be a little more pronounced...
JAN 23, 2009 - 10:17 AM
Hi all I agree with Dade, the weld lines are noticeable, but I believe that they can be more accurately reproduced with a bit of Mr. Surfacer or Primer applied between two tape masks, than it would be possible to represent in injected plastic. Never the less, considering that it's about 3/2 the size of the Yukikaze and its CHEAPER , I can't wait until it arrives at my door step, from HLJ. Cheers Joăo
JAN 23, 2009 - 11:06 AM
Imho, weld lines like that are better left to the paint job then to the plastic beneath. You can always tape levels and paint one by one. It can give you very much that effect. Much better than a one tenth of a millimeter (and that's tiny) plastic contour, which translates into 35mm real thing, which is more than the hull plating thickness. Sorry for misunderstanding "noticeable". Anyway, I'm curious: How much do the missing weld lines contribute to the missing 30% in the rating? To me, it seems to have been the major point, and I don't care. Am I to expect a 90% model then?
JAN 23, 2009 - 11:11 AM
That's what I was trying to say with the Mr. Surfacer or Primer suggestion. And since the degaussing cable and portholes are already moulded and (IMO) don't have to be replaced by PE, one can safely work with masking tape without fear of ruining anything. As far as the 20-30% off the rating, there were many things not reviewed (mains turrets, 25mm guns, searchlights, ranger-finders and so on), but it appears that the model is very good and can be made better with after market stuff like railings, AA guns and searchlights (if necessary) - there are many offerings out there right now (WEM, Toms, Veteran Models, Lion Roar, just to name 4...) Joăo
JAN 23, 2009 - 11:23 AM
Great review ,thanks! I do agree… if I was scanning the number and read “70%”, I may move on… but the first line of the “Verdict” is: “an outstanding kit”. Good to know it’s the Trumpeter kit, allows for price comparison. And the price is very competitive, especially at this scale.. thanks for sharing!
JAN 27, 2009 - 11:35 AM
Regarding the point of if injection molding is capable of accomplishing the lines, you may be surprised at just what injection molding can accomplish-- here are FineMolds' 1/700 25mm single guns held up to a ruler (I'll have a review of these soon)... For the amount of detail that is in there in 1/700, putting some lines on a 1/350 ship would be no problem. Pit-Road's 1/350 JMSDF Kongo has lines that are almost as fine as hair. I tried the Mr. Surface weld lines trick (remember these are welds and not plates, so very thin)-- and masking out lines to be within .1 mm of each other (at best) and then putting on Mr. Surfacer is an exercise in torture that I will never attempt again in my life. If you want to try it or have accomplished it, that's wonderful, but for me and many others, we can deal with something being over scale for the sake of scale effect. Pretty much everything we do in building something smaller than 1/10 scale is likely going to be over scale... Even the best builders in the world are always going to produce something over scale. Even your paint job will be over scale, because, really, how many people sit down and buff out their ship models to a mirror finish to remove the over scale "orange peel"? Dull coat, by its very nature will produce an over scale finish due to the small pits in the finish that diffuse the light to make it dull. Scale up those pits by 350 and your ship is going to have a finish like cement. And so, we have scale effect. Things become more over scale so that the viewer sees aspects of the ship that are noticeable. IJN ships always had noticeable lines. These are not fiber glass speed boats, and thus are not slippery smooth. To make a good visual representation of those lines in 1/350 they have to be over scale- it's a fine balance, but one that is achievable. But if you are going to model the lines to scale, they're going to have to be about .07mm wide, and about .02mm thick, which is a.) beyond the skill of me in my wildest dreams, and b.) going to be invisible. Besides that, what's wrong with molding those lines on the ship for people like many of us who don't have these almost unrealistic skill levels? If you don't like them, sand them off and try to do them better. It's always easier to remove them than it is to add them.
JAN 28, 2009 - 09:34 AM
That's the reason I don't use dull paint. That certainly is debatable. I probably wouldn't have bothered with the painted weld lines, I'm not much of a perfectionist. I simply don't mind the absence of weld lines on that hull. On Nagato, I would. I might give it a try if/when I get this kit now, just to see how it works.
JAN 28, 2009 - 06:03 PM
   

What's Your Opinion?


Photos
Click image to enlarge
  • box_-_inside
  • Deck_parts
    Deck Parts
  • hull_and_drydock
    Hull & Drydock
  • Hull_-_detail_1
    Hull Detail 1
  • hull_-_eyebrow
    Hull Detail
  • sprue_B_-_C
    Sprue B & C
  • Sprue_B_detail_1
    Sprue B Detail 1
  • Sprue_C_-_Detail
    Sprue C Detail
  • Sprue_C_-_detail_1
    Sprue C Detail 1
  • Sprue_c_-_detail_2
    Sprue C-Detail 2
  • Torpedolauncher_1
    Torpedo launcher 1
  • Torpedolauncher_2
    Torpedo Launcher 2
  • PE_and_Decal
    PE and Decal
  • parts_list
    Parts List
  • Inst01
    Instructions, pg 1
  • Inst02
    Instructions, pg 2
  • Inst03
    Instructions, pg 3
  • Inst04
    Instructions, Pg 4
  • Color_Profile
    Color Profile