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General Ship Modeling: Super-detailing
Topics on photo-etch, metal-parts, and all types of additional detailing.
/1350 IJN BB Yamato Operation 'Ten Ichi Go'
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Antwerpen, Belgium
Joined: March 31, 2010
KitMaker: 227 posts
Armorama: 123 posts
Posted: Saturday, March 18, 2017 - 09:54 PM UTC
Hi Everyone. Generally I'm an armor modeller with the odd wingy in between, but I never built a ship before. I was always interested in WWII Battleships though, and Yamato is definitely my alltime favourite. Last year I got me Tamiya's new tool 1/350 Yamato and the Pontosmodel upgrade. I'll be detailing the basekit. And hope to put her in some water and with a crew at the end of the road

Let's talk a bit about Yamato first:

Construction of Yamato began in 1937 and she was launched in August 1940. After trials, Yamato was commisioned December 16th 1941.
In February Yamato became the Flagship of the Combined Fleet in 1942, under command of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto. Later on, the role of Flagship went to Yamato's sister ship Musashi.

Both Yamato and Musashi didn't see much action, firstly because they consumed lots of fuel, and also, the Japanese wanted to keep them for a final confrontation which never came. There was a third ship in the Yamato class, being Shinano, however, when the war started, it was clear that aircraft carriers would be the ships to go for. So Shinano was converted into an aircraft carrier.

All too often you read that Yamato never scored a hit in combat. However, lately it is believed that Yamato fired during the Battle of Samar at several US Navy ships. One of them being the escort carrier USS White Plains. On still from a US film reel near impact can be seen around USS White Plains. According to reseach by Robert Lundgren Yamato scored at least one hit on USS White plains incapacitating it untill the end of the war. More so, these salvos were fired from +/- 15 Miles/24 KM distance and so the impact would have been one of the longest range so far.

Yamato's armament configuration changed over time and I'll post her stats at the time of Operation Ichi Ten-Go:

Full displacement was 72.809 tons
Length: 263 metres
Propulsion: 12 Type-Ro Boilers and 4 steam turbines 150.000 HP
Max speed: 27 knots
Crew: 3.332

triple 46cm (18 inch) caliber 45 gun turrets (largest naval guns ever used)
2 triple 15,5cm gun turrets
12 twin 12,7 cm guns
52 triple 25mm cannon mounts
6 single 25mm cannon mounts
2 twin 13mm machine gun mounts

A number of Yamato's AA mounts were enclosed. This was because ofenormous blasts from the main guns. These enclosed mounts were crew protection. Tests with animals on deck at the beginning of Yamato's lifespan revealed that many died from the blasts and others had severe injuries.
Here's a photo of Yamato's sistership Mushashi firing it's 46cm guns (all photos only for discussion purposes)

I'm interested in Yamato's last Operation being Ichi Ten Go.
Yamato and a battlegroup of 9 ships were to set sail towards Okinawa and help to defend the remaining Japanese troops there. Basically it was a suicide mission. There was just enough fuel to make it to Okinawa. The original plan was that these ships, once arrived at Okinawa would beach themselves and operate as fixed gun platforms. (In reality, most of the captains tried to muster as much fuel as they could hold of, as they didn't plan on beaching their ships, but in stead return after the battle)
Vice Admiral Ito was opposed to this berserk plan, but as an Officer in the end, he did his duty.

On April 6th 1945, Yamato, Cruiser Yahagi and 8 destroyers set sail for Okinawa. Vice-Admiral Ito was on board Yamato. Soon this battlegroup was discovered by US submarines, but these were too slow to keep up with the battlegroup.

The next day, Yamato was discovered again by spotting planes. Around 12.30 the first wave of enemy aircraft arrived. Although Yamato's 46cm main guns fired some of its 'bee hive' ammunition (Anti Air) it did do little harm to the incoming aircraft. Yamato was hit by several bombs and torpedos.
The Americans had learned from attacking and sinking Mushashi in 1944 and dropped most torpedoes just on one side. This way the crew of the ship had a much more difficult task of counterflooding to keep the ship level.

In the end 3 waves would pound Yamato, dealing massive damage to it's structure, AA crews and hull. 22 torpedo hits and many bombs later, Yamato was slowly moving in circles.

The list at that point was so severe that loose items started to move and drop off the ship.

At 2.23pm Yamato started to capsize to port. The ship rolled 120 degrees over. One of the weak points of the massive shells of Yamato is that they were very fragile. Went the ship capsized the 46 cm shells hit the sidewalls and detonated...with a huge explosion sinking Yamato. Some of the US planes closeby went down because of the explosion.

And that was the end of Yamato, taking 3.000 crewmembers down to the bottom of the Ocean. The largest battleship ever which was already obsolete when it was launched, in a world where airplanes would rule the seas in stead of battleships.

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Antwerpen, Belgium
Joined: March 31, 2010
KitMaker: 227 posts
Armorama: 123 posts
Posted: Saturday, March 18, 2017 - 09:55 PM UTC
Basically the hull consists of of a bow section and the larger midship and stern one. These two were glued together. Tamiya has some clever engineering, and this kit is no other. It works with screws. So on top of the lower hull I screwed the necessary parts, all for extra sturdiness. (When you build a waterline model, the screwed on piece is the actual bottom.)

Between the two hull parts is a gap, so I filled it with Magic Sculp and it could dry overnight.
Since I was up way too early, I managed to sand the gap down. Not sure why I'm doing all of this, because my intention is to put her in water during her final voyage.

Yamato had two rudders: the main one (which was a counterbalanced one) and an auxiliary one. Propulsion consisted out of 4 props. Tamiya provides metal shafts. All those pieces were assembled and glued in place. The rudders use polycaps by the way, so you can still move them.

After the assembly of the lower hull, I decided to spray it in it's basecolor before continueing. First I applied Mr. Surfacer 1500 Black, followed by Tamiya Hull Red. This color is much more dull than the bright red used on Yamato, unlike other Japanese battleships. But since pretty much nothing of it will be seen you could ask the question why I even bothered painting it...well, because I'm nuts no doubt

Next up was adding the upper parts of the hull. But before that I needed to remove some detail, like the moulded on degaussing cable.

I must admit, before I was into a ship build I never heard of a degaussing cable.
This was something typical for WWII war ships. The Germans used magnetic mines and they wreaked havoc amongst the British fleet. So the British came up with something to diminish the magnetic field of the ship. So the magnetic mines wouldn't be drawn as easily towards it. 'Gauss' is the unit of the strength of the magnetic field used by the Germans.
The degaussing cable of Yamato ran along the upper surface of the hull, changing the magnetic field. Well, that's more than enough about it.
So I cut the moulded cable
I glued the bow part on the lower hull and tried to add the etch cable. It took me some time to get it right, but I think it looks ok so far.

oh, and note those nasty bits of dust settling down on the lower hull...quite annoying!

The kit is great, but not perfect, with all the upperhull panels in place, there are areas where some filling is required. Not a big fan of that, especially sanding, because it's easy to mess things up.

One of the cool feats is the incredible level of detail. For instance, Tamiya even moulded the bearings for the main gun turrets...nice!

For the aft aircraft/lifeboat deck and hangar, Pontos have provided an etch replacement which fits perfectly on top of the original.
I also glued the turned brass bollards in place and the rails for the lifeboats and aircraft.

The latter posed me with a problem at first: each rail consists out of two mirrored parts which should be glued together to get a more 3D effect. Quite scary. It's very thin and fragile and I needed to work out how to glue it together without messing it up with CA glue or even glueing it to the working surface.
Well, Ca glue wasn't the way to go. But Gators Grip glue was! It looks like PVA glue and is also water soluable. It gives you some time to work and adjust things before it dries solid.
I brushed Gators Grip on one part and added the other on top. Glue spills were removed with a slightly dampened brush (water). The glue also dries clear, which is a big plus.

At the stern I needed to fill a gap as well.
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Antwerpen, Belgium
Joined: March 31, 2010
KitMaker: 227 posts
Armorama: 123 posts
Posted: Saturday, March 18, 2017 - 09:56 PM UTC
I finished adding the details on the bow part of the deck. I added the bollards, some parts were removed like the capstan base and the anchor chain brake mechanism and replaced by etch counterparts.

As you can see there are four cylindres around the capstan. Pontos gave you the option to add them or not. I thought it looked cool so I added them. However, in hindsight and after checking references, I'm not too sure if they were there on Yamato. Anywhoo, they are glued firmly in place so they will remain there

The achor chain brake wheels in place. Quite tiny, I had to remove the moulded on simplified part and drill a hole for the cylindre. After that I glued the wheel on top. Not too hard to my surprise.

Something which Tamiya didn't imply on the kit was the paravane fairlead. Quite a complicated part but I managed to assemble it without too much trouble. I added a 1 Eurocent piece to make a comparison.

The silver pieces you see on next photo are the Tamiya etch ones. Now that's the one thing I don't like in this kit: the Tamiya etch is very sturdy and hard. This can be an advantage, but it's very hard to remove them from the sprues and clean up.

On the hull sides I glued on the correct number of pipes. Not 100% sure but I guess these are the exit holes for like toilets and drains and such? I added some more of the degaussing cable as well, all glued with Gator Grip. Any excess glue cleans up easily.

And last but not least. I glued the propellers in place. They are some cool machined parts and save me the effort of painting (why do I glue them in place anyway ey LOL)

Also I managed to more or less finish one of the main gun turrets (some small bits need to be added here and there, and I need to scrape off some glue spills in some areas). I'm still waiting for replament barrels so I dry fitted just one (the only one correctly drilled out . I also added the Pontos AA gun platforms on the roof, as well as the railings and other tiny stuff.

Today I assembled one of the open Type 96 triple AA guns. It consists out of 17 parts 8oS and took me nearly two hours to assemble just one. Yamato had more than thirty on board face 21. To show the shear size of the thing I layed a toothpick and a 1/35 Tiger I road wheel(what else ) next to it for comparison.

I completed the degaussing cable assembly. Most of it was glued in place again with Gators's Grip Glue. Except for the parts at the aft section of the hull. Lots of corners and all and it was a bit harder to get it stuck there. So superglue to the resque. I found something new recently, called the 'Glue Looper'. It uses cappilary action to add very thing ca glue in narrow nooks 'n crannies. Basically I loaded the Glue Looper with ca glue and held it to the edge of the degaussing cable.

Other than that, as you can see in the photo above, I glued the gun platforms for the shielded AA guns at the edge of the hull in place.

On both sides a swinging boom was assembled and glued in place.

Each side of the hull has some ventilation gaps. According to the model of Yamato museum at Kure, Japan, the port side has only 5 (starboard has 6). The Tamiya Yamato has 6 on each side, so I had to fill one on the port side. After that I glued the ventilators in place (consist out of 2 parts each)

The aft deck was finished as well (added some smaller bits and a ladder). As you can see I also made a start on the aft flight deck.

And that's how the hull stands at the moment:

I managed to finish the two stern Kure Type No.2 Model 5 catapults. Each one consists out of a staggering 60-70 pieces :O

The crane was finished as well. Also a lot of parts but it was assembled fairly quick (couple of hours)

Last couple of days I worked on the flight deck. I removed the moulded on details and glued on the etch parts. Also, I scratched a bottom piece and supports for the protruding armoured AA gun support,since the Tamiya part was open on the underside.
Just need to add a splash to the underside and then the flight deck can be glued in place.

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Antwerpen, Belgium
Joined: March 31, 2010
KitMaker: 227 posts
Armorama: 123 posts
Posted: Saturday, March 18, 2017 - 09:58 PM UTC
During the Holiday vacation I didn't do anything with regards to Yamato, my two eldest weren't at school and no way in hell that I'm working with very tiny etch when those two critters are running around in the house

Last week I managed to install the support beams for the flight deck though.
For some strange reason the set up of the Tamiya New Tool Yamato is incorrect
This photo (for discussion purposes only) shows the Tamiya set up: 9 larger beams and 5 smaller ones.

However, the large Yamato model at the Yamato museum at Kure, Japan, shows a different set up:

7 large beams and 4 small ones
The Pontos upgrade set follows the Tamiya example so I had to only use some of the Pontos set beams and locate them in different location. This meant that some filing was necessary.

Before I glued the flight deck in place and attached the supports I sprayed the aft deck with Mr. Surfacer 1500, followed by a preshade and Tamiya Kure Grey

I also managed to finish the flight deck, quite nerve wrecking at times, but glad it's finished now

Next up is finishing the main gun turrets. Almost ready for some paint now ^^

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Quebec, Canada
Joined: September 14, 2005
KitMaker: 2,485 posts
Armorama: 743 posts
Posted: Saturday, March 18, 2017 - 10:31 PM UTC
Very nice build you have going there....and all that photo etch...WOW!

She is looking good!

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Massachusetts, United States
Joined: January 03, 2010
KitMaker: 2,159 posts
Armorama: 707 posts
Posted: Sunday, March 19, 2017 - 06:39 AM UTC
WOUTS!! How's it going brotha'? Hreat seeing this show up here! You are doing an exceptional job my friend! Looking forward to seeing those turrets show up soon!
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Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Joined: April 30, 2016
KitMaker: 39 posts
Armorama: 0 posts
Posted: Sunday, March 19, 2017 - 08:54 PM UTC
Great work so far!

As made a review for the NEXT Yamato from Fujimi, I read somewhere all Linoleum was removed in late 44.
Perhaps you can check your reference regarding the linoleum on the flight deck.

Greetings Christian
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Antwerpen, Belgium
Joined: March 31, 2010
KitMaker: 227 posts
Armorama: 123 posts
Posted: Sunday, March 19, 2017 - 09:11 PM UTC
Hi Joe thanks, glad you like it ^^

Hi T! Glad to see you here too . Things are rather busy, but luckily I have some time for Yamato, though not too often LOL

Hi Christian, thanks for the reply mate. Didn't know that about the linoleum. However, thanks to your post I did some research and indeed, there was a directive that linoleum was to be removed (especially on the decks of the heavy cruisers). I can't find anything on the removal of those strips at Yamato's flight deck though. The Kure model still has them as well and it's supposed to be an accurate depiction. So I'll stick with it

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Armed Forces Europe, United States
Joined: December 27, 2015
KitMaker: 290 posts
Armorama: 249 posts
Posted: Monday, March 20, 2017 - 01:51 AM UTC
Wow, all I can say is WOW! Just following this build is giving me nightmares, with the details you are putting in. Keep up the good job, I will be following this build.
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Victoria, Australia
Joined: June 27, 2010
KitMaker: 3,959 posts
Armorama: 1 posts
Posted: Monday, March 20, 2017 - 02:21 AM UTC
Hi Wouter!

Always been fascinated by Tamiya's new tooling of Yamato and your work with the kit so far is outstanding!

Following with interest!
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Virginia, United States
Joined: May 18, 2008
KitMaker: 496 posts
Armorama: 0 posts
Posted: Wednesday, March 22, 2017 - 08:37 PM UTC
That's some super-tiny parts for that anti-aircraft gun! When you said you used a 1/35th Tiger I for comparison, I thought you meant the entire tank, not just a road wheel!

Thanks, too, for the historical lesson on this ship's demise...from the picture (in color, no less!), it looks like Yamato "blowed up good!"
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Antwerpen, Belgium
Joined: March 31, 2010
KitMaker: 227 posts
Armorama: 123 posts
Posted: Sunday, March 26, 2017 - 09:45 PM UTC
Ronnie, thanks a lot mate, hope you didn't have too many nightmares

Hi Russell, yeah it's a great kit, though it has it's flaws. Glad you like it, thanks.

Hi Timothy, thanks for pointing out the typ-o, it needed to say Tiger I roadwheel in stead of Tiger I indeed

Quite the explosion as you say, from what I read somewhere the cloud was about 6km high and visible from 2km so must have been quite the shock :O

Well, got an update for y'all. I finished construction the Nr. 1/2 and 3 main turrets and the forward Nr.1 secondary turret. The two forward main gun turrets are depicted as they just fired 'San Shiki' or Beehive shells at incoming aircraft. The guns in the lower position dropped to this position after firing for reloading purposes.

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Antwerpen, Belgium
Joined: March 31, 2010
KitMaker: 227 posts
Armorama: 123 posts
Posted: Saturday, April 01, 2017 - 02:17 AM UTC
Some more progress, I finished the aft secondary battery.

I also finished the stern gun platform

The main guns AA platforms received some extra armor using sandbags

And I made a start with one out of many armored triple AA guns

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England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: March 01, 2010
KitMaker: 7,078 posts
Armorama: 248 posts
Posted: Saturday, April 01, 2017 - 02:04 PM UTC
Hi Wouter,

Enjoying following your build, The Pontos upgrade looks up to their usual standard.

Keep up the great work


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Queensland, Australia
Joined: April 23, 2015
KitMaker: 4,648 posts
Armorama: 2,248 posts
Posted: Sunday, April 02, 2017 - 03:20 PM UTC
Wow! Big ship with lots of detail. I'm impressed you are going to put some crew on deck. Lots of crew manning those guns would look awesome!

Staff MemberAssociate Editor
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California, United States
Joined: May 03, 2006
KitMaker: 2,500 posts
Armorama: 297 posts
Posted: Sunday, April 02, 2017 - 08:32 PM UTC
Hi Wouter,

When this new Yamato came out I thought, "Ho hum... another 1/350 Yamato", especially since Tamiya's 1970s version wasn't bad at all. Well, seeing your in progress pictures, I can see that this new version blows the old kit out of the water!

Plus, your work on the kit so far is clearly making the most of it. I'll be following your build with interest!

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Auckland, New Zealand
Joined: September 03, 2013
KitMaker: 1,808 posts
Armorama: 36 posts
Posted: Monday, April 03, 2017 - 03:34 PM UTC
Hi Wouter,
That is amazing amount of brass already and you haven't even started the superstructure. I am keen to see how this builds out.
I am interested as to the scale of the Yamato model in the museum in Kure. It looks very detailed.