Hello IPMS members. Today I have the all-new tooling IJN heavy cruiser Tone as she appeared during the Battle of Leyte Gulf 1944. Fujimi has been burning the midnight oil and has released several newly tooled and retooled 1/700 scale WW2 Japanese ships for 2011
After doing a little online research I discovered that there were two Japanese cruisers bearing the name Tone. The first (1907) a “protected cruiser” participated in the World War 1 Siege of Tsingtao, a German controlled port in China. The vessel was stricken in 1931and sunk as an aircraft target in1933.
Fast-forward 4 years (1937) to our subject: the Japanese cruiser Tone, lead ship of the Tone class of heavy cruisers. She saw lots of action through out the war and was a real player in all the major naval engagements before being sunk in the 1945 bombing of Kure, along with an aircraft carrier, 3 battleships, 4 other cruisers and several smaller warships. Tone was raised and scrapped 1947-1948. Weighing in at 11,215 tons she boasted 8 boilers turning 4-shaft geared turbines cranking out 152,000 shp and had a top speed of 35 Kn. This ship was packing eight 8 inch and eight 5 inch guns plus twelve 25mm AA and twelve 24 inch torpedo tubes. Did I mention the complement of six aircraft?
Unassuming at first glance the long rectangle box feels heavy in hand and sports a glossy top painting. The artwork is first class featuring a full-length, very inspiring, letterbox view of the Tone under way.
Inside we find several sealed sprue bags, instructions, decals and two weight bars wrapped in a blue envelope.
The sprue themselves are crisply molded and delicate. Cast in gray they offer little to no flash with well thought out small injection gates, simplifying removing the parts.
The scout floatplanes are awesome to say the least and in my eyes is the icing on the cake. Cast in clear plastic, with recessed panel lines, they stand alone as models. When comparing details and finesse of this kit with contemporaries you quickly see just what a superior mold Fujimi has.
The instructions are easy to follow and have an English text. The large fold out sheet is printed in B&W on both side with top-notch illustrations and details; plus the standard paint and marking information and parts list is included.
The decals are thin and printed on a small sheet. They really went on nice and needed just a little setting solution. Weights included are two plated flat bars that lay captured in the waterline hull, a very nice touch.
I was caught unaware that a ship model could be such an enjoyable building experience. I encountered little trouble and can offer no problems to be mindful of. The kit is well thought out and state of the art design. You will need a good set of tweezers and sharp knives and a steady hand. I used Tamiya thin set glue and Testors Model Masters enamels.
Fujimi sets a corresponding build and sprue order, Sprue A starts your build and after what seemed to be a few minutes I had worked up to Sprue D. The parts trees do become a little jumbled mid-way through the build and keeping track of each sprue became a little annoying. I kept finding myself misplacing them in the sprue pile.
I recommend this kit to anyone who wants a great out of box build or to the AMS modeler. Fujimi also offers a photo etch set.
All in all I have discovered a new passion and plan to build more ships. In fact this is really the first ship I’ve built other than a few motor torpedo boats and a Polar Lights Sea view submarine.
My hat is off and I say thank you to IPMS/USA and Fujimi and Dragon USA Online for the opportunity to review this kit.