Tamiya 1/700  Cruiser Kumano








Len Roberto




 Because my knowledge of IJN subjects is limited, I will refer to the listing on the excellent Warships of the World website (see reference section):

Mogami Class Light/Heavy Cruisers:

Originally designed as light cruisers. These ships from the outset had been designed to be converted to heavy cruisers if necessary with 8 inch guns replacing the original 6.1 inch. This was done to all the ships in the class in late 1939.

Builder- Kawasaki, Kobe

Laid Down- Apr.5/34

Launched- Oct.15/36

Commissioned- Oct.31/37

Modernized 1939-40

Damaged by torpedoes from US destroyer Johnston and aircraft bombs off Samar

Repaired by Nov.3/44

damaged by submarine torpedoes Nov.4/44

capsized Nov.25/44 Cruz Harbor,Luzon



I believe it was the early 1970's when the Japanese model manufacturers collectively decided to produce basically every IJN vessel in the affordable and manageable scale of 1/700. They succeeded! Tamiya and Hasegawa still produce a huge armada of Japanese vessels not many have heard of! I picked this kit up at a tag sale still sealed in its inner bags. The design of the ship is attractive with a rakish upswept bow to catch your eye.

This kit follows the typical Japanese kit maker's format with the hull and main deck level molded crisply in one piece. The waterline boot is one piece forming the flat bottom of the kit. The kit is molded in a deep greenish grey plastic and is very hard perhaps owing to its age. Superstructure and main armament is well done. Overall, I can see the evolution of Tamiya: this kit while a few years old, seems to be attentive to detail and well presented. In this small scale, a lot of detail is sometimes lost but this kit seems to have a fair amount of details present on all parts.


Anyone wishing to start or expand a collection of ships would be wise to focus on this scale. For IJN modelers- the choice is clear! There are a huge number of subjects and the size of the kits and boxes means you can store and display a large number of them in a small space.

Tamiya's wide range of waterline series kits are well done and date back to the 1970's. For intriguing subjects and reasonable cost, these are hard to beat.


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