In Model Art No. 828, September 2011, the ever-popular Takao class of WW2 Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) heavy cruisers in 1/700 scale is featured. Pages 12-45 are filled with a comprehensive review comparing commercial kits and aftermarket sets, along with very detailed build information on super-accurizing each ship in the class (Atago, Chokai, Maya, Takao). Builds range from straight out of the box to superdetailing with aftermarket photoetch. Pages 50-52 are a history of Chokai. Except for this history, the non-English language is not a problem for understanding the builds and modifications. If you want to build 1/700 ships of this class, this magazine is a must-have.
The first feature (pages 6-11) is Revell’s new 1/350 scale DKM Bismarck. The usual features follow: 1) Waterline No. 397 is the first camouflaged version of the 1/700 Pitroad/Skywave IJN armed merchant cruiser Aikoku Maru; 2) 22 pages of ads and new kit release notices; and 3) reviews of six new kits. New kits are: 1) 1/64 Squid Fishing boat with dockyard setting; 2) Tamiya’s 1/35 T26E4 Super Pershing US tank; 3) Trumpeter’s 1/35 Krupp/Ardelt Waffentrager 105mm leFH-18 self-propelled gun; 4) Revell’s 1/24 Mercedes Benz SLS AMG gullwing; 5) Hasegawa’s 1/48 EA-18G Growler electronic warfare version; and 6) a 9-page section with additional info on markings for Kinetic’s 1/48 Grumman S-2 Tracker. Kit reviews in this section mostly show off a finished model, but sometimes have photos of tricky assembly or modifications needed. The Historic Garage car feature shows off a 1980s Nissan GTS. As usual, the rest of the magazine is chock full of ads, new releases, and Japanese news items.
As always, the format is close to 7x10 inches in size, and the printing and reproduction quality are excellent. Model Art text is entirely in Japanese and most feature photos are in color. This issue is recommended if you want to build any of the IJN Takao class heavy cruisers, and want to keep up on new modeling releases from Japan. This issue is ship-heavy but still has enough other topics to satisfy general interests.
Thanks to DragonModelsUSA for the review copy.