Since April of 2013 when Kodakawa games released their free browser game Kantai Collection (aka Kancolle), featuring cute anime girls each of which represent ships from the Second World War IJN, there has been an increased interest in ship modeling in Japan. Tamiya, Hasegawa and Aoshima, have long worked in harmony releasing a sizable number of 1/700 warships represented by the waterline series of kits. These three companies as well as Fujimi are capitalizing on the popularity of the game and anime series by re-releasing many of these kits, as well as creating new kits, with extra decals of the girls as well as game specific box art.
Admittedly, because of the game as well as the anime series, I too have become a bit more interested in ship modeling. When I saw the Model Art issue covering up for grabs I knew that I wanted to give it a good look. Based on other Model Art magazine reviews and the few that I already own it I knew I would not be disappointed.
Let me say, I was not disappointed.
This magazine is simply packed full of detailed photos stepping through the various processes for detailing your 700th scale ship. No big surprise there. Additionally the magazine features many historic photos of specific ships utilized in the kit modifications as well as photos of aftermarket products available for use in detailing your ship models. Each article carefully steps through the process performing upgrades to models through the excellent photography and text. Yes, the text is in Japanese but I think that in nearly every instance, the photos tell the story well enough that you will not need to read the captions. For those who really want to read the text to glean a bit more from the magazine I would suggest grabbing one of several free apps for your smart phone. The few that I have utilized don't do the best job with grammar, but you should still be able to grasp the concept.
This Model Art special issue demonstrates many techniques for improving 1/700 ship models utilizing both aftermarket plastic and photoetch parts as well as scratch building techniques. Many of these detail improvements are not ship specific, but can be utilized across many kits of the IJN craft as well as others. Five ships are singled out for specific improvements and they are as follows:
I found this issue very helpful for someone like me who is interested in building 700th scale ships and wants to utilize a few advanced modeling techniques. I want to give the great folks from Model Art Magazine a great big "arigato gozaimasu" as well as a special thanks to the hard working folks from the IPMS/USA reviewer corps.