Review Author(s)
Published on
January 3, 2012
Other Publication Information
146 pages (including covers), profiles, historical info, model builds
Product / Stock #
Special No. 42 Winter 2011
Provided by

On the 70th anniversary of the Hawaiian Operation (as the Imperial Japanese Navy called it), Model Art Winter quarterly is all about Kido Butai, the Japanese fleet that attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Most of this issue is devoted to building detailed 1/700 models of the major Japanese warships (light cruisers and larger) and the submarines that attacked Pearl Harbor. Thus, this issue is strictly for IJN buffs.

Model Art quarterly issues are a larger format than their monthly issues. As usual, almost the entire text is in Japanese, but the pictures tell a thousand words. Page 1 has the usual four postcards of IJN warship paintings by Yukio Mizuno. Pages 3-7 are the Table of Contents and ads. Pages 8-15 are a new kit review of Hasegawa’s 1/350 Hikawa Maru liner.

Pages 16-77 are filled with six-page features on building each of the major warships of Kido Butai – the six carriers (Akagi, Kaga, Hiryu, Soryu, Shokaku, Zuikaku), two battleships (Hiei & Kirishima), two heavy cruisers (Chikuma & Tone), and the light cruiser Abukuma. A recent kit of each ship shows modifications for accuracy and details with photoetch sets. Most features are in color, but a few are in black & white. Each ship also has line drawings as they appeared in December 1941. Unfortunately, most of the line drawings are across the pages so cannot be flattened out.

Pages 78-91 hold the histories of each ship of Kido Butai and the operational history of the attack, in Japanese of course. The most interesting part of this section is disposition of the fleet at various times during the operation. The location of each ship in Kido Butai (including seven tankers, nine destroyers and three submarines) is detailed.

Pages 92-97 show available kits of all ships in 1/350, 1/500, 1/700 scales, followed by the usual foldout of the cover art (pages 99-102). On the reverse side is a map of the Pacific with silhouettes of IJN and USN ships and their actual locations on December 7th. USN carrier task force locations are shown. Page 103 has a list of USN warship names on the maps.

Pages 104-115 feature histories and model builds of the submarines and midget subs that attacked and scouted Pearl Harbor. Model builds feature a 1/350 I-16 and a 1/72 Type A midget submarine.

The next section has a look back at old Revell USN PT boats 109 & 167 classic kits. Another Japanese text article with black & white pictures of the 2600 year naval fleet review (1916) follows. Another short feature is on IJN 5500 ton light cruiser model kits with line drawings. Finally, pages 134-146 contain ads from Japanese hobby shops and model shows.

The issue is specifically for Japanese Navy buffs and provides good modeling resources to accurize the IJN ships that attacked Pearl Harbor. The production quality of the magazine is excellent and most pictures are in color. If you wanted to see what Kido Butai looked like, this is the book for you.

Thanks to DragonModelsUSA for the review copy and IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review it.


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