by Donald W. Grasmick
1/700 JMSDF Shimokita (Tamiya)
This is another one of my "off the beaten path" type of ships.
Its the JDS Shimokita (LST-4002). This is a hybrid type of LST that
incorporates not only the traditional large area aft of the ship for helicopter
operations and a stern well deck but also has a full length "flight deck"
forward of the "island" as well. The Japanese are, by their own constitution,
not allowed to have aircraft carriers. Their constitution is quite
specific about this stating that no offensive weaponry, specifically ships
whose sole designation is to carry aircraft, i.e. aircraft carriers is
wholly prohibited. Don't think the US had helicopters in mind when they
wrote Japans post-war constitution. Needless to say its a SENSITIVE
issue in Japan! So in order to skirt the issue the JDS calls these
types of ships LST's. Even the newer Hyuga class "carriers" are designated
DDH, helicopter carrying destroyers. Either way, Shimokita is just an interesting
subject to construct. Like most Tamiya ships, everything was straight
forward and fit easily, even after painting.
Donald W. Grasmick