JMSDF Shimokita (LST-4002) 
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

Gallery updated 2013