Hiryu, Imperial Japanese Navy aircraft carrier 
by Dan Kaplan 

1/350 IJN Hiryu (Fujimi)

This is my depiction of the Imperial Japanese Navy aircraft carrier Hiryu in mid-1942, around the time of the Battle of Midway, where she was sunk along with three other fleet carriers. Up to that point, she had been a key component of the Kido Butai (First Air Fleet) in its six-month rampage across the Pacific Ocean.

 This is my first ever 1/350 build, using the Fujimi Hiryu kit. The kit was waterlined and heavily modified, with a mostly scratch-built flight deck, new rain gutters, elevator wells and partial hangars. It was also super-detailed with a host of items detailed further below. It’s a lengthy list, but self-explanatory, I feel.

The build took about three years, on and off, as I alternated its construction with those of other builds. I’d rate the kit as okay; most of the fit was acceptable, excepting the flight deck, which did not mate well with the hull. I attribute that to the lack of an adequate margin on the underside of the flight deck.

I made some very specific choices regarding her markings as well as that of her air group. My research and reasoning for her flight deck markings can be found here, and for her air group, here. . The entire build log can be viewed here.

I greatly appreciate all the encouragement and comments offered by my fellow board members during the build.


Partial list of scratch-built additions, corrections, or improvements. Paint

Hiryu is painted in Kure Grey, IJN Hull Red & IJN linoleum using Tamiya paints. The flight deck color is a custom mix of Tamiya paints, washed with burnt umber oils. The flight deck white and warning striping is spray painted on. The metal portion of the flight deck has a thin wash of charcoal grey oils to bring out details and tie-down holes.

Aftermarket Accessory Parts

Photo Etch References Selected photos from:


Dan Kaplan

Gallery updated 8/11/2023

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