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.
- The full hull was cut to the waterline.
- Kit planked flight deck replaced by Evergreen 0.025 V Groove styrene for more accurate planking widths. Planks are a scale 8.75inches wide.
- Kit metal flight deck surfaces replaced by brass from Shipyard Works 1/350 Hiryu set.
- All the tie-down holes on planked flight deck were debossed
- Elevator wells and partial hangar decks (2 levels)
- Elevator aprons cut from kit elevator wells.
- Elevator lifts, wells and partial hangar decks made from styrene sheet and photoetch truss supports with lightening holes
- Kit flight deck edge rain gutters removed and replaced by styrene strip version.
- Drain pipes from styrene rod.
- Hull mounted air induction ventilator coverings from brass mesh
- Aircraft engine repair compartment (portside, aft) entrance opened, door replaced with V-Groove, compartment built up inside, with trolley tracks for the engine test stand.
- Flag bag
- Kit hawser reels replace by PE and drums
- Kit watertight access doors replaced by PE
- Linoleum tie-down strips replaced by brass PE
- Kit provided anchor chain left unpainted dark. (The IJN did not paint the anchor chains grey.)
- Kit bollards replaced by brass versions.
- Truss supports under AA platforms replaced by PE braces, supports.
- Sponson braces from deck girder PE
- Ship’s boats upgraded, 9m cutters, 12m motor launches replaced by Tamiya versions.
- Boat booms from styrene strip and relocated.
- Accommodation ladder stowage added.
- Life rings added
- Wind barrier/palisade replaced by Shipyard Works PE version
- Flight deck edge lighting lamps replaced
- Crash barrier channels etched out and crash barriers replaced with Shipyard Works scale wire rope
- Drain pipes added.
- Added brass PE windows to the navigation sponsons
- Arrestor wires replaced by Shipyard Works scale wire rope
- All hull air intakes drilled out and filled with brass mesh
- Brass rod foremast, yardarms
- Rotation stops for main battery from styrene strips
- Flight deck striping
- Aircraft canopies removed and replaced by PE versions
- Canvas coverings (paint)
- Boat straps (paper) and rigging
- Rigging (per references) – Infini Line Lycra 40 denier black and white, and Dia Riki 9X .002” fishing leader line. Insulator balls from 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
- Hasegawa GQ30, 1/350 IJN carrier-based aircraft, early war (3 sets)
- Fujimi 350Gup-43, Nakajima B5N2 Attack Bomber for Hiryu (12)
- 3D Wild printed, folded wing Nakajima B5N2 (2) attack bomber and (3) Mitsubishi A6M2 fighter
- Fine Molds signal and searchlights, 25mm AA directors, navigation directors and bridge equipment, twin and triple 25mm AA
- YX Models YXN350-046 3D printed IJN aircraft carrier flight deck edge indicator lights
- YX Models YXN350-010 3D printed IJN Loudspeaker
- YX Models YXN350-007 3D printed IJN Fleet Turn Lights
- Tamiya 1/350 Ship #26 – Warship’s Boats set
- VeryFire 1/350 IJN08 IJN 12.7cm/40cal. Type 89 naval gun (Type A1 twin mount), 3D printed with brass barrels
- Custom 3D printed radial engine test stand by Company ”X”
- Custom 3D printed flag bag frame courtesy of Devin Poore
- Veteran resin 12cm binoculars and 110cm searchlight directors
- Fujimi’s dedicated photo etch set for Hiryu 350GUP-34 Note: Fujimi railings have protruding stanchions on top.)
- Shipyard Works 1/350 #350019 Hiryu wood and metal Flight Deck Set
- Infini IJN railings for supplement
- Big Blue Boy #35034 Japanese Carrier Based Aircraft set 1 (early)
- Some miscellaneous items were pulled from a variety of sources including KA, Flyhawk, Rainbow and Tom’s.
Selected photos from:
- Plan sets for Hiryu from (1) Hara Shobo and (2) Nihon no Gunkan vol. 2
- Gakken Pacific War Series vol. #14 aircraft carriers Akagi and Hiryu
- Anatomy of the Ship – Hiryu, Stefan Draminski, 2022
- S?ry?, Hiry?, and Unry?-Class Aircraft Carriers (Legends of Warfare), Hans Lengerer and Lars Ahlberg,
- The Aircraft Carriers of the Imperial Japanese Navy and Army, Vol. 1, Hans Lengerer and Lars Ahlberg
- Gran Prix Shuppan Anatomy of IJN Aircraft Carriers
- Kojinsha Mechanisms of IJN Aircraft Carriers
- Kure Maritime Museum – IJN Aircraft Carrier volume
- Maru Special #s 23
- Dai Nihon Kaigun Navy Yard Special #40
- Fukui vol. 3 IJN Aircraft Carriers, Seaplane Tenders
- Fukui 2 vol set
- Fukui Fighting Ships of the Imperial Japanese Navy