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IJN Light Cruiser Isuzu 1945 by RGL - Aoshima - 1/350 - Plastic - Finished

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My next project is the IJN Isuzu in 1/350 from Aoshima. Date of sinking, 6 April 1945, the same as the Yamato. 1.thumb.jpg.cb036a32bc62ebee135f94772af100f1.jpg

This is a very very bland kit, the box art is based on one photo taken in 1944 after it's last refit, unfortunately Aoshima didn't bother with any of the details on the hull, and there is so little reference materiel available (That I can find in English or any other language) that I have to go off what I can find online. 2.thumb.jpg.c7fc80f117515a4364a438b041e2f786.jpg


I got the flyhawk upgrade set and will replace nearly everything on the kit bar the hull and decks. I could not face a long project, as the Yamato was pretty much out of the box, this is going to be a kit bash. 3.thumb.jpg.1d1dfd393c5f781f3e4e524b1b98d3f3.jpg


I purchased the Profile Morskie plans which are great for gun placements and details of the structures but no deck details. As you can see I have done up some planning for the hull plates. 4.thumb.jpg.e7e863c90d99f77a3832f2cec67d3fd8.jpg


Its been a slow start as I've been trying to get my head around hull construction. You can see her compared to Yamato, no where near as complex. 5.thumb.jpg.26e2e64aa70f9e86bdc879d6e8c52678.jpg

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Great! Permission to come aboard, sir. 

Have never seen this ship before now. When I first saw your pictures, thought it was a DD rather than a CL. Small guns it seems, even for a light cruiser. Almost look more like destroyer guns at first glance. 

Looks like it could be a lot of fun and will be a good display match for the Yamato.

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You can see there is a lot of molded detail, all the stuff on the hull is wrong and the entire deck detail has to go. so far I have stripped the deck completely and sanded the hull back, individual stanchion holes have been drilled as well.


I will have to replace all the deck equipment with something not looking like a plastic blob, make up hull plates, paint and weather it as to it's last day of staying afloat, rusty and beaten, with sandbags, etc and new guns. Nearly every model I have seen on the net does not match the final photo of her, and as hard as you may find this to believe, I think people may have made things up!









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It's good to see a few other plastic modellers here now! 


Moving on, I have finally stripped the decks, the top deck comes in three sections which will have substantial gaps between them which will need a fair bit of work. The quad torpedo launchers are supposed to be put in beforehand but it will make painting a continuous deck problematic so I cut the bottom off the so they can be slid in later as the interior will not be visible. 


I have also also added the ringols to the portholes and added the manual aiming Port (right hand side near the large opening), which is  visible on the photo and in other references for the IJN but not made up in the kit. 


My quandry now is, do I add the deck? The hull is going to need plating added and numerous other details and the deck will be linoleum (brownish), requiring a lot of masking to separate the two colours. 




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Pretty much destroyed most of the detail popeye, slowly removing and sanding everything back, a couple of indentations to fill where the pumps and cable reels are supposed to go as they are utterly inaccurate. 


The rear deck area; I replaced the doors (hatches), added proper cable reels, and some support gussets. The Flyhawk set adds an extension to the top deck to make it like the kit is supposed to be. I won't glue this down yet as I will have to paint it beforehand. 


I picked up some rattle can primers yesterday so I can start building up the hull plates, once I can do that up I can add the multitude of side panels that are displayed on the box art and original photo (if anyone knows what they are I'd love to know, open and zoom in on the b/w photo), plus a LOT of scuppers at the waterline. IMG_4259.thumb.JPG.fa597a3422e20f52a39659ecfc7a9138.JPG





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I have started the primer coats on the hull, I'll try and use masking tape to delineate between the hull armour, so there will be multiple coats. 


In in the interim I have started up the PE deck assemblies. This Flyhawk set is very nice, but a bit of work to do yet to fill gaps and smother with sisal splinter shields. This is a central ventilation room which will seat 2 triple type 96 25mm AA guns (same pain as the Yamato to build). 





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There are three gun mounts for the high altitude AA guns, the forward mount is the trickiest as the PE is out by about .5mm. 


The rear mounts are fairly simple and get sandbags. 


Did they have them? Who knows, I reckon they'd have wanted as much protection as they could by 1945. 





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After much masking and multiple coats of rattle can primer, I have replicated the hull plates, which I'm actually quite happy with. They are about .1mm higher than each other which should be correct for scale.


Most kits have scribed or raised seams which is just not accurate. Now I can scribe the individual plates and add the scuppers and the mysterious bits on the side of the hull before another overall coat of primer. 


With pre shading to delineate them all I'm hoping it will come up ok in the end before it gets messed up with heavy weathering. 




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If you zoom in on the second photo, you can see strange rectangular panels on the hull, which have been suggested as strengthening strikes but I'm not convinced. There are also what appear to be longitudinal scuppers beneath them and little bulbous scuppers just above the waterline. 


I used offcut PE for the 'strokes' as it is easier to work with and very thin, evergreen strips for scupper pipes and half sanded vents in resin for the waterline scuppers. 


There is is another layer of primer to go yet before pre shading so it won't be so stark. The hull panel lines were easily cut into the multiple layers of primer. The hull ladder rungs to go. 





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Will watch with interest.

I do like the way you give yourself more work with the PE. Of course it will look great when done.

Looking good so far.

I also can't believe how fast you work with the PE. I've just added a few of the smaller fittings to my model and that took me the day to do!!

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Prop shafts done and the final coat of primer. I cut off the plastic shafts and replaced them with brass rod. 


The sea sea steps were filed off and replaced, I've always tried to use North Star steps and it's just hard work to trim and place them, but the idea came to me to use railings from PE, bent over my metal ruler which are easier to handle and look better. 


Now I actually have some panel lines to work with preshading etc will be a lot more 3D than making it up. 


Before i I get there tho I have to practice some new weathering techniques on a spare hull. 





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