Building Hasegawa's IJN Nachi
by: Dade W. Bell

"MSW crew-mate Dade Bell sends in a beauty of a build story, centering on Hasegawa Models 1/700 scale, IJN Nachi!

The IJN Nachi was the second Myoko class heavy cruiser. As with her three sisters, she had an excellent combination of speed (36 knots), range (8,000 nm at 14kn), and a devastating main armament of ten 8" guns. She was commissioned in November 26, 1928, with her career in World War II starting in 1942 in the Dutch East Indies. She was a key member of the Battle of The Java Sea, and in March was involved in the sinking of HMS Encounter and HMS Exeter. She was damaged in 1943 at the battle of the Komandorski Islands, and was involved in action at Kiska. At the Battle of Surigao Strait in 1944, she was damaged again.

The Nachi was sunk in Manilla Bay, November 5, 1944, by three waves of aircraft from the USS Lexington and USS Ticonderoga. She was hit at least nine times by torpedoes and rockets. Two large explosions broke her in two and she sunk in the middle of a large oil slick. 807 of her crew, including her captain were lost, with 220 surviving.

The Nachi's loss turned out to play a larger strategic role in the American war effort, as USN divers later found a large set of code documents in the wreckage. These documents were all the more important because the Nachi had been the flagship of the Second Striking Force...

The Model:
This is the Hasegawa 1/700 IJN Nachi with full hull and photo etch. I had this kit hanging around for a while and when the Cruisers of The 20th Century campaign came along, I decided I'd dust it off and build it.

With all of the other projects hanging over my head, I decided to keep this build as OOB as possible, with the exception of the always wonderful Fukuya Works barrels and of course, tippet line for the rigging. The flags are from Tauro.

The included photo etch was very robust and contained plenty of goodies including catapults, DF finder, funnel caps and railings. Unfortunately, no ladders or stairs. The PE is very good... surprisingly so. The metal is a nice thickness, firm, but easy to work with. Everything is sized very well, with the exception of some PE gantries (see below). The railings are the kind I most prefer (and also the rarest type): stanchions with feet. What this means is that instead of railings with one long gutter, or with only stanchions- these are mostly only stanchions, but with small feet every few stanchions or so that must be bent up at a 90 degree angle, thereby providing a larger place to glue and giving added strength and stability to the entire rail (and looking more accurate than the gutter type).

Overall it's a good kit, but it has some annoying fit issues. This kit is really summed up with lots of dry fitting. The problem spots are:

--Above waterline hull to the bottom is not a tight fit- will require some putty.

--The forward funnel base is a little too big where it goes under the superstructure and will need work.

--The upper levels of the superstructure have some gaps that will need to be filled.

--The hole in the structure for the rear center leg of the aft tripod to go into is not big enough. It will have to be opened up more.

--There is a PE platform gantry that goes directly in front of the aft funnel and is surrounded by a walkway on both sides. A small walkway piece goes between to the gantry sides. It will have to be filed down or the gantries will be too far apart. Even then, the fit inside of the outer walkways is too tight, so the inner walkway walls will have to be filed down some to fit around the gantries. This spot will require a lot of experimenting.

--There is a forward platform on PE gantries also. Care must be taken to modify these gantries to fit as well.

This is a nice kit overall, but extreme care will have to be given with lots of testing. Even though it's a recent Hasegawa kit, it doesn't go together as perfectly as it looks like it should... if that makes sense...

I didn't want to go crazy on this build with a million aftermarket items and super detailing. So for once I played it cool and tried to keep it fairly simple. Still, I couldn't resist adding hull lines for some extra visual interest by using .4mm tape. True, it's a little over scale, but it helps add the overall look that many IJN ships have with their noticeable lines and plates. The tape thickness is thin enough to work with, so I swabbed a thin film of glue over the tape to help lock it in, primed the model and painted as usual. Later, after painting, dry brushing helped bring the lines out.

Paints were from Gunze, washes were done with The Detailer, and powders are from Tamiya.

This article comes from Model Shipwrights