Building The Fujimi 1/350 IJN Kongo, Part 1
Part 1: The Hull…
Right out of the box, the hull has good molding with no flash. However, the issue of incorrect casemate shapes becomes apparent (this issue has gotten more discussion as more experts have weighed in). The casemate sides are supposed to be vertical, but on this kit, they are angled inwards at the top. This issue will take some time to correct for those who want accuracy. I myself had forgotten about it (it wasn't discussed as much yet) until later in the build when making corrections would have been even more costly in time. That said, this build is done with the incorrect casemate shapes left intact.
Despite the hull's quality molding, there is a seam that runs up and along toward the forward end of the bilge keel on each hull half. It's easy to miss at first, but once you see it, it's glaring.
It's basically caused from the mold that can be better seen from the inside of the hull:
It's best to take care of this nuisance now. I used the panel line removal tool to take away the seam and then sanded it down. Be careful not to sand off the lines that are supposed to be there! Now it's smooth to the touch and will look good once painted.
The hull halves go together well without the braces, but with braces installed, it gets a little more finicky. Clamps of all shapes and sizes become the order of the day and everything goes together after some negotiation. This process took a couple hours to get to this point:
After the hull set up, I drilled out two holes in the bottom and added tubing inside. This tubing is supported by Tamiya epoxy putty for strength, so the model can be attached to a base. The pictures were taken before the prow and chrysanthemum were attached.