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Building The Fujimi 1/350 IJN Kongo, Part 1

Before the flight deck was made completely smooth, it looked like this...

But the entire thing will be replaced with PE, so all the molded on detail gets removed. This brings up a disturbing trend regarding the PE instructions. Often they don't show what the finished part is supposed to look like. You will make good use of your reference material with this kit (the catapult immediately comes to mind- it looks great, but without references you'll scratch your head).

The PE instructions are very vague- for example they tell you which PE boat cradles go on the main deck, but NOT the upper deck (where there are the most). So for that, make sure you measure each plastic cradle and make a note, so you'll know which PE replacements go where.

Finally, we have a big problem with the forward deck area bowing, causing the forward superstructure to sit askew like so (I hollowed out the portholes):

Ouch!!!

A significant hole was cut out of the deck area under the superstructure to relieve pressure and not cause the deck to bow. It's not pretty, but it works and it will be covered up.

With a little extra sanding on the superstructure bottom, we're in good shape. There is still a slight gap, but it disappears with just a tiny bit of pressure, so gluing it down will make the issue moot.

The gaps between the deck and edge of hull has been puttied and smoothed. Again, we don't have to worry about filling and sanding the plank detail because the wood deck will cover it anyway. Otherwise, this part could get rather time consuming and very frustrating.

The anchor chain pipes and hawse are hollowed out for better realism.

The model begins to come together:

There is a slight gap in the wood deck where the mounting slats for the structures glue in. This is not an issue as Shinsengumi includes an extra square (about 1.5" x 2") of wood with engraved planking to be used to cut "filler pieces" out of. Excellent.

The PE flight deck dry is fit. The railings haven't been folded up so painting the linoleum will be easier. Fujimi would have done well to make this piece from thicker brass. But because the piece is very thin, it curls up until it has been glued down.

That should take care of the hull and deck issues. Now we can start to focus on building the bridge area...

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