IJN Battleship Musashi
Before I took on this kit, most of the models I had built in this fleet were 1:700 scale. I knew, intellectually, that 1:350 is twice as big, but I didn't realize how BIG that really is... The Musashi model (Tamiya) is about 32 inches long, compared to just over 15 inches for the Iowas. Lots of plastic, LOTS of paint... Lots of fun, too. The big kits really get a sense of the incredible size and mass of these ships in a way the 1:700's don't.
1:350 scale models, other than being big and impressive, have their own benefits and drawbacks too when compared to the smaller kits. The parts are larger, which makes painting and handling them easier; on the other hand, the level of detail is much greater, so little mistakes can still have a marked effect on the end result. The kits are more expensive, and believe it or not, one of the hardest things to deal with when you have finished with a big model is, "Where in the heck do I *put* this thing???" All in all, I really like the 1:350 models I have built.
This model was sandwiched between two Iowa-class models. The construction was very detailed, but the paint work was relatively easy; Musashi was not camouflaged, so the only real painting challenge was the seaplanes. I think they came out okay... The other 1:350 scale model I have built, USS North Carolina, was much more of a painting challenge.
The Musashi and her famous sister ship, Yamato, are symbolically significant on several levels. The largest battleships ever built by anyone, carrying the heaviest weaponry and the largest guns ever floated on a ship (18.1 inches, compared to the 16-inch primary guns on many American battleships of the era, including the North Carolina and Iowa classes), along with some of the heaviest armor ever built, stood no chance against the comparatively puny little airplanes which proved to be their downfall. The tragic loss of life and materiel when these floating fortresses were destroyed boggles the mind... The courage and tenacity of the Japanese officers and crew of Musashi, Yamato and the rest of the Imperial Japanese Navy must be respected. This set of web pages is dedicated to those men and their families.
As always, click on the thumbnail to see a larger image.
IJN Musashi, 1:350 scale by Tamiya - the biggest battleship ever built
The Musashi's seaplanes were a challenge, but I think they came out fairly well... Notice anything about the penny provided for scale?
One more time, for comparison: My son Joshua, age 8, holding both 1:350 battleships - IJN Musashi (front), USS North Carolina (rear)
To read more about the Musashi, see the following:
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