The Hasegawa 1/450th scale Shinano represents a compromise, in my opinion – somewhere between the limited detail of a 1/700 scale kit, and the immense size a 1/350 scale Shinano would be. Even at 1/450, the kit measures about two feet when built,
so it is no small kit. The kit is molded full-hull, so your handy-dandy Dremel will be needed if you plan a waterline kit. The detail level is OK – this kit seems like it may be intended for the less-experienced ship builder. Parts count is much lower than a 1/350
model would be, and some things are simplified for easier building. AA gun mounts, for instance, are molded into the deck parts, so all one has to do is attach the upper part of the triple-barreled mounts at their chosen angle.

Even at that, the kit looks good when built, and the level of detail is acceptable when carefully painted. I added some
Tom’s Modelworks railing, and rigged the model with fly fishing line. Fit is not quite as crisp as I am used to from a Hasegawa kit.  Some
trimming and sanding was involved, and fitting the flight deck is an accomplishment when you get it right. Take care to make sure all supports and bulkheads are flat and flush before you add the flight deck.
The aircraft are little jewels – separate landing gear and props, with torpedoes on the “Grace” and “Jill”, nice decals, and relatively easy assembly. The planes have sharply molded panel lines, and even some ribbing detail shows in the wheel wells!
Hasegawa supplies you with two Model 52 Zeros, and one each of “Jill”, “Grace”, “Myrt”, and…oddly enough…”George”, which was never a carrier aircraft. I only wish there had been more planes supplied with the kit.

Not sure about the two-tone grey paint scheme called out in the kit. Japanese carriers at this time of the war, IF they were camouflaged, wore a peculiar two-tone green scheme designed to represent a freighter or other auxiliary. How any US sub
captain worth his salt could mistake this 65,000 ton behemoth for a freighter is beyond me, but it is what it is. There is only one grainy photo of this ship known to exist, and it yields no solid markings info at all.

Overall, the Hasegawa 1:450 scale Shinano is a fun build, and well within the capabilities of more novice ship builders. Recommended. If ONLY there was a 1/350 Shinano!

Rick Cotton
Katy, Texas
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