Initially, the Imperial Japanese Navy was developed with an offensive strategy in mind and not necessarily a defensive one. As a result, certain kinds of vessels, like
submarine chasers, were not considered until the 1930s when the first ones were ordered. In the end, a total of 63 purpose built subchasers were built and were
grouped under 4 different classes – No. 1, No. 4, No. 14 and No. 28 - with each class essentially being an improved version of its predecessor. The
No. 28 class was
the most numerous, with 34 built. They measured 160’9” x 22’ x 8’8” and were originally fitted with a 3-inch/40 deck gun and a twin 13.2mm anti-aircraft gun. They
also carried 36 depth charges with roll-off rails and throwers. Later in the war, most units had their anti-aircraft armament augmented with three single Type 96 25mm
guns and were fitted with a Type 22 radar set. Though they were designed for anti-submarine patrols, they were eventually used as convoy escorts, as the IJN did not
have enough destroyers or similar vessels to spare for this duty. Even with the extra anti-aircraft guns and radar, these ships were not suited for escort duties and the
majority of 34 ships were lost.
Rainbow Model is better known as a producer of multi-media accessory and photo-etch sets but now they are expanding into producing full resin kits in 1:350 and
1:700 scale. The first release in the larger scale is a model of a
No. 28 Class Subchaser. The kit is comprised of resin, photo-etch and turned brass parts.

The number of resin parts is low, with only a total of 13 including the one-piece full hull. The hull is very well done with lots of good detail, such as mooring bitts
and chocks, mushroom vents, hatches, watertight doors and portholes. The small superstructure and funnel are cast into the hull which simplifies assembly. What
stands out is how nicely represented the metal tread plate on the main deck and the grating on the bridge deck is. The hull comes on a fairly large casting block
which will probably result in some clean up along the keel after it is removed. Also a wee bit of excess resin needs to be removed from the starboard deck hawse
hole. What at first appears to be a casting blemish on the sides of the small housing in front of the funnel is actually thin resin film covering the door opening over
which an open PE watertight door will be fitted.

The smaller resin parts include the 3-inch/40 gun, boat, motor launch, rudder, propeller hubs, searchlight, exhaust piping, mast lookout tub, depth charge throwers
and Type 22 radar. The smaller resin parts are also nicely done and require little if any clean-up.
The bulk of the kit parts are comprised of photo-etch, of which a total of three frets are provided. The quality and beautiful relief-etching that is typically found in
Rainbow Model photo-etch sets is certainly present here and it is the highlight of the kit. Part numbers are etched in the frets to facilitate identification in the assembly
instructions. Each photo-etch fret is sandwiched between clear plastic film for protection.

Fret A is the largest of the three and contains a variety of structural parts as well as weapons, ladders and other fittings. The bridge roof and windows and the
forward and midship AA platforms are the main structural parts as well as the tripod mast, all of which are assembled from number of individual photo-etch parts.
The mast appears to be quite challenging to put together. Other parts on Fret A include the depth charge racks, boat details, boat davits, anti-aircraft guns, ammo
lockers, cable reels, anchors, watertight doors, ladders, bridge railings and fittings, funnel details and other smaller parts.
Fret B has the premeasured deck railings, degaussing cables, boat oars, chocks, alternate breakwater and supports (in case you wish to replace the cast in resin
version) and pilot housing for the motor launch. Fret C has the individual propeller blades and searchlight lens and handles. Three turned brass pedestals for the
single Type 96mm guns and a length of plastic rod (to make depth charges with) and brass wire round off the kit’s parts.

The assembly instructions come on a double-side sheet of paper and are printed in color. Each sub-assembly, their subsequent placement and general assembly
steps are illustrated clearly though due to the complexity of some of the steps, a thorough study is recommended. There is no illustration showing a fully
assembled model but there are photos of a completed kit on the box artwork which are very helpful. The biggest omission from the assembly instructions is a
painting guide, so how to paint the model will require research on the part of the modeler.
Overall, this is a very promising first kit release by Rainbow Model and it should make IJN modelers happy to have the opportunity to add a smaller combatant to
their 1:350 scale fleet. The extensive photo-etch will add a lot of detail to the model but at the same time may discourage some less experienced modelers from
getting one. I hope that Rainbow Model will include at least some basic painting instructions in their future releases. My thanks to Rainbow Model for providing the
review sample.
Felix Bustelo