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Building The Fujimi 1/350 IJN Kongo, Part 1

  • Kongo01
Edit Note
I would first like to thank Dragon USA for supplying the Fujimi 1/350 IJN Kongo used for this build review. Next I would like to thank Dade for his blood, sweat, and tears he had to of shed during this build. This is part 1 of 2 parts for this build review.


The Kongo was the class lead of a group of Imperial Japanese Navy battle cruisers. The Kongo herself was built by Vickers in England in 1913, and was the last major Japanese warship built abroad. This was so the Japanese could study the latest improvements in nautical design at the time from the Royal Navy and adapt them to the IJN's own ships (the Kongo's three sisters were built in Japan).

The Kongo was modernized between 1929-1931 and re-rated as a battleship, and after 1936-1937 more refits culminated in a lengthened hull, new machinery, heavy armor and faster speed.

Various upgrades throughout the Second World War gave her radar and a massive array of anti-aircraft weaponry in her final configuration. The Kongo was involved in the Battle Off Samar, and was in the thick of the fighting against Taffy 3. She is variously credited with taking part in the action against (or sinking) the USS Gambier Bay, USS USS Samuel B. Roberts, USS Hoel, and USS Johnston.

The Kongo soldiered for almost another month, until being found by the submarine USS Sea Lion, who sunk her with torpedos. She was the only battleship of the IJN to be sunk by a submarine, and the last battleship ever to be sunk like this.

Displacement: 36,601 tons Dimensions: 728'4" x 101'8" x 31'9" Speed: 30 knots Armament: 8 x 14"/45, 16 (later 14) x 6"/50, 8 x 5"/40 DP, up to 118 x 25mm AA Armor: 8" belt, 2.75" (later strengthened) deck, 9" turret face Crew: 1360

The Model…

This build will contain the following items from, Fujimi and the aftermarket:
Fujimi Kongo Deluxe Photo Etched Parts (#11153) Fukuya 15cm and 12.7cm brass barrels (#350-23) Shinsengumi 1/350 wooden deck set (#015)

Prologue: The Base

Taking a slight detour, we'll look at mounting this model. The kit comes with a very basic arrangement of two plastic cradles that many builders will quickly replace. Because the cradles are not attached to one another, they move around freely from one another and can't be used reliably even during construction. Plan ahead for your base as it will make construction much easier in later stages.

As always, I asked my father to work his magic and make a base according to my specifications-- he didn't disappoint. I filled the tops of the brass tubes with Tamiya Epoxy Putty to better distribute the weight of the ship. The Kanji is the self adhesive brass that comes with the deluxe PE set.

Looking ahead, here's the primered hull test fitted onto the base. When the hull is painted and ready, I will epoxy it to the base.

About the Author

About Dade W. Bell (Karybdis)

I'm a third generation modeler who builds a little of everything (mostly Japanese)- all while being a 45 year old hermit who lives a happy, simple life, with my fiancée (author Jaclyn Dolamore) and three cats. My father was an MM3 aboard the USS Saratoga (CVA-60), my grandfather was in one of the...


Awesome detail Dade! Looks to be a great build.
MAY 18, 2009 - 02:45 AM
Thanks a bunch, Anthony! Also, thanks to Jim for wrestling with the layout of this massive article (probably the longest one I've ever written)!
MAY 18, 2009 - 02:57 AM
Well, it was the largest I have ever edited. There are 149 construction photos and 33 for the completed build. But the completed build is for part II. It sure was a monster undertaking, but thats what I am here for.
MAY 18, 2009 - 03:32 AM
Both the model and the feature are masterpieces. The photos are clear and well composed, the captions are concise yet informative, and the layout is logically sequential. Dade has given the rest of us a vital resource on modeling this subject and Jim has organized it into an eye-catching gem. I look forward to the second part! --Karl
MAY 18, 2009 - 05:12 AM
Looks like the build log but without all the "oh"'s and "ah"'s in between! Great feature! Thank you!
MAY 18, 2009 - 06:10 AM
It certainly was a great build log and this just makes it much easier for someone to pull up, copy and use as a guide. I know the build log went a long way in helping me do mine. I never would have ventured into wooden decks without this. Now I've got both the ISE and the AKagi version coming in and wondering why all the model makers don't set this up on their kits from now on.
MAY 18, 2009 - 08:41 AM
Hi guys, thanks and I'm glad I could help out! I know the info is basically the same as the log, but as Steve says, I wanted readers to be able to print it out and have it as a reference without having to go through all of the discussion (which was fun, but would take a lot of paper to print it all!).
MAY 18, 2009 - 09:56 AM
Damn! What an enormous effort! Excellent work, also!
MAY 18, 2009 - 01:03 PM
Hi Bob, thanks!
MAY 18, 2009 - 04:43 PM
Even if IJN stuff dosn´t interest me, this is a treasure of a build - loads of technique tips and tricks, how to´s and inspiration. I followed your blog, but its nice seeing it capture in a feature (or 2) Thanks - and cheers/Jan
MAY 18, 2009 - 08:11 PM