Commissioned in 1998 the JMSDF (Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force) DDG-176 Chokai is a Kongo Class Guided Missile Destroyer. These ships are modified USN Arleigh Burke Class destroyers incorporating the Aegis fire control system. The Chokai is 528 feet long with a beam of 69 feet and having a draught of a little over 20 feet weighing in just less than 10,000 tons fully loaded.
The typical store of arms for this destroyer range from Harpoon SSM’s, 90 SM-2 SAM’s, SM-3 ABM’s, RUM 139 Vertical Launch ASROC’s, a deck mounted 5 inch gun, 2 x 20mm Phalanx, and a pair of triple torpedo tubes. While the Chokai is fully capable of handling a deck landing and support of the SH-60B Seahawk there are no accommodations to store any aircraft.
’s 1/700 scale JMSDF DDG Chokai kit comes in the standardized Water Line Series style slip top cardboard box whit and artist’s rendition of the JMSDF DDG Chokai. This kit is comprised of 158 out of the 168 parts included in the box consisting of the following:
- 11 – Grey colored styrene sprue trees
- 1 – Steel ballast plate
- 1 – Decal sheet
- 1 – 2-page instruction sheet
The JMSDF DDG Chokai kit is laid out nicely over eleven grey colored styrene sprue trees. All of the parts appear to be cleanly molded and free from flash. This being a kit from the Water Line Series there is no full hull included in the kit and a water line depiction is the only option. The hull is a four-piece construction. There are the two halves to the upper hull, one bottom hull plate at the water line and one piece of flat steel stock used as ballast to keep the ship upright during and after construction. The two halves to the upper hull have molded plate lines to show definition. These seem a bit heavy but a really light sanding could tone this down quickly I think.
The superstructure is a multi-piece construction event. Each of the smaller pieces are detailed nicely albeit there are raised features rather than recessed. There are two schools of thought with this so I feel there is no right or wrong. The detailing is prominent and after painting should stand out nicely and even more so if weathered somewhat.
All of the smaller features such as the Armaments are molded rather well for the scale. Special care should be made when removing these smaller parts can be tricky due to the size and location of the gate pins. The antenna mast, I felt is molded nicely and after some tricky clean up should look decent.
The JMSDF DDG Chokai is basically a re-boxing of the previously released 1/700 J.M.S.D.F DDG Kongō Guided Destroyer kit No. 49027, with a different decal sheet changing the identification numbers.
The decal sheet is printed well with a large number of decals for the deck and surface detailing as well as a selection for the SH-60B Seahawk.
The instructions are laid out basically on one page. There is a total of ten steps shown in a black and white exploded view format. The actual drawing of the parts and numbering is a bit crammed into the one-page view but the outline is straight forward and easy to follow. On the second side of the instruction sheet is the Marking and Painting guide.
The JMSDF DDG Chokai from Hasegawa may be a re-boxing from an earlier release with new decals, but it is a decent release just the same. The details are nice and the mold is crisp and free from flash. If you are a fan of any of the Water Line Series kits, I feel this kit would make another fine addition to the small navies being built. Although there is no photo etch included with this kit, Hasegawa has made some nice strides in molding smaller scales and various items such as the antenna mast and many of the smaller surface parts are more than adequate to build up a fine 1/700 scale static display.