A few years ago Hasegawa chose to release a new molding of this leviathan flattop, my acquisition of which arrived at my place last week.
A large, portly box contains a well packed and protected set of sprues and parts. Not well enough since the flight deck was slightly damaged during transit due to the design of the gates and a lack of all round protection to 'frame' the flight deck within the box. In Hasegawa's rendition one side is exposed to impact damage, which is what happened. This should have been anticipated although the repair is easily managed.
On top of these sprues lies the longitudinally split, full hull which is characterized by well defined but restrained detail--bollards, degaussing cable, strakes and the like...including restrained stanchions. Little Aztec influence to be found here. There is no provision for a hangar deck. The hull sits atop the remaining parts trapped within its own divider and is assembled using the now familiar Fujimi style inserts.
The flight deck is a bit of a dream with minute, engraved detail including innumerable tie down points as well as arresting cables. The elevators are one with the deck, no cutouts here. Under deck girders are integrally molded; all in all very nicely done if rather spartan and pedestrian.
Since Hasegawa obviously retooled their original Yamato as well--if not the Musashi (and definitely not Missouri or Vanguard)--a number of parts are included which have no application to Shinano. The island appears adequate and incorporates adequate details: streamlined funnel, integral steampipes and vents, wind baffles (always a strong point with me) and deck detail.
The 12.7 mm armament is very, very nice while the rocket launchers are adequate but lacking full depth and detail. Unfortunately, although the single 25 mm guns are very nice, Hasegawa chose the mold the triple 25mm in the most odd fashion: while the barrels are molded separately the base of the mount itself is molded wherever mounts are to be found on the vessel. As such the modeler is locked into an orientation of every 25mm triple with no choice for variation beyond elevation. This is a most unfortunate choice by Hasegawa and not easily corrected.
The aircraft sprue, which is offered separately as a three sprue accessory kit as well, consists of 2 Zekes, and 1 each of Grace, Myrt, George and Jill, all complete with separate propellers, landing gear and armament which are offered in the same pale gray plastic as the remainder of the kit.
The instructions and decal sheet are credible as well as easily followed although they could have incorporated more than a potted history of the vessel. Painting instructions for the aircraft and the ship are quite detailed with the ships' camouflage and flight deck being a variation of the grays, no greens recommended here.
Overall, this is a fine retooling by Hasegawa. While it falls down badly on the 25mm triple mounts, in my opinion, and is devoid of as much molded detail as could have been incorporated--notably the stanchions and girders under the flight deck and surrounding the hull--the kit is a sound one and a good basis for the modelers' indulgence. It does need a PE set, please, someone. And, of course, I believe Hasegawa should have bit the bullet and committed this project to 1/350th scale. A flavor for what can be done is found here:
Otherwise, and given the fact that I nailed this kit for a mere 35 clams--folks do well to shop, I recommend this kit if your preference includes 1/450th: a scale not too big and not too small.