So I’ve been working on the 1/700 Aoshima Victorious. It was to be my first aircraft carrier. I received some good advice on the model ship forum to start with a smaller one, specifically that the Shoho would be a good one to start with. I couldn’t find the PE sheet for the Fujimi 1/700 Shoho so tried Victorious. I have a nice PE set for Victorious, but I’m not that keen on the kit. There are quite a few fit problems. The flight deck fit to the hull has lots of seems in strange places. I’ve filled quite a few and some of them look ok, but some don’t, and some are in places that are really hard to fill because of surrounding detail that would be lost in sanding. The superstructure isn’t a lot better. I’ll finish it, but when I saw that Hasegawa released a super detail edition of their Shoho model with extensive PE I decided to jump on it. I plan here to document the construction of it.
I intend to do a lot of the PE for this kit. It’s going to be my first serious attempt to put a lot of PE upgrades on a model. In addition I bought a bunch of Fujimi upgrade sets for Japanese equipment for directors and AA armament. Will see how much of that I use but I have it for comparison at least. There are two sheets of PE and a nice instruction set for it. Looking at the photos on hobby search of the box contents on the regular set, it looks like the sprues are identifical, so I assume this is the old kit with the PE upgrades included here.
That is a photograph of the fold-out that comes for building the PE, full of instructions front and back. It all looks manageable except perhaps for the ladders. We’ll see how construction those bits go.
I put together the hull and put the flight deck on just to see how it all fit together (without glueing anything). It all goes together beautifully and I’m not studying the instructions to anticipate any issues in putting it all together. There’s a lot of PE for the structures below the flight deck so I anticipate a lot of work before the flight deck goes on.
The flight deck is interesting and brings up my first interesting questions. The flight deck has a lot of relief in it – not only the wooden deck part but there are recesses that are flat where the white is painted on the flight deck. So, I guess I could just paint that white and paint the wood deck and not use a decal. I imagine I’ll paint the wooden parts tan along with the recessed parts and then just put the decals in. That seems a little strange. I’m not sure how well this shows up in the following photo.
The rear of the flight deck has relieved detail for the red and white striping on the tail end of the flight deck and the instructions say to shave that smooth if you intend to use the decal. I would like to use the decal, sanding that smooth sounds like a lot of work. The area just in front of that is modeled with wooden decking, but I believe that was steel deck. The steel parts of the flight deck are modeled with an anti-skid surface. I’m wondering if I should sand the wooden decking smooth and leave it smooth, or replace it with PE anti-skid decking.