Yamato was laid down at the Kure Naval Arsenal on November 4, 1937 and launched on August 8, 1940, when WWII had already broken out. Yamato's sea trials were conducted from October 1941, after which she was commissiones on December 16th and assigned to the Kure Naval District as part of the Combined Fleet's Battleship Division 1, together with the Nagato and Mutsu.
On February 12, 1942, during a time when Japanese forces swept aside all opposition as they advanced into Southeast Asia and the Pacific, Yamato replaced Nagato as the flagship of the Combined Fleet been the commander in chief at the time Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto.
Yamato’s main battery consisted of nine 46 cm (18.1 in) 45 Caliber Type 94 naval guns—the largest caliber of naval artillery ever fitted to a warship. Each gun was 21.13 metres (69.3 ft) long, weighed 147.3 tonnes (162.4 short tons), and was capable of firing high explosive or armor piercing shells 42 kilometres (26 mi).
Her secondary battery comprised twelve 155-millimetre (6.1 in) guns mounted in four triple turrets (one forward, one aft, two midships), and twelve 127-millimetre (5.0 in) guns in six twin mounts (three on each side amidships). These turrets had been taken off the Mogami class cruisers when those vessels were converted to a main armament of 8 inch guns.
In addition, Yamato carried twenty-four 25-millimetre (0.98 in) anti-aircraft guns, primarily mounted amidships. When refitted in 1944 and 1945 for naval engagements in the South Pacific, the secondary battery configuration was changed to six 155 mm guns and twenty four 127 mm guns, and the number of 25 mm anti-aircraft guns was increased to 162.
This new tooling by Tamiya is in a simple word “astonishing”. The fit, detail, engineer and overall shape is second to none among the ship model kits. (probably the Scharnhorst from Dragon and Revel’s Bismarck belong to the same category) It seems Tamiya spend a long time investigating and study everything about this famous ship and they did an amazing job. The Kit comes with a very nice photo etched detail set and I’ve added also the wooden deck from Pontos Model, the metal gun barrels set by Tamiya and the railing set also by Tamiya, which consisted in hundred of perforated metal post and thin cooper wire. (probably the most tedious thing I’ve ever done) I’ve put some extra scratch detail on the lifeboats and I’ve replaced the planes canopy for thin wire.
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