Aoshima 1/700 Akizuki Class Anti-Aircraft Destroyer Suzutsuki
By Bob Pearson
During the 1920's Japan embarked on an ambitious program of destroyer designs, beginning with the Fubuki Class. All subsequent classes, but one, were equipped with the 5" gun as main armament. The exception were the 13 ships of the Akizuki class which carried 3.9" DP guns for use in the anti-aircraft role. These ships were designed as escorts for the new carriers, later the design was modified to also include torpedo tubes and depth charges. Of the 13 ships laid down, 12 were completed of which six were war losses. That depicted in this kit survived until 1948 when she was sold for scrap.
I already have an Akizuki Class destroyer - Shimozuki - by Fujimi, and the two approaches to roughly similar ships is interesting. The first thing one notices is that unlike the kits produced by the other Japanese companies in 1/700 scale, Aoshima's are in a medium grey instead of the dark grey of the other companies.
There are six sprues for the basic kit parts as well as an extra sprue of turrets, aircraft and torpedo tubes in the dark grey colour.
The hull is about 1/8" longer than the Fujimi hull, and rather than have the linoleum fasteners molded on the deck, Aoshima has a non-slip tread pattern on the bow, stern and main traffic areas. No portholes or doors are molded on the hull/superstructure.
The first sprue has the 3.9" turrets, funnel, directors and bridge
structure. The other sprues contain the antennae and various platforms.