1/350 Battleship Yamato during operation Ten Ichi Go

Having found and watched Thomas’ thread on his Yamato with lots of extra candy, it gave me motivation to continue my Yamato build.
I started building her in 2016 I think on and off, and I’m not nearly halfway, but hopefully I’ll manage to have some progress. I bought the Pontos model upgrade for the ship, and with all those new manufacturers popping up I’ll buy some new extra stuff.

The aim is to depict Yamato on her final sortie. I’m planning to put her in a seascape with crew, right after the moment Yamato fired her main guns at incoming aircrew.

I’ll post some of the older updates first and then hopefully soon the newer material. Hope you’ll sail with me ^^.
Although I’m not a shipbuilder the big battleships do interest me. Bismarck and Tirpitz of course. but the biggest one was Japanese built Yamato.

With it’s 46 cm (18 inch) main guns it had the largest guns ever fitted on a ship. Blasts of the guns were so heavy they would kill you if you stould in the vicinity on deck.

Here’s a photo where Mushashi fires here main guns (photos only for discussion purposes)

Although Yamato didn’t see much action (mainly because it was meant for intimidating purposes and also, it was symbol of status, carrying the ancient name for Japan, she couldn’t be afforded to be lost. Yamato had a sistership called Mushashi. A third one was constructed as well, but was converted to the aircraft carrier Shinano when it was clear that battleships were obsolete technology.

There is evidence though that Yamato was in action during the Battle of Samar in 1944 scoring a hit from 25 miles range on the US escort Carrier White Sands, rendering it useless untill the end of the war (word is said this would be the longest range hit ever)

I’ll be depicting Yamato during her final voyage: Operation Ten Ichi Go (Heaven Number One) was to help the forces at Okinawa when they were engaged by the US. Yamato and 9 other ships needed to carry just enough fuel to make it to Okinawa and engage US naval forces. In case that this didn’t work out they were to beach themselves on Okinawa and being used as static gun platforms while the sailors became troops. Basically a suicide mission. However, the captains weren’t intending to do this and mustered as many fuel as they could so they could make it back.

On the 7th of April 1945, around noon, Yamato and her battlegroup where discovered by US planes, not too far from Japan. Aircraft carrier sent 3 waves of airplanes to attack. Initially, Yamato’s main guns fired some AA rounds into the incoming swarm, but they didn’t do much harm.

Multiple bomb hits, strafings and as many as 22 torpedos battered Yamato. 2 hours later Yamato listed and capsized. At that moment the 46cm shells rolled over and hit the backwalls with their fuses resulting in an enormous blast which could be seen 125 miles further. And that was the end of this battleship, taking 3.000 sailors with her to the bottom of the ocean.

This is an actual photo of the explosion:

First, a shot of the kit and the goodies I bought many moons ago:

I must admit this is the largest subject I have ever built, being a 75cm long. This will be challenging to photograph no doubt.

I started with the hull assembly. As always Tamiya do some clever engineering, and polycaps and screws are provided in the kit.

Although I hope to put the model in an ocean setting (that’s the plan anyway!) I assembled the lower hull (Tamiya provides you with an option to build her as a waterline model) and filled a gap. Rudders and metal propulsion shafts were added too.

with the assembly of the lower hull behind, I decided to paint it prior to further construction (less masking ! :stuck_out_tongue: ). I primed the thing with Mr. Surfacer 1500 Black and then gave it a couple of coats of Tamiya Hull Red. Now, unlike the other Japanese battleships of WWII, Yamato had a bright red lower hull. But I wanted to go for the hull red, why…dunno, probably because I had it in stock ! . Remember that the plan is that Yamato will be sailing in some water when finished, so basically not much, or nothing at all will be visible of the lower hull !

Before I could start attaching the upperhull and deck to the lower part I decided to remove the moulded on degaussing cable first.

And then I could make a start with the etch degaussing cable. Pontos actually give you two options: a ‘flat’ plain cable or one simulating multiple cables, so it has a bit of relief. I chose the latter. Quite some time later I could glue it around the bow. Took me some time to get all the bends right. (Quite annoyingly - and as a Tamiya user I should have known it - Tamiya paints dry flat. Now that’s not in issue on it’s own…but the drawback of it is that it attracts lots of dust particles

I also installed the aft lower deck/airplane/lifeboat hangar. The deck itself is part of the Pontos set, as well as the very cool bollards.

I also glued some of the parts of the front deck. In hindsight the 4 upright pieces around the capstan shouldn’t be there, but at the time I glued them in place I just followed the Pontos instructions without checking for info.

I’ve got some more updates ready, but it’s a bit busy home at the moment. I already have 3 children and the 4th on born last friday is on her way to home for the very first time ^^


Nice start. I’ve got a couple of these Pontos sets on hand, but haven’t used one yet. They look pretty extensive.

Interesting, I didn’t know Tamiya gave you a waterline option with this kit.

Your work on the degaussing cable looks first class, nice job. Mark

Thanks a lot guys. And the fact that Tamiya gives you the waterline option is a bonus for those who don’t want to show the full hull model, though I wonder if there are any modellers who chose to do so.

I managed to more or less finish one of the main gun turrets (some small bits need to be added here and there, and I need to scrape off some glue spills in some areas). At that time I was waiting for replacement barrels because Pontos provided me with gun barrels with the opening drilled out off center. So I dry fitted just one (the only one correctly drilled out ). I also added the Pontos AA gun platforms on the roof, as well as the railings and other tiny stuff.

I assembled one of the open Type 96 triple AA guns. It consists out of 17 parts and took me nearly two hours to assemble just one. Yamato had more than thirty on board ![ :neutral_face: . To show the shear size of the thing I layed a toothpick and a 1/35 Tiger I roadwheel (what else :crazy_face:) next to it for comparison.

(needless to say that those modern day 3D printed models will save a lot of work ^^)

Degaussing cable assembly was also completed. Most of it was glued in place again with Gators’s Grip Glue. Except for the parts at the aft section of the hull. Lots of corners and all and it was a bit harder to get it stuck there. So superglue to the resque. I found something new recently, called the ‘Glue Looper’. It uses cappilary action to add very thing ca glue in narrow nooks 'n crannies. Basically I loaded the Glue Looper with ca glue and held it to the edge of the degaussing cable.

Other than that, as you can see in the photo above, I glued the gun platforms for the shielded AA guns at the edge of the hull in place.

On both sides a swinging boom was assembled and glued in place.

Each side of the hull has some ventilation gaps. According to the model of Yamato museum at Kure, Japan, the port side has only 5 (starboard has 6 - from what I’ve learned, symmetry is considered to be a bad thing in Japan, bings bad luck or something like that). The Tamiya Yamato has 6 on each side, so I had to fill one on the port side. After that I glued the ventilators in place (consist out of 2 parts each)

And that’s how the hull stands at the moment:

The two Kure Type No.2 Model 5 catapults were assembled. Each one consists out of a staggering 70 parts ! :grimacing:

Assembly was timeconsuming and a little frustrating from time to time (though not too often) but the result is ok:

Although not an easy assembly, the jib crane definitely is much faster assembled than I expected.
The base for the crane consists out of many parts already, and a wonderfully turned piece of brass. But it’s such a good looking piece!

I couldn’t resist dryfitting the catapults and crane to the stern, as well as the platforms for the stern AA guns (which are still a WIP)

That’s all I’ve got for now ^^


This is great. Lovely build so far and as with Thomas’s Yamato, the detailing you’re adding is excellent…
It is also very nice to see the size comparison up against the Tiger roadwheel …that AA gun is soooooo tiny …

It is nice to have 2 Yamato builds on the go, from different operations as well …

Looking forward to the next installment…:+1::+1:

Big fan of the Glue Looper, I have both versions, one for thin and thick CA. Those catapults and cane really adds to the detail. Any more shiny bass on the stern and I will have to view your photos with sunglasses. Mark

Hi Wouter,

welcome the the salty side here, and I’ll definitely follow your further on progress on your Yamato! What you’ve accomplished so far looks excellent, and I fully understand long build span periods - as a build normally takes me years to finish, too!


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Thanks a lot and glad to have you on board. I do think there is a small misinterpretation though, if I’m not mistaken both Thomas’ and mine are depicting Yamato during her final sortie ^^

Mark, thanks mate, yeah it’s quite shiny, isn’t it? :smiley: . I didn’t realise there was a Glue Looper for the thick type as well, good to know!

Hi Jan, thanks for the warm welcome skipper, and glad to have you on board. And glad to be in the same slow boat :smile:

Time for an update (it’s still from a while ago though :stuck_out_tongue: )

On to the flight deck. I scraped away the detail on the upperside and glued the etch surface in place. The underside got the plastic removal treatment as well. I glued the etch beams in place (consisting out of 24) and the rear AA gun supports protrude the edge of the flight deck. The Tamiya parts are just open on the underside but that shouldn’t be like that. So I made a bottom part using plastic card and added some triangular supports as well.

After that I added the support beams of the flight deck. Tamiya has got this a bit wrong, since they use a wrong number of support beams (9 large beams and 5 smaller ones). Somehow a lot of aftermarket companies have gone with this incorrect number as well - Pontosmodel being one of them.
The model at the museum located in Kure Japan shows another configuration though, so I went with that one: 7 longer beams and 4 shorter ones.

The rails at the flight deck were quite the effort and quite hard to get in place. Now, Pontos tell you to glue two parts against each other, which form a rail. However, hard as it was already, I decided to install single rails. Won’t be quite visible from afar anyway !
Anyway, ginormeous amounts of thin ca glue were used, and the primer stage will tell if I messed up or not. Smaller parts like the AA gun directors where glued in place as well.

After that I wanted to do something ‘fun’ which started to make the Yamato like…Yamato :laughing:
I decided to finish the main gun turrets. These massive beasts (2774 metric tonnes, heavie than most destroyers of the era :no_mouth:) look as impressive in 1/350 as in 1/1 no doubt).
I’m depicting the two forward main turrets firing their ‘San Shiki’ or Beehive shells at the first wave of incoming airplanes. As you can see some guns already fired and dropped in the down position for reloading. Gives a nice sense of drama to it.
And I couldn’t resist fitting them to the hull.

(for comparison a 1/35th scale figure next to the aft turret)

As you can see I already made a start at one of the secondary gun turrets as well, but more on that later ^^


My fault…I was misreading the title in both threads as it’s a bit different so I thought it was 2 different Ops…

Fantastic update. I really don’t know how you you guys do this PE work… Some of it is do miniscule… It looks so good when you see it on the ship and just how much extra clear detail it gives… Superb work :+1::+1:

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Making nice progress, those turrets are looking sweet. Mark

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No doubt, that main armament IS impressive! And very nice work on all that shiny PE Wouter, she looks outstanding!
Looking forward to see more of your Yamato!


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Thanks a lot for the great comments chaps. The pe sure has it’s challenges when assembling, but in the end it’s worth all the sweat and swearing I reckon :laughing:

Time for some secondary gun turrets ^^
Pontos has great replacement barrels and etch for it, but one of the tripod assemblies gave me so much frustration I ended up using the kit plastic part.

I still need to add some horizontal railings on the sides though.

Also, I wanted to try one of the shielded 25mm AA guns. Again, Pontosmodel provides great etch for it.

And just to give you a sense of scale:

now, this was assembled back in 2017. Looking at the 3D printed shielded turrets I’m hesitating wether I’d stick with the upgraded kit parts or go for the 3D ones.
I’m just wondering, when the 25mm AA guns fired at the incoming planes, would the shutters be open and each turret fire individually, or would the shutters be closed and would the turrets be commandeered by their respective gun directors? Anyone knows? I tried to find some info but to no avail…

Finally for today, the 46cm main gun turrets were painted and weathered. Just to do something different than glueing and all.
First some primer.

Then a preshade, I used a mix of Flat Brown and black if I’m not mistaken, thinned with Mr. Levelling thinner.

After that the basecoat: Tamiya IJN Grey mixed with some clear (note that the preshade is hardly visible anymore)

I started highlighting the turrets. I used two different highlights, but things were kept subtle, unlike the heavier contrast I tend to use on my armor.

I painted the details like the blast bags and canvas additional protection to the gun platforms. The blast bags were painted Vallejo Deck Tan and highlighted with Silvergrey. For the canvas bags I used Iraqi Sand and highlighted with Iraqi Sand mixed with some offwhite. The highlights might be hardly visible though.

After that it was time for a bit of filtering.

I used the following oils for this:

ABT140 Basic Flesh Tone
Winsor & Newton Yellow Ochre
ABT150 Field Grey
ABT235 Intense Blue
ABT100 Neutral Grey.

I moistened a part of the turret with Abteilung odorless turpentine first and then randomly added dots of thinned oiled paint (on the photo the turret was a bit too wet, no worries though

After that I used a dry brush to blend in the colors. I stabbed the paint rather than dragging it down. I wasn’t aiming for a streaking effect here. More like getting colorvariations on the basic paintwork.

Since the paintwork is in between a matt and satin finish I used a hairdryer at low speed from a distance to speed up the drying process. Otherwise there was a possibility of ending up with tide marks.

The result is rather subtle and quite hard to capture on camera. In the flesh the effect is much more clear.

And that’s how the turrets are so far. Still need to do some shading.

That’s all for today folks!


Absolutely brilliant. Yours and Thomas’s Yamato’s must be 2 of the best out there in this scale … amazing

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That brown/black pre-shade on that lovely turret was truly UGLY, but the subtlety and effectiveness of your subsequent techniques speak for themselves. I can see you applying your armor modeling experience here - awesome painting!

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The ships subforum has seen a veritable flood of Yamato class over the last year or so and I am loving it. Wonderful to see how each person approaches these builds. All difference and I learn from each one :smiley:

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that turret with your paintwork looks absolutely excellent!


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wow, many thanks for the great comments chaps, means a lot!

The smokestack has been built and detailed with some more bling. Now that I’ve seen the 3D printed one it hurts a bit that I already glued the top to the bottom piece, so this one will have to do.
As you can see on the next photo there’s a part missing on the exhaust area of the smoke stack (one of the beams or whatever one needs to call it). It got eaten by the carpet monster. So I’ll need to figure a way to replicate that. Probably I’ll use some thin paper soaked in ca glue.

Needless to say that all those fine details were quite timeconsuming and especially nervewrecking, but in the end worth the effort I think

The tower bridge(s) were already detailed a bit as well. A lot has to be done though. The upper bridge will remain roofless for a while. I tend to depict Yamato with her compliment of crew so that means adding officers on the bridge after basic painting/weathering

The smaller aft 10m rangefinder has been detailed as well, though not finished yet. Some of the small triangle shaped supports were scratchbuilt since Tamiya ommitted them.

I finished pretty much all the details on the 15.5M rangefinder, Type 21 radar array and the Hoiban low range director. Only the antenna array on top of the Hoiban hasn’t been assembled just yet.

And just to give a sense of scale, the pink lighter again :stuck_out_tongue: