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Scratchbuilding A New Deck for IJN Kaga

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Kaga Flight Deck…

Many ship modelers have their favorite ships they would like to build yet a model of them might not be very new or have very good quality. This is how I feel about the IJN Kaga. Hasegawa has a very old model of the Kaga in 1:700 scale. It is certainly showing its age and will require a lot of work to bring it up to the high detail today’s models have. Since the Kaga is a carrier the most visible aspect of it is the flight deck and redoing it would certainly be required to get a good quality model. I looked online and found a few modelers who had rebuilt this kit and had done a really good job. However, I did not feel I had the skills to do what they did. In both cases the modelers had sanded the detail off the kit’s flight deck and re-scribed everything.

I tried this on a Chuyo kit for practice first with disastrous consequences. There are a few downsides to this method. First, you ruin the molded detail on the kit deck, and I was worried I might need it for reference. Second, I found scoring evenly spaced wood planks in 1:700 scale impossible for my skill level. Third, one major scoring mistake and the whole thing would likely need sanded and restarted from the beginning. After my failure with the Chuyo, I was not about to attempt it on a favorite ship model. I thought through the problem and listed a few of things I wanted in recreating flight decks.

First, I did not want to damage the kit’s flight deck in any way. Second, I did not want to score wood planks. Third, I wanted the deck to be made in sections. This would be a benefit in two ways. One, if I made a big mistake only that section would need recreated and not the whole thing. Two, If I could paint the sections first, then glue them together the paint would be perfect without the need for complex masking. Below you will find a list of materials for the project, tools needed and the methods I used to recreate a high detailed flight deck using various Evergreen styrene products.

Materials and Paint…

Evergreen Styrene – Part #
N Scale Freight Car Siding Sheet- #2020
Plain Sheet Styrene- #9020
Board and Batten Sheet- #4542
Rectangular Strips - #102
Rectangular Strips - #122
Plain Sheet styrene - #9009

Painting Supplies (* denotes Spray Cans)
*Generic Gray Primer
*Generic Almond Color
*Generic White Color
*ModelMaster Navy Aggressor Gray
*ModelMaster Gunship Gray
*Tamiya IJN Kure Gray
*Tamiya IJN Sesebo Gray
Kure Gray(about a 50/50 mix of ModelMaster Gunship Gray and Flat Gull Gray)
Craft Store Acrylics in Yellow, Red-Orange and Light Tan
Watercolor Pencils in various tans and whites.
Testors White Decal paper and bonding spray

Tools Model Sandpaper
Fine Point Mechanical Pencil
Metal Ruler (Metric and Inches)
Metal Square
Several Sharp Hobby Knife Blades
Several large wood files and a set of rounded needle files.
Hole punch set with interchangeable hole sizes (I got mine from a local craft store)

About the Author

About Anthony Kochevar (ajkochev)

I've modeled ships as a teen and started the hobby again in 2005. For some reason I got into the history of the Japanese Navy at this time and started building ships of this navy. I also do N Scale model railroading, reef aquariums and a few video games.


I used the Evergreen N scale freight car siding for my 350 scale Yamato conversion. Good stuff though it might be a tad to wide to accuratly show planking in 700 scale still it beats trying to scribe all that.
OCT 19, 2009 - 06:00 AM
Hi Anthony Very good SBS of this major scratchbuilt, even if only the IJN Kaga deck I think you have done a very good job, very clever in splitting it in sections (avoiding terrible and always problematic masking) and I am going to use the drain tip for my IJN Unyo built/scratchbuilt project. It makes a convincing drain and it doesn't get so fragile as the PE parts! Looking forward to see the full IJN Kaga Congratulations! Rui
OCT 19, 2009 - 06:52 AM
Very nice demo Anthony.
OCT 19, 2009 - 10:21 AM
Wonderful work. I am especially impressed with the gold-almond wash for the wooden deck sections. --Karl
OCT 20, 2009 - 06:47 AM
great work, instant bookmark, thanks for sharing!
OCT 21, 2009 - 02:07 PM
article reads well and I think applies to much. The wood looks like wood! well done and thanks.
OCT 21, 2009 - 09:07 PM
Source reference link...Omami Kaga Build Link to article is broken
MAR 18, 2011 - 10:16 PM