Japan’s Yukikaze Destroyer
The commissioned in 1940, saw action in Yukikaze, a Kagero-class destroyer most of the big battles in the Pacific War. In December 1941, it supported Japanese landings at Luzon. The ship screened troop landings during the Battles of Midway and Guadalcanal, and had carrier escort duties during the Battle of the Solomons.
In the June 1944 Battle of the Philippine Sea, the Yukikaze served as an escort for Japanese oilers. Later, during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, it was part of the primary strike force that clashed with American escort carriers and destroyers in the battle off Samar. Yukikaze’s last major battle occurred on April 7, 1945, when it joined the battleship Yamato in an attack on U.S. forces off Okinawa. Having escaped the same air assaults that sank the Yamato, the Yukikaze returned to Japan, and after the war, as part of war reparations, was turned over to the Republic of China and commissioned as the Tang Yan. It was scrapped in 1971.
Hasegawa’s 1/350 scale model of the Yukikaze is a gem of a kit, comprised of 177 parts. Of note are brass-colored screws, base finials, and an anchor chain, as well as decals and a very nice rendition of a Kawanishi H8K2 Emily flying boat. I also added additional detailing using the Eduard 1/350 Yukikaze 1940 Details Kit 53032 for Hasegawa (as shown in the photograph).
The construction is generally straightforward and should pose little difficulty for most modelers. Two areas, however, did require extra attention. First, there were gaps between the clear window parts and the bridge structure, which I filled using a dab of white glue. Second, the torpedo launchers, if placed as directed, seemed to be too near the stacks. I removed the locater pin so they would have room to rotate.
But overall, Hasegawa has done a great job fabricating this scale model of an important ship with a colorful service record.
Originally published in the June 2011 issue of World War II. To subscribe, click here.