Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Chibi Maru Battleship


Here's a model I actually finished a few months ago.  It's one of Fujimi's Chibi Maru warship series, depicting capital ships of the Imperial Japanese Navy in cartoon style. This particular kit represents the battleship Hiei which was sunk near Guadalcanal in 1942.  After seeing these posted on Bob Cordery's Wargaming Miscellany blog, I was tempted to try one and ordered from eBay.  The kit shipped from Japan fairly quickly and was reasonably priced when you consider what plastic models cost these days.

How was the build ?  Pretty straightforward.  All instructions with Japanese text of course, but as the plans are a series of numbered schematics, it wasn't difficult to assemble.




This is designed as a snap together kit so theoretically no glue needed.  However, I found some of the tolerances tight indeed which no doubt ensures pieces don't fall off once assembled, but proved difficult to force into place.  Thus I think a child would struggle to build this and in straining to insert certain pieces, one runs the risk of some small part flying off the tweezers or pliers to disappear in some far corner of the room or carpet pile. As I went along, I found myself increasingly shaving parts for an easier fit and relying on glue to hold things together.

How does she look ?  Not too bad. It's a simple brush job in Vallejo # 992 Neutral Gray. Somewhat deceptive paint as it dries darker than it looks in the bottle.  The kit also has stickers for things like bridge windows and wooden decks but for the most part I didn't use them for anything more than the flag.  I didn't bother painting the lower hull.  They make photo etch parts for many of these kits although that begs the question, how much detail really needs to be lavished on a tubby toy-like battleship ?






So what's next for me in this series ?  Nothing really.  You know, if Fujimi had designed these in relative scale to each other and issued a USN counterpart to do battle with, they might have some wargaming application.  As it stands now, the kit is a novelty piece although I did enjoy the change of pace in building something like this.

11 comments:

  1. Pretty great - I've seen the same post and started building the Admiral Hipper fom paper in a similar style, I have the hull and one turret completed, not sure if I will ever finish it.
    I've also had that problem with Neutral Grey, and have been using Sky Grey instead. If you want to check how the paints look out of the bottle, I can suggest the paint chart pages at Loki's Great Hall blog.

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    1. Thanks, Andras. And good tip on the paint.

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  2. It is attractive with toyish/cartoony charm. I especially like it in waterline mode. Just as well tbat its not part of an extensive, inexpensive, complete range....

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    1. I like it better in waterline too, Ross.

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  3. I really do like the look of the finished model, and I wish that they were more widely available and the range included non-Japanese ships. If they did, I would b saving up my penny's to buy them!

    All the best,

    Bob

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    1. Thanks, Bob. Sorry it took me so long to get around to it. Yes to your points and the thing that irritates me the most is a destroyer as long as a battleship.

      The style's the thing though, which could serve as an inspiration for scratchbuilds done in the same manner. Perhaps it could be done by scratchbuilding all the US ships & smaller Japanese craft with the IJN battleships and carriers simply built from the Fujimi kits to save time.

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    2. Corporal_Trim,

      I was thinking along those lines ... and may give it try if I can make the time.

      All the best,

      Bob

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    3. Bob, if anyone can pull that off, you can.

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  4. Hi! If I am interested in buying tin miniature submarines, 24 of them, which could fit into matchboxes, in different models, where can i find them and how do I go about? Hope you can help :) tried to find a way to email you, but that was difficult :(

    cheers!

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    1. it is for a christmas info project which I would like to make :)

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  5. Hi Raiana, You could try miniature ships for wargaming, the only issue is you'd have to paint them. In your shoes, I'd take a look on eBay. Good hunting.

    Steve

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