As seen in April 1945 at the anchorage buoy, on the very last rest day before Okinawa battle.


Tamiya plastic kit no. 113 New Mould 

Scale 1:700 Water Line Series

See how I build the kit on the bottom of this page

Click on the pictures to enlarge.










































































  Yamato history:

The ultimate battleships, with the greatest displacement, biggest guns and heaviest armour of all time.

Yamato and her sister Musashi were ordered in the 1937 3rd Supplementary Programme, the second pair in the 1939 4th Supplementary Programme. The history, even in the design stage, consisted of a series of superlatives; no fewer than 23 different projects were considered before plans where finalized. Yamato and Shinanno were built in new or enlarged docks, whereas Musashi was launched from a conventional slipway at a record 35.737t. Special precautions, including a 408t camouflage net for Musashi, were needed to keep their building secret. A heavy-lift ship, Kashino, was constructed to transport 18.1 in (46 cm) guns and mountings to the shipyards.

Protection was designed to give immunity against 18in shells between 22,000 and 33,000yds, and against a 1t bomb dropped from 15,000 ft. Below the belt (inclined at 20 degree to the vertical) was a 7,9in-3in anti-torpedo bulkhead (14 degree inclination) which extended to the outer bottom along machinery spaces, but was under the magazines fore and aft as extra protection against mines. Each triple turret had a total revolving weight of 2530t, and the range at 45 degree elevation with a 3220 lb AP projectile was 45,960yds, rate of fire being 1.5-2 rounds per gun per minute. There were two catapults.

The designed displacement figures listed above were exceeded, actual figures being 63,000t (approx) standard, 68,010t trial, 71,659t full load. The 6-6.1 in guns amidships were removed in 1943, to make room for an additional 12-5in/40 DP (6x2), although these were only fitted in Yamato. The light AA armament in this ship was increased to 36-25mm in 1943. 98-25mm in April 1944, 113-25mm in July 1944 and 152-25mm in 1945.

Her final mission was as part of Operation Ten-Go following the invasion of Okinawa on 1 April 1945. She was sent on a suicide mission (commanded by Admiral Seiichi Ito) to attack the US fleet supporting the US troops landing on the west of the island. On 6 April Yamato and her escorts, the light cruiser Yahagi and 8 destroyers, left port at Tokuyama. They were sighted on 7 April by American submarines as they exited the Inland Sea southwards. The U.S. Navy launched 386 aircraft to intercept the task force, and the planes engaged the ships starting at 12:30 that afternoon. Yamato took 8 bomb and 10 torpedo hits before, at about 14:23, she capsized to port and her aft magazines detonated. She sank while still some 200 km from Okinawa. Of her crew 2,475 were lost, and the 269 survivors were picked up by the escorting destroyers.

The wreckage lies in around 300 meters of water and was surveyed in 1985 and 1999.

Technical specification:

Laid down at Kure Naval yard 4.11.1937

Launched 8.8.1940

Completed 16.12.1941

Sunk 7.4. 1945

displacement: 71,659 tons

length: 263 m

beam:  36.90m

draught: 10.40m

ship horse power: 150,000shp

speed : 27 knots

main guns 9 (3x3) 18.1´ = 46 cm 

secondary guns 6-6.1´ (2x3) = 15,5 cm

medium guns AA 24 -5´(12x2) 12.7 cm

light guns AA 152 (50x3) + 2 (2x1) 25mm 

light guns AA 4 (2x2) 13mm 

7 aircraft 2 catapult

crew: 2475

Build process:

The TAMIYA kit of Yamato model is a real nice one; the only small thing to set my fingers on, was the small upward curve of the hull to the red bottom piece of the waterline. It's been easy to correct with some pressure over night while the glue settled. All in all it was a pleasure to work with this kit -even if one chose to build the model out of the box without any modifications, it will be a fantastic model of the greatest battleship of all time. - Yes it hard for me not to talk positively about Yamato, I real admire her with all of the ships features and fine lines. She has so many design features that it will be fair to say Yamato was the one of the first modern ship of that time.

I tried to make the model look so real as my skills required, and am sure people with more talent and dedication to the model, will make her even better than mine. And as said before this model kit is a very fine base to work on further if demanded by the modeler. I have done some modifications to the model and I will try to explain how in the following lines. Let's start with the ships bow and work down to the stern of the model.  


First Yamato is lying at anchorage at the buoy,  witch are built from styrene plastic with piece of a jewelry chain as well for the anchor chains. In the very front of the ship where the gold chrysanthemum crest is, are the towing fairleads, those were added by some styrene plastic to make the front more realistic ,and then cut open for chains and ropes. Tom’s model works Yamato/Musashi PE is used trough out of the model; this PE-set a real gem and a must to do the model justice. The ships crew is from Edurard IJN crew -I cut some for the poor sailors over in half discarded their heads! -Just to make some laundry...What a cruel thing to do!!!!  


I made the "Deck planking" by three colors of paint (sand, red-brown and white) first I paint the (Thin) sand paint all over the deck area there after I made a "deck paintbrush" by a bream flat brush and removed some of the hairs in groups by a pair of scissors (now the brush look like a hair comp) then I painted the deck again in small stroke with mixed paint colors to illustrate the different colors in the wood - I continued this process of mixing and apply paint in shades until it came to the effects I desired. At last I used a very soft pencil to apply the dark lines between the planks. Please see the second last picture of the wood deck details.

The white markings around the deck were used to identify the ship position at night - I made the markings of small strips of masking tape and secured them by matt varnish.  


The 18.1in gun barrels were bored out and painted gold inside. The barbette has some vertical plate joints on the real ship I made them by small strip of styrene plastic. The exercise aiming device and platforms on the barrels was made of surplus PE deck railing.

Tamiya made the 25mm AA gun tubs a little to fat in my opinion, so I made new of soda straw cut to the right height. And all the small ammunitions boxes and the red emergency cases were made by styrene plastic profiles. I made the canvas mattresses around the 25 mm AA guns with soldering tin bend over a pencil.

Yamato 6.1in medium guns were modified with platform in the rear also the mast for the radio antenna was made of silver tread. The stop limiter for the blast bags was also made of surplus PE railings. I draw the ventilation gaps on the turret with a permanent marker.  


The sun awning stanchions was made of copper wire, and the canvas cover was a piece of optical lens-cleaning paper soaked in very thin nearly white matt paint. Shadows on top were drawn with pencil to exaggerate the wave of the awning.

White shutters on the command tower of Yamato were made of Small Square of white pieces of paper. The windows were not this time cut open, but all painted black and on top glued gray-painted ladders a more easy way to make realistic windows, with less stress for me!

All the rigging was made of invisible thread run through a permanent marker, the isolators was painted white and on the front lines from tower to the bow (radio antenna) the big round isolators was made of thick droplets of black paint applied to the lines.

On all the 5 in AA guns I added the gun barrel stop of silver wire. Ventilation intake and watertight doors was added to the superstructure of the model.  

Aircraft and afterdeck:

Out back on the aircraft deck, I draw the chocolate-brown "sidewalks" linoleum on my computer instead of Tamiya own gray transfers (I have not seen any linoleum on any IJN ships in gray) -so I made Yamatos in brown -as on the 1:10 scale Kure Naval Yard model. The rails for the aircraft handling as well the turntables was made of deck railing cut down to just two bars high.

I added hangar doors to the aircraft deck below and some details on the barrier around the cave for the aircraft and boats. On Yamato starboard rear side I made the emergencies rudder from styrene plastic and sewing tread (The big bolts on the rudder was made of droplets of CA-glue) The stringers on the biplane aircrafts was made of invisible tread glued in cross sections before the upper wing was attached (A much more easy way than done after)  

Water and sky:

My diorama was on a artist frame measured 60 x 40 cm with a black plastic bag on top just curled, to illustrate waves on the water secured with 3M tape. The white wave tops was painted after the boats and the taxing aircraft.

(A funny ting was when the black sea was exposed out to the hot sun on my balcony, the waves grew bigger by the expanding air under) -see the difference from the fist picture witch was taken indoor in natural light condition. The background is a print from my computer in poster mode (9 pieces) glued together, and I think stands well to the dark black sea.

The #2 picture is made in Photo Shop as well as #3 picture resemble a real war photo from 7. April 1945.

The background in the rest of the pictures is out on my balcony with the use of an old slide screen.  


As a reference I was very happy with the pictures on the net from Yamato 1:10 at Kure Naval Yard museum. Also a big thanks to the Royal Danish Navy library for lending me the books: Anatomy of the ship The Battleship YAMATO by Janusz Skulski and IJN BB Yamato Class, Gakken Pictorial Series 20. -A fantastic pair of books highly recommended even if you not going to build a model of YAMATO ........the greatest battleship of all time.  


After I took the pictures of YAMATO I discovered that the ship only wore four floodlights in 1945, instead of the six on mine model -the ones on the lower deck level was switched with a par of control towers to the 25 mm AA guns. Also the Id-code of YAMATO´S signal flags was J,G,A,A and not J,G,G,A as I made it on my model. I have altered this afterwards. 

The building time was approx 7 weeks.

Mar. 2006 to May. 2006.



© 2004-2024 Aeronautic pictures. This website, the content, the design and the pictures and are intended for public non commercial use, and may be redistributed, freely printed, or electronically reproduced in its complete and unaltered form provided distribution is for private use only. Partial and other distribution means require the permission of Aeronautic Pictures. All rights reserved.