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History: Launched in 1900 at the Vickers yard in Barrow-in-Furness, the battleship Mikasa was a pre-Dreadnought built for the Imperial Japanese Navy. Similar in design to the Royal Navy's Formidable Class her layout was typical of the penultimate pre-dreadnought classes, with main armament consisting of two twin-turrets located fore and aft, and secondary guns housed in main deck box batteries. Mikasa served as Vice-Admiral Togo's flagship and had an eventful career, seeing action in the battles of Port Arthur, Yellow Sea and the decisive Battle of Tsushima. A magazine explosion caused her to sink at anchor, but was eventually re-floated and returned to service as a coastal defence ship. Her eventual fate was to be preserved as a museum ship - the only surviving ship of her class, and can be visited at Yokosuka in Japan. The Model: The 1/350 scale Hasegawa kit builds up into a nicely detailed model, and the special edition comes with two metal figures (of a different scale) of Heihachiro Togo and Akiyama Saneyuki, but I've yet to assemble and paint these. I added a PE set by Lion Roar which includes brass barrels and a more finely detailed stern-walk platform among other things. A wooden deck was also added, and climbers utility cord was used to represent the anti-torpedo netting. Although the model depicts the ship in her 1905 'Battle of Japan Sea' configuration I couldn't resist painting her in her earlier black and white scheme instead of grey as she would have appeared int he battle, so the two fighting tops are absent from the masts and other minor details may be off. Thanks for looking in, Ross.