Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Great Galaxy Yamato Class Battleship

NOTE:  You can click on most pictures to get a larger view of them.

[Editor's Note (May 2016): This will mark my second re-write of this article.  I feel like I've developed a certain style and flow to the articles that I write and I wanted to make all of them have that same feel across the series.  Consider this the REFIT version of the original article.]

One of the things I like about kitbashing is that it gives you a way to add ships to your collection that you normally can't buy in the store.  This ship is one of those weird looking ones that I figured I could build with some planning.

The Dai Yamato Zero Go, also known as the Great Galaxy Yamato Class Battleship is a ship from a very short lived series called "Dai Yamato Zero Go" or "Great Yamato #0".  The show occurs 1000 years after "The Quest For Iscandar" and the iconic ship that we all know and love has undergone some radical changes.

If you would like to read more about the series or the ship, click HERE.

Kitbashing in small scale has both advantages and disadvantages.  The one big advantage is that you can do a bunch of models for less money.  The down side is that painting small scale can be quite difficult, especially if you have shaky hands like mine.

Dai Yamato Zero Go 
Great Galaxy Yamato Class
Unknown Scale Bandai Mecha Kitbash


Right off the bat, I acknowledge that my model is not an exact replica and that some of the parts are not in scale either.  However, like any good kitbasher, you work with what you have available.

Parts Used: Bandai Space Battleship Yamato Mecha (Original) Kits: EDF Yamato, EDF Cosmo Tiger II Bomber, Gamilon Desslar Command Cruiser, EDF Borodino Class Battleship, Gamilon Tri-Deck Carrier and the White Comet Empire Portent Of Darkness Class Dreadnaught. I also used the top of an AMT Round 2 1:2500 scale Enterprise (TOS) saucer, a resin 1:2500 scale Constitution (TOS) class saucer section, and some greebles from a Cozmo Heavy Industries Constellation class.

Unlike my EDF Lexington Class Battle Carrier build, I had a few more pictures of this ship taken from various angles.  The internet, Google Image Search in particular, can be a powerful ally when kitbashing.  This helped a lot in trying to match up the look of my model as closely as possible.

The first thing that I decided to do, was create the "saucer section" for the ship.  Most pictures of the ship have the saucer looking a lot like a perfectly circular Star Trek Galaxy Class saucer section.  Unfortunately, I didn't have any of those types that were small enough to use, so I fashioned my saucer from two two TOS Enterprise style sections.  This saucer was still a bit larger than what the picture was showing, but it was the closest I could get without getting daring with a dremmel.  I opted to go with the tops of both sections facing outward to give it a fuller look.  If you have ever looked closely at a TOS or TMP era saucer sections for an enterprise, the bottom of the saucer curve inward a tiny bit.  The saucer on the model I was building curved outward so it simply made sense to take a to piece and glue it to the bottom of my resin saucer section.

One the saucer was put together, it was then a matter of cutting it in half and then cutting it down so that it looked like it was embedded into the hull of the Yamato.  I assembled the primary hull for the Yamato and then attached the saucer.  Once the super glue had set enough, I puttied in the gaps around the saucer as well as the gaps where the flight mode wings would have been.


The next step was to create the wing assemble for the ship.  This went relatively easy.  I only needed to add a small wedge of sheet styrene to "level" out the wing tips with the hull of the ship.


The thing to remember with kitbashing is that you need to always evaluate the project and be able to adapt as you go.  At this point, I felt that my little wedges did not have a correct thickness to blend in well with the wing assembly.  I thickened those sections up with some sculpting putty and once it dried, sanded it down level with the rest of the wing parts.  In the end, this gave a much better look to the whole wing assembly.


Remember that "adapt as you go thing"?  I initially wasn't going to attempt to do the extended deck on my model, but as I went along and she started taking shape, I realized that I would be doing my model an injustice by leaving that section out.  I fashioned a template from a small piece of sheet styrene to ensure that I had the shape and angles correct and then cut out the weird shapes from a hanger deck of a Gamilon Carrier.  Once the pieces were set, I was able to just use model cement to fill the seams.


This ship sports four auxiliary engines.  That really was the last major hurtle in recreating the model.  I knew that I would need to dremmel out the original auxiliary engine housing to make room for the larger ones that I would need to install.  Next, I rolled out 4 cone shaped pieces of sculpting putty and let them dry overnight.  Once they had hardened up, I was able to cut, dremmel and sand those pieces down to the right size and shape.


As I painted her base coats and details, I started adding the extra greebles.  The major add was the leftover guns from the Boradino Class battleship kit that was used for my Lexington class build.  What is leftover parts for one build gets used in another future build.  That is the life of a kitbasher. 

Another thing to note from the picture of her top side is what I'm calling her launch platform.  The addition of the larger auxiliary engines on the bottom of the ship cut off the area that was originally a landing bay.  The new rear deck also did away with the Cozmo Zero catapult launchers too.  The little white stripes on the rear deck now serve as a rapid launch and recovery system.  the little silver circles in the middle of those stripes serve as an elevator system.

I really am not sure what those long cylindrical items are midpoint of the bottom of the wings, but I was able to duplicate them using the auxiliary engines off of the Gamilon command Cruiser and several antenna arrays.  They must serve as additional auxiliary engines because they appeared to be spewing fire in one picture I saw of this ship.

I also made some makeshift rudders to change the number of them from three to the desired four for the rear of the ship.  My placement of these rudders differ from the pictures I've seen.  They pictures have them almost in line with the auxiliary engine exhaust manifolds.  this didn't look good to me as technically, they would burn up.  So I moved them a bit.

I came to the conclusion that the saucer section and the wings of my model were missing some detail.  After looking at the pictures from different angles, I decided to add some extra greebles from a 1:2500 resin Constellation Class and the Gamilon Command Cruiser.  I had one extra bridge from the same kind of Gamiloin ship so this worked out well.  I then blended the parts into the ship with some putty and model cement.

The only issue I had at this point is that the additional gun turrets added to the bottom of the ship covered over the hole that would have been used with the ship's stand.  She will just have to sit on the shelf without a stand.

And that pretty much wraps up my discussion on the kitbash of mine.  

This was probably the most extensive kitbash I've ever done and quite frankly is one of my most rewarding ones that I've done.  I now have a ship in my fleet that I know very few collectors or model builders have in theirs.  

I hope you found this article as useful and informative as I did while writing it.  Please feel free to leave any comments, questions or suggestions below.

And as always, "Live Long And Prosper!"

Additional Links To Photos Of My Collection:

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