1/125 scale Yamato under construction in LDD. Part count in excess of 12500 bricks at latest stage (aprox 1/6 of ship built)
About this creation
An iconic warship, Yamato has been depicted many times by fellow builders. My rendition is to a 1/125 scale, making for an final model measuring in at over 210cm, which would make her the largest full hull battleship and 3rd largest Yamato on the web. Despite being smaller in scale than both Jumpei Mitsui's and LEGO Master's , I aim to match, if not surpass the level of detail and functionality of both in certain respects. For example, constructing gun housings that allow for full weapon elevation and rotation whilst looking as convincing as the bricks will allow.
In addition to a high degree of detail, I intend to continue my unorthodox trend of constructing the warship in a fashion that allows for minfig accessibility with as little compromise in accuracy as possible. The end goal being for display purposes and allowing the possibility of a stop motion animation, currently dubbed 'Project Leyte' to be made at a later date. For this purpose, alternate, interchangable parts of the ship will be designed allowing for depiction for Yamato at different points in her career as well as Musashi as she appeared in October 1944.
The above images show the progress on the model as of 15/07/2012 (although no work had been done on the model 2 months prior to this). The pictures show various elements of the ship at different stages of development - the 18 inch gunhouse design, for instance, has seen several revisions including an internal conversion with removes the breach details and replaces it with a system of gears allowing for the guns to be elevated by pulling up and rotating the turret commander's periscope, which can be slotted back into place at any degree of elevation.
The details in the above pictures are by no means final, and I expect many changes still to be made - I already plan an overhaul of the waterline bow section between sections 1 and 3 with regards to cross section curvature in the horizontal plane.
As can be seen, there have been several designs for the Type 96 25mm triple AA mounts that I have gone through - the one I am currently most likely to use is the version featuring black lightsaber handles and a 2 stud wide mounting, although this has not been fitted to the 'main AA deck' in most pictures.
At present, I am unable to estimate a completion date for the digital stage of this project, but at time of writing, it has been 2 years since the first designs were drawn up. At the time, a 1:200 scale was intended, though the model lost out on the chance for construction to my King George V class battleship. The design was later revised to 1:150, then 1:125 scale when it was decided to produce a digital version, leading on the the possibility of a final brick built model at a later time. I am currently working from various sources for details and specifications, but my main reference material is 'Anatomy of the Ship: The Battleship Yamato' by Janusz Skulski.
Details on the historical class of ship itself:
The Yamato Class battleships were the heaviest armed, heaviest armoured warships to ever be constructed, weighing in at 72,000 long tons. Mounted in 3 gun houses that each weighed over 2000 tons (more than a WWI destroyer!), the ship's main battery consisted of 9 18.1 inch (46cm) by 45 caliber guns - the largest naval rifles ever fitted to a warship. Japanese naval architects designed these ships to compensate for the fact that their main potential adversary, the US, could vastly out build them in the event of war. As such, these ships were intended to be vastly superior to any contemporary battleship, and capable of engaging multiple US capital ships simultaneously. The true specifications of the class was kept secret, to the extent that even 6 months after the Yamato herself was sunk, US intelligence reports still listed her as 47,000 tons with 16 inch guns.
Hope you like the taster, sorry for the wall of text, I'll be working on this project again soon...
I always love a great LEGO warship from the World War 2 era...especially the Yamato class battleships. A ship that large of a building scale, transportability will be a factor. Building in sections of 30" or less will do 2 things for you:
1) Ease the stress on the bricks.
2) Transport to different venues.
Above all, your painstaking attention to the scale & detail of this behemoth battleship is superb, sir. :-)
Ben, this is awesome work! I would listen to Chris as well: I've tried building large models and LDD gets temperamental beyond 15k pieces. Building it in sections is the best way to go. Keep us all informed along the way!
I like it
July 15, 2012
Ben, I am going to give you some advise, My tugboat weighs in at about 13K pieces, and that's all she wrote for the LDD program. If you push it from there, it just starts crashing. Separate it into about 5-6 pieces. Just take a shaving from each finished piece to use to scale the next piece. It will be a lot more fun in the end!