With the recent release of Hasegawa's Triple deck Akagi, the excellency of the injected plastic ships bar was raised. But this was already covered by Frank Portela and Jim Adams here
So what brings me here is the release by Hasegawa of the first AM set produced that I am aware of.
It consists of real wooden decks, dry transfers and a small PE fret. Lets look at it closer:
The transparent plastic envelope, reinforced with a printed card, brings a smaller plastic bag with the wooden sheets, another plastic bag with the PE set, both of this plastic bags glued to the card - which can damage the PE set while removing it, so pay attention. The dry transfer sheet with is protective backing sheet is also in front. On the back, the instructions sheet.
The set of instructions is printed with diagrams on where the wooden parts go, where the PE parts go and a selection of dry transfers for both pre-war versions of the Akagi. This is what we could expect from Hasegawa, but they have also included instructions on how to apply the wooden sheets and dry transfers. All these are bilingual (Japanese/English) which is good (at least to me, since I can not read Japanese - this could be a must for other Japanese manufacturers).
Wooden Deck Parts
The set includes 6 (six) wooden pre-cut sheets, paper thin, with self adhesive backing, protected with a transparent film.
The longitudinal planking is excellent, with wood color variation, which makes it really impressive and very realistic.
The way of applying the wooden sheets is by pealing off one bit of the protective film and when in place, carefully pealing off the rest, making sure that the start of the plank is in the correct place.
This will need some prep work, mainly removing some details that are in the plastic part and are going to be replaced by the PE parts.
This PE set has 20 parts, that are going to be used in the flight deck alone: Wind deflectors, elevators, arrestor cables, searchlight covers. There are parts included if you want to display the wind deflectors open, although the bottom part has a "bogus" detail, nothing compared with Lionroar kind for these areas. The parts are intended to be glued over the pit on the deck plastic part, with no surgery what so ever.
The overall detail is good, with good etching.
The Dry Transfer Set
Very thorough, fine, with the red/white stripes on register. Options for early type (1927~1934) and middle type (1934~1935) are included and well pointed out in the instruction sheet.
The only issue I have discovered on this first look is the fact that some of the dry transfers will have to be placed on PE parts (wind deflectors) and if you intend on having them open, you'll have to paint it, since the white marks are placed on the cover and in the pit too.
I have placed the wooden sheets on the kit parts, and the accuracy and fitting to the parts is excellent. It looked a little bit high, but it still has the backing protective film, so I guess it will be a spot-on fit.
The only thing that may cause an issue is where the deck has it's slope. The engineering of that particular part (Part E) could have been split in three, but I am anticipating an issue... Perhaps it will fit perfectly!