Like its real counterpart, this Battleship Yamato is the biggest Lego ship ever constructed. At 22 feet long, it took 6 years and 4 months to complete by one of our Lego contest winners. [Updated]
The Yamato—along with her sister ship Musashi—was the largest battleship ever constructed: 862 feet and 10 inches long and 121 feet long at its widest point. Made by Jumpei Mitsui, the Lego version was constructed at minifig scale (1/40), which is an amazing task that resulted in these specs:
• 22 feet long.
• 3 feet wide.
• 330 pounds.
• More than 200,000 Lego pieces.
And of course, it looks amazing:
The real Yamato was sunk trying to reach Okinawa in a suicide mission. The plan—under Operation Ten-Go—was to beach her near Okinawa in order to use its nine 18.1-inch 40 cm/45 Type 94 naval guns—the largest ever in any warship—as unsinkable artillery against American ground forces. Fortunately for Allied forces, it failed: Two US submarines spotted it and it was destroyed by 320 aircraft in two waves from Task Force 58, resulting in an explosion that was seen from 100 miles away.
Update: Jumpei Mitsui answered a couple of my questions about his stunning model:
Jesus Diaz: What was the most difficult part?
Jumpei Mitsui: It's a very hard work to express the curves of the bow. Yamato has a distinct curve at the bow, which I repeated four times to could get the perfect curve. That means I completely destroyed and made it four times.
It also took more than three years to get the idea about how to make The Chrysanthemum—the symbol of Japanese emperor—correctly. I think that what I got was the best way to express it with Lego without using glue or a rubber band.
JD: And besides the time spent in the project, how much do all the pieces cost?
JM: It's very diffcult to say how much because almost all of the Yamato (99.99%) is made of old grey bricks. But I'm sure that it would costs millions of yen if I got all the pieces new.