LEGO battleship Yamato, largest LEGO ship ever, completed after 6 years

In a feat of LEGO naval engineering rivaled only by Malle Hawking’s USS Harry S Truman and Ed Diment’s HMS Hood, Jumpei Mitsui (JunLEGO) completed his World War II battleship Yamato today.

LEGO battleship Yamato

LEGO battleship Yamato has some very impressive specifications:

  • Length: 6.6 meters (22 feet) from bow to stern
  • Width: 1 meter (3 feet) at the widest point midship
  • Scale: 1/40
  • Time to complete: 6 years, 4 months
  • Parts: 200,000 LEGO elements
  • Weight: 150 kilograms (330 pounds)

Jumpei’s LEGO version is based on the way Yamato appeared immediately prior to the fateful Operation Ten-Go in 1945.

Jumpei Mitsui with LEGO YamatoJumpei built LEGO Yamato to answer the question he posed to himself all the way back in elementary school: “How big would Yamato be from a LEGO minifig’s perspective?” A third-year college student today, Jumpei can now demonstrate exactly what that would look like!

Breaking through the language barrier, Jumpei pioneered the use of Bricklink among Japanese LEGO fans to source the two hundred thousand LEGO elements necessary to build Yamato.

Yamato includes wonderful details like the Imperial chrysanthemum emblem on the bow and a brick-built Japanese navy flag flying from the bridge. The superstructure is especially impressive:

LEGO battleship Yamato superstructure

See more photos of this amazing LEGO creation on Jumpei Mitsui’s website and in his LEGO Battleship Yamato gallery on Brickshelf (when moderated).

Japanese battleship YamatoNot to be confused with the fictional Space battleship Yamato, the real Japanese battleship Yamato was launched in 1941, and remains the largest battleship ever constructed by any navy.

Having fired her guns against Allied forces only once during the Pacific War, Yamato was sunk in 1945, taking nearly 2,500 of her 2,700 crew to their deaths.

Six years in the making, Jumpei Mitsui’s LEGO battleship Yamato is major news in the LEGO fan community. The Brothers Brick will get in touch with Jumpei and try to arrange an interview for our English-speaking readers. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy the pictures.

21 comments on “LEGO battleship Yamato, largest LEGO ship ever, completed after 6 years

  1. EJ Nichols

    Awesome. As an AFOL and a sailor and a history major, I’m extremely excited to see more.

  2. Andrew Post author

    Oops! Did I forget to use the word “epic” repeatedly in my post? Well, epic EPIC EPIC EPIC!!!

    There, I feel better. :)

  3. The Ranger of Awesomeness

    Man, this is just crazy awesome. I don’t think there’s words to express how awesome this is.

  4. cthulthu

    Absolute magic, even down to the hull profile, if I had the money, what price regardless, it would be yours

  5. Herman

    Impressive, although I have to say building something on such a large scale doesn’t interest me much.

    As far as creatively building details with the bricks at your disposal, this one doesn’t go very far. Everything seems so big it can be build with basic bricks, which would definately take the fun out if it for me.

  6. Mark Kelso

    While I actually agree with what Herman says above me here about the issue of simple brick building methods, I’m still impressed beyond words with his tenacity to see this project through to its completion. Funding for such a project couldn’t have been easy either (and that’s something I’d be interested to hear of in an interview). Even if it weren’t an absolute monstrosity, it would still be a well executed MOC. But the scale makes it utterly amazing. It’s been a joy to watch the progress, and my most sincere congratulations to Jumpei on his completion of the MOC!

  7. The Mad Physicist

    I’m almost going to miss checking into the brickshelf folder to see how far the project has come along. Six years! This is an amazing piece of work. I don’t agree that this doesn’t go very far as far as building techniques are concerned. Yes, most of of it is sculpted, but some of these shapes are amazing and just take a closer look at the planes on the stern and all the detail on the superstructure. Epic indeed.

  8. Shmails

    Can I ask a logistical question, what do you do with something this big? Is it going to be in a museum, a LEGO store, or just in this guys school gym? It took six years to build, so I assume there is no plan to disassemble the model.

    As for the model, it is extremely impressive, although I agree it is more about commitment to a MOC rather than revolutionary building technique. It needs a little context, so it would be great to put some smaller boats or a dock along side it, although I can’t imagine he has extra bricks.

  9. carterbaldwin

    While I agree with those who’ve mentioned not being particularly impressed with simply sculpting massive quantities of brick, in this instance the quality of the sculpting is impressive on it’s own. The amount of detail and the tenacity to see it through is really staggering, and I too have enjoyed the status updates as various guns and bits of superstructure are completed.

    Also, the fact that this was done by an individual for their own satisfaction, with their own resources, makes this far more impressive to me than any of Kenney or any other professional builders work.

  10. gambort

    I think the sculpting is excellent. It has struck me before how few people can really capture curves well and to do it on such a large scale with such detail is very impressive.

  11. alexgover

    I first me Junpei in a restaurant in Tokyo a couple of months ago. He said he was into lego, and I said jokingly “ok whats the biggest thing you’ve ever built?”. He looked at me and said “well I’m currently working on a boat”. I asked him how big it was and when he showed me the photo I nearly fell off my seat. Omedeto Junpei!

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