IJN AKITSUSHIMA

 
 

As seen in 1942

 
     
 

Pit-Road SkyWave no. W50

Scale 1:700 Water Line Series

Read how I build the kit on the bottom of this page

Click on the pictures to enlarge.

 
     
     
     

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History of IJN Akitsushima:

What the PBY "Catalina" was for the American navy, the Kawanishi H6K, code name "Mavis" represented, for the Japanese navy. As long-distance sea-reconnaissance aircraft extremely successfully, it needed a support ship for maintenance -, salvage and repairs. Therefore a flight boat tender was designed from the outset, 6 was planned 3 of Akitsushima class and 3 smaller vessels, but only Akitsushima was finished, which should take over this task. On 29 April 1942 finished. During the carrier attack on Truk mi February 1944 damaged, was equipped it during the following repair with an air surveillance radar and an intensified air defense and converted to the repair ship. Starting from August 1944 again in the employment, it was sunk on 24 September 1944 with an air raid with the Philippines on position 1159 ' north and 12002 ' east, with 86 lives lost.The shipwreck is well visited place for scuba divers today

 

Technical specification:

Laid down at Kawasaki yard Kobe 29th. Mar. 1938

Launched 29th. Oct. 1940

Completed 5th. Aug. 1942

Sunk 24th. Oct. 1944

displacement: 4,650 tons

length: 114,8 m

beam:  15,80m

draught: 5,40m

ship horse power: 8,000shp (4 diesel engines on 2 shafts)

speed : 19 knots

main guns AA 4 - 5 (2x2) 12.7 cm

light guns AA 4 (2x2)  25mm 

2 Type-94 Depth-Charges with reload.

1 aircraft 1 x H6K "Mavis", later 1 x H8K "Emily"

crew: approx 545

Build process:  

The kit is very well produced and has all the in mould details -the hallmark of Pit-Road SkyWave stand for. It's hard to be negative of such a fine model kit, but the only drawback I could find, was the small blurring in-drops of portholes in the hull - they was in wrong position and not well marked. The pipes on the hull side was also missing, but was easy made of styrene plastic. 

The two flying boats are gems in detail and sharpness themselves, and I must confess that the planes were the excuse for me to purchase the kit from the US. Also the camouflage scheme of the ship is an "head turner" -this is not a "dull little gray duck"  -No no this ship stands out on the shelves among the other IJN ships. With a nearly psychedelic color of gray, black, white and LEMON GREEN! (I stood in the hobby shop and was thinking seriously Lars is you going to apply THIS color to you warship!)  I know that some drawings and paintings of the ship is represented with a light gray instead of green, but firstly: 

The SkyWave people states in the building diagram the color as "new grass green" all though the box-art is neutral. Also other modelers have tried the color before me. 

And secondly: 

The high res. picture in the diamond book (please see below) "tell" that the color is green. The color scheme is not a camouflage pattern as such, but is to confuse the enemy rangefinder optics (fake bow and stern wave to decoy the ship speed though the water) also the diagonal green black lines across on the hull and superstructure is to gain time for the crew in case the ship is spotted (The enemy optics will better focus on horizontal and vertical lines). 

This was and easy and refreshing build, and if you will do the model justice, please remember to apply the PE-sets to make this little ship a super detailed model.

PE-sets I used:

GMM 1700 IJN Auxiliary Ship (fantastic)

Lion Roar LE700016 IJN II Outboard Circuit

Lion Roar LE700042 IJN 25mm AA Guns II

Eduard 17 505 Japan Naval Figures 1/700

Water and sky:

My diorama was on a matted glass plate (from the local glass store - used on front doors in many homes) measured 98 x 54 cm with a blue plastic bag underneath the glass just curled, to illustrate waves on the water and make some relief structure to the water -If I want to change the color of the water, I just change the plastic underneath

The background is a tilted mirror to catch the sky behind the ship. Light was the scale 1:1 sun as only light source. 

The photos was taken with my Panasonic FZ5 5MP digital camera, at macro-mode with center-weight light measures, at 3 f-stops down.

Reference:

From the net:

 Iron Fleet by Ralph Kuo: http://blog.roodo.com/RalphKuo

Books:

 Japanese Naval Warship Photo Album Aircraft carrier and Seaplane carrier from Diamond Sha books.  

 Profile Morskie no.39 "The Japanese Aircraft Tender AKITSUSHIMA 

 The Concise Guide to AXIS AIRCRAFT OF WORLD WAR II by David Mondey.

 

The building time was approx 2 weeks.

May. 2007.

If you have any questions, remarks or things you will share, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Aeronautic.

 
 
     
     
     

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