IJN HOSHO

 
 

As seen in 1939

 
     
 

Fujimi no. FUJ431031

Scale 1:700 

Click on the pictures to enlarge.

 
     
     
     

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Box art from Fijimi

 

 

 

 
  Hosho history:

Hosho (Japanese: 鳳翔, meaning "flying phoenix") was the first aircraft carrier of the Imperial Japanese Navy, and while not the first aircraft carrier, it was the first purpose-designed aircraft carrier to be commissioned. The hull was still based on a cruiser design, but it was not a conversion. Hosho was commissioned on 27 December 1922, thirteen months before the Royal Navy's first purpose-built carrier Hermes, which was designed before Hosho. There is some contention over this point, however, in that Hosho was originally conceived as a mixed aircraft carrier and seaplane tender and only during construction was her design modified to a dedicated carrier. She was the first purpose-designed aircraft carrier, but not the first purpose-designed dedicated aircraft carrier.

Being the first of its kind in the navy, Hosho was actively used to develop the aircraft carrier operational methods and tactics of the Japanese Navy during the 1920s.

Its design was originally based on a cruiser-style hull, a flight deck with a depressed fore-part to accelerate lift-off, a starboard island, and three starboard funnels that were reclinable during flight operations. After trials she was improved by removing the island and flattening the flight deck, giving her a flush-deck design.

It served during the Shanghai Incident (bombing of Shanghai on January 28, 1932) and Sino-Japanese War in 1937. In August-December 1937, Hosho supported land operations of the Japanese Army in China, as part of Carrier Division 1 with Ryūjō. Her aircraft complement consisted of nine Nakajima A2N fighters and six Yokosuka B3Y1 attack planes

By the beginning of World War II, Hosho had been superseded by other models: It was too small and too slow to accommodate the newest types of carrier planes such as the Mitsubishi Zero. She saw action however during the battle of Midway in June 1942, offering modest air support to the main fleet. Her aircraft complement consisted of eight Yokosuka B4Y1 'Jean' torpedo bombers.

For most of the postwar years, the assumption was made in English language publications that the ship had been equipped with a 'modern' aircraft complement by the time of the Midway operation, on the basis of minimal translations published in English. However, beginning in the 1980s English-language researchers realized that this was a bad assumption, as Japanese official histories and air orders of battle began to appear. It has now become clear that at the time of Midway, Hosho still carried a complement of the fixed landing gear biplane torpedo planes, the Yokosuka B4Y1 'Jean'. It was one of these aircraft which took the photos of the burning, drifting Hiryu in the late afternoon of June 4, 1942

Efforts were made to lengthen and widen its flight deck, but the overhang weakened her stability and ocean-going capability. It was relegated to training duty in Japan's inland sea after 1943

After the war, it was used as a transport to repatriate Japanese personnel from abroad until June 1946, before being dismantled in 1947. Hosho was one of four carriers of the Japanese Navy to survive the war, but would be scrapped in 1947. (From Wikipedia)

 
 
 

Review of the model IJN HOSHO 1939 from Fujimi:

Building the model:

Hull:

I most say this kit is very well made, with many fine details such as eyebrows over the portholes. The bow has all the right details too. The fit of the parts all over the could not have been better. A nice feature is the bottom of the water line hull is glued inside the hull sides.

Deck:

The deck is very crisp in details as every wood plank is moulded in scale. In the front quarterdeck, the anchor chains is also moulded fine as well as all other deck parts. All the drums for the rope was used as they where. Just painted white to show canvas covers. Please bear this in mind: it's a small ship.....But with many parts! Be prepared to attach a lot of swan neck / other vent's on the lower deck etc. Just to cover it all up later, when the flight deck is in place. This was also the excuse for me, to let the bridge "in mould windows" be where they where - The windows only needed some dark paint and gloss varnish.

Guns and boats etc.:

I will like to thank Fujimi for all the fine details on optical parts, floodlight's (clear plastic) and binoculars too! Lots of fine boats with in mould oars and fenders.

The kit comes with high quality guns. The main 5.5 inch guns have barrels to scale, but their rear are "closed" so I painted this part white, to show some canvas in this all grey superstructure and hull. The kit comes with many boats - too many in fact - In the building instruction show the boats hanging in davits AND placed on deck. This should only has been shown as a option. The 25mm AA guns included in the kit is fantastic - (The gun barrels) the supporting base have one seat moulded in behind the barrels - easy to correct - I have used the guns from the kit. This is a nice feature from Fujimi as extra 25mm guns purchased, is becoming an ewer increasing price factor building IJN 1/700 model warships.

Scratch building parts and PE-set's:

This model kit is in such high quality that PE-set's used are at a minimum. Beside from the small amount of railing, propellers for aircraft, IJN crew, and ladders. Only flight deck features such as, arresting net and side netting for safeguarding the aircraft in heavy seas are used. Fujimi made a special PE-set for this ship, but at a price as high as the kit itself. Also a wood deck set are available from the company. All in all the modeller have a wide range of choice to make this little model a fine showpiece. The only scratch building I used, was the mainmast and some other minor parts.

Aircraft:

Aircraft included in the model kit Type 95 in the foreground

Conclusion

******

4 stars out of 6 for: Very fine details, superb fit in parts + a fine sheet of decals to deck and aircrafts. But with only 4 aircraft included in the kit. (2 x type 92 + 2 x type 95 aircraft) - The aircraft is moulded fine, with the new type of clear plastic -not the old stiff one, hated by fellow model kit builders. I would have given this fine kit 6 stars, if more aircraft was added the kit, But the bad error made by Fujimi ....The real Type 95 aircraft has a wingspan of 10 meters...the models wingspan is 25mm equal to scale 1/400! Not acceptable in a scale 1/700 kit.

Technical specification 1939:

Launched 13.Nov.1921 at Asano Dock, Yokosuka

Completed 27.Dec.1922

Decommissioned Jun. 1946

Dismantled in 1947

displacement: 10,500 tons full load

length: 168 m

beam:  18.00 m

draught: 6.17 m

ship horse power: 30,000 Shp.

speed : 25 knots

main guns 4 (4x1) 5.5 = 14 cm, 50 caliber

12 (6 x 2) 25 mm AA guns

15 aircraft (9 x type 95 fighters + 6 x type 92 torpedo bombers)

crew: 550

References:

Books form my own library:  

Japanese Naval Warship Photo Album Aircraft carriers from Diamond Sha books.  

(Japan)

Reference: Picture

Samourai sur porte-Avions  LELA Presse

(France)

Reference: Drawings, pictures, background and aircraft markings

Perfect Guide, the aircraft carriers of the Imperial Japanese Navy & Army

(Japan)

Reference: History, background, pictures, model

The building time was 12 days.

Aeronautic Nov.18 2011

 
 
     
     
 

 

 

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