IJN MUSASHI

 
 

As seen in July 1943

 
 

Winner of World Affairs Board "Naval Model Contest 2007"

 
 

Tamiya plastic kit no. 114 New Mould 

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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  Musashi history:

(from Wikipedia)

In June of 1937, executives from the Mitsubishi Nagasaki Shipyard, including Director Kensuke Watanabe and yard engineer Kumao Baba, were ordered to begin preparations for construction and fitting out of one of the new series of battleships. Expansions of the Number 2 slipway had originally inspired naval executives to issue Nagasaki Shipyard the lucrative contract. Floating cranes of 150 and 350 metric tons capacity were built for heavy lifts. Built under the strictest of security, including the erection of large screens to hide the construction from the U.S. consulate across the bay, the battleship was launched November 1, 1940, and spent the better part of eighteen months fitting out. The completion date was revised to accommodate the changes requested by the Navy, including strengthening armor on the 15.5 cm turrets, and the installation of extra communications gear.

Commissioned on 5 August 1942, she proceeded to Truk Lagoon, where Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto made Musashi his flagship. After he was killed on 18 April 1943 (having been shot down by a special U.S. Army Air Forces operation) in the Solomons theater of operations, Musashi returned to Japan carrying his ashes. Musashi returned to Truk on 5 August 1943, and remained there until 10 February 1944. Her only activity during this time was a sortie toward the Marshall Islands, which resulted in no contact with American forces. On 29 March 1944, Musashi was hit by one torpedo from the submarine USS Tunny, and had to return to Japan for repairs and modifications to her anti-aircraft armament.

She formed part of Vice-Admiral Takeo Kurita's Centre Force along with Yamato at the Battle of Leyte Gulf. During this battle on 24 October 1944, she was attacked in the Sibuyan Sea by American carrier-based aircraft: first at 10:27 AM by eight SB2C Helldiver dive bombers from the USS Intrepid armed with 500-lb (227 kg) bombs. Wave after wave of American aircraft eventually scored 17 bomb and 20 torpedo hits and 18 near misses. The Musashi capsized to port, and sank at 7:25 PM on October 24, taking more than 1000 of her 2399 crew with her; 1376 of the crew were rescued by the destroyers Kiyoshimo and Shimakaze. She was never able to fire her dreaded big guns at an enemy ship.

Technical specification:

Laid down at Kure Naval yard 29th. Mar. 1938

Launched 1st. Now. 1940

Completed 5th. Aug. 1942

Sunk 24th. Oct. 1944

displacement: 69,990 tons

length: 263 m

beam:  36.90m

draught: 10.40m

ship horse power: 150,000shp

speed : 27 knots

main guns 9 (3x3) 18.1 = 46 cm 

secondary guns 12 - 6.1 (4x3) = 15,5 cm

medium guns AA 12 - 5 (6x2) 12.7 cm

light guns AA 36 (12x3)  25mm 

light guns AA 4 (2x2) 13mm 

7 aircraft 2 catapult

crew: 2399

Build process:

The TAMIYA kit of Musashi model is a real nice one; the only small thing to set my fingers on was the small upward curve of the hull to the red bottom piece of the waterline. It's been easy to correct with some pressure over night while the glue settled. All in all it was a pleasure to work with this kit -even if you chose to build the model out of the box without any modifications, it will be a fantastic model. - If I really have to criticize the kit, there is some point to improve from TAMIYA's side -Firstly the gray colored transfers of the ships linoleum "side walk" we all know now the color was maroon as on all the other IJN warships there use the material onboard! It will be a nice thing and easy to change for TAMIYA. Secondly there are a few ventilators on the super structure that I miss, special the two big ones on the bottom of the pagoda-tower, and four small to the rear of the superstructure, plus a big S-shaped ventilator between the rear 6 inch turrets and the 18.1 inch main gun turrets as well. TAMIYA also out mid the antennae/mast on the roofs of the 6 inch centerline turrets, a feature that is seldom overlooked by modelers.

But when this is said, let me praise TAMIYA for the marvelous model for this battleship. -Everything else is crisp and fits nicely together without any problems what so ever.

Hull:

I added to the model the side doors of the boat hangar and cut the aircraft hangar door open -and build the entire aircraft hangar inside the ship. In the very front of the ship where the gold chrysanthemum crest is, are the towing fairleads, those were added by some styrene plastic to make the bow and stern more realistic, and then cut open for chains and ropes. Toms model works Yamato/Musashi PE is used trough out of the model; this PE-set a real gem and a must to do the model justice. Toms model works also provided the extra PE-set of IJN 2-bar railing. The ships crew is from Edurard IJN crew. Lion Roar's PE-set of DeGauss cable and Radial davits and ladders was used 

Deck:

I made the "Deck planking" by three colors of paint (sand, red-brown and white) first I paint the (Thin) sand paint all over the deck area there after I made a "deck paintbrush" by a bream flat brush and removed some of the hairs in groups by a pair of scissors (now the brush look like a hair comp) then I painted the deck again in small stroke with mixed paint colors to illustrate the different colors in the wood - I continued this process of mixing and apply paint in shades until it came to the effects I desired. - For more detailed information please se the build-rapport of IJN Hiei.

Voyager Model PE-set of watertight doors and skylight was used as well as deck hatches made of paper. The cable drums was made of styrene plastic and copper-wire 

The sun awning stanchions was made of invisible tread.

Guns:

The 18.1in gun barrels were bored out and painted gold inside. The barbette has some vertical plate joints on the real ship I made them by small strip of styrene plastic. The exercise aiming device and platforms on the barrels was made of surplus PE deck railing. Also paper doors were made on the rear of the turrets.

The small open 25mm and 18mm AA guns is a PE-set from Lion Roar

Yamato 6.1in medium guns were modified with platform and doors in the rear, also the mast for the radio antenna was made of silver tread. The stop limiter for the blast bags was also made of surplus PE railings. I paint the ventilation gaps black on the turret.  

Superstructure:

White shutters on the command tower of Yamato were made of Small Square of white pieces of paper. The windows were not this time cut open, but all painted black and on top glued gray-painted ladders a more easy way to make realistic windows, with less stress for me!

All the rigging was made of invisible thread run through a permanent marker, the isolators was painted white and on the front lines from tower to the bow (radio antenna) the big round isolators was made of thick droplets of black paint applied to the lines.

On all the 5 in AA guns I added the gun barrel stop of silver wire. Ventilation intake and watertight doors was added to the superstructure of the model, some made of different textures of clothe ribbons!

Aircraft and afterdeck:

Out back on the aircraft deck, I paint the chocolate-brown "sidewalks" linoleum on a piece of paper, instead of TAMIYA own gray transfers (I have not seen any linoleum on any IJN ships in gray) -so I made Yamatos in brown -as on the 1:10 scale Kure Naval Yard model. The rails for the aircraft handling as well the turntables was made of deck railing cut down to just two bars high.

I added hangar doors to the aircraft deck below and some details on the barrier around the cave for the aircraft and boats. The stringers on the biplane aircrafts was made of invisible tread glued in cross sections before the upper wing was attached (A much more easy way than done after)  

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 of light blue and white carton paper I also used a mirror for background 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:

Watakans Yamato website:

http://watakan.world.coocan.jp/eng/yamato/index.html (Please note: You can use Altavista Babelfish or Google translation)

Kure Naval Yard museum: 

http://album.nikon-image.com/nk/NK_ImageView.asp?key=555537&un=97313&pos=1

Books:

 Anatomy of the ship The Battleship YAMATO by Janusz Skulski  

 GAKKEN N 03411 Japanese Battle Ships Perfect Guide.

 Warship Pictorial No. 25 IJN Yamato class battleships by Steve Wiper

 Japanese Naval Warship Photo Album Battleships and Battle cruisers from Diamond Sha books.

 

The building time was approx 6.5 weeks. and my 9th. model so far.

Feb. 2007 to Mar. 2007.

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

Aeronautic.

 
 
     
     
 

 

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