IJN SORYU

 
 

As seen in 1941 Attack on Pearl Harbor

 
 

Aoshima no. 222

Scale 1:700 

Click on the pictures to enlarge.

 
 
     

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Box art from Aoshima

The box art has a very well made painting of Soryu in the morning of Dec. 7th. When she launch her aircraft prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor. We can see Akagi in the background too. Box art's are made to sell kits - I'm sure this will

 
     
  蒼龍 SORYU meaning The blue or green dragon

History

Soryu was built at Kaigun Kosho, Kure, Japan and commissioned on 29 December 1937. As opposed to some earlier Japanese carriers which were redesigns on battlecruiser (Akagi) or battleship (Kaga). Soryu was the mother of all later IJN carrier designs and the world fastest in time of her launch.

At the outbreak of the Pacific War, commanded by Captain Ryusaku Yanagimoto, Soryu, in Carrier Division 2, was one of six carriers making up the Kido butai (Striking Force) that attacked Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. She launched two waves of air strikes against the US Naval base. Her first wave targeted Nevada, Tennessee, and West Virginia with armour-piercing bombs and Utah, Helena, California, and Raleigh with torpedoes, as well as attacked grounded aircraft at Barbers Point. Her second wave targeted California, Raleigh, Kaneohe and Navy Yard installations.

From 21 December to 23 December 1941 Soryu launched air strikes against Wake Island. In January 1942 she supported the invasion of the Palau Islands and the Battle of Ambon. On 19 February 1942 Soryu launched air strikes against Darwin, Australia. In March 1942 she took part in the Battle of the Java Sea, helping sink the US tanker Pecos.

In April 1942 Soryu took part in the Indian Ocean raid, launching air strikes against the Royal Navy base at Ceylon on 5 April 1942, and helping to sink the Royal Navy cruisers Cornwall and Dorsetshire. On 9 April she helped sink the British carrier Hermes and the escorting Australian destroyer HMAS Vampire.

On 19 April 1942 she pursued the American carriers Hornet and Enterprise after they launched the Doolittle Raid, but without success.

In June 1942 Soryu was one of four carriers with Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo's First Carrier Striking Force in the battle of Midway. Her aircraft complement consisted of 21 Mitsubishi A6M "Zero" fighters, 21 Aichi D3A "Val" dive bombers, and 21 Nakajima B5N "Kate" torpedo bombers. On 4 June 1942 she launched one wave of planes against the American base on Midway Island. At 10:25 while preparing to launch a second strike against an American carrier group, she was attacked by thirteen SBD Dauntless dive bombers from the American carrier Yorktown. Soryu received three direct hits from 454 kg (1000 lb) bombs: one penetrated to the lower hangar deck, and the other two exploded in the upper hangar deck. The hangars contained armed and fueled planes in preparation for the upcoming strike, resulting in secondary explosions. Within a very short time the fires on the ship were out of control. At 10:40 she stopped and her crew were taken off by the destroyers Isokaze and Hamakaze. aLosses were 711 crew of her nominal complement of 1103, including Captain Yanagimoto, who chose to remain on board. This was the highest mortality percentage of all the Japanese carriers lost at Midway, due largely to the devastation in both hangar decks.

The official record (the Nagumo Report) implies that Soryu sank of her own accord. Later research has revealed she was scuttled with torpedoes by Isokaze.

 

Review of the model IJN SORYU from Aoshima

Building the model:

This was a joyfully start on this kit as the quality is so high

Hull:

The kit needed degauss cable from Lion Roar and small copper wires longitudinal fore better presentation of the plating on the hull. Also all the small scuttles was made by styrene plastic thanks to the pictures in Gakken books of the fine model in scale 1/500 (please see reference below) the holes around the anchors were remade too.

Deck (fore deck and after boat deck):

New anchor chain in metal was added as well as PE-set's hawse pipes etc. (business as usual). The boat deck comes with the options of two designs: An open boat deck that goes down in the hull (stacked boats) and a closure - As I used (The deck was closed in Dec. 1941)

Flight deck and upper part of the ship:

Aoshima had made the kit with the options for lowered/closed aircraft lifts. This is a real nice feature, as you can choose and show more of the inside of the ships "life". The flight deck is very detailed with wooden planks and metal plates, so I added some rain drainers along the edges of the deck (Lion Roar) Arrester cables was made by cobber wires as well as 2-bar railing from Lion Roar. The small "Ammo" lift in front of the front aircraft lift was cut from some surplus PE-metal spur. I used some twin white stripe decals to resemble the flight deck markings more correct (from Pit Road's destroyer stack bands)! - Pit Road IJN sub. (black stripe) was used to the black board on the island. The kit comes with fine small 25 mm AA guns but I substituted them by Fine Mold “nano-dread” series. Aoshima had the top-front of the island wrong, so I used flood light and a range finder from surplus Pit Road. Binoculars, antenna, mast etc. was added as usual with copper wires etc.

Aircraft:

I will present the ship with the 2. strike on Pearl Harbor on Dec. the 7th. consist of 18 VAL's and 9 ZERO among the VAL's are Cmdr. CC Takashige Egusa aircraft in the Green/mustard cammo sceme with orange and yellow stripes, know as "Jaja Uma" another famous aircraft scheme was his " Tora Moyo" A.k.a. Yellow tiger - Their seems to be a ongoing debate among the naval historians on witch aircraft was used on Pearl Harbor attack or the battle of Midway in 1942 - most sources states the green aircraft was in the attack on the Dec. 7th. The aircrafts was painted with the single blue ribbon around the rear fuselages to show their "home" of Soryu. Lion Roar PE-set of wheels, propeller, bombs and drop tanks. A little piece of cobber wire was used as antenna. I had to add more aircrafts than followed the kit luckily I had Fujimi extra IJN aircrafts!

Conclusion

******

5 stars out of 6 for: Fit, quality, details, aircraft details.

Aoshima has made the best model kit of any aircraft carrier so far! I have never seen such richness in details on and under the flight deck on any kit in this scale. The aircraft with bombs, torpedoes and tanks are also among the best. All portholes have in mould eyebrows! Even the small 25 mm AA guns that included in the kit are well made with small chairs on the side etc.

This kit will have reached the highest point if the following issues have been added:

Degauss cable on hull, more arrester cables on flight deck, Ammo lift on flight deck, extra small "balconies" on the hull, more detailed deck decals, forward part of aircraft observation deck on island and 4 aircraft of each type (total 12) is simply to less for a kit like this aircraft carrier

 

 

Technical specification:

  • Laid down: November 20, 1934
  • Launched:  December 23, 1935
  • Commissioned: December 29, 1937
  • Sunk: June 4, 1942 in Battle of Midway with 711 crewmembers lost

 

  • displacement: 19,500 tons full load
  • length: 222 m
  • beam: 21 m
  • draught: 7.44 m
  • ship horse power: 152,000 Shp.
  • speed : 34.5 knots
  • crew: 1103

Armament:

  • Main guns 12 (6x2) 5' = 12.7 cm DP guns
  • 44  25mm AA guns (8x3) x (20x1)
  • 54 aircraft (18 ZERO + 18 VAL + 18 KATE) in 1941

 

References:

Books form my own library :  

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

(Japan)

Reference: Pictures

 

Samourai sur porte-Avions  LELA Presse

(France)

Reference: History, drawing, pictures, background (out of print) paint scheme of aircrafts

Gakken 45  by: Gakken

(Japan)

Reference: 1/500 model pictures of Soryu

IJN fleet scale model photo book  by: Gakken

(Japan)

Reference: 1/500 model pictures of Soryu (Same model as above but more pictures)

 

Model Graphix 4 april 2010 No 305 by: Model graphix

(Japan)

Reference: Mr. Takumi fantastic model of Soryu 1941 in scale 1/700

 

 Websites:

Nihon kaigun and J-aircraft.com.

I will like to dedicate this model ship to my friend Mr. Buton from Japan, who send me this kit as a gift.

The building time was 8.5 weeks.

Aeronautic Oct 15 2010.

 
 
     
     
 

 

 

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