IJN Mamiya Kanmusu

Published: May 2nd, 2016     
Product Image
Box Art
Reviewed by: 
Luke R. Bucci, PhD, IPMS# 33549
Scale: 1/700
Company: Aoshima
Price: $30.00
Product / Stock #: 4905083-010358

Bottom Line: Same model as Aoshima 01035 IJN Mamiya kit, 1931 fit, but with Kantai Collection Fleet Girls (KanColle Kanmusu) extras to accompany the model. Simple but effective portrayal of a Japanese Navy supply ship. Great detail, easy to assemble (mostly), only one glaring issue. Note that Kanmusu collection kits are not intended for non-Japanese builders so instructions are in Japanese.

History

IJN Mamiya was an obscure vessel, ignored by wartime history, but a favorite of the fleet because it fed them overseas. IJN Mamiya was a fleet food supply vessel, until late wartime exigencies had her carrying ammunition and other stores. Her 15,820 standard tons size could feed 18000 men for three weeks and carried chefs and cooks. She carried two 5.5in low-angle guns and two 3in AA guns, with a smattering of twin and single 25mm AA mounts added during WW2. Laid down at Kawasaki Shipyard in 1922, launched in 1923, completed in 1924 and joined the fleet in 1925. In 1936, she was grounded briefly with only minor damage by a typhoon off Kyushu. Participated in the 97 ship Emperor's Annual Review in October, 1940. On December 7, 1941, Mamiya was with the Combined Fleet Supply and Support Unit, and was in the East Indies in 1942 with replenishment stops at Truk. Mamiya returned to Japan in January 1943, then back to Truk to replenish other stores ships. During 1943 Mamiya made several trips to and from Truk and Japan, with a collision in July 1943 with Kosei Maru. On a trip back to Japan, Mamiya was torpedoed by USS Cero (SSN-225) five times (one was a dud) off Chichi Jima. She was towed to Japan and repaired by April 1944. Mamiya set off for a run to Palau with convoy Higashi-Matsu No. 4 and after several USN submarine attacks, made it to Palau, then Formosa, then to Keelung via the East China Sea. On May 6, 1944, USS Spearfish (SS-190) torpedoed Mamiya, killing 35 passengers and crew. Mamiya is towed back to Sasebo for repairs. She departs Japan October 26, 1944, reached Formosa and Saigon before headed to Manila Bay with a full load of ammunition. Mamiya continued back to Camranh Bay, but USS Sealion (SS-315) torpedoed and slowed Mamiya on December 20, 1944. Later that night, after evading the escorts, Sealion finished off Mamiya with a torpedo spread. As with much of the Japanese merchant marine (fleet or otherwise), she led a busy wartime life with constant submarine threats that damaged Mamiya twice, keeping her out of action for eleven months before finally succumbing to submarine attack.

Both Aoshima and Pitroad/Skywave produced new-mold kits of IJN Mamiya in late 2014-2015. As near as I can deduce, Aoshima produced these kits (as WL No.558): 1) 1035 (entirely Japanese version in 1931 fit); 2) 010358 Kanmusu (this review kit) in 1931 fit; 3) 01036 - 1931 kit + PE fret (railings, ladders mostly); 4) 010365 - 1931 kit + PE fret + Tugger Set; 5) 010372 1931 fit; and 6) 01038 - 1931 kit + USS Sealion full hull kit. Pitroad/Skywave produced four full hull Mamiya kits: 1) W163 - 1931 fit; 2) W163E - 1931 fit + Pitroad PE-234 fret (mostly davits, ladders, 7mm guns, few railings); 3) W166 - 1944 fit including newer small ship Weapons sprue; and 4) W166E - 1944 fit + PE-234 fret. All Aoshima kits use the same sprues for a waterline model. Both Skywave kits are full hull split into halves, with 25mm AA guns scattered around the ship. The Skywave hull looks better than Aoshima's too-thick plating ridges, having realistic plating instead of bars running down the hull. But the full hull is not an option, and would need to be cut to convert back to a waterline model.

KanColle & Kanmusu

Kanmusu means "Ship Girl" and KanColle is the abbreviation for Kantai Korekushon (Kantai Collection) or Combined Fleet Girls Collection. IJN Mamiya is KanColle Collection Plastic Model No. 24. Uniquely Japanese, KanColle is a free-to-play web browser game developed by DMM.com with Kadokawa Games. Real historical ships from the WW2 Japanese fleet are personified as girls, given voices, personalities and appearances befitting their ship type. Destroyer girls are small, thin and lanky, cruiser girls are taller and stronger, and battleship girls are bigger. They wear skimpy clothing and when in combat are bedecked with parts of their ship type (guns, torpedoes, aircraft, hull pieces) that emphasize their strengths. For example, aircraft carrier decks become bows that shoot arrows that turn into aircraft. Girls in a ship type class dress similarly with minor differences. Advanced players can micropay for upgrades and other advantages or mission scenarios.

The setting is an alternate universe where WW2 did not happen, but Abyssal monster ships lurk in the oceans, destroying conventional navies, disrupting trade and eating dead sailors. Kanmusu are girls with spirit energy that turn them into human-ship hybrids as guardians of humanity (most nations' warships are referred to as she, after all). Players build fleets from one of 18 Japanese Naval Bases, and send them out on missions, competing against the Abyssal monster ships (which look like really naughty girls having bad hair/makeup days) or other online player scores. Scoring is based on success of each mission, and more ships and supplies can be obtained. There are ways to upgrade or modernize vessels (girls), and they fatigue with continued use and need time at base to repair and replenish. Damage is shown as smoke and tattered clothes, and ships can be sunk, losing the fleet girl. Mamiya is important because she improves fleet morale, allowing for at sea rest and replenishment, and thus is a desirable possession. Befitting her food supply and morale mission, Mamiya Kanmusu is beaming, with a heavier buxom physique, fuller-figured than warships, and is shown carrying a food basket as her main strength.

KanColle was started in 2013 and rapidly became enormously popular, with over 3 million registered players and growing. New servers had to be put online to handle the traffic. Even the Chinese launched a pirated version that replaced the original KanColle game, but was hacked and shut down by disgruntled Chinese gamers of authentic KanColle. Popularity has spun off Manga comic books, light novels, video games, tabletop RPG, audio soundtracks, television anime series and movies. Now one can collect ship models depicting Kanmusus that include full color images of the Kanmusus to place around your model. Aoshima KanColle Kanmusu kit of IJN Mamiya is reviewed.

What You Get

Aoshima 010358 Kanmusu Mamiya kit depicts her in 1931 fit, armed with two 5.5in and two 3in cannons. This is a duplicate of Aoshima 1035, 01036, 010365, 010372 and 01038 Mamiya parts, but no accessories other than the KanColle Kanmusu art.

Kit is well packaged - all sprues and accessories come in their own plastic bags. You get the obligatory Waterline Series metal weights (called ballast) - 2 bars for this ship.

Parts include:

  • Waterline hull with bottom molded on (finally! - no ugly seams to fill)
  • Sprue A (14-1808A has decks, superstructure, ventilators, funnel)
  • Sprue B (14-1808B has boats & superstructure)
  • Sprue C, a small, clear plastic sprue with windows & searchlight
  • Sprue D (14-1808D 1944 has masts, derricks, fittings, guns)
  • 2 Sprue W of Leviathan Weapons with aircraft decals
  • Package of Kanmusu stickers, metal stands & game pieces, cards and obligatory flag/bridge window decal
  • Instructions - 6-page foldout

I assume that the non-Kanmusu Aoshima Mamiya kits have everything this one does but without the Kanmusu package. There are no photo-etch or brass parts (as in Aoshima 01036 & 010365 kits).

The Build

The advanced casting quality of this kit is immediately apparent. Detail is fine and molded onto parts. Decks are in five sections, and the wood planking grooves are not too deep. Deck equipment and fittings but are very nicely detailed. Other parts have some seam flash, meaning every piece needs to be sanded, but this is normal. Usually, smaller parts are placed on the sprues to prevent additional sanding of attachment points, but some, such as gun barrels, davits and spars, have sprue attachment points that require care in removal and difficulty in sanding. The guns look close to scale, always a problem with 1/700 scale ships, but not this kit.

Instructions are in Japanese, befitting its KanColle Kanmusu intention, and I missed a few indications that would have made assembly easier. My advice is to test fit everything and double check with the overhead view about placement. For example, I missed the icon about the choice between full-length bridge windows or partial bridge windows. Before I knew it, I had glued the three-window option, so I went with it. You might want to alter the order of assembly in each step for ease of construction, especially the bridge. There were several outright mistakes. In Step 5, part D20 is shown to be glued to the top of a superstructure deck - wrong! It goes in front of the superstructure, port side (there is a hole for D20 that would otherwise go empty). The top of that superstructure gets part D19 in Step 10, so it would be irksome to follow the instructions religiously. Also in Step 5, parts D5 go on the deck. But D5 is a spar for a mast - definitely not 2 parts D5. Actually D5 boxes are D4.

First thing I did was remove the hull plating ridges and sand the hull exterior. The plating lines were way out of scale, gigantic ridges that detracted from the look of the model. Any photograph of Mamiya showed the plating lines were virtually impossible to see. Later I would add the vertical external pipes from brass rod when handling was finished. Otherwise a beautiful hull, and leaving slight remnants of the ridges led to a better plating look. Drilled out all portholes on hull and superstructure pieces with a pin vise drill by hand.

Painting! I airbrushed all sprues (except clear Sprue C) with Polly Scale Model Railroad paint UP Harbor Mist Gray (182). This acrylic paint looked close to the usual Floquil enamels I normally use for IJN Grey, and indeed it was. Perhaps a little lighter, but that was preferred for a supply ship on the seas for long periods.

Test fitting the decks showed they were an excellent fit, very tight with no seams to fill between hull and deck parts. Decks are so detailed that I decided it was much easier to airbrush the entire decks gray and paint the wood decking by hand. Masking the wood or gray areas would be far more burdensome. Be sure to paint A5 (deck under the central deck), as its corridors can be seen through the cutouts on the hull. I build ship models from deck up, middle first as a rule - makes it easier to handle during construction. I added all decks first, before building the bridge (after test fitting to make sure that was OK). They fit perfectly with no seams. Then I painted all wood by hand with a base coat of Gunze Sangyo Hemp H336. I intentionally made a light coating, which showed some gray underneath, simulating a weathered deck nicely. Then I painted individual planks randomly (carefully with a tiny brush) with four different buff/dark yellow colors (all acrylics: Gunze Sangyo Hemp H336 heavier coat; Model Master Acryl 22 1/2 Navy Buff; Tamiya F-57 Buff; Tamiya XF-60 Dark Yellow). Tedious, but breaks up the wood deck monotonous coloring.

Bridge assembly was the worst part of the kit, but not bad. It is tricky, with a sag to the bridge wings that needs to match the bridge face part. First, paint internal bridge decks a brown color (I used a Tamiya brown that had its number worn off). Needed to fill and sand ugly seams on parts B14-B15, the major bridge structure. Parts A21 on outside of bridge wings should not be glued until the bridge assembly is finished (trust me), and after losing one, it looked better with a scratchbuilt plastic card replacement. As stated before, choose either continuous bridge windows part C3 or parts C4, C5, C6. I used a pencil to highlight the bridge window bars. Building from bottom up worked fine, but I deviated from the instructions by adding the bridge face after gluing the bridge assembly to the deck. That way everything lined up flawlessly. Also added the additional top parts from Steps 6 (B3, C2, D11) & 10 (Step 6, D17, D18) to complete the bridge. Be sure to paint the back and side of the clear searchlight (C2) with silver, and after dry, overpaint all but the front lens with Harbor Mist Gray. Nice touch, although the searchlight is obscured by the rangefinder. The top canopy was airbrushed Model Master Acryl Navy Buff 4232. I used Tamiya Red & Green paints for the running lights on each bridge wing (part A10). Green is starboard.

Filled and sanded seams on superstructure assembly Step 7 (parts B19-21). For the funnel, I now always open up the top, which dramatically helps the look of 1/700 scale ship models. I discarded part B18, which revealed part D4 and its opening. Added three thin 0.006" brass rods bent to be a screen over the open stack. If you do not want to add brass rods, then leave the top open - still looks better than a black plug. A black band (Floquil Weathered Black) was painted around the stack top, as was everything inside the stack. Test fit the pipes to make sure they do not impede stack placement in Step 10 - had to trim them.

This kit has a large number of ventilator cowls, and each should be carefully sanded to remove the seams. Openings were painted with Tamiya XF-9 Hull Red. A few mounting holes were not wide enough and needed to be widened. Very important - add all cowls BEFORE the masts and spars - makes their placement much easier.

Ran into problems removing the 5.5in barrels and sanding the attachment point, so I decided to replace the kit barrels with Lion Roar LE700156 14cm Guns 50 cal Type 3 brass barrels with plastic rod shaped as blast bags. This is optional and actually, the kit barrels are close to scale and adequate if they can be removed and sanded cleanly.

After consulting photos of Mamiya, I decided to add 0.006 inch brass rod as ropes for the spars. Stretched sprue or fishing line are other options that are easy to procure. Adding these simple pieces enhances the look of the entire ship. Be sure to add spars and ropes before adding boats to complicating assembly.

Boat insides and decks were painted with the deck colors mentioned above. Tamiya XF-2 White was used to paint the inside vertical sides of open lifeboats and canvas tops of larger boats. Some canvas tops were painted with buff colors mentioned above. Black paint was added to launches to simulate tiny windows. The barge had an ugly round pin depression, so I covered it with an ammunition box from the spares parts box. Even a square piece of plastic would help obscure that eyesore. Test fit boats to make sure they fit - you may want to try different sizes of launches to make sure they fit.

Using the shadows of the vertical external hull pipes that were removed, as well as consulting photographs of Mamiya, I cut and glued 0.010" brass rod to replace the oversize kit moldings. Added the kit peel-n-stick flag (not the Leviathan decal) to aft flagstaff and painted the backside attached to the staff. After touchup paints all around, I used Bragdon Enterprises Weather System pastel chalks to weather the hull with a combination of all the rust shades, darker than usual. This simulated photographs of Mamiya hull weathering. Finished model was oversprayed with Testors 1260 Dullcote Flat Clear Lacquer rattle can (outside).

Some of the Mamiya Kanmusu metal pieces were folded to reside next to the ship forever. Not sure what to do with all the game card and game pieces, but you certainly get a lot of little stickers and other meal pieces (nicely prepainted).

Value

Since I prefer waterline and not full hull 1/700 scale ship models, the Aoshima Mamiya is the preferred kit for me over the Pitroad/Skywave full hull kit. Can always add additional 25mm guns and pieces to update Aoshima Mamiya to her 1944 fit. Also, I dislike the molded-on, Aztec steps the kit uses instead of photoetched ladders (which is true for almost every 1/700 scale ship model). That is another project for replacement. The kit Instruction steps are in a good sequence, although I finished Step 15 (davits and boats) and external hull pieces last to aid handling of the model. Parts fit well, another nice touch. The only major problem encountered was the grossly oversize hull plating ridges that demand removal. The bridge required test fitting and forethought, along with filling and sanding large superstructure seams, but ended up fitting and looking fine. Detail is fantastic. The only things missing are photoetched ladders, railing and some davits, and lines for the masts and spars. An excellent kit for superdetailing. But what makes this kit a good value is the scarcity of IJN merchies, especially non-tankers like Mamiya.

Summary

Pros

  1. Well-done model of an interesting and unique ship - any fleet auxiliaries are welcome subjects, and fill a gap in availability of WW2 ships.
  2. Clear plastic windows and searchlight.
  3. Two sprues of ex-Skywave/Leviathan IJN Weapons parts - plenty of extra parts for your fleet (or to update your 1931 Mamiya to later appearances). Floatplanes, 5in guns, 25mm mounts, boats, anchors, radars and more.
  4. Waterline hull with base - no separate baseplate to add with its ugly seam to fill or paint.
  5. Good deck details and wood planking.
  6. Ease of assembly and order of build (mostly).
  7. Lots of well-detailed parts.
  8. Lots of Mamiya Kanmusus (Girl) images - both paper and metal (text in Japanese).

Cons

  1. Extra cost for the KanColle items which are uniquely Japanese, unless you are a gamer or collector.
  2. Plating on hull depicted by oversized ridges is glaringly wrong, and should be sanded down, but tricky because of other raised detail that is desirable to keep and compound curves on stern.
  3. Aztec ladders and some mast parts are oversized, but not a big concern.
  4. Instructions are in Japanese, which means need to be extra vigilant to comprehend the icons for choices, and looking ahead to determine best order of assembly.
  5. There are a few mistakes in naming kit parts, so double-check each part and its positioning to make sure you use the proper piece.
  6. Sprue attachment points for spars, 5.5in barrels and boat davits were in obvious places and decreased structural strength - take care in removing them from the sprue and sanding.

Thanks to Dragon Models USA for the kit and IPMSUSA for sending the kit and publishing this review.

  • Kanmusu stickers
    Kanmusu stickers
  • Kanmusu metal pieces
    Kanmusu metal pieces
  • Kanmusu game card and metal stand
    Kanmusu game card and metal stand
  • Close-up of IJN Mamiya hull showing oversize pipes and plating ridges
    Close-up of IJN Mamiya hull showing oversize pipes and plating ridges
  • Instructions Page 2 showing parts and useful overhead view
    Instructions Page 2 showing parts and useful overhead view
  • Close-up showing boat deck plank painting before parts added
    Close-up showing boat deck plank painting before parts added
  • Completed IJN Mamiya model, port side, waterline view
    Completed IJN Mamiya model, port side, waterline view
  • Completed IJN Mamiya model, starboard side, overhead view
    Completed IJN Mamiya model, starboard side, overhead view
  • Close-up of aft cargo deck showing cables for spars from thin brass rod
    Close-up of aft cargo deck showing cables for spars from thin brass rod
  • Close-up of amidships boat deck, open funnel, sanded hull with brass rod replacements for external piping
    Close-up of amidships boat deck, open funnel, sanded hull with brass rod replacements for external piping
  • IJN Mamiya KanColle 24 collectible card showing Kanmusu attributes
    IJN Mamiya KanColle 24 collectible card showing Kanmusu attributes

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