Model Art No. 41 Autumn 2011 is devoted to several classes of more obscure Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) warships in WW2. Specifically, Katori class light/training cruisers, Hatsuharu class destroyers, and Fuso class battleships. For each class, you get to see builds of the most recent kits, drawings, figures and photos showing intimate details of each class/kit, and background history with photos (in Japanese of course). Scales are mostly 1/700 since 1/350 kits are not available for Katori and Hatsuharu classes yet. Battleships kits are mostly 1/350 scale model kits. Coverage is comprehensive, with emphasis on historical accuracy of appearance. This edition is perfect for those modeling these ship classes.
There are other features too – the 1912 Japanese Naval Review, and comparisons of 1/700 IJN submarine models. New kits featured are Trumpeter’s 1/350 RM Roma, Fujimi’s 1/700 IJN Taiho aircraft carrier; Rayden Model’s 1/700 Kinesaki class supply ships (a rarity) with dockyard setting, Aoshima’s 1/700 river gunboats Seta and Hira in multiple versions, and a preview of a 1/350 Hikawa Maru liner kit. And yes, the obligatory page of postcards with paintings of ships is present.
The first feature is on IJN battleships Fuso and Yamashiro with builds of 1/350 and 1/700 kits. You get 32 pages with many photos of subassemblies and line drawings of fits at different periods of time plus a foldout line drawing of Fuso in 1938. The Katori class light cruisers (Katori, Kashima, and Kashii) are up next, with 35 pages. Some pages cover early 20thcentury IJN light cruisers. Unusual variants and appearances at different stages of the war are shown in detail. The Hatsuharu class fills 18 pages, and shows how to build all six ships of the class at each period of its existence. If you want to build (or rebuild) these classes of ships, this edition will be valuable.
The format of Model Art Special Editions is larger than regular monthly Model Art magazines, and printing quality is of high standards. The book measures 210 X 296 mm (that’s 8-1/4 by 11-3/4 inches). The majority of the article photos are in color. This issue, my usual chief complaint (layout of photographs of larger ship models crosses pages, resulting in a dead zone where the spine is) is greatly reduced and only a concern with the battleship section.
This edition is vital and highly recommended for WW2 IJN naval buffs, particularly for Fuso class battleships, Katori class light cruisers, and Hatsuharu class destroyers.
- Figure 1: Front Cover of Model Art No. 41, Autumn 2011 showing a part of the fold-out illustration of the Katori light cruiser in 1942.
- Figure 2: IJN battleship Yamashiro in 1943. Fujimi 1/350 model.
- Figure 3: The three Katori class light cruisers. From left, they are Kashii in 1942, Kashima in the middle in 1944, and Katori in 1941.
- Figure 4: IJN Kashii in 1942 transporting a funnel held up by the crane.
- Figure 5: IJN Kashima in 1944 after modification to replace torpedo tubes with 5in AA mounts, additional light AA guns, radars and depth charge equipment.
- Figure 6: IJN Katori in 1941 in original appearance.
- Figure 7: All six of the Hatsuharu class showing evolution of appearances. There are eight models because the first two in the class were built to the original specification with three triple torpedo tubes and a superfiring single 5in turret forward. Within a year, serious instability was found, and these two ships and the rest during building were modified into their usual appearance – two triple torpedo tubes, smaller bridge, single 5in turret moved lower to aft deck.
- Figure 8: IJN Nenohi (top) in initial appearance in 1933. IJN Hatsushimo (bottom) in 1945 showing final appearance of surviving class members. The single 5in turret was replaced by a triple 25mm mount, and additional triple and single 25mm mounts were added, along with radar and revised depth charge equipment/