Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Next Attraction: Set 1 later today (or early tomorrow; GMT+8); was caught off-guard with Shapeways' 3-day sale of White, Strong and Flexible and Full Color Sandstone Set 1 (early war) for 1/4800 would include 2x Yamato[1941], 2x Hyuga[1941] and the 2 Fuso-class (Fuso[1941] and Yamashiro[1942]. Another set will be available to include Yamato and Musashi in their late-war configuration, as well as the Ise hybrids. Each set will have the usual aircraft complements (plus extras, just in case).

1/1800 version will be available individually but will not include aircrafts.

From top to bottom: Yamato[1941], Yamato[1945], Musashi[1944], Hyuga[1941], Ise[1944], Fuso[1941] and Yamashiro[1942]

Coming soon: Set 2 of the remaining IJN BBs: Nagato- and Kongo classes (Mutsu[1941] render below)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Japanese ships at the Battle of Savo Island (in 1/4800)

Eighty years ago (August 9-10, 1942), the Battle for Savo Island happened at what is now dubbed as Ironbottom Sound. Allied loss for this action includes HMAS Canberra and three US cruisers of the New Orleans class: Astoria, Quincy and Vincennes.

Below are the ships/classes of the Japanese force commanded by VAdm. Gunichi Mikawa on that fateful night, plus some...

Takao-class Heavy Cruisers
Cruiser Division (Sentai) 4

Served as VAdm. Mikawa's (8th Fleet) flagship, can be used as her sister ship Maya for the same year; The only ship of the class to have retained her aircraft facilities on the main deck.

Class namesake; cruisers of the Takao-class were completed in 1932 and was designed as an improvement over the Myoko-class. Takao and Atago received further upgrades in 1938-39 to that presented in the model. This pair can be differentiated from the other two by the placement of the mainmast: Chokai and Maya has theirs abaft the aft funnel.

Refitted as an AA cruiser (Dec '43 - Apr '44, Yokosuka Naval Yard) with additional/upgraded light AA (triple 25mm), disembarked #3 dual 8", replaced the original 4x single 5" with 6x dual 5" and various changes inline with Takao/Atago during 1939

Furutaka and Aoba class Heavy Cruisers
Cruiser Division (Sentai) 6

'A'-class cruisers completed in 1926 with 6x single 7.9" (see Kako[1935] below) but modernized in 1936-1939, most notably replacing the main armaments with 3x dual 8" and reworked bridge structure.

Pre-modernization (1936-1939) Furutaka-class heavy cruiser as outlined in pages 74-76 Japanese Cruisers of the Pacific War (Lacroix & Wells, 1997 London:Chatham Publishing). Embarked with Nakajima E4N2 Type 90-2 recon seaplane
*the model will not be included in the regular offering, but can be available upon request

Sister ship with Kinugasa, the Aoba class CAs can be differentiated from the previous Furutaka class by the placement of the aircraft catapult and mainmast. These classes (Furutaka and Aoba) were the only heavy cruisers with the 3x dual 8" layout

Light Cruisers
Cruiser Division (Sentai) 18

Like the French cruiser Emile Bertin, the Yubari was built as a testbed for (then) future Japanese cruiser development, with the familiar trunked funnel and the S-shaped bow.

Designed as destroyer flotilla leaders but were soon outclassed upon completion in both speed (newer IJN destroyers they were supposed to lead ave. 39knots) and firepower (vs. contemporaries). Only two were built (Tatsuta being the other) and received only light modifications

Kamikaze (and Mutsuki) class destroyers [both of 1940]

Yunagi was a Kamikaze-class destroyer (foreground below) that acted as a screen for Mikawa's cruiser force. These set of destroyers (along with the earlier Minekaze class) precedes the Fubuki and can be characterized by the torp launchers abaft forecastle break and front of the bridge. The Mutsuki's design (background) were improved upon Kamikaze's; with the characteristic bow shape and 2x triple 24" torpedo launchers (vs. Kamikaze's 3x dual 21")

Item Compositions
(available some time early next week, August 13-15)

48JN03 IJN DD Mutsuki[1940]+Kamikaze[1940] (4+4)
- Four of each design/class: Mutsuki (12 total built) and Kamikaze (9 were built), the later can also be proxied at 1/4800 for Wakatake (9 built) and Minekaze (15 built)

48JN04 Savo Island IJN Cruisers will contain the following:
- 2x Tenryu [1942]
- 1x Yubari[1941]
- 2x Furutaka[1942]
- 2x Aoba[1942]
- 2x Takao[1942]
- 1x Chokai[1942]
- 1x Maya[1944]
- 18x aircrafts to represent single wing/twin floats recon seaplane (E13A1 or E16A1)
- 10x aircrafts to represent twin wing, single float recon planes (E4N2, E8N2 or F1M2)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Unreleased ships for 1/4800...

Koninklijke Marine (Royal Netherlands Navy)
Java-class light cruiser [1942]
Ships in class: HNLMS Java, HNLMS Sumatra
- waiting on for additional ships for the pack(CL.DeRuyter, CL.Tromp, etc) and seaplane compliment (Fokker C.XI-W)

US Navy
New York class battleships
Ships in class: BB34 New York[1942], BB35 Texas[1944] (shown)
- waiting on New York; will be available together with the New Mexico class BBs (NM, MS, ID)

Gleaves class destroyer (also as Benson class)
*available mid-July (waiting on refit/version with -1 5x 21" TT (aft set))*
Ships in class: 66 (30 in Benson)

Dai-Nippon Teikoku Kaigun (Imperial Japanese Navy, IJN)
Aircraft carrier Hiryu[1942]
- waiting on additional carriers for the pack (Soryu, most probably the Shokaku and Ziukaku as well) as well as aircrafts

Fubuki class destroyers (3 main types, top to bottom)
*avalable mid-July*
- Type I (9+1 ships); pipe-type air inlet with low angle guns (Type A); Uranami as Type I kai (designed with bowl-type air inlets, but retains low-angle guns)
- Type II (10 ships); bowl-type air inlets with 'Type B' high angle guns
- Type III (4 ships); re-arranged internals, visually identified with slimmer forefunnel

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

"Ok, let's go!" US Navy's Amphibious Ships and Crafts

June 6, 1944: Operation Overlord (aka D-Day; Normandy Landings). It has been a plan of mine to commemorate these events by doing various transport ships and landing crafts. Outlined below are my choices of what to include in 1/4800.

Attack Transports (APA)
Looking at the various classes of attack transports (APA) used, I've decided to do two: Bayfields and Haskells; due to the sheer number of ships per class, 34 and 117 respectively. Started with the Bayfield as there are no good (general/deck) plans available publicly. The APAs differ from attack cargo ships (AKAs) are considered as CL/CA in terms of 1/4800 pack construction.

Bayfield-class Attack Transports

Below are links to the camouflage scheme (M32/2A), the main resources I used to recreate the ship (port-side)  (starboard-side)
Please visit for more information about USN camouflage.


Haskell-class Attack Transport

Additional links:

Landing Ship, Tank Mk2,_Tank#LST_Mk.2
These ships are almost as long, or as short (?!) as the destroyers I've done, albeit with wider beams (Bagleys, Navigatoris, Le Hardis) and are intended to carry 20 medium tanks across the Atlantic and unload them through a bow ramp. Materiel located top-side are unloaded (driven-off) via an access ramp going below deck.

Landing Crafts

Landing Craft, Infantry
For their size, I did the three versions: 'square' conn tower, round conn and "round conn with bow ramp" (the two previous ones' ramps are located on the sides)

Landing Craft, Tank (Mk5 and Mk6)
Mk5's conn located aftmost, vs Mk6's starboard

The 1/4800 pack: 48US06 US Navy Amphibious Ships & Crafts contains the following:
APA Haskell (x6)
APA Bayfield (x4)
LST Mk2 (x10)
LCI(L) (4 of each version, 12 total)
LCT (2 each of Mk5 & Mk6, 8 total)

Lastly for size/length comparison:

Saturday, April 28, 2012

WIP: South Dakota-class battleships [1939 design]

4-28-12: First up; the 10x 5"/38cal non-flagship version. Based on the USS Alabama (BB-60); this can/will also represent the USS Indiana (BB-58) and Massachusetts (BB-59) as she appeared during 1942... Aircraft to represent the OS2U Kingfisher (2x per ship)

EDIT#1: Right, I shouldn't have looked for pics (LOL...?) for the other ships Indiana (BB58) and Massachusetts (BB59) - MaritimeQuest, Navsource and/or History.Navy.Mil ... I noticed that their boat cranes are present during 1942/43. Realizing Alabama being the last ship of the class, I cannot get over this difference and will have a model for those two (with boats and cranes... worse, have a different model? we'll see)... but will have to do it *after* I'm done with the lead ship USS South Dakota (BB57) with only 8x 5"/38cals...
5-2-12 #1: The BB57 South Dakota is done. Photos of her during her shakedown cruise in 1942 are widely known, but I based her appearance on Photo# 80-G-36088, late 1942 according to the caption (during the Guadalcanal campaign/Battle for Sta. Cruz Islands). This link will take you to her (BB57 South Dakota) entry in the National Historical Center.

Additionaly, this link directs you to BB60 Alabama's Battleship Photo Archive over at NavSource Online

5-2-12 #2: Next up BB58 Indiana. Modded the Alabama sculpt to coincide with the photographs, please see this link for some very good (large-ish) pics; focusing on the year 1942 (render below BB58)

5-6-12: Done with the BB59 Massachusetts. As said earlier, modded SoDak sculpt with the additional pair of dual 5"/38s. Platforms to correspond, and the addition (subtraction?) of an indent on the mid-portside of the forecastle, forward of the A turret...

US BB57 South Dakota[1942] 
Lead-ship of the class. Built to serve as flagship; she only had 8x dual 5"/38cal

US BB58 Indiana[1942] 
Note: additional 5"/38cal turrets (10x vs. BB57's 8x) and presence of boats and cranes (vs. BB60)

US BB59 Massachusetts[1942]
Mod of the BB57 South Dakota[1942] sculpt, with additional 5"/38cals;
quad 40mm Bofors in place of  the 1.1in; modified platforms.
Note indention (with 20mm AA) on portside of the forcastle, just forward the A turret

US BB60 Alabama[1942] 
Note absence of boat crane abreast of mainmast

Thursday, April 12, 2012

US Navy's New Orleans class heavy cruisers [1942]

Sister ships:
- New Orleans (CA-32)
- Astoria (CA-34)
- Minneapolis (CA-36)
- Tuscaloosa (CA-37)
- San Francisco (CA-38)
- Quincy (CA-39)
- Vincennes (CA-44)

The sculpt for this class represents their general appearance during 1942 (3 of the class: Astoria, Quincy and Vincennes were sunk during the First Battle of Savo Island)

Note I've put in a support strut in between the cranes on top of the hangar. The 1/4800 pack contains 14x aircrafts representing SOC Seagulls (also in 1/4800); as usual and at this scale, extra care is advised when handling/painting these tiny aircrafts (~2mm wingspan).

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Cruisers, lights and a heavy...

Cruisers, the flavor(s) for the 2nd half of the month (in order of recency)...

     The French heavy cruiser Algerie [1941] was built in response to the Italian Zara-class CAs and was considered to be the best [Washington] Treaty cruiser in Europe. She is unique in many ways; more so being the only one built, has flush deck, tower foremast and improved armor. Her speed is maintained despite of her lower power output (vs. the preceding Suffren-class) due to the improved hull form.
      The flying boat Loire 130 (close enough in 1/4800) will take up reconnaissance duties for her.

She will be included with the other 1/4800 MN cruisers 1st half of April
1/1800 MN CL Algerie[1941] will be available soon

     The Pluton[1938] (to be renamed as La Tour d'Auvergne by 1939) was a french mine-laying cruiser before World War II. Shortly after commissioning, she received modifications to allow her to be also used as a gunnery training ship.
     She was lost September 1939 when her embarked mines accidentally exploded while being landed at Casablanca, Morocco.

She will be included with the other 1/4800 MN cruisers 1st half of April
1/1800 MN CL Pluton[1938]

     Jeanne D'Arc[1935], a training cruiser, armed similar to the Duguay Trouins (4 x dual 6.1"/50cal), but the turrets are visually different. I also made a 1/4800 CAMS.37 flying boat (at this scale, could also be used to represent the FBA 17 the Duguay Trouins used some time during WWII)

She will be included with the other 1/4800 MN cruisers 1st half of April
1/1800 MN CL Jeanne D'Arc[1935]

     The French cruiser Duguay Trouin [1937] (sister ships La Motte-Piquet and Primaguet). She subsequently joined the allies (FNFL) in 1943.
     La Motte-Piquet was at the Far East during WWII and was part of the French squadron during Battle of Koh Chang (speaking of the Battle of Koh Chang, check out Arun Rodriguez's Objects May Appear.... for he made the rest of the combatants available in various scales).
     Primaguet was lost during the Naval Battle of Casablanca vs. USS Massachusetts (BB-59) and USS Wichita (CA-45) (seriously... <_< )

She will be included (x3) with the other 1/4800 MN cruisers 1st half of April
1/1800 MN CL Duguay Trouin[1937]

     Brooklyn class light cruiser as she appears in 1942. This can represent the first 7 ships (CLs 40-43; 46-48). Boasting 15 6" guns in 5 turrets, the layout was similar to the Japanese' Mogami class cruisers (before the Mogami's triple 6s were replaced with dual 8s, upgunned to heavy cruisers)

Included in 1/4800 US CL Brooklyn class CL [1942] (7+2)
1/3000 US CL Brooklyn[1942] (x2)
1/1800 US CL Brooklyn[1942]

     USS Helena[1942], the sister ship to USS St. Louis (CL-49), sub-class of the Brooklyns with 4x2 5"/38s instead of 8x1 of the preceding ships (note that in the later years, some ships of the Brooklyn and Phoenix subgroups had been refitted with dual 5"/38)

 Included in 1/4800 US CL Brooklyn class CL [1942] (7+2)
1/1800 US CL Helena[1942]

     Regia Marina (WWII Italian Navy) Capitani Romani class light cruisers. Built in response to the Contretorpilleurs of the French Navy (Marine Nationale). Pretty much summed up the Italians with this one (except for the submarines o_O )

1/4800 IT CL Capitani Romani[1943] (x6)
1/1800 IT CL Capitani Romani[1943]

Monday, February 27, 2012

Preliminary USN List: Atlantic/Med theatre...

Below is a semi-copy-pasta from the discussion on the USN Med/Atlantic list, together with some notes and updates from the 1/4800 Naval Wargaming Yahoo Group

There are only a couple of sculpts left for the Regia Marina: Italian aircraft carriers almost done and should be available this weekend. Capitani Romani class light cruisers and the Freccia/Folgore destroyers

I'm having doubts with the SS: primarily because the last one (MN SS Redoutable) only got sold a handful (thanks to whoever you are ;) ) ...also I'm having difficulties finding higher resolution references (apart from some Italian forums/site)...

For the preliminary USN list, my only source at the moment is the OOB for the Invasion of North Africa ( ). Tabulating the ship classes below:

BB SD = 1
BB NY = 2
CV Ranger = 1
CVE Sangamon = 4
CA Northampton = 1
CA New Orleans = 1
CA Wichita = 1
CL Cleveland = 1
CL Brooklyn = 3
DD Wickes = 2*
DD Clemson = 1*
DD Fletcher = 1
DD Sims** = 2
DD Benham = 3
DD Benson = 3
DD Gleaves = 26

*"Note that all three of these had the North Atlantic escort mod with 6
x 3 inch guns, aft funnel removed, and the two sets of torpedo mounts
removed (replaced with the two extra 3 inch). Note also there are 5 more variants of the class as destroyer minesweepers."

**Already done/available

I have no idea yet if we can proxy anything with regards to the DDs (just going with the Figurehead stuffs: Wickes/Clemson?)

Hmmm, coincidentally my preferred ships (BB SD, BB NY and CA NO) are in there XD. Note I also plan to have the BB CO and CV Wasp somewhere in the mix.

Also, during the previous conversations, some BBs have been mentioned (BB NewMex stuck in my mind). We'll list it down...

TL;DR for now

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Regia Marina: Their aircraft carriers of World War II...

Please visit the link below for some background on Italian aircraft carriers during World War II

The next 1/4800 release, aircraft carriers...

(Almost) everybody knows the Aquila, a conversion from a passenger liner (SS Roma). She was almost completed by the time of the armistice. From a distance, her profile looks similar to the Kriegsmarine's CV Graf Zeppelin

Sparviero, another planned passenger liner conversion. Simple enough design-wise, just hoped they improved upon the design to something similar to the Aquila

Bonfiglietti Project 1929 (see below)

There are a couple of WW2 Italian CV designs floating around, specially in one MMO naval game: Bolzano (post-war) conversion, Rota(1925), Gagnotto(1936), etc. (I have no idea the availability of the RM in that game when I did my list)

After some research, I've read that the design of the La Spezia model (Vian-Bonfiglietti Project 1928 CVL) in this link, was an earler design vs. the one below; which I tagged as Bonfiglietti(1929), but as per topmost/ link, falls under 1932. Notice the similarities of the bridge/island superstructure. Still, the project/designs were dropped some time around 1936.

Personal archive pic; credits to where I got the pic from (unfortunately I forgot already).

Considering the aircraft carriers I made available for Marine Nationale (French Navy): Béarn and the Joffres (x2)... and with Sparviero's stats near/similar to Béarn; I will be doing the Bonfiglietti as another fleet carrier (via 1929/1932 design).