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)

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