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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:49 pm 
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Kit listings and gallery update 5/18/2018

With the release of new 1/700 toolings by Aoshima and Fujimi, in addition to the original Aoshima kits, and the decade old PitRoad kits, now seems a good time to give the Unryu Class of IJN CVs their own thread. The class is not widely known or covered, mostly due to their completion very late in the Pacific War, when the lack of trained air groups and oil meant no realistic opportunity to be used in a meaningful way. Of the three ships completed, only one, Unryu, managed an operational sortie, but without an air group. She was also sunk on that sortie.

Three other hulls were launched but never completed, of fifteen planned. One, Kasagi was 85% complete when work was stopped on her in April, 1945. The other two were 60% complete at war's end.

Many reference texts refer to this class as a repeat Hiryu class. In truth, though identical in size, they were an improved version, benefitting from both operational and wartime experience. Under different circumstances, they probably would have given a decent account of themselves; their biggest drawback being the limitation on air group size conferred by their own sizing as medium carriers. The Wikipedia entry is complete and detailed, as are the related entries for individual ships. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unry%C5%AB ... ft_carrier

Their individual TROMS can be found at: http://www.combinedfleet.com/cvlist.htm#trom

Some points of differentiation between the sisters can be found on page 7 of the calling all IJN Carrier Fans: viewtopic.php?f=46&t=4717&start=120

Available kits:
1/700
1972 (Waterline Consortium 1st generation) – Aoshima issued
Unryu 1944 - Item # 014868, Kit # WL 205, released
Katsuragi 1944 - Item # 014875, Kit # WL 206, released
Amagi 1944 - Item # 024621, Kit # WL 218, released

2003 Second Generation – Pit-Road issued
Unryu 1944 - Kit # W67, released September, 2003
Unryu 1944 - Kit # W141, comes with small Unryu class PE fret, released December, 2011
Katsuragi 1944 - Kit # W68, released September, 2003

2012 Third Generation – Aoshima issued
Unryu SP 1944 - Item # 939, special release with both regular and alternate clear frosted flight deck, small PE fret, released August, 2012
Unryu 1944 - Item # 991, kit # WL 226, released August, 2012
Katsuragi 1944- Item # 953, kit 3 WL 224, released September, 2012
Amagi 1944 - Item # 996, kit # WL 225, released November, 2012

2012 Third Generation (simultaneous to Aoshima) – Fujimi issued
Unryu, early 1944 – Item # 431093, kit # SWM (EX) -69, released August, 2012
Unryu, late 1944 – Item # 431109, kit # SWM (EX) -70, released August, 2012
Unryu, late 1944 – Item # 470177, kit # EASY (EX) no. 18, with colored parts, May, 2016

Amagi, 1944 – Item # 432168, kit # SWM (EX) -17, with Amagi specific parts, pending release June, 2018

Katsuragi, 1944 - Item # 432083, kit # SWM (EX) -82, with Katsuragi specific parts, released April, 2018


Examples in the gallery:
1/700

A nicely executed 1946 "what-if" of Katsuragi (Pit-Road) by Mike Komo: http://www.modelshipgallery.com/gallery ... /index.htm

A truly great "enhanced" build of the original Aoshima Amagi kit by Milan Kuliffay: http://www.modelshipgallery.com/gallery ... /index.htm

While not yet placed in the gallery, here is the extremely well done, completed build of Unryu 1944 from the new Fujimi tooling, by Ryuji: viewtopic.php?f=60&t=119278 . Some Work-in-Process photos can be viewed here: viewtopic.php?f=59&t=119196

A build of the original Aoshima tooling for Katsuragi by Eric Navas: http://www.modelshipgallery.com/gallery ... index.html

Another original Aoshima kit of Unryu, also by Eric Navas: http://www.modelshipgallery.com/gallery ... index.html

A build of the original Aoshima kit for Katsuragi by: Bob Nandell: http://www.modelshipgallery.com/gallery ... index.html

A nice build of the Pit-Road kit of Unryu by Anthony Kochevar: http://www.modelshipgallery.com/gallery ... index.html

A build of the original Aoshima kit of Amagi by Allan Parry: http://www.modelshipgallery.com/gallery ... index.html

Mike Komo's Pit-Road Katsuragi: http://www.modelshipgallery.com/gallery ... /index.htm



And some photos: Unryu, Amagi, Katsuragi, Kasagi, Aso, & Ikoma


Attachments:
Unryu, 8-6-44.jpg
Unryu, 8-6-44.jpg [ 121.73 KiB | Viewed 5815 times ]
Amagi, full size, colorized by Alex F.jpg
Amagi, full size, colorized by Alex F.jpg [ 110.98 KiB | Viewed 5815 times ]
Katsuragi on trials, Oct 1944 small.jpg
Katsuragi on trials, Oct 1944 small.jpg [ 99.74 KiB | Viewed 5815 times ]
Kasagi in Sasebo Bay, Nov 2, 1945 small.jpg
Kasagi in Sasebo Bay, Nov 2, 1945 small.jpg [ 141.39 KiB | Viewed 5815 times ]
Aso, 2-20-1946 small.jpg
Aso, 2-20-1946 small.jpg [ 94.93 KiB | Viewed 5815 times ]
Ikoma postwar small.jpg
Ikoma postwar small.jpg [ 69.24 KiB | Viewed 5815 times ]


Last edited by Dan K on Fri Oct 28, 2016 11:40 am, edited 2 times in total.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:09 pm 
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Dan, I have a question regarding something on one of your links. You stated that Katsuragi had hexagonal funnels. Do you have any photographic confirmation? I have read the exact same thing about Kasagi, but the photos show otherwise.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:05 pm 
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You've a very good eye, Mr. J. I am in error on this point. I had been relying on S. Fukui's description in his book "Japanese Naval Vessels at the end of WWII) but, even he just stated that the hexagon shaped funnels applied just to Kasagi. I haven't found one photo to verify this. In fact, in the just released Model Art Ship Modeling Special #46 on the Unryus, there is a very nice photo of Kasagi's funnels that I hadn't seen before. They look the same as all the other sisters.

There's certainly no hint of a hexagon here:


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:03 pm 
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Dan, I've seen that photo before. I think it was in one of the Maru Specials, but I could be mistaken about that.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:12 pm 
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It certainly could be in one of those. I've seen it in several publications.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:26 pm 
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Hi Dan. Thanks for starting this topic. I'm really interested in Japanese late-war carriers and the Unryu-class are among my favorites. I've been lurking here for two years before signing on and have been really impressed with your knowledge and resources regarding Japanese warships (oh yeah, you build a great model too). :big_grin: Can't wait to see where this thread goes. Any thoughts on the new Aoshima and Fujumi releases?

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:55 pm 
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I found the "IJN Katsuragi: Tabular Record of Movement" at "combined fleet" (http://www.combinedfleet.com/Katsuragi.htm) to be an interesting read. In particular the entries:

May to July 1945:
KATSURAGI never moves from her semi-permanent mooring at Mitsusko-jima Island in Kure harbor. Moored port side facing the island shore, heavily draped by camoufage nets with foliage and flight deck camouflaged with false "trees" and "houses" with sand poured to simulate roads to complete the effect.


and

23 November 1945:
The bomb damage of 28 July is sealed enough to make the flight deck watertight against rain and spray, but little else is attempted. The buckled flight deck is not realigned, nor the elevators repaired. To help ventilate the hangar decks for the hundreds of passengers foreseen, scores of large ventilator scoops are installed through the flight deck


Just idle curiosity on my part (so please no one go to any trouble), but I'm curious to know whether there are any known photos of either of these interesting periods.


Dave


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:06 pm 
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gscott - thx. No thoughts yet, but I'm trying. :smallsmile:

Dave, try these. In the first one, Amagi is on the left, Katsuragi on the right


Attachments:
Amagi camouflaged, 1945a.jpg
Amagi camouflaged, 1945a.jpg [ 143.5 KiB | Viewed 5660 times ]
Amagi prior to capsizing, from LIFE 9-10-45.jpg
Amagi prior to capsizing, from LIFE 9-10-45.jpg [ 88.05 KiB | Viewed 5660 times ]
Amagi under attack.jpg
Amagi under attack.jpg [ 99.15 KiB | Viewed 5660 times ]
AMAGI_OR_KATSURAGI_AND_KAIYO_AT_KURE-19-3-45.jpg
AMAGI_OR_KATSURAGI_AND_KAIYO_AT_KURE-19-3-45.jpg [ 110.25 KiB | Viewed 5660 times ]
Katsuragi camouflaged from above.jpg
Katsuragi camouflaged from above.jpg [ 127.2 KiB | Viewed 5660 times ]
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:02 am 
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Dan K wrote:
Dave, try these. In the first one, Amagi is on the left, Katsuragi on the right


Very interesting. Thank you for posting these.

From the description of the minimal repairs made to her, conditions on the hanger deck were probably pretty unpleasant for the Japanese soldiers and sailors who were repatriated aboard the Katsuragi.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:49 pm 
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I think they were probably just happy to be alive and going home. Some repatriation views from the AWM & other sites:


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Katsuragi, boat deck aft, repatriation at Truk.jpg
Katsuragi, boat deck aft, repatriation at Truk.jpg [ 66.73 KiB | Viewed 5600 times ]
Katsuragi, postwar at rabaul, film via BS #1.jpg
Katsuragi, postwar at rabaul, film via BS #1.jpg [ 54.76 KiB | Viewed 5600 times ]
Katsuragi, postwar at rabaul, film via BS #3.jpg
Katsuragi, postwar at rabaul, film via BS #3.jpg [ 41.35 KiB | Viewed 5600 times ]
Katsuragi, postwar at rabaul, film via BS #2.jpg
Katsuragi, postwar at rabaul, film via BS #2.jpg [ 35.45 KiB | Viewed 5600 times ]
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 4:22 pm 
Incredilbe pictures, Dan. I noticed on some of the links you posted for Unryu-class ship builds that the older molds seems to have wood decks. Were the Unryus originally slated to have wood decks and scarce resources precluded this?


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 7:36 pm 
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I don't know for certain but, I believe that to be true, that the class was designed to take wood flight decks but circumstances dictated otherwise. The Miyukikai plan for Unryu, along with some other Japanese plans I've seen (as well as some older Japanese modeling references) indicate a wood flight deck for Unryu. Even the Wiki entry for Unryu mentions it (not that a Wiki citation by itself proves anything. No footnote for that point.)

It has always been assumed that none of the class were planked but, I am beginning to suspect that Unryu's flight deck may have been wood planked. Just a suspicion. FWIW.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:26 pm 
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Dan, what leads you to believe Unryu had a planked deck?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:06 pm 
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Might have had a planked flight deck.

Well, it's not one thing, it's a couple of little things.

For one, there's the aforementioned wood planking indications on the Miyukikai plans set, which is based on official IJN plans. Plus, I've seen (but can no longer find) a different copy of offical IJN plans for Unryu with the same indicators. Initially, I thought those just meant that planking was intended (which I believe to be true), even though that's not what actually transpired.

But, then Miyukikai released a revised version of Taiho's plans several years ago (2005), with those same planking indicators. This was several years before that photo surfaced of the two officers standing on Taiho's PLANKED flight deck. In fact, I wrote Mr. Takumi and he responded that it was based on actual IJN plans. Then, the photo surfaced, a survivor confirmed it, and another pre-conceived IJN notion fell by the wayside.

Another has to do with Unryu's actual construction. Pre-war, the Japanese launched their carriers complete up to, and sometimes including, the lower hangar deck. This was certainly true for Unryu's progenitor - Hiryu - see first photo below.

Apparently, things changed during wartime. When Kojinsha released a revised volume of History of IJN CVs (two years ago I think), it contained a previously unpublished photo of Unryu being launched - also below. As you can see, she was launched in an advanced state of completion, up to and including the flight deck level. (Further, on the left, you can make out a person standing on the first level of what will become the bridge island.) She was launched on Sept. 25th, 1943. At that point, material shortages are not overtly severe, so, it is entirely possible that she was planked; if not at that point, then shortly thereafter.

On the other hand, sister Amagi was launched three weeks later, and both were completed 9 months later, 4 days apart. Yet, Amagi clearly is not wood planked.

We know that there were material shortages by mid to late war, and those shortages meant the later carrier construction utilized a substitute covering for the flight decks. We just don't know at what point the transition actually took place.

Tantalizing, no?


Attachments:
Hiryu launching 11-16-1937small.jpg
Hiryu launching 11-16-1937small.jpg [ 93.38 KiB | Viewed 5501 times ]
Unryu launch, 9-25-1943, HJACV, v#736small.jpg
Unryu launch, 9-25-1943, HJACV, v#736small.jpg [ 126.07 KiB | Viewed 5501 times ]
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:40 pm 
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Very interesting reasoning, Dan. I'm firmly in the camp that Taiho did have a wooden deck. It certainly would be another great discovery if somehow you were able to put together enough evidence to support your theory on Unryu (I'm rooting for you). I guess the eventual lack of deck material would have occurred sometime between Taiho and Shinano's completion dates. Did the appearance of the latex deck material coincide with the IJN's adaptation of the green camoflage scheme for all carriers? Just wondering if Unryu might have been completed with standard gray hull and wood deck before a decision was reached to entirely repaint her? Also, were there any differences in the camoflage patterns applied to the flight decks of the three completed Unryus?

(As an aside, does anyone else find it somewhat absurd that IJN applied those merchantile/oiler silhouettes to the sides of the carriers, as somehow US aircraft and submarines WOULDN'T attack them!?)

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:38 pm 
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Maybe not absurd. For once, any sub captain would find an aircraft carrier a lot more precious than an oiler and would probably take more risks to get to it. If caught on a convoy, certainly looking like a regular oiler and taking chances with being just another target was more interesting than being THE target.

Second point is, if you take a ship for a cargo, you'll base your target solution on what a cargo/oiler is supposed to be moving and what it takes to sink it. You probably won't treat a cargo the same way you would treat a ship capable of speeding away at 25+kts. You probably wouldn't have fired 6 torpedoes at a single target like Cavalla did to the Shokaku or Albacore did to Taiho, if you were in the presence of a simple oiler. You might, but...

I suppose it also allowed for the ships to be missed by espionage methods. A submarine lurking near an anchorage might spot just a few cargo ships, etc.

The real issue is that I just don't know if the camo was ever enough to actually deceive anyone...


Last edited by Marco_Trigo on Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:37 pm 
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Howdy Unryu fans!

Has anyone started the Aoshima version with the clear deck? I'm interested in how to best use the feature. On another site a suggestion came to use a partial reveal with a contoured line, showing part of the flight deck. (Get to use some camo, then, too). I was wondering if anybody had pics of any clear-deck carriers they've done for ideas.


AH3000mk1


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:13 am 
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Hi all

Appreciate this might not be the right place but this isn't intended as a review, just a quick overview of what's available.

This is my Unryu class stash, 2No Pit Roads and the new tool Aoshima.

Image

re the Pit Road Unryu and Katsuragi, the box side shows clearly that the differences in the 25mm mounts are included in the kit round for the former, hex for the later.

Image

Contents spread (including etch that comes with the ltd edition kit and separate dedicated set) for the pit road (Unryu) kit, hull molded full, heavy detail on flight deck but everything else seems crisp.

Image

Contents of the Aoshima Unryu kit (including separately available etch set), split hull and two flight decks one clear(ish)

Image

Re the Aoshima kit, I think the clear deck is a bit of a gimmick as it's akin to looking through a frosted glass pane and if it was intended to give a clear view of the full length flight deck the I doubt it will. The Aoshima kit comes with some very nice Cherry Blossoms but is really let down by the inclusion of the ancient cartel ordnance set as opposed to a fresh AA suite. In my mind, given the quality of these new releases, all Japanese 1/700 (and 1/350 manufactures for that matter) should get together and include dedicated new tool trees from either Pit Road or Fine Molds as per Tamiya 1/700 Yamato (Fine Molds). Both manufacturers include decals for the deck camo. Neither include any detail on the flight deck indicating wooden planking.

I've not got the Fujimi release yet but there is a very nice build elswhere on the forum for which Dan has posted a link in the first post of this thread. Interestingly (well for us as when I pointed this out to my partner, she just ignored me) the Fujimi release when first included on the Hobby Search site included reference to the ubiquitous separately available wooden deck decal in addition to etch fret. This quicky disappeared upon the actual release, whether it was HS jumping the gun or Fujimi rethinking I dont know. Atma, any views on this?

This is starting to sound like a bit of a review so I'll finish it here but am happy to answer any specific questions about quality / mold of the individual kits. Mods, please feel free to move this to reviews if you think appropriate.

Happy modelling.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:06 pm 
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Greg - I don't think it will be me who figures it out. Unfortunately, there's a lot of IJN material in Japanese private collector's hands; more than is in public release. We just have to wait them out, I guess.

<Did the appearance of the latex deck material coincide with the IJN's adaptation of the green camoflage scheme for all carriers? Just wondering if Unryu might have been completed with standard gray hull and wood deck before a decision was reached to entirely repaint her? Also, were there any differences in the camoflage patterns applied to the flight decks of the three completed Unryus? >

Since we don't know exactly when the latex deck coverings became prevalent, it's hard to say if they were coincidental or not. Camouflage experiments for carriers were conducted from March to June, 1944. Findings were implemented later that summer. So, Unryu was launched in grey, as the photo above shows. I don't have the class camo schemes readily available but there were probably subtle differences between them.

Incidentally, the camo schemes were evaluated by the Japanese to not be particularly effective against air reconnaissance but, they felt something was better than nothing. The side schemes were implemented by the merchant marine in 1943 and carried over to the carriers. In fact, as Marco points out, it was felt the camo silhouettes were reasonably effective in confusing submarines about ship type, speed etc.

Thx for posting Jonathan. Ultimately, it might be helpful to post it under reviews. I might suggest titling it something like Unryu class: PitRoad vs Aoshima vs Fujimi. This way, we can gather all the opinions in one place.

I may order the Aoshima and Fujimi versions for myself. I do have the PitRoad Unryu.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:30 pm 
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Both look quite interesting and I would love to see more detail shots of them. Truth be said they look such incredible ships that if I weren't out of a job I would have acquired one by now.

Marco


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