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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 1:19 pm 
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Hey there folks!
As Fujimi has released a lot of these IJN oilers that were the backbone of the IJNs carrier fleet, I thought that I should open a thread on them :big_grin:

I'm currently working on 4 ships of this type (Itsukushima, Kyokuto, Tatekawa, Nichiei Marus) and I find it a little sad that none of the kits is in a late-war fit. They are all grey and the armament only consists of 1-2x 120mm guns (bow/stern). As most of these important ships were afloat until 1944-45, there must have been armament upgrades or the addition of camouflage. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any plans or pictures, that show these changes.

Iwashige's site shows all ships in their 1941 fit, except for the Toa Maru (1943; added 25mm twin AA on lower bridge level). HP Models "Itsukushima Maru" (1944) seems to have a single 25mm in this position. The TROMs on combined fleet didn't mention any AA upgrades.

Wikipedia tells me:

Shinkoku Maru, 1941
• 2 × 150 mm (5.9 in) naval guns
• 2 × 76.2 mm (3.00 in) AA guns
• 2 × 7.7 mm machine guns

Gen'yo Maru, 1941
• 2 × 76.2 mm (3.00 in) AA guns
• 2 × Type 96 25 mm AA guns

Itsukushima Maru, 1944
• 1 × 120 mm (4.7 in) naval gun
• 16 × Type 96 25 mm AA guns
• 18 × depth charges
• 1 × Type 93 hydrophone

Kyokutō Maru, 1944
• 2 × 120 mm (4.7 in) AA guns
• 16 × Type 96 25 mm AA guns

Nichiei Maru, 1944
• 2 × 120 mm (4.7 in) AA guns
• 16 × Type 96 25 mm AA guns
• 12 × depth charges
• 1 × Type 93 hydrophone

Can anyone help me finding info on the armament of the oilers later in the war? Where were the AA guns placed?
And did any of the 17 ships receive the green camouflage??

Thank's in advance for your help!

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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 3:09 pm 
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We have covered this class in part on the general Japanese Pre-war/Wartime merchants thread, but I've no problem with a separate breakout. They are among my favorite Japanese auxiliaries and I have two Fujimi and one H-P kit sitting in my stash. I keep telling myself that these will be my next project but, somehow, it doesn't ever seem to happen.
Information on late war AA fits is pretty sketchy; I wouldn't even know if the Wiki information was reliable without knowing the source. Post-war examination of the wrecks of Kyokuto, Itsukushima and half sister Akebono Maru would probably have been revealing in this regard but, the photo record is sketchy. The Japanese probably have better documentation.

Depictions of another half sister, Otowasan Maru, often show her in a green camo scheme.


(Added 1/8/2014) We do have some 1/700 builds in the gallery:

Jim Smith built a prewar version of Nippon Maru in her owmer's livery using the Fujimi kit: http://www.modelshipgallery.com/gallery ... /index.htm

Bob Ciccone built a very nice OOB of Toho Maru from the Fujimi kit: http://www.modelshipgallery.com/gallery ... index.html

Another very nicely detailed pre-war build of Nippon Maru by Andrew Johnson: viewtopic.php?f=60&t=158148&p=644437#p644437

Dan Kaplan's complete rebuild of Kyokuto Maru 1942: http://www.modelshipgallery.com/gallery ... /index.htm


Last edited by Dan K on Fri Dec 05, 2014 5:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 4:18 pm 
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Hey Dan,

I agree that these tankers are really cool :) that's why I'd like to build them in different versions.

I've seen Janshu's nicely built Otowasan Maru (IJA!) in green camo on page 2 of the Japanese merchants thread, but that's not really what I'm looking for. IMO there must have been AA upgrades to the Kawasakis too at some point... I don't trust wiki too much, but adding some AA to these vital support ships would have been absolutely necessary in the later stages of the war.

Maybe someone has some info in a Gakken volume or a comparable book? Or maybe Motoyuki knows something about this class?

Any help is appreciated!

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PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 12:35 pm 
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Gakken #37 covers auxiliaries but, aside from a couple of early war photos and an illustration of Nippon Maru, there's nothing.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 3:05 am 
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The Shinkoku was sunk in Truk Lagoon on February 17, 1944. You will finds a lot of information about her on line. I am a divers and I have been through her wreckage many times.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 1:02 pm 
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Would love to see some of those pics. Here's the original, plus one decent pic I managed to grab off a dive site that nicely shows her bridge

Separately for Hen, Motoyuki-san build two late war Kawasaki class versions for one of the Model Graphix volumes a while back. Will post those pics soon.


Attachments:
Shinkoku Maru, Sept 25, 1941 at Osaka, colorized.jpg
Shinkoku Maru, Sept 25, 1941 at Osaka, colorized.jpg [ 112.77 KiB | Viewed 4547 times ]
Shinkoku Maru bridge at Truk.jpg.jpg
Shinkoku Maru bridge at Truk.jpg.jpg [ 41.44 KiB | Viewed 4547 times ]
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:38 am 
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Dan K wrote:
Would love to see some of those pics. Here's the original, plus one decent pic I managed to grab off a dive site that nicely shows her bridge

Separately for Hen, Motoyuki-san build two late war Kawasaki class versions for one of the Model Graphix volumes a while back. Will post those pics soon.


Hey Dan - I just bought the "Visual guide to Japanese merchant vessels Vol.2" two weeks ago (first volume is ordered) - and I've seen the models on his website, too. But thank you :thumbs_up_1:

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:10 pm 
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Well, Motoyuki-san was kind enough to send me large file versions, so I'll share. These are Itsukushima and Nichei Maru from the late war Kawasaki class article in Model Graphix vol. 328 (March, 2012)


Attachments:
itsukushima01 small.jpg
itsukushima01 small.jpg [ 65.46 KiB | Viewed 4492 times ]
itsukushima02 small.jpg
itsukushima02 small.jpg [ 73.52 KiB | Viewed 4492 times ]
nichiei01 small.jpg
nichiei01 small.jpg [ 72.66 KiB | Viewed 4492 times ]
nichiei02 small.jpg
nichiei02 small.jpg [ 71.56 KiB | Viewed 4492 times ]
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 4:43 pm 
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As ships changed over from coal to oil power, the IJN, as did the USN, experimented with underway replenishment in the 1920s, building two classes of oilers (11 vessels, I think) to service their fleet. Ultimately, they decided they needed larger, faster tankers.

The IJN chose to subsidize private industry to design and build these new ships, with the understanding of their requisitioning these ships during wartime. After producing three protoypes, the Kawasaki design was chosen. Twelve vessels were completed prior to Pearl Harbor, another shortly thereafter, plus several ships built by other yards. The design was successful enough so that standardized wartime production models, particularly the 1TL design, adhered closely to the original design.

The Wiki article actually is surprisingly comprehensive: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kawasaki-type_oiler

There are several groups, or flights, plus several half sisters built by Harima and Mitsubishi, which the article makes clear. Japanese sources group them by machinery arrangements, whereas western sources often group them by fit/appearance. I think the article's tables make it clear that grouping by appearance is misleading, as all the ships were owned or chartered by various lines with different functional or aesthetic preferences.

I'll post photos by what I consider the proper groupings. Some photos were posted previously by Ron Wolford, or on threads on the j-ships forum. Many photos have been contributed by Motoyuki Iwashige, The first group is comprised of Toa Maru and Kyokuto Maru


Attachments:
Toa Maru via NHC small.jpg
Toa Maru via NHC small.jpg [ 131.35 KiB | Viewed 4402 times ]
Toa Maru #2 alt.jpg
Toa Maru #2 alt.jpg [ 129.64 KiB | Viewed 4402 times ]
Kyokuto_Maru.jpg
Kyokuto_Maru.jpg [ 31.76 KiB | Viewed 4402 times ]
Kyokuto Maru refueling Hiryu, April 1942a.jpg
Kyokuto Maru refueling Hiryu, April 1942a.jpg [ 105.43 KiB | Viewed 4402 times ]


Last edited by Dan K on Wed Jan 08, 2014 3:59 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2013 9:21 pm 
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The photograph of Kyokuto Maru fueling Hiryu is simply incredible. Where did you find that?


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 10:35 am 
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It's in a couple of books and websites, though I can't remember where my original, large size file came from. Perhaps from Motoyuki-san.

Since you liked that one, here's another one, as well as a view of her looking aft in the classic photo of four of these ships in the fleet train for PH.


Attachments:
Kyokuto Maru refueling Hiei, June 7, 1942.jpg
Kyokuto Maru refueling Hiei, June 7, 1942.jpg [ 32.18 KiB | Viewed 4349 times ]
(L-R) Kyokuto, Kokuyo, Nippon & Shinkoku Maru & train enroute to PH, 12-1-41 small.jpg
(L-R) Kyokuto, Kokuyo, Nippon & Shinkoku Maru & train enroute to PH, 12-1-41 small.jpg [ 145.27 KiB | Viewed 4349 times ]
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 3:19 pm 
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Dan, thanks a lot for sharing!!

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 4:57 pm 
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Indeed, Thank you Dan. Those are all great pictures. Would love to know where you found them. There's a couple of books out there on Japanese merchant ships I'd be interested in if I can find them under the $100 mark. (Or close to it, at least.)


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 4:05 pm 
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Well, a handful are online (Wikipedia), some came from Ron Wolford's postings, and others are the courtesy of Motoyuki Iwashige. I really don't know which volumes or collections have them, though I would certainly love to. Apparently, the USCG, or the USN, took a lot of prewar photos of Japanese ships visiting San Pedro or transiting the Panama Canal Zone. I'd love to know how to source those.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:57 am 
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In the August and November volumes of Maru Magazine 1983 you can find some, in my opinion, very good pictures of this class during fueling various warships. Difficult to find but usually not very expensive.

Regards Berend


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 11:55 am 
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Good to hear from you, Berend. And, thank you!

What do you think might be the best source for these, Ebay Japan?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:46 pm 
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There's a seller from Hawaii (overthebluehorizon) on ebay selling the Maru specials for about 25$ each. I bought a couple volumes from them - all in good condition and they give discounts for each additional magazine you buy.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 2:21 pm 
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Thx, Hen, but know that Maru Magazine and the Maru Special Magazine are two different publications.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:40 am 
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Dan,

Japanese e bay is a good source. I don't know if it is the best source.

Regards Berend


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 12:43 pm 
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I'll give it a try. Thx, Berend.


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