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HIJNS Yahagi, Super Drawings in 3D

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HIJNS Yahagi
Kagero Super Drawings in 3D


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The four Agano-class cruisers light cruisers operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy. All were named after Japanese rivers. Larger than previous Japanese light cruisers, the Agano-class vessels were fast, but with little protection, and were under-gunned for their size. They participated in numerous actions during World War II.
The Agano class was followed by the larger Ōyodo-class cruiser, of which only a single vessel was completed.

The Imperial Japanese Navy had developed a standardized design for light cruisers as flagships for destroyer and submarine squadrons, based on a 5,500 ton displacement, shortly after World War I. However, by the 1930s these vessels were obsolete, as contemporary destroyers were faster, carried more powerful armament, and had greater endurance. As soon as the restrictions of the London Naval Treaty were removed, the Navy General Staff developed a plan within the Fourth Fleet Supplemental Budget to build 13 new 6000 ton cruisers between 1939 and 1945 to replace the Tenryū, Kuma, and Nagara-class cruisers. These vessels were intended to be the flagships for six destroyer squadrons and seven submarine squadrons. The new design was finalized in October 1937; however, construction was delayed due to overloading of the Japanese shipyards. Construction costs came to 16.4 million yen per vessel.

The design for the Agano class was based on technologies developed by aboard the cruiser Yūbari, resulting in a graceful and uncluttered deck line and single smokestack. Unlike most Japanese designs, the Agano class was not overweight, so it exhibited good stability and seaworthiness.

The Agano class was armed with six 152 mm Type 41 guns in three gun turrets. These guns were also used on the Kongō-class battlecruisers, some of these weapons having been removed from the Fusō-class battleships and the Kongō class during their modernizations in the early and late 1930s, respectively. This gun fired a 100 lb (45 kg) projectile 22,970 yards (21,000 m). The Agano class was unique among Japanese cruisers in that its main armament could elevate to 55 degrees, but this was still not enough to make them effective as anti-aircraft weapons. Secondary armament included four 76 mm Type 98 DP guns designed specifically for the class, in two twin turrets amidships. Anti-aircraft weapons included two triple 25 mm AA guns in front of the bridge, and two twin 13 mm mounts near the mast. The class also had two quadruple torpedo launchers for Type 93 torpedoes located below the flight deck, with eight reserve torpedoes. The torpedo tubes were mounted on the centerline, as was more common with destroyers, and had a rapid reload system with eight spare torpedoes. Being mounted on the centerline allowed the twin launchers to fire to either port or starboard, meaning that a full eight-torpedo broadside could be fired, whereas a ship with separate port and starboard launchers can only fire half of its torpedoes at a time. Two depth charge rails and 18 depth charges were also installed aft. The class was also equipped with two Aichi E13A aircraft. The first two vessels in the class (Agano and Noshiro) had a larger flight deck with a 26-foot catapult. The later Yahagi and Sakawa had a shorter 19-meter catapult. The engines were a quadruple-shaft geared turbine arrangement with six boilers in five boiler rooms, developing 100,000 shp (75,000 kW) for a maximum speed of 35 knots (65 km/h). Like Yūbari, the Agano class had its stacks join into a single funnel. All of the vessels in the class were updated with additional anti-aircraft weaponry and radar at various points in their service lives. Commissioned on 29 December 1943 Yahagi, the subject of this book, saw action in the Marianas in May/June 1944, during the Battle of the Philippine Sea, and during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. After the US invasion of Okinawa on 1 April 1945, she was ordered to accompany the battleship Yamato on its suicide mission against the American fleet at Okinawa. Yahagi was hit by some seven torpedoes as well as a dozen bombs, and sank on the afternoon of 7 April 1945.

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This latest book of Kageros 3D Drawings is actually the 36th in the series, which is building up nicely into a superb single point of reference for maritime modellers. Following the now familiar format the first eight pages contain text describing the design of the ship and its operational service; these are followed by sixty three pages of beautifully rendered drawings covering all external areas of the ship, a lot of which shows up details that you couldnt get from period photographs of plans. Each rendering has brief annotations which give useful insights as to what the areas are and the subtle details included. The last eighteen pages show similar detail, but are printed in such a way that you need to used the red and blue 3D glasses provided, otherwise they make you eyes go a bit weird. Whilst this is a bit of a gimmick it does work and gives the reader a sense of proportion and depth of the ship.

A while ago Kagero stated that they werent going to include plans with these books and were going to sell them rolled up so that buyers could mount them in frames. So, it was a bit of a surprise to find that they have included a double sided A1 sheet of plans. One side contains five views of the ship in 1:350 scale, along with a couple of scrap views of the funnel area. On the opposite side plans of the superstructure, aircraft handling deck and main mast, some in 1:350 and some in no particular scale.


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Conclusion
This is another great addition to the series and will be very useful if youre building the superb Hasegawa 1:350 kit, although it will be just as useful for any other scales. The 3D pictures at the back of the book are a bit of fun and its surprising how well they work even with the cheap cardboard glasses included. Very highly recommended.


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Review sample courtesy of
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Are these still in Polish?

Just a quick note, Fujimi have recently released a 1/700 kit of Agano that can be made as Noshiro as well. They will soon release Yahagi/Sakawa, so for the first time you can model all 4 of the class in 1/700 without having to rely on aftermarket stuff.

thanks

Mike

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Might have to buy it then! I've never bought any Kagero stuff as I'm pretty sure someone told me they were in Polish!

thanks

Mike

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Some of their other title series are in Polish, but unless I state a different language, you can take it that the text is in English.

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