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IJN Heavy Cruiser Chikuma Kagero Super Drawings in 3D Chikuma was completed at Mitsubishi Nagasaki shipyards on 20 May 1939. After several months as a unit of the CruDiv6 (Sentai 6) of the Second Fleet, she was transferred to the CruDiv8 in November 1939. In addition to taking part in regular combat exercises in Japanese home waters, she operated off southern China on three occasions between March 1940 and March 1941. Chikuma was designed for long-range scouting missions and had a large seaplane capacity. She was extensively employed during World War II in conjunction with an aircraft carrier task force, or as part of a cruiser squadron with her sister ship, Tone. The Tone-class cruisers were originally envisaged as the 5th and 6th vessels in the Mogami class. However, by the time construction began, serious weaknesses in the Mogami-class hull design had become clear following the Fourth Fleet Incident in 1935. As Japan no longer was obligated to abide by the limitations of the London Naval Treaty, a new design was created and new means of construction were utilized. Though the external dimensions were close to the Mogami class, the design was quite different, with all the main battery of guns placed forward of the bridge, reserving the entire stern area as a large sea plane hangar. Unlike the United States Navy, the Japanese did not have a dual role attack/scout aircraft. No reconnaissance units were assigned to the Japanese carriers, and little emphasis was placed on this aspect of carrier warfare. Instead the Japanese reserved all of their carrier aircraft for attack roles. Reconnaissance was left up to float planes carried by cruisers. Chikuma was intended to provide the long range scout planes needed for their carrier Air Fleets. She took part in many famous battles during the war, including the Indian Ocean raids, Battle of Midway, Battle of Eastern Solomans, Battle of Santa Cruz, Battle if the Philippine Sea, and lastly the Battle of Leyte Gulf, during which she was sunk by US navy torpedo bombers. This is the latest book from Kagero in their Super Drawings in 3D, and like the previous books it has a brief history and the ships specifications at the beginning. This includes the following:- Technical Description Fire Control Equipment Modernisations In Service The rest of the seventy three pages are filled with beautifully drawn 3D renderings of every part of the ship. It is obvious that a lot of time has been taken to get the drawings this good and accurate, and there is a wealthy of information for the modeller to use during their build. Every area of the upper hull and superstructure is dealt with. I particularly like the renderings of the interior of the torpedo deck and the inclusion of the loading mechanisms and tubes, with the addition of some crew members showing the operation of the equipment. For even more detail, especially for the rigging, Kagero have included a double sided A2 fold out sheet with a five view on one side, in 1:350 and a ¾ bow view on the reverse, with additional drawings of the ships boats and close ups of the most forward pair of turrets. Conclusion This is a great addition to any maritime modeller’s collection and continues this superb series of books. The detail included is second to none, and the renderings are so clear that they will be a delight for the superdetailers, particularly if build the beautiful Tamiya 1:350 scale kit. Review sample courtesy of
IJN Heavy Cruiser Chikuma Eduard 1:350 The Tamiya 1:350 Chikuma kit has been out for a little while now, but there have been very few, if any, aftermarket detail sets for it. This may mean that Tamiya got it perfect out of the box or that the aftermarket companies have missed it for some reason. Well this has now been rectified with the welcome release of these two sets by Eduard. The first set consists of sheets of etched brass containing around 121 different items, and that’s not including multiples of the same items, of which there are quite a few. The quite larger sheet provides everything from the ships crane, crane hook, bollard tops, gratings, intake grilles, masts, funnel caps, funnel wind deflector, inclined ladders, to the intake grilles on the funnels and superstructure. The kit searchlight towers, their mounts and turntables are completely replaced with new etched items. There are also numerous small details for the rangefinders, masts yards and bridge structure as well as the inclined and vertical ladders throughout the ship. There are many smaller items such as new doors and deck hatches, small deckhouses, and cable drum supports. The smallest and what look like the most awkward fittings are the hull ladder rungs. Templates are provided to get the holes drilled in-line ready for the rungs themselves. This is going to be an incredibly fiddly job, but worthwhile exercise as the moulded styrene ones are a little bit clunky. All the ships boats have additional detail such as rudders, handrails, screens and stern rails. The second, smaller sheet provides all new catapults, their turntables and other fittings. The main barbettes are fitted with new base rings and supports. There are several wind deflectors for the secondary armament which are made up by folding the large etched segments on each other creating a suitably scale thickness. There is also a complete replacement for the aircraft transport ramp which will need some careful folding to keep it straight. The downfalls for the ships boat davits are also included. The second set, supplied separately, provides all the railings in pre-cut lengths for the whole ship, plus a range of platforms with pierced gratings. Two accommodation ladders are also provided, in addition to their deck edge covered platforms. Unfortunately the awning supports and accommodation ladders found in previous Japanese ship sets are not included in this one. Conclusion It’s good to see these sets being released as, while the 1:350 Chikuma is a fabulous kit, it still needs something to give it a lift. The quality of the etched brass is up to the usual standard we’ve come to expect from Eduard. Unfortunately, the instructions are still a little vague in part placement and particularly how parts are folded. If you have the Tamiya kit, then you need these sets. Review sample courtesy of