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IJN Heavy Cruiser Maya Super Drawings in 3D

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IJN Heavy Cruiser Maya

Kagero Super Drawings in 3D



Maya was one of four Takao-class heavy cruisers, active in World War II with the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). These were the largest and most modern cruisers in the Japanese fleet, and were intended to form the backbone of a multipurpose long-range strike force. These ships were fast, powerful and heavily armed, with enough firepower to hold their own against any cruiser in any other navy in the world. Her sister ships were Takao, Atago and Chōkai.


Following the defeat in the Guadalcanal campaign, at the beginning of 1943, the Navy Technical Department and The High Command of the Imperial Japanese Navy strived to increase the defensive potential of all their warships. Apart from standard refits of the majority of the Imperial Japanese Navy units, a plan was adopted, which called for reconstruction of two "Takao” class heavy cruisers into anti-aircraft units. Through a coincidence only the Maya underwent such conversion.


On 22 October, in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, Maya was assigned to Sentai-5 with sister ships Atago, Takao and Chōkai together with the battleships Yamato, Musashi and Nagato. At 05:33 on 23 October, during Battle of the Palawan Passage, Maya's sister-ships Atago and Takao were torpedoed by the submarine USS Darter. Atago sank in approximately 18 minutes. Twenty minutes later, submarine USS Dace fired six torpedoes at Maya, mistaking it for a Kongō-class battleship; Maya was struck by four torpedoes portside: one in the forward chain locker, another opposite No. 1 gun turret, a third in No. 7 boiler room and the last in the aft engine room. Powerful secondary explosions followed immediately, and by 06:00 Maya was dead in the water and listing heavily to port. She sank five minutes later, taking 336 officers and men to the bottom, including her captain Akishimo rescued 769 men, and transferred them to the battleship Musashi, which was sunk the following day; 143 of Maya's crewmen were lost with Musashi. Therefore, from the final crew of 1,105 crewmen, 479 were lost. She was removed from the navy list on 20 December 1944




This is the latest book from Kagero in their Super Drawings in 3D, showing the cruiser in her anti-aircraft configuration. Like the previous books it has a brief history and the ships specifications at the beginning. This includes the following:-


  • Operational History
    • Period before outbreak of war
    • The War between December 1941 to July 1942
    • August 1942 to December 1942
    • January 1943 to July 1943
    • August 1943 to March 1944
    • April 1944 until sinking
  • Operational Commanders
  • Evaluation of Anti-Aircraft Cruiser conversion
  • Authors Note
  • Bibliography




The rest of the eighty one pages are filled with the beautifully drawn 3D renderings we have come to expect from this series.  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.  There are also some good renderings of the lower hull, especially aft around the propellers and rudder. The fore and aft views really show the quite odd shape of the hull as it splays out from the waterline and the massive anti-torpedo bulges. I particularly like the renderings of some of the AA gun mountings with the crewmembers in place and in an action setting, which might come in handy for a super detailer modeller.




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 drawings of the Mainmast, Bridge Tower, Forward Turrets bird’s eye view and a view down the starboard side, and Midships section showing the AA gun deck, in no particular scale.



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 building the beautiful Aoshima 1:350 scale kit, if you can get hold of one.






Review sample courtesy of

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