by Chuck Bauer
1/350 IJN Mogami (Tamiya)
This is my rendition of IJN Mogami, ostensibly in her 1944 configuration, at which time she was called an “aircraft-carrying cruiser.”
The objective of this project was to build a highly detailed model without purchasing any photo etched parts made specifically for this subject. My starting point was Tamiya’s 1/350 kit, no. 78021. This kit comes with a few important photo etched metal pieces, and I used some of them where desirable. But most of the fine details on the model were cut from 23 different “leftover” frets stored in my hanging file drawers. In addition, I scratch built some pieces from metal and styrene, ending up with 823 add-ons. I used 502 parts from the kit, so the total number of pieces came to 1,325.
My references and inspiration came from various sources, including the many fine models posted on line. I looked at these and compared them to the reference materials I was able to gather together. These reference materials included Jean-Manuel Soumare’s Mogami ship plans and Waldemar Goralski’s ship plans for IJN Tone.
I also utilized the CASF thread in Model Warships.com where Dan Kaplan’s materials and comments were especially helpful. In addition, I touched base with Anthony Kochevar, and thank him for his attention.
Some years ago I purchased Japanese Heavy Cruisers of World War II in Action by Wayne Patton, and found this to be an excellent source of information. The photos and text in this exceptional publication gave me many detailing ideas.
The model which resulted from all these sources includes the following features:
Painting this model was fairly straightforward since there were no wooden deck planks to replicate. The hull colors and decking were mixes I made from enamels and acrylics. I decided to paint the decking hold downs because I wanted them to be in scale. As a result, they are not very noticeable from a normal viewing distance (1000 scale feet) but become evident when looked at closer in. The upper and lower hull was pre- and post shaded, using an airbrush and a pin wash. A total of 52 commercial paints were used, from three different suppliers: Testors, Model Masters and Tamiya. In addition, I used three separate artist’s oil washes for the hull and for the boat and aircraft canvases. Weathering was done with pastels.
- Tripoidal awning supports and cables on the bow.
- Clear truck light on the forward mast
- Clear 2kW signal lamp on the aft mast
- Windshields, cockpits, metal props and railings on the motor launches.
- An anemometer and wind vane on the forward yardarm
- Photo etched Radio Direction Finder w stays
- Photo etched No.21 Air Search radar
- Clear running light on front of bridge
- Navigation indicators hanging from the aft mast
- Accommodation ladders and ancillary rigging
- Opened gun turret and superstructure doors
- Spare wings stored on rack behind aft superstructure
- Aircraft details such as open cockpits, turned flaps and rudders, folded wings, machine guns, and aerials.
The project took a total of 1,011 hours to complete; it was great fun to pack all of these “free” details into such a small space