Imperial Japanese Navy Aircraft Carrier Taiho, 1944 
by Dan Kaplan 

1/700 IJN Taiho, 1944 (Fujimi)

The Imperial Japanese Navy’s most advanced aircraft carrier design of World War II, Taiho (Great Phoenix)was an aesthetically handsome ship with a heavily armored flight deck under her flight deck planking, heavy belt armor, an enclosed forecastle, and a unique island/funnel arrangement.  Placed into service in March 1944, she was designated as flagship of the First Mobile Fleet under Vice Admiral Jisaburo Ozawa.  Poor damage control and an unforeseen design defect led to her loss at the Battle of the Philippine Sea in June, 1944. A single, fortuitously placed torpedo hit from USS Albacore during the battle led to cracked avgas fuel tanks and uncontrolled gasoline vapors seeping throughout the ship, ultimately resulting in a series of fuel-air explosions that wrecked Taiho. This was her only combat engagement.

 This is my depiction of Taiho in the late spring of 1944, using the 1/700 new tool Fujimi kit. This was an all-out build, meant to rectify a number of issues with the kit.  The kit was heavily modified and corrected, with a completely scratch-built flight deck and elevator wells, customizing  air intakes all over the ship and at the base of the island using proper shapes and grills, corrected portholes and sponsons, a corrected stern AA platform, a corrected bridge superstructure, and a ton of photoetch. The build took a year and a half to complete. The build log can be viewed here.

A list of improvements and references can be found  at the end of the thread, or here.

My very deep appreciation goes out to all the board members who offered encouragement and advice while I built her.


Dan Kaplan

Gallery updated 12/17/2020