Japanese Pacific Ocean Liner


Aoshima no. WL E098

Scale 1:700 Water Line Series

Click on the pictures to enlarge.











































History of KASUGA MARU

The Liners of N. Y. K. were of great importance to Japans shipping route before the war. They were build for the lines of the Pacific and Europe. In my opinion they were very graceful ships and  modern of their time. Only YANATA MARU were in ordinary passenger service just before the war. She and her sister NITTA MARU were later used as military transports but KASUGA MARU was converted to an Aircraft carrier before her completion. They were all converted to Aircraft carriers during there lifetime, due to the Japanese Navy desperate need for carriers.

Technical specification:

Laid down 6th Jan. 1940

Launched: 19th. Sep. 1940

Rebuild as Aircraft Carrier IJN TAIYO

Sunk: 18th. Aug. 1944 by US. submarine USS RASHER SS-269

Displacement: 17,830 T Standard, 20,000 tons Full load

Length: 173.7 m

Beam: 22.5m

Draught: 8.0m

Ship horse power: 28,395 Shp. (2  Steam turbines on 2 shafts)

Speed :  22.5 knots

Crew: 239

Passengers: 285 (127 1st. class, 89 2nd. class. and 70 3rd. class)



The Box Art

Building the kit:

Building a steamer from the days before WWII was an appealing project for me, and I was looking forward to start on the kit when it arrived from Germany. The ship is a nice break from the all gray warships in my collection and I must say it will not be the last liner from my "Yard". I can strongly recommend the project to others.

The kit will be fine in "build out of the box condition" but I tried to improve the result by adding PE-sets and scratch building by styrene plastic, copper wire and paper etc.

The kit

The greatest problem for me to solve during the pre assembly faze, was how to overcome the problems regarding painting the ship white with only normal brush technique (I had heard and learned that white paint is not easy to apply over bigger surfaces with positive results!)  -So I attacked the problem in a different angle. I used the acryl paint to my advantages ....

I started to paint the wooden deck first (the procedure is described in the HIEI battleship build process) here after I removed all the wood paint from the white surfaces (white bare plastic) with several toothpicks! This was a time consuming process, but the result where far better than if I had hand brushed the super structure all white.

The hull was altered by cutting out the deck at the stern by adding new deck and walls and new spacers up to the afterdeck -this was done before the hull was closed with the lower water line piece. I removed the in mould anchor and build new inner walls and added a surplus Tamiya anchor on both sides. On the very front I made a hawse pipe in plastic. The hull is in one piece, were all the decks and front of the super structure in attached Beware of no easy fitting! and dry fitting is strongly recommended first. I wanted to show the ship in lightly loaded and therefore the hull will lay higher in the water. It's was done by two layers of heavy plastic sheets under the waterline.

Again on the front part of the super structure there was some areas that needed some rebuilding with plastic, but hereafter the building of the ship was more straight forward. All the in mould portholes were drilled out and the big square windows were also hand painted dark blue, with the use of toothpicks! after ;-) There is places on the ship where windows is "missing". So I used a white sheet of decal paper -firstly it was my intensions to print out the windows, but I learned they did not compare well to the blue painted windows from above. Therefore the best results was to paint the paper blue and cut out in the right size windows with a scalpel. After the decal-windows was sealed with a liquid sealer they hit the water as ordinary decals. - I liked the result.

I added a lot of small vertical plastic columns under the decks all over the ship and the model became more detailed. But the most rewarding thing was when I made the hundreds of deckchairs in paper to give the decks more life. All the masts and booms is from the kit. I think they are very beautiful and well molded in shape. I made more deck details such as fans and bollards and a new anchor chain was added. And off course not to forget the 230 hand painted passengers and crewmembers.


PE-sets I used:

GMM 1/700 IJN Merchant Ship 

Voyager model AP 044 1/700 watertight door and skylight

Eduard 17 505 Japan Naval Figures 1/700



From the net: 

'Nitta Maru' by Atle Ellefsen:  http://russellwild.co.uk/settingsail/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=92&Itemid=39

'Nitta Maru' by MIABIKOBO : http://www2.ocn.ne.jp/~buton/nittamaru.html

HIKAWA MARU Museum ship in Yokohama harbor:  http://www.ssmaritime.com/hikawamaru2.htm

+ various other Japanese sites


 Japanese Naval Warship Photo Album Aircraft Carrier and Seaplane Carrier from Diamond Sha books.  

 Die japanishen Kriegsschiffe 1869-1945 by Hansgeorg Jentschura, Dieter Jung, Peter Mickel.

The building time was approx 3 weeks.

May. 2007.

If you have any questions, remarks or things you will share, please don't hesitate to contact me.




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