As seen in 1942 Kiska ops.


TAMIYA no. 318

Scale 1:700 Water Line Series

Click on the pictures to enlarge.












































History of IJN KISO:

Early career

''Kiso'' was completed on 4 May 1921 at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Nagasaki shipyards. Soon after completion, ''Kiso'' was fitted with both a forward and an aft flat superstructure, with a rotating floatplane take-off platform located aft for experimental and testing purposes. ''Kiso'' was then assigned to cover the landings of Japanese troops in Siberia during Japan's Siberian Intervention against the Bolshevik Red Army. It was subsequently based at Port Arthur, and patrolled the China coast between the Kwantung Leased Territory and Tsingtao.

On 17 April 1939, ''Kiso'' fired a 21-gun salute as the ''USS Astoria'' (CA-34) arrived at Yokohama carrying the remains of Hiroshi Saito, the Japanese ambassador to the United States, who died while on assignment to Washington DC.


Operations in northern waters

On 10 November 1941, ''Kiso'' was assigned to CruDiv 21(Sentai 21) in the Japanese 5th fleet under Vice Admiral Boshiro Hosogaya, and was painted in artic camouflage for operations in northern waters. At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the ''Kiso'' was patrolling in the Kuril Islands, and after suffering hull damage due to severe weather, was forced to return to Yokosuka, Kanagawa Yokosuka by the end of the year.

From January to end April 1942, ''Kiso'' resumed its patrol assignment in northern waters, accompanied by its sister ship, ''Tama''.

In April, after the Doolittle Raid, ''Kiso'' was one of many vessels sent in unsuccessful pursuit of US Navy Task Force 16 with the ''USS Hornet'' (CV-8), and ''USS Enterprise'' (CV-6). ''Kiso's'' main batteries scuttled guardboats ''No. 26 Nanshin Maru'' and ''No. 1 Iwate Maru'' after those vessels had been damaged by planes from the ''Enterprise'' during the Doolitte Raid.

In May 1942, ''Kiso'' accompanied the converted seaplane tender ''Kimikawa Maru'' on a scouting mission to Kiska and Adak, in the Aleutian Islands. The Adak mission was successful, but Kiska was obscured by weather. At the end of May 28 May 1942, ''Kiso'' was part of the Battle of the Aleutian Islands, in "Operation AL" (The seizure of Attu and Kiska). The invasion force landed troops on Kiska on 7 June 1942, with ''Kiso'' covering.  On 10 June 1942, offshore Kiska, ''Kiso'' and several other ships and a few destroyers were attacked by a formation of six B-24 Liberator heavy bombers. ''Kiso'' was undamaged. Likewise, on 14 June 1942 ''Kiso'' was attacked by PBY Catalina flying boats, with near misses. ''Kiso'' returned safely to Mutsu Bayon 24 June1942.

On 28 June1942, ''Kiso'' and ''Tama'' participated in the second reinforcement convoy to Kiska, then patrolled southwest of Kiska in anticipation of an American counter-attack, returning to Kanagawa Yokosuka on 16 July 1942. From 16 July-2 August 1942, after refit at Yokosuka, ''Kiso'' returned north to patrol around Kiska, and covered the transfer of the Attu garrison to Kiska on 20 August 1942, returning to Ominato on 18 September 1942. ''Kiso'' continued a series of patrol and re supply missions to the Kuriles and Aleutians from October through the end of March 1943.

On 28 March 1943, Vice Admiral Shiro Kawase assumed command of the Fifth Fleet. ''Kiso'' was sent to dry dock on 4 April 1943 for a major refit, during which its 90-cm searchlights were replaced by three Type 96 110cm searchlights. Two Type 96 25 mm AT/AA Gun Type 96 twin-mount 25-mm AA guns were added at port and starboard above the aft torpedo-tube mounts. She was also fitted with a No. 21 air-search radar. 

On 11 May 1943, ''Kiso'' was sent with the destroyers ''Hatsushimo'' and ''Wakaba'' to escort the ''Kimikawa Maru'' transporting eight Mitsubishi F1M2 ("Pete") Type 0 observation floatplanes and two Nakajima A6M2-N (“Rufe”) fighter floatplanes of the No. 452 ''Kaigun Kokutai'' to Attu. However, the Americans invaded and retook Attu the same day, and the mission was scrubbed. ''Kiso'' was sent instead on 21 May 1943 to assist in the evacuation of Japanese forces from Kiska. After several attempts due to poor weather, ''Kiso'' managed to evacuate 1,189 troops from Kiska on 29 July 1943. It continued its patrols in the area until the end of August.


Operations in southern waters

On 15 September 1943, ''Kiso'' was assigned south, and ferried troops from Ponape, Caroline Islands to Truk, arriving 23 September 1943 and returning to Kure, Hiroshima on 4 October 1943.

Likewise, on 12 October 1943, ''Kiso'' and ''Tama'' embarked troops in Shanghai. The ''Kiso'' had a narrow escape from the USS Grayback (SS-208) while in the East China Sea, but safely arrived at Truk on 18 October 1943. From Truk, ''Kiso'' was assigned to carry the troops further, to Rabaul, New Britain.  On 21 October 1943, 53 miles from Cape St. George, the cruisers were attacked by RAAF Bristol Beaufort bombers from Guadalcanal. ''Kiso'' sustained a direct hit by a 250-lb. bomb. The damage was severe enough to force a return to Maizuru, Kyoto for repairs. After arriving at Maizuru on 10 November 1943, ''Kiso'' was also modified by having its two 140-mm gun mounts removed and replaced by a dual 127-mm HA gun mount. Three triple mount and six single mount Type 96 25-mm AA guns were also installed bringing their total to 19 (3x3, 2x2, 6x1).

After modifications were completed on 3 March 1944, ''Kiso'' was sent north again to resume its patrol duties for the following three months. On 30 June 1944, ''Kiso'' and ''Tama'' were sent from Yokosuka with army reinforcements to Bonin Islands Ogasawara islands, returning on 3 July 1944. ''Kiso'' was then kept in the Inland Sea area from10 August 1944 for training and guard duties.

With the invasion of Leyte starting 20 October 1944, ''Kiso'' was ordered south, but was still at Kure taking on a resupply of ammunition for Vice Admiral Kurita's fleet at the time of the Battle off Samar on 25 October 1944. After departing Sasebo with carrier ''Junyo'' and DesDiv 30's  ''Uzuki'', ''Yuzuki'' and ''Akikaze'', ''Kiso'' was spotted 160 miles west of Cape Bolinao, Luzon, Philippines by the ''USS Pintado'' (SS-387). The ''USS Pintado'' was accompanied by the ''USS Jallao'' (SS-368)]and the ''USS Atule'' (SS-403) and is working in close cooperation with the ''USS Haddock'' (SS-231), ''USS Halibut'' (SS-232) and the ''USS Tuna'' (SS-203). The ''USS Pintado'' fired all six of its bow torpedoes, but one of the Japanese destroyers came between the carrier and cruisers, sacrificing itself.

Admiral Kurita's ammunition was unloaded by 8 November 1944, whereupon the ''Kiso'', together with the ''Junyo'', cruisers ''Tone'', ''Haguro'' and ''Ashigara'', DesDiv 30's ''Uzuki'' and the ''Yuzuki'' following the battleships ''Yamato'', ''Kongo'' and ''Nagato'', light cruiser ''Yahagi'' with DesDiv 17's ''Hamakaze'', ''Isokaze'' and ''Yukikaze'' returned towards Japan. ''Kiso'', ''Junyo'', ''Tone'' and DesDiv 30 were detached to Manila instead. ''Kiso'' became the flagship of the Fifth Fleet, replacing the cruiser ''Abukuma''.

On 13 November 1944, on the threat of American carrier strikes on Luzon, ''Kiso'' was ordered to return to Brunei that evening carrying Vice Admiral Kiyohide Shima. Before she could leave for Brunei, she was attacked by more than 350 carrier planes of Task Force 38's carrier task groups 38.1's ''USS Hornet'' (CV-12), ''USS Monterey'' (CVL-26) and the ''USS Cowpens'' (CVL-25), TG 38.3's ''USS Essex'' (CV-9), ''USS Ticonderoga'' (CV-14) and ''USS Langley'' (CVL-27) and TG 38.4's ''USS Enterprise'' (CV-6) and the ''USS San Jacinto'' (CVL-30). Three bombs hit ''Kiso'' to starboard - one in the bow, one near her boiler rooms and one near her aft gun mounts. ''Kiso'' sank in shallow water eight miles west of Cavite. Captain Imamura and most of the ''Kiso's'' crew survived.

The ''Kiso'' was removed from the Navy list on 20 March 1945.

After the war, the wreck was salvaged on 15 December 1955, by the Nippon Salvage Company, which refloated the wreckage into Manila Harbor for breaking up.

(Source Wikipedia.com)


Technical specification:

Laid down: 10 June 1919

Launched: 14 Dec. 1920

Commissioned: 4 May 1921

Sunk: 14 Nov. 1944 by US aircraft of TF38

displacement: 5,580 tons

length: 162.15 m

beam: 14.17m

draught: 8.84m

ship horse power:  90,000 Shp. (4 shafts)

speed : 36 knots

main guns  7 - 14cm 50-cal Type3  (7x1)

secondary guns 2 - 8cm 40-cal type 3 HA gun (2x1)

AA light guns= 2x1 7.7mm Machine guns 

4 twin 21 inch Torpedo tubes (4x2) with 16 torpedoes carried.

48 type No.1 mines

crew: 450

Building the kit of IJN KISO as seen in 1942 Kiska ops.

The TAMIYA kit goes back to 1973, so I must say it will be regarded as and old tool release. But when this is said I also have to mention, that Tamiya's kit is in far better shape as its "sister" companies of the period. There was no excuse for me not getting this kit in my collection of IJN ships. When I started to collect IJN 1/700 ships, Kiso was not the ship that came as a first priority, but when I purchased the book- Model Art no.13 5,500 ton Light Cruisers - I saw how many different time periods and modification this ship underwent during her long service life from 1921 -1944. The more I studied the 5,500 ton light cruisers of the IJN -the more I realized that those ship was not as dull as I though at first, special the Kiso and Tama stood out from the rest by having a strange camo-scheme during the operations in the north pacific during 1941-1942. I read how bad the weather was in this area during the campaigns, not only the crew but also the ship itself suffered under the bad conditions. You can see a movie clip, that show the ships under way in my warships movies section (Ships of the Imperial Japanese Navy clip 5 of 6 from 5:37-7:29 min). I tried to show my model of Kiso in bad weather with big freighting waves and a dark threading sky, to recreate the severe situation the CruDiv 21(Sentai 21) was in. (please see the 4 first pictures at the top).

The hull:

 I started to cut off the in mould details on the freeboard and came down to the clean sides. Hereafter I made the hull plates that running along the sides with small stripes of masking tape. A new Degauss-cable in PE from Lion Roar was glued in place. Also a pair of hawse pipes (the round donuts that resides under the anchor to protect the hull from the anchor) was made of styrene tubes cut in slices. The 5 scuttles on each side was remade of thin sheets of styrene plastic. At the back (where the first band of white camouflage-paint is) propeller guards was made of 0.3mm silver tread. At the bow and stern towing fairleads was also made of styrene plastic. A new boom for the boats was made of steel tread.


 The in mould anchor chain was removed and small necklace chain was attached. Aft of the windlasses the missing wave breaker was made. All over of the deck small copper wire was super glued on the cross dividers on the linoleum deck (after the red/maroon colour deck was painted) At the bow and stern flagstaff and supports for the antennas was made of treads. The davits were PE from Lion Roar and new cable drums was also made of copper wire and styrene bars. At the stern the crew is getting ready for deploying some of Kiso' 48 mines she carried (surplus from Pit-Road).

Super structure:

 The kit of Kiso is shown in "out of box" conditions in pre 1940 fit, and some modifications is necessary to update it in 1942 config. First the old aircraft hanger in front of the bridge was replaced with a platform for the two 7.7mm AA machine guns (Single 25mm AA guns from Tom's Model works Yamato set with the magazines cut off) Extra steel plates hang underneath the bridge windows for splinter protection. The sun awnings were replaced with a solid roof in steel. Tamiya had "forgot" the two small gun directors towers on each side of the lower bridge area, so I made them of plastic with windows of PE 1/350 ladders from Lion Roar. On the signal flag-deck a radio room was made between the two rear tripod legs. Note also the front and rear mast is lowered (Now the fore mast only has one cross bar above the starfish). The searchlight and other platforms, had new PE railings with windbreakers made by white glue. Supports columns under the 3 rear guns, was made of thin styrene plastic. The funnels was modified by out drilled the baffles inside the stacks and surplus PE (one bar) railing, curled around for resemblance of handrails. At last not to forget all the small details of wood boxes, oil barrels, rope, emergences wood planks and pipes etc. is added to give an atmosphere of a busy ship.

I gave the ship a heavy weathering with rust running down along the hull, to show a vessel that have been in bad weather conditions. Kiso is now enrolled in my collection of IJN ships, and I have a more respectful attitude toward of all the 5,500 ton light cruisers that was, the workhorses of the Imperial Japanese Navy from the twenties to the end of WWII. 


From the net:  

Teikokukoubou: http://www.teikokukoubou.com/gallery/EXTRAS/gallerySP001.html

Books form my own library :

 Japanese Naval Warship Photo Album Cruisers from Diamond Sha books.  

 Model Art no.13 5,500 ton Light Cruisers

 Japanese Cruisers of the Pacific War by Lacroix/Wells

 Kojinsha Photo File no. 13 Light Cruisers (Yubari, Kuma and Tenryu-class)

 Japanese Light Cruisers of World War II in action Squadron/signal publications 25

 Cruisers of World War Two by M.J.Whitley

The building time was approx 2.5 weeks.

July. 2007.

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



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