Monday, April 20, 2015

Japanese Auxiliaries Steam to the Review

As the Annual Naval Review gets underway I'm taking some long delayed 1/2400 projects off the back burner and heating them up. For a number of years I had kept paint-free miniatures from building up in my fleet, but that changed a few years back when a not-quite-local gaming store sold off the stock of another store that had gone out of business at prices I'd never seen before and likely won't again. And it's only gotten worse since, thanks to my visits to the seductive Bay of Ee. Thus am I well caught on the horns of a dilemma. I have over a hundred ships needing paint, but I'm not dreadfully excited about them. And I have a fair number of painted ships that I'd like to update, but that doesn't whittle the pile down any.

I've settled for a compromise and done a bit of both. Below are two Japanese auxiliaries; one from each camp. First, Canberra Maru:

This is a C-in-C model of an IJA transport that was sunk in the late stages of the Guadalcanal campaign. I got this one used and without tag. It took me forever to identify it as it was quite a bit smaller than I imagined it would be. (She tends to look beefier in photographs than her 446' and six thousand odd tons on the books suggest.) But careful measurement shows that C-in-C actually got it more or less right. To give an idea of her size she's pictured below with Hakusan Maru (astern),  Asama Maru (starboard of the pier), and Kamikawa Maru (out in the bay).

In the overhaul department Notoro emerged from the yards with considerably more superstructure than she had going in. Below you can see her in the company of her unconverted sister Iro. (The circular barge was included for scale.)

And here's Notoro alongside another seaplane tender, Kamikawa Maru, which was seen earlier. Both of these models (and Iro) are heavily converted Panzerschiffe castings. While they don't get as much love as the fancy brands they are much more reasonably priced, they make good solid gaming pieces, and they look quite presentable with a little detail work.

Of course it is the time of year when I take all my ships from all the various manufacturers and line them up together for Imperial (my wife's), Dictatorial (my own), and friendly inspection. More will follow, but below is a little sampler of what is presently on display.

I will keep you updated as the review continues and I have photographs of Notoro's conversion that might be illustrative. Stick around if you're interested. More will be along shortly. On that note, thank you kind readers. As always, I hope you enjoy my humble offerings.

The Composer


  1. Thank you Prufrock. I just hope I and my miniature mariners can survive the mermaids I hear singing around here every now and then. (Though I'm glad they let me listen.)

  2. watch out for the fog as well!

  3. I can say from personal experience that the fog is no longer so yellow as it once was. The clean air act has done wonders. But when the mermaids sing each to each . . . ? It has a nasty habit of leading to loveless dwarves and gods stealing gold, which by strange and circuitous paths prompts curses and world ending conflagrations. But the mermaids do get to sing again, so all is not lost.

  4. A tremendous naval invasion force potential. Have fun with these ships.

    And, as thick deep cloud cover, laying across the armada, drifting slowly by, a space-time shift might just occur.

  5. Perhaps Cap'n Zeelow has plans to relocate them to the pond on Skeeter Creek? I don't even think he'll need to shrink them. The NIFTI techs already took care of that. Thank you Jay. Be certain that I'll keep everyone updated on any invasions and fleet actions that might occur.