So, with the GB more or less almost underway, thought I start this one as well.
I'll be building one of the most iconic Battleship of the past century: Imperial Japanese Navy Battleship Yamato. A Behemoth on it's final journey: Operation Ichi Ten-Go (Heaven Number One). I'll provide you with some info later on.
The kit I'll be using is the Tamiya new tool 1/350 Yamato, together with a very complete Pontos Model upgrade. Quite scary stuff
The thing is so huge my background is just large enough... Might get another one though.
Impressive stuff there Wouts! Very much looking forward to seeing you sail this across the bench! Toughest thing about the big ships is taking the pics..LOL!! Too long! Will be following along my friend! Enjoy!
T, darn right mate, photography in this case is a challenge LOL
Leon, Terry, glad to have you skippers on board!
Bill, thanks and good council indeed...patience will be needed no doubt
Let's talk a bit about Yamato.
Construction of Yamato began in 1937 and she was launched in August 1940. After trials, Yamato was commisioned December 16th 1941. In February Yamato became the Flagship of the Combined Fleet in 1942, under command of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto. Later on, the role of Flagship went to Yamato's sister ship Musashi.
Both Yamato and Musashi didn't see much action, firstly because they consumed lots of fuel, and also, the Japanese wanted to keep them for a final confrontation which never came. There was a third ship in the Yamato class, being Shinano, however, when the war started, it was clear that aircraft carriers would be the ships to go for. So Shinano was converted into an aircraft carrier.
All too often you read that Yamato never scored a hit in combat. However, lately it is believed that Yamato fired during the Battle of Samar at several US Navy ships. One of them being the escort carrier USS White Plains. On still from a US film reel near impact can be seen around USS White Plains. According to reseach by Robert Lundgren Yamato scored at least one hit on USS White plains incapacitating it untill the end of the war. More so, these salvos were fired from +/- 15 Miles/24 KM distance and so the impact would have been one of the longest range so far.
Yamato's armament configuration changed over time and I'll post her stats at the time of Operation Ichi Ten-Go:
Full displacement was 72.809 tons Length: 263 metres Propulsion: 12 Type-Ro Boilers and 4 steam turbines 150.000 HP Max speed: 27 knots Crew: 3.332 Armament: triple 46cm (18 inch) caliber 45 gun turrets (largest naval guns ever used) 2 triple 15,5cm gun turrets 12 twin 12,7 cm guns 52 triple 25mm cannon mounts 6 single 25mm cannon mounts 2 twin 13mm machine gun mounts
A number of Yamato's AA mounts were enclosed. This was because ofenormous blasts from the main guns. These enclosed mounts were crew protection. Tests with animals on deck at the beginning of Yamato's lifespan revealed that many died from the blasts and others had severe injuries. Here's a photo of Yamato's sistership Mushashi firing it's 46cm guns (all photos only for discussion purposes)
I'm interested in Yamato's last Operation being Ichi Ten Go. Yamato and a battlegroup of 9 ships were to set sail towards Okinawa and help to defend the remaining Japanese troops there. Basically it was a suicide mission. There was just enough fuel to make it to Okinawa. The original plan was that these ships, once arrived at Okinawa would beach themselves and operate as fixed gun platforms. (In reality, most of the captains tried to muster as much fuel as they could hold of, as they didn't plan on beaching their ships, but in stead return after the battle) Vice Admiral Ito was opposed to this berserk plan, but as an Officer in the end, he did his duty.
On April 6th 1945, Yamato, Cruiser Yahagi and 8 destroyers set sail for Okinawa. Vice-Admiral Ito was on board Yamato. Soon this battlegroup was discovered by US submarines, but these were too slow to keep up with the battlegroup.
The next day, Yamato was discovered again by spotting planes. Around 12.30 the first wave of enemy aircraft arrived. Although Yamato's 46cm main guns fired some of its 'bee hive' ammunition (Anti Air) it did do little harm to the incoming aircraft. Yamato was hit by several bombs and torpedos. The Americans had learned from attacking and sinking Mushashi in 1944 and dropped most torpedoes just on one side. This way the crew of the ship had a much more difficult task of counterflooding to keep the ship level.
In the end 3 waves would pound Yamato, dealing massive damage to it's structure, AA crews and hull. 22 torpedo hits and many bombs later, Yamato was slowly moving in circles. The list at that point was so severe that loose items started to move and drop off the ship.
At 2.23pm Yamato started to capsize to port. The ship rolled 120 degrees over. One of the weak points of the massive shells of Yamato is that they were very fragile. Went the ship capsized the 46 cm shells hit the sidewalls and detonated...with a huge explosion sinking Yamato. Some of the US planes closeby went down because of the explosion.
And that was the end of Yamato, taking 3.000 crewmembers down to the bottom of the Ocean. The largest battleship ever which was already obsolete when it was launched, in a world where airplanes would rule the seas in stead of battleships.
Leon, thanks. Yeah, I found the bit of research around a project always fun and interesting. Though not necessary all the time. But then again, makes the grey matter work ey
Anthony, thanks for the positive comment chap, you're too kind ^^
Bruce and Bob, chaps, I welcome you on board!
Hi there Guy, glad you like it. Well, be no long patient
Guess I'm the first one with an actual update LOL
OK, I admit, I'm a little bit impatient so started yesterday evening with the hull assembly . Basically the hull consists of of a bow section and the larger midship and stern one. These two were glued together. Tamiya has some clever engineering, and this kit is no other. It works with screws. So on top of the lower hull I screwed the necessary parts, all for extra sturdiness. (When you build a waterline model, the screwed on piece is the actual bottom.) Between the two hull parts is a gap, so I filled it with Magic Sculp and it could dry overnight. Since I was up way too early, I managed to sand the gap down. Not sure why I'm doing all of this, because my intention is to put her in water during her final voyage. Yamato had two rudders: the main one (which was a counterbalanced one) and an auxiliary one. Propulsion consisted out of 4 props. Tamiya provides metal shafts. All those pieces were assembled and glued in place. The rudders use polycaps by the way, so you can still move them.
Bill, yeah, I could use that head start indeed I agree, Tamiya has it's own way of engineering these kits, but it's well executed.
Andy, yeah, it's because they want to make the model 'feel' heavier with all that metal LOL
I sure haven't been sitting still today
After the assembly of the lower hull, I decided to spray it in it's basecolor before continueing. First I applied Mr. Surfacer 1500 Black, followed by Tamiya Hull Red. This color is much more dull than the bright red used on Yamato, unlike other Japanese battleships. But since pretty much nothing of it will be seen you could ask the question why I even bothered painting it...well, because I'm nuts no doubt Next up was adding the upper parts of the hull. But before that I needed to remove some detail, like the moulded on degaussing cable. I must admit, before I was into a ship build I never heard of a degaussing cable. This was something typical for WWII war ships. The Germans used magnetic mines and they wreaked havoc amongst the British fleet. So the British came up with something to diminish the magnetic field of the ship. So the magnetic mines wouldn't be drawn as easily towards it. 'Gauss' is the unit of the strength of the magnetic field used by the Germans. The degaussing cable of Yamato ran along the upper surface of the hull, changing the magnetic field. Well, that's more than enough about it. So I cut the moulded cable I glued the bow part on the lower hull and tried to add the etch cable. It took me some time to get it right, but I think it looks ok so far. oh, and note those nasty bits of dust settling down on the lower hull...quite annoying!