by: Gremlin56 [ ]
About a year ago I had the privilege of being asked to review Kagero’s 3D book about the IJN Tone, a magnificent tome aimed at the model builder searching for more details to add to his or her build. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and when I was asked last October if I would be prepared to do another review for Kagero you can imagine my answer. Last week I received a parcel containing the most recent publications:
Battlecruiser/fast battleship Haruna, by Waldemar Gorálski and Miroslaw Skwiot, ISBN 978-83-62878-38-3
Battleship USS Iowa, by Stefan Dramiński and Grzegorz Nowak, ISBN 978-83-62878-37-6
To say that I have had a very enjoyable week studying these reference works would be an understatement.
The books are similar to the book on the IJN Tone: around 80 pages, both start with a short synopsis of the ship’s history, armament and technical specifications and both books include a magnificent fold-out with a large-scale drawing of the vessel on one side and detail drawings of specific parts of the ship on the other side. These drawings are obligatory study material if you intend to reproduce the rigging accurately. All in all very attractive books to have if you are building one of the subjects mentioned in these books.
The Haruna is depicted in October 1944 configuration. I built Fujimi’s 1/350th Haruna back in 2010 and I would have loved to have had this book during the build. In the 1944 configuration Haruna has changed a lot, showing the increased need for AAA to defend against the formidable US carrier-borne air power, added 13 Gȯ air observation radar and several changes to equipment and superstructure. I have had great fun being able to identify some rather obscure details on the Fujimi Haruna with the help of this book.
In how far the book is an accurate depiction of the Haruna I really couldn’t say: good photo’s of the Haruna are hard to find and the ship was constantly being rebuilt or modified. Most of the available photo’s online are extremely grainy anyway. The help of Mr. Mutsuo Uchiyama, (who apparently has an extensive collection of photo’s) was called in during the creation of the virtual model of the Haruna, so I would hazard a guess that the detailing is a good as it gets.
I would have liked to see the final days of the Haruna depicted in the book, complete with the green camouflage that was added in the vessel’s final days, but that is not a serious gripe.
The USS Iowa is depicted in early 1944 configuration. As befitting a vessel used in the Pacific the “Big Stick” bristles with AAA. Once again I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the virtual ship. In the case of the Iowa more reference material is available than of the Haruna, so once again I would estimate the drawings as being verified and vouched for. The ship itself is also still afloat and intact, (bearing in mind the fact that it was modernized in 1982), so available for inspection and will be a floating museum in Los Angeles open to the public this year.
Another two excellent books aimed at the serious model builder. If you are building a model of the USS Iowa or IJN Haruna these books are a “must have” item.