H.I.J.M.S. Suzuya by Chris Timony


Photo of Suzuya taken from U.S.A.A.F. after skip bombimg a nearby transport*

Specifications for the Mogami class

Model manufacturer: Tamiya 2002 tooling. Kit 343
Scale: 1/700
Commissioned: March 2004
Extras (Photo-etched etc): GMM Cruiser Photoetch set for the Searchlight
towers and crane. Catapults were from GMM set 27 IJN Auxiliaries.
Any parts rebuilt: Modifications to fit the GMM details. The ship was
fitted out as it appeared as a heavy cruiser.
Manhours from beginning to end: Approximately 40 (Although the model had a
six month mothballing following a collision with the floor!)
Currently on display:
Modellers’ difficulty rating: Shake the box to construct the basic model.
The photo etch is delicate and will not take any abuse but it is fairly
straightforward to use as it does not require massive butchery of the kit
(Apart from cutting out the bridge windows).
Notes: The original Suzuya was based on an improved Mogami design and was
significantly different. The capsize of the Tomozuru and the Fourth Fleet
incident occurred whilst the Mogami class were under construction. The
Mogami and Mikuma had been launched and were instantly reconstructed in
order to increase their hull strength and lower their centres of gravity.
The Suzuya and the Kumano were still under construction, so it was easier to
reduce their weight by decreasing the dimensions of their upper decks and
superstructures. Both vessels also received eight new boilers of improved
efficiency. The Mogami and Mikuma had to accommodate ten boilers resulting
in the different construction of their funnel uptakes.

The latest Tamiya kit of the Suzuya incorporates most of these differences
and represents the vessel during the period between November 1939 and the
end of 1941. She had just been rebuilt as a heavy cruiser and had been
equipped with two Type 95 and one Type 94 seaplanes. The kit also includes
the Type 0 seaplanes that would allow you to construct the ship as she
appeared between late 1941 and April 1943.
Best reference for any detail work is Lacroix and Wells “Japanese Cruisers
of the Pacific War”.

 

*Editor of j-ships.com having too much fun with Adobe Photoshop!