In the works at J-Ships.com

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I have added extensive investigations and clarification on the ship's bow 25mm suite for October 1944. Jump right to the new section on the Zuiho page here.

September 4th, 2016: Home Page Data Loss

I seem to have lost several journal entries from 2015 and 2016 from the home page here. I expect an older version was copied and it inadvertantly replaced a newer version. I cannot find any more recent version. I am not too worried about it, as the home page was designed to merely point to updates on the site, and didn't have any unique content of it's own. I will take steps to make sure this doesn't happen again. C'est la vie!.

Sept 26th 2014: Agano Model Assembled

I have completed my first ship in a loooooong time and decided to finally build the Tamiya Agano CL. Click here to see me "get back into the game" with ship modeling. A nice easy start!


As you all know, we have added a new type of model to our site: 3D Model Images. As promised, June 2014 is our second installment and we are presenting the fleet carrier that introduced many new innovations in carrier design for the Japanese Navy: The Taiho. Click here to view this fantastic ship generated in this fantastic technology.

May 26th, 2014: New Submission: The Maya

We are pleased to see a new contributor to J-Ships.com: Dan Kaplan. Dan is known in modeling circles as an expert in ship modeling and one look at his work cements that title. Dan depicts the Takao class heavy cruiser "Maya" in her final configuration. To see Dan's take on the Maya, please click here!


I am very excited to present a new type of model to J-Ships.com: the 3D image model. Mr.Waldemar Goralski, a world renowned 3D modeler, has graciously allowed J-Ships.com to present his wide collection of computer generated 3D IJN ship models. Each month we will publish a new ship in his collection. May 2014 will be the first installment and we are presenting the biggest and baddest heavy cruiser in the Japanese Navy arsenal: The Takao. Click here to view this fantastic ship generated in this fantastic technology.

April 30th, 2014: Updates to Takao Class Ship Information

Our long time researcher and contributor Jeff Donahoo has provided more complete information on many classes of ships. His focus has been on the commanding officers and ship fleet assignments. I will be updating all the ship classes with the new information. To date I have updated all four ships of the Takao class with their complete list of commanding officers. To view this information, please click here!

March 8th, 2014: The New Face of J-Ships.com!

Well, for those of you who frequent this site, you will probably have noticed a major change. I have revamped all the pages on the site with new colors and themes. The layout remains unchanged, but the content has been improved on specific pages. I have also updated the menu, header and footer images as well. I wanted to lighten the overall site and make the images more about modelling. I hope you enjoy the site. Here is an example of the color scheme the site used to have: click here!


Well, I have added more images to detail certain details about the Zuiho on her final voyage:

  • Added info on the 25mm slays
  • Added picture references and blown-up details
  • This will be it for information on the Zuiho for the time being: here.


    Well, I have kicked my butt on the Zuiho page and have added the following information over the last 3 days:

  • Added 17 images for aircraft carried by Zuiho and their markings
  • Added 5 images of the ship and different details
  • Added a “Did you know?” section of interesting information
  • Added a line drawing of the Zuiho in her 1944 configuration
  • Added the aircraft complement during her last sortie
  • Added a write-up on her general history
  • I hope you enjoy and keep looking back as I add more information here.

    February 1st, 2014: The Newest Trend: 1/350 scale

    Albeit I have been out of the loop regarding model building for quite some time, but one thing I have seen in the last 5 years is a huge increase in mainstream 1/350 scale model ships. Anyone who has built in this scale knows that the end product is very satisfying, but storage of these behemoths can be tricky. I was recently scanning through our sponsor’s site over at Hobby Link Japan and they have more than 11 pages of kits in this scale. A long time ago Tamiya was the only main player at affordable prices and their offerings were limited to battleships. Now many other well-known model manufacturers have thrown their proverbial hats in the ring with subs, carriers and cruisers and destroyers. If you can scratch together a few extra dollars, pick up a kit in this scale, you will not be disappointed! Here is a link to a filtered search screen on HLJ for you to see the wide variety of kits available.

    January 12th, 2014: MITCHEL INCOMING!

    Okay, I know this is not necessarily J-Ship oriented, but I recently built my first model in about 10 years and it is a late version B-25. One that probably sank a few IJN vessels? So it belongs on this site? I know, I am reaching… Anyway, I state this because I am quite proud of the build and the paint job. I know it looks more like Luftwaffe camo, but I certainly don't care and it looks fantastic! Here is a shot of the completed kit. It is a 1/72 Revel kit and it needed some work to make some parts fit.


    Starting today, I am making it my personal goal to compile as much information as is humanely possible about the Japanese Light Carrier Zuiho. This information will be made available here. It is my plan to eventually build a scale R/C model of her so I might as well begin gathering important and unimportant information now. I differentiate between the two later. Better to have too much information than not enough.

    January 27th, 2011: After nearly seven years of absence J-Ships.com is back up and running. Due to unforeseen circumstances I missed my domain name renewal in 2004. This caused the name "j-ships.com" to be automatically picked up by a domain name drone site. I couldn't renew unless I paid more money than the "J-Ships'com" name was really worth. Hurrah capitalism and my ineptness at keeping the domain renewal information updated!!! I toyed with the idea of using another domain name instead, but to be honest, having a young family (1 year old and 3 year old at that time) I was hard pressed to find time to move the site wholesale. Imagine my surprise when I checked earlier this week and the domain was released and available. I bought it right away. Anyhow, the site is back up and running. Now I have the task of revamping the whole thing...

    I have put modeling aside for the entire time knowing that one day I would come back to it.

    April 20th, 2004: Apologies go to Chris Timony for me bugging him about sending me his latest additions to his fleet and then me sitting on them for a couple weeks! Here are the Heavy Cruiser Suzuya and Destroyer Hatsuharu. Enjoy!

    April 16 th, 2004: I have been quite busy in the last two days. I finally painted my dry docked Shinano from Tamiya. BEWARE! I took serious liberties and you're eyes may need to adjust :) Click here to view my version of the Shinano - May 21st, 1945! Special thanks to Matthew Jones for kicking my butt, unbeknowst to him!

    March 10th, 2004: A new modeller makes his first appearance to the J-Ships community. "Captain Nemo" submits two beautiful kits. One of the Hasegawa Shoho and the other of the Ise. Enjoy!

    March 10th, 2004: I have been receiving many requests for a more complete "What-If" ship section. I have spent the last two days reworking the what if ships section. Instead of large images with the specs included in the image (it had been killing my bandwidth!) I down- sized the images by 25% and input the specs as text on the web page. To see these changes click here.

    March 6th, 2004: When I first started this site I made contact with a Japanese modeller who excels at what he does. I can honestly say I have never seem anything like what he has produced. He had built a diorama of the Kaga and Akagi sailing side by side and although the ships are expertly detailed and painted, what caught my eye was the water realism. I finally got around to asking him how he created the illusion of real water and he let me know. I case you don't know of who I speak Omami has been the contributer of all our tips in the "Modelling Tips" section. See the Kaga and Akagi of which I refered to here. See his step-by-step process for creating realistic water here.

    February 2nd, 2004: Dave, over at j-aircraft.com, has noted on numerous occassions that his Shelf of Doom is rather extensive. It lead me to review my own SOD of 1/700 kits and I thought, "Hey! Why not take a picture!?!". Enjoy a good laugh at my expense here.

    January 4th, 2004: I have completed the battleship specs as well. I have also created two new pages. One with cruiser names, meanings and Japanese characters and one for battleships. These new Japanese characters pages can be found here.

    January 3rd, 2004: After a rather extensive break I have had some time in the last week to do some updating. I have redone the timelines to include a seperate page for each year and I have finally posted 1945's ship losses. Jeff D has also been busy with new, more complete stats on IJN ships. I have waded through the light and heavy cruisers and posted everything he has supplied me with. I have even posted the kit instruction profiles when I had them (very interesting for the Mogami class as I had three separate kits). I should have time tomorrow to finish the fleet carriers and the battleships (fingers crossed). Until then, marvel at Jeffs work on the cruisers.

    September 11th, 2003: The next chapter in the Aki class saga. I have laid down the hull (heck, it was already built!) and have cut out the main pieces for the bridge. Getting down to the actual building of her made me take a long, hard look at the design and the feasibility of actual seaworthiness. Take a look at my case study of the Evolution of the Aki and the neat pictures too!
    Aki Evolution

    September 7th, 2003: Well, I got the next three kits from Hobbylink Japan and rumaging through my web reviews I realized I had completely forgotten to post my reveiw of the Taiho back in July! Lucky you, you get two for the price of one:
    Taiho review
    (Tamiya 1/700)
    Zuikaku review (Nichimo 1/500)

    September 6th, 2003: Bob Weymouth is an avid collecter of 1/1200 scale ships. He has been kind enough to share a portion of his IJN collection in this scale. Check it out here.

    August 9th, 2003: I have finally found the time to post Danny's great work on his R/C 1/200 scale Hiryu. Check out his great work here.

    August 9th, 2003: The timelines section has been updated with the monsterous year of 1944. Thanks again to Jeff and his hard work. Now, all we're waiting for is 1945! Access the timeline section to the left in the navigation bar under "Research".

    July 20th, 2003: KATANANA ALERT! Well, the months that Jeff has put into researching the katanana on IJN destroyers has finally paid off. Here are the first two installments:
    Matsu Class
    Tachibana Class

    July 14th, 2003: Noel has submitted a stunning harbor diorama with no less than 7 warships. With a carrier, heavy cruiser, light cruiser, destroyers and destroyer escorts the only major types missing are a battleship and a submarine. Great work Noel:
    Fleet in harbor

    July 9th, 2003: Well the feedback page has been a great success. One thing nearly everyone wanted to see more of is kit reviews. Well here are three new reviews:

    May 21st, 2003: MONTH OF MAY SPONSOR KIT REVIEW: Well, yesterday I received my package from Hobbylink Japan. I have opened the kits and drooled over the contents. After cleaning up the drool I put together the in box review of the Nagato. See what all the hype is about here!

    May 18th, 2003: ANKEN and Chris Timony have been busy building and reviewing! Click here to see ANKEN's build and review of the Aoshima Hiryu. Click here to see Chris' destroyer class kit comparisons (bottom of the page) and click here to see our first mini-diorama! As for my Kumano... pictures say a thousand words.

    May 16th, 2003: Unofficial news from our contact in Japan! The following kits are slated for the following release dates:
    Aoshima will release another limited edition of Hiryu which contains special guide book by the fall.
    Pit Road announced that Unryu will be released in June.
    Pit Road also announced that Katsuragi, Mutsuki, Minazuki and resin kits of Ryujo and Kako (1941 version) will be released in July.

    May 9th, 2003: J-Ships is happy to announce their addtional sponsorship in Tom's Modelworks. Tom has agreed to supply the photo-etched parts for each model that HobbyLink Japan sends. This, of course, means more work for me in reviewing and building these models, but I'm game! Thanks Tom.

    April 25th, 2003: Jeff has finished a plethora of documentation for the site. I have been able to post his 1941 and 1942 ship loss timeline and will work hard to bring you his IJN and USN month by month strength comparison chart by the end of the weekend.

    March 30th, 2003: Our man in China (Sinosauropteryx) has been busy spreading the j-ships.com word. He has also sent another model review: The 1/200 scale Kagero.

    March 30, 2003: I have finished the Battleship, Aircraft Carrier, Heavy Cruiser and Light Cruiser sections of the Spec Sheet pages. Forty Five classes in all!!! Thanks again to Jeff Donahoo for all the hard work putting all his information into MSWord format. Next is destroyers...

    March 26, 2003: Sinosauropteryx, of j-aircraft fame, has signed on to review models for us. His first contribution is the Nichimo Haguro Heavy Cruiser. Check it out in the review section and keep an eye out for more of his model reviews.

    March 26, 2003: I have posted several new detailed models to the details page of j-ships.com. Thanks to Noel Carpio, Chris Timony, Tom Wilson and Omami for their contributions!

    Welcome to J-Ships.com

    Per capita the Japanese navy that fought in the Pacific from 1941 to 1945 was by far the most diverse navy as far as design was considered. Five or six twin main mounts on the centerline was the norm in several classes of ships.

    In design of their heavy cruisers, destroyers and battleships, in the interwar period, two words describe their appearance: powerful and sleek. Towering pagoda style bridges made the older ships look ridiculous, but aesthetically pleasing at the same time. Undulating sheer lines and bold superstructure layouts made for ships that looked as though they deserved the viewers respect even before the technical information followed confirming that that respect was warranted.

    No other navy used such intriguing and often puzzling ideas in the design and modernization of their fleets. For, although beautiful to behold, several flaws became apparent as the war dragged on...

    J-Ship.com has been created as a direct "descendant" of J-Aircraft.com. I've spent the last 18 months frequenting Dave Pluth's site and noticed that, although the name of the site and most topics were in fact geared towards Japanese aircraft, the most popular message board was, and continues to be, the "Ship and Navy" board. We are all fascinated by the only Axis Navy to give the Allies a real "run for their money". This coupled with the fact that the Japanese ships, and their escapades throughout the Pacific and Indian Oceans, are great reading, means that getting our hands on models of these illustrious ships is a must. To view ships from all angles, and to see each ship side by side their contemporaries is a must for those researching them. And for those of us that just enjoy building them, creating these mini-ships is a hobby for the die hard fan.

    So, to make a long story short, I've seen great sites devoted to Japanese ships (Nihon Kaigun) and great sites devoted to modeling ships (Steel Navy and Model Warships), but there aren't any English sites (to my knowledge) that deal exclusively with Japanese Navy Ship Modeling. Well, now there is!

    Please keep in mind that this site is still in it's infancy and will continue to grow as each of you submit your models for the world to see… well, a small and very specific part of the world!