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1/350 IJN Aircraft Carrier Shokaku
rolltide31
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Posted: Sunday, December 11, 2016 - 08:29 PM UTC
Hi everyone,

This will serve as my detailed build log for the IJN Aircraft Carrier Shokaku. It is my contribution o the 75th Pearl Harbor anniversary Campaign.

First a little history of the ship.



Shōkaku (Japanese: 翔鶴 "Soaring Crane") was an aircraft carrier of the Imperial Japanese Navy, the lead ship of her class. Along with her sister ship Zuikaku, she took part in several key naval battles during the Pacific War, including the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Battle of the Coral Sea and the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands before being torpedoed and sunk by a U.S. submarine at the Battle of the Philippine Sea.

Shōkaku and Zuikaku formed the Japanese 5th Carrier Division, embarking their aircraft shortly before the Pearl Harbor attack. Each carrier's aircraft complement consisted of 15 Mitsubishi A6M2 "Zero" fighters, 27 Aichi D3A1 "Val" dive bombers, and 27 Nakajima B5N1 or −2 "Kate" torpedo bombers.

Shōkaku and Zuikaku joined the Kido Butai("Mobile Unit/Force", the Combined Fleet's main carrier battle group) and participated in Japan's early wartime naval offensives, including Pearl Harbor and the attack on Rabaul in January 1942.

In the Indian Ocean raid of March–April 1942, aircraft from Shōkaku, along with the rest of Kido Butai, attacked Colombo, Ceylon on 5 April, sinking two ships in harbor and severely damaging support facilities. The task force also found and sank two Royal Navy heavy cruisers, (HMS Cornwall and Dorsetshire), on the same day, as well as the aircraft carrier HMS Hermes on 9 April off Batticaloa.
The Fifth Carrier Division was then deployed to Truk to support Operation Mo (the planned capture of Port Moresby in New Guinea). During this operation, Shōkaku's aircraft helped sink the American aircraft carrier USS Lexington during the Battle of the Coral Sea but was herself severely damaged on 8 May 1942 by dive bombers from USS Yorktown and Lexington which scored three bomb hits: one on the carrier's port bow, one to starboard at the forward end of the flight deck and one just abaft the island. Fires broke out but were eventually contained and extinguished. The resulting damage required Shōkaku to return to Japan for major repairs.

On the journey back, the carrier shipped so much water through her damaged bow she nearly capsized in heavy seas, maintaining a high rate of speed in order to avoid a cordon of American submarines out hunting for her. She arrived at Kure on 17 May 1942 and entered drydock on 16 June 1942. Repairs were completed within ten days and, a little over two weeks later on 14 July, she was formally reassigned to Striking Force, 3rd Fleet, Carrier Division 1.

The time required for repairs, combined with the aircraft and aircrew losses incurred by her and Zuikaku, kept both carriers from participating in the Battle of Midway.

Following her return to front-line duty, both Shōkaku and her sister-ship Zuikaku, with the addition of the light carrier Zuihō, were redesignated as First Carrier Division and took part in two further battles in 1942: the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, where they damaged USS Enterprise, but Shōkaku was in turn damaged by dive-bombers of Enterprise, which therefore prevented the bombardment of nearby Henderson Field, and the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, where they crippled USS Hornet (Hornet was abandoned and later sunk by Japanese destroyers Makigumo and Akigumo). At Santa Cruz, on 26 October 1942, Shōkaku was again seriously damaged, taking at least three (and possibly as many as six) 1,000-lb. bomb hits from a group of fifteen Douglas SBD-3 dive bombers launched from Hornet. With ample warning of the incoming American strike, Shōkaku's aviation fuel mains to the flight deck and hangars had been drained down and she had few aircraft on board at the time of the attack. As a result, no major fires broke out and her seaworthiness was preserved. Her flight deck and hangars, however, were left in shambles and she was unable to conduct further air operations during the remainder of the battle. The need for repairs kept her out of action for months, leaving other Japanese defensive operations in the Pacific lacking sufficient airpower.

After several months of repairs and training, Shōkaku, now under the command of Captain Hiroshi Matsubara, was assigned in May 1943 to a counterattack against the Aleutian Islands, but the operation was cancelled after the Allied victory at Attu. For the rest of 1943, she was based at Truk, then returned to Japan for maintenance late in the year.

Here is the kits that I will be building:



It is the Premium kit so it comes with a good amount of PE.



And here are some of the after market kits. The wooden deck and Infini Triple Type 96 AA Guns.



I will also be adding Veteran's IJN Fire Control Systems, Alliance Model Works Type 127mm AA Guns, and some other after market parts and pieces.

I have begun to work this mighty ship but do not have the pictures uploaded, once I do I will add them here.

Reference material for the IJN Shokaku is limited but I might have found a site that will provide some detailed plans. more to follow on this front.

As always, I look forward to your comments and suggestions as we go through this journey.

thanks

Dave
TRM5150
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Posted: Sunday, December 11, 2016 - 08:51 PM UTC
Great seeing you get your build thread together Dave! Something I seemed to have forgotten to do yet! Fine looking box of plastic and goodies! Sling that glue!!
rolltide31
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Posted: Sunday, December 11, 2016 - 08:59 PM UTC
Todd,

The glue is a slinging. The hull is together as is the rear boat deck. However I am already running into some fit issues with the Fujimi PE. Its unfortunate that no one thought to build an upgrade kit for the Shokaku other than the Fujimi PE set.

Its a challenge but one that makes us lovers of this hobby.

Dave
MS406C
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Posted: Sunday, December 11, 2016 - 09:59 PM UTC
Hello David! Wish you good luck with your built, it is no pic nic for sure! Heres is mine, cheers, Jean.








rolltide31
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Posted: Sunday, December 11, 2016 - 10:12 PM UTC
Jean,

beautiful work, thank you for sharing. What aftermarket kits did you use on your build? What would you say was the most difficult part of the build?

thanks again

Dave
JPTRR
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Posted: Sunday, December 11, 2016 - 10:49 PM UTC
So happy I found this post!

Great model, Jean. David, I look forward to yours.
TimReynaga
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Posted: Monday, December 12, 2016 - 01:13 AM UTC
That's one beautiful Shokaku, Jean!

Dave, can't wait to watch your own "Soaring Crane" build! Will she be full hull or waterline?
rolltide31
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Posted: Monday, December 12, 2016 - 01:54 AM UTC
Tim,

She will begin as a full hull but will eventually end up in the water. My vision is the Shokaku with the IJN Destroyer Akigumo cruising next to or slightly behind her.

Well see what develops as we move forward.

Dave
JJ1973
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Posted: Monday, December 12, 2016 - 10:09 AM UTC
Dave,

that looks like a very ambitious project!! I'm in and following and looking forward to your build!!

Jean, as everybody said, beautiful model!! Great work!

Cheers,
Jan
MS406C
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Posted: Monday, December 12, 2016 - 05:23 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Jean,

beautiful work, thank you for sharing. What aftermarket kits did you use on your build? What would you say was the most difficult part of the build?

thanks again

Dave


Hello David. I have used the three Fujimi photo etch sets plus the wooden deck, Veteran 127mm and 25mm and search lights plus Rainbow PR set for the planes. You must take care mainly of the height of the boats on the rear deck as they really sit too high and prevent the deck to sit flush. Remember that there will be a lot of PE structure there and that's no good to force a part when it has become so fragile. I join here a link with my WIP, and I hope it will help! Cheers, Jean. http://s71.photobucket.com/user/D-520/slideshow/IJN%20Shokaku
rolltide31
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Posted: Monday, December 12, 2016 - 09:17 PM UTC
Jean,

Thanks for the tips. I didn't think of the conflict between the support beams and the boats on the boat deck.

Thanks for sharing you WIP photos, gave me some great ideas towards moving forward.

Dave
MS406C
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Posted: Tuesday, December 13, 2016 - 01:25 AM UTC
You're welcome!
warreni
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Posted: Tuesday, December 13, 2016 - 11:22 AM UTC
Hi Dave.

I have this one in the stash as well and will be interested to see how you go with the PE instructions.

Cheers
Warren
KelticKnot
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Posted: Tuesday, December 13, 2016 - 03:01 PM UTC
David, I'll be following your progress with interest and picking up any shipwright's tips along the way. I'm especially looking forward to your diorama at the end although that is some way off !

Jean, your Shokaku build looks awesome, there is more to it than meets the eye initially once you start looking below the carrier deck.
rolltide31
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Posted: Tuesday, December 13, 2016 - 09:07 PM UTC
Warren and Paul,

Welcome along for the ride. I hope to not disappoint.

Warren - the PE instructions look daunting, especially since I have already found some fit issues with the PE. Working through fixes for that now.

An update will follow this weekend.

Dave
rolltide31
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Posted: Wednesday, December 14, 2016 - 11:54 AM UTC
Hi everyone,

Well here are the first photos of the Shokaku as she begins to develop.

The hull is together.



She is pretty big but a little short of an Essex Class Short Hull Carrier.

I dry fitted both the rear and forward deck.



The rear deck has had the boat supports removed in preparation for the PE replacements.



Here is the rear deck glued on with the PE boat supports



Here is a picture of two of the port Type 89 Gun platforms. The molded supports will be removed and replaced with PE.



The supports have since been removed. There is a little issue with the PE for both parts. The perorated supports for one are too small and for the other the ring is too big.

Will work those two issues this weekend. More to come so stay tuned.

Luckily I found a source for some line drawing plans. Hopefully I can order them tomorrow and get them shortly.

Thanks for stopping by and as always comments, suggestions, and criticism are always welcome.

Dave
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Posted: Wednesday, December 14, 2016 - 02:47 PM UTC
Hi Dave,

Always fancied a Japanese carrier, will tagging along for the ride.

looking good so far.

Cheers

Si
rolltide31
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Posted: Wednesday, March 01, 2017 - 10:26 PM UTC
Hey everyone,

I did not realize how long I have ignored this posting. Rest assured that work has continued on the build. So with that here is a bit of an update.

After getting the stern deck on and the life boat cradles I moved on to the lifeboats themselves. There are two 12M and two 8M lifeboats stored on the lower stern deck. The Fujimi PE set that comes with the kit has plenty of upgrades for the 12M boats but not for the 8M boats. So I decided that since the 8M boats are in the center of the mix that I would not add anything to them, especially since you will not see them that well.

The two 12M boats sit on the outside so they received a good bit of love.



The Fujimi molding of the 12M and 8M boats is not that good to be honest. But it does provide a good enough palette to use as a base.

I seemed to have forgotten to upload the pictures of the 80% solution 12M boats but here is a shot of the 12M and 8M sitting on the boat cradles.



From there I continued to drill out the portholes, which I will say is quite a lot and moving on to the gun tubs and platforms attached to the side of the ship.

As I mentioned in an earlier post there are some issues with the Fujimi PE set, mainly that the perforated supports are not sized correctly as is illustrated in the picture below.



I have not figured out a way around this issue yet so I moved on to other things as I try to figure it out.

While sitting and staring at the ship I realized that I was not happy with the molded detail on the bow deck. So I removed the detail and added capstans from a Hasegawa upgrade set, bollards from Alliance models works, and a hatch from North Star. I am happy with the results.

Before



After



I am still contemplating removing the bollards from the stern deck but have not taken that step.

At the same time I was doing that I was looking at the PE for the kit and looking at the ship and realized that Fujimi left off quite a bit of PE. Specifically the perforated supports for the bow end of the flight deck and some of the structures that hang off the side of the ship.

Here is one area that Fujimi overlooked.



There are about 6 structures like this that did not have PE in the kit. So not liking the fact that there will be PE right next to molded on detail I decided to remove the molded supports and replace with Alliance Models Works perforated gussets.



The replacements are a little shorter in length and a little higher on the back but all in all I am happy with the results.

Well that is all for now, I need to take a bunch more pictures as there is a good bit more progress that I have made over the past few weeks so stand by for another update soon.

thanks for stopping by and as always suggestions, comments, and criticism are always welcome.

Dave
JPTRR
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Posted: Wednesday, March 01, 2017 - 10:28 PM UTC
Still watching. Zuikaku and Shokaku are two personal favorites.
Tojo72
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Posted: Wednesday, March 01, 2017 - 10:57 PM UTC
Always love to check any Kido Butai Carrier,looks good so far.
RussellE
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Posted: Thursday, March 02, 2017 - 01:37 AM UTC
I didn't catch this one first time round Dave, but am all caught up now and following along
RedDuster
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Posted: Friday, March 03, 2017 - 01:04 AM UTC
Good to see some progress on this one again Dave.

great work!

Si
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Posted: Friday, March 03, 2017 - 01:17 AM UTC

Quoted Text



As I mentioned in an earlier post there are some issues with the Fujimi PE set, mainly that the perforated supports are not sized correctly as is illustrated in the picture below.



I have not figured out a way around this issue yet so I moved on to other things as I try to figure it out.


An armor guy here, but I always check in on the ship side of things because I am constantly amazed by y'all's skill with PE. I might be wrong, but looking at your image, it might work if you switch the rear supports with the ones that are at an angle. The gap on the rear ones looks close to the gaps at the step on angled ones.
rolltide31
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Posted: Friday, March 03, 2017 - 02:30 AM UTC
Gents,

Thanks for checking in and the support on the build. Ill try not to disappoint.

lone-ronin, unforatunately that wont work. As you can see the rear supports have a 90 degree angle while the front supports are more of a 50 degree angle. Swapping the two would still cause a gap.

I am looking at maybe fabricating them from some thin styrene but the thought of that makes my head hurt.

Guess we will see...

Dave
rolltide31
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Posted: Sunday, March 05, 2017 - 10:13 PM UTC
Hi everyone,

Well I got some quality time on the bench this weekend. I have since moved on to the structures that adorn the starboard side of the ship.

here is one of the many structures.



The Fujimi PE set provides all of the supports except for those that are around the strut attachment points. I removed them and used the Alliance Models Works gussets.



as you can see in the picture Fujimi is a little off on their measurements.



Jean, Im not sure if you ran into this problem with your build but what I found is that the rabbits cut into the center support beam do not line up where they need to. I had tom make some adjustments.





As you can see in the above picture the center beam became a little wonky.





it never looks that crooked when using the MK 1 eye ball..need to make some adjustments.





a lot of pictures just for one area...ill cut it down in the future.

I then moved on to other structures.



Fujimi did not provide PE for this part, so AMW came into play.







one of the 12M life boats



Some overall shots.







Here is where the warning from Jean becomes quite clear. I know its not the same deck Jean was referring to but it is foreshadowing an issue.



Pretty sure the boat should not extend above the upper deck.



anyway, that's it for now. I should have some bench time this week but the shipyard workers have been directed to move over to the Akigumo for some weapons upgrade work...

can only afford one shift in the shipyard.

thanks for stopping in and as always, comments, suggestions and criticism are always welcome.

Dave