Monday, 8 December 2014

HIJMS Mikasa and a thanking note


while I was at warfare my eye caught glimpse... (oh my god) of Paul Sulley new range of pre-dreadnought ships in 1/2400 scale. I am a supported of Tumbling Dice miniatures and I like Paul sculpting style. I am also a Naval Historian... furthermore recently I am dwelling in the period thanks to some friends and their research... so I got hooked and bought some ships.

The first one I painted is the iconic HIJMS (His Imperial Japanese Majesty Ship) Mikasa. It is not for me (I will do the one in the fleet starter pack I have on order for myself), but it is for a realyl good friend who, beside being a talented naval historian, has decided to gift me of a new digital camera. I will paint some more ships and then send them to the land of the Rising Sun as a way to say thank you.

But because I am quite happy with the result (and quite impressed with the sculpting style) here are some pictures for the public:

Lads, there are the casemate guns!
 Deck planking is here... and before you wonder about the strange scribbling... handwritten Hiragana saying: Mikasa

The base is plasticard textured with Vallejo water effects.

Now some historical note on the ship.  The Mikasa was ordered  with three other battleships in Britain in the period 1896-1897. with the two ships already completed, Fuji and Yashima they were to form the core of the new Imperial Navy and of the 6-6 fleet, 6 battleships, 6 armoured cruisers. The Mikasa was the last one to be ordered and built ( the other three being Shikishima, Hatsuse, Asahi in that order). She was armed with two twin turrets with 305mm (12") guns and 14 6" quick fire guns in casemate mountings on her sides. The main turrets were electrically operated (with manual emergency system) and could be loaded on any elevation, her rate of fire was three round per minute. not that bad. The armour was of KC homogeneous steel. When Vickers shipyard completed her (1902) she was the most powerful battleship afloat. she fought at the Battle of the Yellow Sea and Tsushima.

Her combat record was mixed. At yellow sea one of her turret was disabled and the Russian ships pounded her quite a lot, in additioan the explosive powder used in her shells (called Shimosa) was highly unstable creating a lot of troubles. she sank in 1905 weeks after the Treaty of Portsmouth due to a combustion of Shimosa filled shells. Of course having been Admiral Togo's flagship she was raised again. Re-rated as coast defense battleships she served in WW1 and then decomissioned and transformed in a memorial in 1923. she was scheduled to be broken up according to the Washington Treaty, but every signatory country agreed to save her. In 1945, she was in awful condition but a certain Chester W. Nimitz sponsored a fund raising campaign to save her again. Again in 2009 sailor from the CVN-68 USS Nimitz helped repainting her.  she is still existing and open to the public. So if you happen to wander around Yokosuka, have a look! she is the only original existing pre-dreadnought  around.

1 comment:

  1. Thats a gorgeous sculpt which you've very nicely painted.
    I'm sure your friend was thrilled to receive it