Featured Book

"Warship Pictorial #17 - IJN Myoko Class Cruisers"

by Steve Wiper

Softcover, 74 pages
Published by Classic Warship Publishing
Publication date: October 2002
ISBN: 0-9710687-6-3

Any fan of Imperial Japanese Navy topics knows how frustrating it is to have such a limited amount of photographic material to refer to for their favorite subjects. The lack of photos can stymie research for ship modelers and Naval Historians alike. You would think that after 60 some-odd years that all stones would have been turned already in an effort to get any and all photos of IJN ships published, yet this obscure topic that we all adore can still surprise us. Proof lies within the efforts of Steve Wiper and his tireless research, foraging for subject matter that we may not have seen before. This has paid big dividends for us IJN fans with last year's "Warship Pictorial #13: IJN Kongo Class Battleships" and now the recently released "Warship Pictorial #17 - IJN Myoko Class Cruisers". Once again, I had assumed that I had already seen all there is to see in regards to Japanese Cruisers, but I was pleasantly surprised when I started flipping through this latest release to see many, many photos I had no idea ever existed. Making up the bulk of text within the publication are very detailed Tabular Records Of Movement's for all Four ships of the class (TROM's Courtesy of Colonel Robert D. Hackett, USAF ret.), and a lot of big pictures of cool ships with big guns!

The four Heavy Cruisers of the Myoko Class; Myoko, Ashigara, Haguro and Nachi were all laid down in the late 1920's and, when launched, stood second to none in almost every respect. Well….Except for maybe armor protection compared to some contemporaries of the time…Their design, however, proved to be very accommodating and the Japanese Navy modified these cruisers repeatedly through the 1930's as well as WWII, constantly improving weaponry and various aspects of protection. Photos of these ships while under construction, while being modernized and while underway in peace-time will look familiar to most IJN fans. What I found most interesting were the many various shots of weapons, deck fittings, crews at battle-stations, ships in drydock, battle-damage and the sheer clarity and detail of these photos is very impressive having been used to seeing only a grainy images in other publications. There is also, in the center of the book, a large fold-out, color graphic rendering of the Myoko in 1/400 scale while in her 1941 configuration. Making up the front and back covers of the book are colorized images of the Myoko and Ashigara.

I believe that the excellent images that Steve has found will be very welcome to ship modelers as there are many photos of deck details which will certainly aid in accurate detailing for model building. Having been very impressed with the two previous IJN topics from Classic Warships Publishing, I anxiously await their next expected release, the "Takao" Class Heavy Cruisers. (QB)

You can order this book from the following sources: Pacific Front Hobbies, White Ensign Models, The Floating Drydock, Christian Schmidt Bookstore , Colpar Hobbies and all books are sold through the dealers listed above and at your local hobby shop / Military Book Store. Get it; you won't be sorry. (QB)