Thanks to Casemate Publishing & IPMSUSA for the review copy!
Kagero Publishing, from Poland, in TopDrawings No. 128, details the appearance of the apex of WW2 Imperial Japanese Navy destroyers, the Akizuki class Suzutsuki (Calm Moon) in 1945. The TopDrawings series is designed for modelers to have an accurate reference for detailed appearances of individual ships and aircraft. TopDrawings consist of glossy color covers with matte black & white (B&W) line drawings of the ship, particular features, and equipment, especially armament. But the main attraction is the separate, large foldout of B&W scale drawings – 1/200 in this book. Suzutsuki looks huge (over two feet long) in the foldout, supplying plenty of tiny details I have not seen before. This book is the benchtop companion to the SuperDrawings in 3D book on Suzutsuki, also by Mariusz.
The author, Mariusz Motyka, has published at least 10books on warships in the Super Drawings in 3D and the Top Drawings categories, including both on the sister ship of the class leader, Akizuki, in early war fit. Mariusz also supplied the line and color drawings.
What You Get
The book is a softbound European A4 size (11.7 X 8.3 in & 210 X 297 mm) with both English and Polish languages throughout. The outside covers are in color, but the rest of the book is B&W. The front cover has truncated overhead and starboard side drawings in realistic color, while the rear cover has full length, full hull overhead, port and starboard side views in color. There is a one-page short history and characteristics, and then 23 pages of B&W line drawings of ship sections, superstructure levels, armament, and fittings in “no” scale, meaning very large (bigger than 1/200) and detailed enough for scratch-builders, accurizers and modifiers for building Suzutsuki or any late-war Akizuki class IJN destroyer in any scale.
Foldout Sheet side A has a small hull lines profile, along with three full length, full hull views of top, port and starboard sides in 1/200 scale. Sheet B has 22 line drawings of superstructure units in front, back, and both sides – exactly what a model builder needs to accurize a kit.
There are now several easy-to-purchase models of Suzutsuki from Aoshima and Pitroad Skywave, with several photoetch sets. Multiple other Akizuki-class destroyers are available in several scales from a re growing number of companies. This Top Drawings book is a perfect companion for all of them and also for scratchbuilders in any scale.
Unusually, the armament is not specifically detailed in this book. I presume this was intentional because not only are the line drawings of ship section more than sufficient to see armament details, but also because the author’s previous Kagero SuperDrawings in 3D book on the Suzutsuki has color details of the armament.
This book is intensely focused on modeler’s needs for building this ship in any scale. As usual, the B&W drawings in the book and the foldout in 1/200 or larger scale are clean, simple, detailed and accurate. Very highly recommended for building any of the Akizuki class IJN destroyer kits available, and essential for scratchbuilders.
- Figure 1: Front cover of Kagero TopDrawings 128 The Japanese Destroyer Suzutsuki.
- Figure 2: Rear cover of Kagero TopDrawings 128 The Japanese Destroyer Suzutsuki.
- Figure 3: A sample of the full-length port profile line drawing showing the bridge and stack area.
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