Casemate Publishers just released the latest Kagero Publishing Super Drawings in 3D – The Japanese Light Cruiser Oyodo – in her 1944 fit (not her 1943 as-built appearance with the long catapult). This is a single-ship class of an odd hybrid ship that did not turn out to be a success (although she survived until the war-end harbor bombings at anchor). As always, the 3D book is jammed full of CG images of the Oyodo exterior and major fittings, including below the waterline. There is also a large foldout of B&W line drawings that are very helpful for modelers. This book is ideal for building models of the Oyodo, and will not disappoint IJN fans.
Kagero Publishing, from Poland, is one of the major military history publishing houses. Since 1998, when Kagero started publishing in English, over 550 titles have been produced. Topics focus on individual planes, armor and ships, along with a bevy of focused topics, such as a class of warships or an armor type. The book is a softbound European A4 size (210 X 296 mm or about 8 ¼ by 11 5/8 inches) with a large, separate foldout (26.5 X 19 inches). The IJN Oyodo Super Drawings in 3D consists of color covers with full-color, 3D computer graphic images of the ship, a title page with an oblique forward view, three pages of history with three Tables of technical data, all with further 3D images. The next 57 pages have 117 views from all angles and close-ups of major fittings (turrets, guns, aircraft, catapult, boats, radar, searchlights, masts). A large-scale (1/300), line drawing B&W foldout shows starboard & port profiles and overhead full-length views on Sheet A, and Sheet B has 1/100 profiles of Jake aircraft, main turrets, AA turrets and catapult. Like other IJN warship 3D books from Kagero, the fittings are shared by all IJN warships (25mm AA guns, radars, catapults, ventilators, rangefinders, lifeboats, davits, and more) – always a bonus. The detail is extremely helpful for applying photoetch parts (especially railings, ladders and hatches) and aftermarket parts such as ventilators.
I do have a few nits to pick, unusually. First, the deck color and below waterline color is too orange. IJN linoleum decks were a red-brown color. Compared to the roundels on the floatplanes, the linoleum deck is a lighter shade of orange-red. I prefer Panzer red-brown shades, or IJN Linoleum Deck colors from several paint lines – distinctly brownish. My other observation is that there are no single-page side profiles in color, something I enjoy (they are distorted by the crimp between pages). The text stated that the bow was bulbous, but the drawings do not show it. Also, the Casemate Publisher webpage shows this book’s title as The Japanese Cruiser Oyodo, yet my copy’s title is The Japanese Light Cruiser Oyodo (correctly). The page count is wrong on the Casemate webpage – page count (including covers) is 68 instead of 80. And there are 117 renders, not 100. Nevertheless, these issues do not detract from the stunning details presented or the value of this book.
This book is intensely focused on an unusual, one-off, hybrid ship – Imperial Japanese Navy’s Light Cruiser Oyodo, the last Fleet Flagship in late 1944-5. As usual, the B&W foldout drawings and full-color illustrations are clean, simple and appear accurate. Only the 1944-1945 normal catapult fit is pictured. This book is a necessity for building models of the Oyodo, and is helpful for proportions of standard fittings for other IJN warships.
- Figure 1: Front cover of The Japanese Light Cruiser Oyodo Super Drawings in 3D.
- Figure 2: Rear cover of The Japanese Light Cruiser Oyodo Super Drawings in 3D.
- Figure 3: Foldout Sheet A – 1/300 scale side and overhead, full-length profiles including full hull.
- Figure 4: Foldout Sheet B – 1/100 scale drawings of main turrets, AA 100mm turrets, catapult & Aichi E13A1 Jake seaplanes.
- Figure 5: Title page with an oblique bow view of Oyodo.
- Figure 6: Stern view of Oyodo, including full hull showing props.
- Figure 7: Close-up of the top of the bridge – the observation post, with Type 21 & two Type 22 radars.
- Figure 8: Close-up of the rear of the bridge showing the intricate ladder and railings layout.
- Figure 9: Close-up of the starboard side of the funnel (named the chimney) showing pipes and grill, and the base of the foremast
- Figure 10: A starboard rear quarter view of the hangar top, showing 25mm AA guns, searchlights, cranes and base of mainmast.
- Figure 11: Close-up of the catapult with an Aichi E13A1 Jake floatplane with trolley.
- Figure 12: Close-up of the catapult base and surrounding deck details, showing internal details of the catapult.
Thanks to Casemate Publishers & IPMSUSA for the review copy!
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