From: El Paso, TX
Kyushu Type (5 classes):
1) Kyushu Cargo (xAK): 32 ships in this class, all in-game on 12/41. A single bmp file (0252.bmp), shared with Kyushu AKE class and 2 ships of the Kongo Maru AMC class. One database entry (12/41). Can convert to Kyushu AS (0281.bmp) or Sanyo AV (0049.bmp) in 12/41, to Kyushu AKE (same bmp) or Kyushu AR (0281.bmp) in 4/42, and to Kyushu AK in 6/42 (0318.bmp). Worth noting that even though they share a bmp file, the xAK class cannot upgrade to the Kongo Maru AMC class. There are four instances of camouflage in this class (3 Dazzle, 1 Bow-wave).
2) Kyushu AKE (AKE): 0 ships. A single bmp file (0252.bmp), shared with Kyushu Cargo (xAK) class and 2 ships of the Kongo Maru AMC class. One database entry (4/42). Has all the same conversion opportunities as the xAK class (to include the ability to convert back to xAK). Oddly, it can also upgrade to the Kyushu class AK (0318.bmp) on 12/43 (even though it can make the conversion to the same class in 6/42).
3) Kyushu AS (AS): 0 ships. A single bmp file (0281.bmp), shared with Kyushu AR class. One database entry (12/41). Cannot upgrade or convert (once a ship is converted to Kyushu AS, it stays there).
4) Kyushu AR (AR): 0 ships. A single bmp file (0281.bmp), shared with Kyushu AS class. One database entry (4/42). Cannot upgrade or convert (once a ship is converted to Kyushu AR, it stays there).
5) Kyushu (AK): 0 ships. A single bmp file (0318.bmp), not shared. Two database entries (6/42 & 12/43) and no conversions (once a ship is converted to Kyushu AK, it stays there).
As we look at the possibility of applying early war camouflage to the Kyushus, there is a certain parallel with the Yusen-A types. The Kyushus start off as xAKs, but can convert to other classes very early in the game. Most players will convert a couple of their Kyushus to the AS types immediately, several to ARs in April '42, and ultimately the majority of the rest to the AK variant in June '42 (after the early war bonus expires, the amphibious unloading rate of AK vs. xAK is so superior that conversion is simply a no-brainer). Accordingly, as with the Yusen-A, eventually the only ships using the 0252.bmp file will be the AMCs and possibly an AKE or two. The difference however, is the Kongo Maru AMC class DOES have a ship with Dazzle camouflage (Kiyozumi Maru). So rather than discuss it here, we'll wait until the AMCs are previewed. As a bit of a "teaser", I will just note that the Dazzle shipside has already been created and looks identical to the photo in the Motoyuki model (see #1).
That still leaves 4 Kyushu camo ships. Giving camo to the AK class is not an option since the majority of Kyushus will eventually convert to the AK class, and that means far too many ships would have it. However, there are still the AS and AR classes. As noted above, there are no ships in either class (they must be converted from xAK), they share an art file (281.bmp) which is not used by any other ships, and the inherent value of the xAK-to-AK conversion means that very few ships will be converted to either auxiliary. Accordingly camouflage is appropriate here, and the most interesting pattern belongs to Kansai Maru (#2). The photo of the Kansai Maru camo couldn't be clearer, and Motoyuki notes that it's an "image of June 42". The TROM at combinedfleet.com doesn't mention camouflage, but there is a gap between 4-16-42 when the ship "Departs Saigon for Singapore" and 6-3-42 when it's part of a convoy leaving Mutsure in Japan. Given the known correlation between Dazzle camo and ships based out of Singapore, it seems likely that Kansai Maru's camo was applied sometime between April and May of 1942.
Correlating the armament is a bit tricky, so lets begin with the 0252.bmp file:
- Kongo Maru AMC: 14 cm Navy guns fore and aft (also R & L sides, although those are invisible - i.e. dual guns fore and aft, so you can only see one set on the shipside. All the AA is 13mm on the R & L (again invisible)
- Kyushu Cargo (xAK): Type 88 DP fore and aft. All the AA is 13mm on the R & L (again invisible)
- Kyushu AKE: 12 cm DP (front) and Type 88 DP (aft). Also has 25mm AA on the R & L sides.
This is a problem, as each class should have a different armament "look". However, since the majority of ships (32 vs 2) have the angled DP guns fore and aft, we'll use that from 12/41 through 8/42, by which point most of the xAK conversions should be complete. The AMC class receives it's camo in September 1942 (details on that will appear later) so that's a good time to shift the "armament look" to the level Navy guns. Also worth noting that both AMCs have native floatplanes aboard (not just the capability, but units as well). The xAKs and AKEs do not have floatplanes, but as with the 9/42 armament shift, that's probably a good time to add a visual floatplane to the shipside. Looking further out in time, it's likely that by mid-1944 (when ship colors typically shifted away from Dazzle to either greyish or green merchant camo), either one or both of these AMCs will have been sunk (commerce raiding or amphibious invasions tend to be more dangerous than sitting in a port), so the profile should shift back to the "AKE type" at that time.
Next is the armament for the 0281.bmp file:
- Kyushu AS: Type 88 DP fore and aft. Has 25mm and 13mm AA on the R & L (essentially invisible)
- Kyushu AR: 12 cm DP (front) and Type 88 DP (aft). Also has 25mm and 13mm AA on the R & L (essentially invisible).
This matches the existing shipside pretty well, but we'll move the rear guns a bit further aft to match those aboard Kansai Maru.
Last we have the armament for the 0318.bmp file (unique to the AK class):
- 6/42: Type 88 DP and 25mm AA fore and aft. Has 13mm AA on the R & L (essentially invisible)
- 12/43: Adds 25mm on the R & L
The existing shipside captures most of this, but there's a Motoyuki model of the Kyushu class Kashii Maru in green camo (#3), which shows the location of the 25mm AA at the rear of the superstructure, so we can add that to the 12/43 shipside.
Taking all this account, here's the foldered plan for each category:
1) Kyushu Cargo (xAK):
12/6/41 = The as-is purplish 0252.bmp file (#4)
9/1942 = Dazzle camo, altered guns, and floatplane file (will be previewed as an AMC)
9/1944 = Change to the late war "greyish-grey", revert guns, and remove floatplane (#5)
2) Kyushu AKE:
- Same system as Kyushu Cargo (can't be different since they share the same bmp file)
3) Kyushu AS:
12/6/41 = A new bluish-gray 0281.bmp file (#6). Typically all "navalized" ship conversions took place at the Japanese Naval Yards.
5/1942 = The new Dazzle camo & altered guns file (#7)
5/1944 = Change to the late war "greyish-grey" (#8)
4) Kyushu AR:
- Same system as Kyushu AS (can't be different since they share the same bmp file)
5) Kyushu (AK):
6/1942 = A new bluish-gray 0318.bmp file (#9). Typically all "navalized" ship conversions took place at the Japanese Naval Yards.
12/1943 = Add AA to the superstructure file (#10)
9/1944 = Change to the late war "green camo" (#11)