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RE: Japanese Ships – Colors & Camouflage

 
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RE: Japanese Ships – Colors & Camouflage - 12/29/2019 2:12:29 PM   
Kull


Posts: 2178
Joined: 7/3/2007
From: El Paso, TX
Status: offline
xAP Types:

7) Takasago Maru xAP: One ship in this class (Teia Maru). A single bmp file (0302.bmp), not shared. One data base entry (12/41). Cannot upgrade or convert. No evidence of early war camo. This is an interesting class for several reasons. First of all, the AE "Takasago Maru" is a tiny To'su Wa-1 AMc (definitely not this ship). Secondly, the real Takasago Maru (#1) was a passenger liner that converted to a hospital ship just before the war, and it can be ignored since it's not in AE.

Except we can't ignore it completely, since the existing shipside (#2) is based entirely on this vessel. By contrast, the Teia Maru (the only ship in this class) has a completely different profile and is actually the re-named French Liner "Aramis" (#3), berthed in Saigon and commandeered by the Japanese in April 1942 under the "Right of Angary". A lovely ship with unusual square funnels, painted all in white and glamorous and chic like so many of the liners from this lost era (#4). According to the TROM, Aramis (Teia Maru) left Saigon in June (under charter from her commercial owners at the rate of 168,346 yen/mo) and "entered drydock at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries" in Yokohama. There must have been substantial reconstruction because she didn't re-enter service until the end of November 1942, by which time she probably was wearing wartime grey paint as seen in the attached photo (#5). The next noteworthy development is that Teia Maru served as a Diplomatic Exchange ship from September to November of 1943 (#6), after which she was "requisitioned and registered in the IJN" in January 1944. Probably meaning that her guns were re-installed and the diplomatic markings removed. There's no evidence for green camo, so we'll bypass it in this case.

Armament: According to the database this class is the same as the Asama Maru class, with a stern-mounted 12cm short gun and Type 88 DP guns facing R&L and another on the forecastle. The existing shipside has nothing, so these need to be added (although the side guns are obscured by the superstructure)

Accordingly, here's the foldered plan:

5/1942 = The new white shipside which matches the profile of Aramis (#7)
12/1942 = Change the colors to greyish, add more boats, add fore & aft guns) (#8)
9/1943 = Add the "Diplomatic mission" paint job and remove the guns (#9) (This has no in-game effect of course, but does provide a role playing opportunity should players choose to use it)
1/1944 = Remove Diplomatic markings and restore armament (go back to #8).

Modders Note:

Those modding the game might want to make some changes. The easiest would be to keep everything the same, and just change the name of "Teia Maru" to "Takasago Maru". The only problem with that (as noted above), is the Takasago Maru was a Hospital ship for the entire war, so the ship color is wrong. A more extensive change would involve renaming the class to "Teia Maru", using the new shipsides shown here, and then altering several of the database values: Speed is roughly the same (Cruise rises from 16 to 17), but since the Gross tonnage effectively doubles, the other values (capacities, endurance, etc) would all be "more". The small chart below shows a comparison of the relative numbers for each ship, to include the dimensions of Asama Maru (which I used in order to properly size the new Aramis-based shipside).

Dimensions of 3 ships:
1) Aramis: 17,537 tons (GRT); 566 ft 137x6
2) Takasago Maru: 9347 tons (GRT); 463 ft 124x5
3) Asama Maru: 16,975 tons (GRT); 584 ft 141x6





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< Message edited by Kull -- 12/31/2019 8:59:24 PM >


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RE: Japanese Ships – Colors & Camouflage - 12/30/2019 1:28:33 AM   
Kull


Posts: 2178
Joined: 7/3/2007
From: El Paso, TX
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xAP Types:

8) Kanzyu Maru xAP: Six ships in this class. A single bmp file (0308.bmp), not shared. One data base entry (12/41). Cannot upgrade or convert. No evidence of early war camo.

A few issues here. Half the ships (including the class namesake) have one funnel while the others have two. Also, the ship profile is incorrect for the 1-funnel group because it does not have the large space between the bridge and the rest of the superstructure to the rear. That's a unique "look" we don't see in other merchant ships, so the shipside should be modified accordingly. Three of these single-funnel vessels are true sister ships (#1), two of which were given new names: La Plata Maru became Kanzyu Maru (the class namesake) although the combinedfleet class grouping lists her as Kanju Maru (apparently she remained a commercial vessel). Her identical twin "Santos Maru" (see #2) became Manzyu Maru (and is called Manju Maru at combinedfleet), while Montevideo Maru did not get a name change. The latter two were requisitioned by the IJN before the outbreak of hostilities and converted to a submarine tender and auxiliary transport at Yokosuka (hence they would start with bluish-grey paint).

Of the remaining ships, two were twin funnel affairs (Teibi Maru & Teiritsu Maru) acquired by "Right of Angary" in Saigon in early 1942 and chartered from their Vichy owners at roughly 95K yen/month each. The sixth vessel, Huso Maru (#3), is another twin funneled vessel without a TROM or much of anything for background, so we'll ignore these latter three for color purposes. There's no evidence of late war green camo for any of the six, and since we're going with the navalized bluish color scheme at the start, we'll transition instead to mid-war greyish grey and eventually late war silver grey.

Armament: Like the Buenos Aires class, these vessels have a stern-mounted 12cm short gun and a single Type 88 DP gun on the forecastle. The existing shipside has neither, so they need to be added.

Here's the foldered plan:

12/6/41 = Alter the shipside profile (see #4 for the original shipside) and change the color to Navalised blue-grey (#5)
11/1943 = Shift to the mid-war greyish-grey (#6).
2/1945 = Change to late war silver grey (#7)





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< Message edited by Kull -- 12/31/2019 8:59:09 PM >


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Post #: 92
RE: Japanese Ships – Colors & Camouflage - 12/30/2019 3:57:19 AM   
Nami Koshino


Posts: 90
Joined: 4/22/2006
From: Salem, Oregon
Status: offline
This is quite the fascinating trove of information you have gathered together here on the WW2 Japanese Merchant Marine. Even more so in light of a book I read recently on the subject by Mark Parillo about how badly it was mismanaged during the war.

Plus, some exquisite artwork and rare photos to boot.

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Post #: 93
RE: Japanese Ships – Colors & Camouflage - 12/30/2019 1:33:02 PM   
Kull


Posts: 2178
Joined: 7/3/2007
From: El Paso, TX
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Nami Koshino

This is quite the fascinating trove of information you have gathered together here on the WW2 Japanese Merchant Marine. Even more so in light of a book I read recently on the subject by Mark Parillo about how badly it was mismanaged during the war.


Absolutely true. Here's an island nation, totally dependent on imports, and KNOWING exactly what happened to Britain in WW1 (and likewise knowing the solution) and seeing the same thing happening to Britain again in WW2....and they just ignored all those lessons. The AE AI is Einstein in comparison to the historical Japanese opponent.

quote:

Plus, some exquisite artwork and rare photos to boot.


This project has turned out to be a lot more work than I first imagined, but the research has been a real eye-opener in many ways. Hopefully I'm sharing some of that in a way that folks find interesting. I'm glad you are enjoying it!

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Post #: 94
RE: Japanese Ships – Colors & Camouflage - 12/30/2019 2:14:56 PM   
Kull


Posts: 2178
Joined: 7/3/2007
From: El Paso, TX
Status: offline
xAP Types:

9) Kongo Maru xAP: Five ships in this class. A single bmp file (0309.bmp), not shared. One data base entry (12/41). Cannot upgrade or convert. No evidence of early war camo.

Things are a bit confusing as there are two completely different vessels named Kongo Maru. The freighter-type (#1) was converted into an armed merchant cruiser by the IJN in October 1941 (and is thus the namesake ship for the Kongo Maru AMC class). However there were also two sister ship passenger liners (#2) named Kongo Maru and Koan Maru (#3), each with twin funnels and a profile that roughly matches the shipside - but no TROM for either one. Also missing a TROM are two other sister ships in this AE class, each with a similar profile (Konron Maru & Tenzan Maru). Kobe Maru (#4) is the 5th vessel, also without a TROM, but the pre-war pictures show it with the same profile as the other four (albeit only one funnel). To increase the confusion, combined fleet has TROMs for vessels named Kongo Maru, Koan Maru, and Tenzan Maru, but all three are freighters.

Fortunately Motoyuki has modeled the Koan Maru (#5), and he notes that this vessel (and presumably her sisters and lookalikes) were "not under military control until the end" because they were "state-owned" ferries (belonging to the Ministry of Railways) "dedicated to the most important routes". For colors, we don't have much to go on - the photos & postcards are all pre-war (the model is post-war), but it seems likely that these ferries (because that is what they really are) retained their original colors throughout the conflict, especially since most of their routes appear to have been short runs to and from Korea. It's possible that a more neutral color scheme was eventually adopted (if so, the timing would be after the calamitous submarine attack described below), but the postwar survivor still had white uppers, so perhaps a white upper/grey hull combo would be most appropriate.

The next problem involves the profile of the existing shipside. The front half of the ship looks fine, but the rear portion should have a second and third lower set of "windows". So it has to be modified.

Armament: According to the database, this class has a stern-mounted 12cm short gun and a single Type 88 DP gun on the forecastle (same as the Kanzyru Maru class). The existing shipside has neither, so they need to be added. Based on the findings above, it seems unlikely that these vessels were armed until later in the war, probably sometime after USS Wahoo sank the Konron Maru near Tsushima in October 1943. That was Wahoo's last kill since among the dead were two members of the Japanese Parliament, and it was this action which triggered the massive hunt that led to her demise (interestingly, it was also the last US submarine foray into the Sea of Japan until 1945).

Which brings us to the foldered plan:

12/6/41 = Alter the shipside profile (see #6 for the original shipside), add weapons, and change the color to white uppers/black hull (#7)
12/1943 = Shift the hull to a mid-war greyish-grey (#8).





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< Message edited by Kull -- 12/31/2019 8:58:53 PM >


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Post #: 95
RE: Japanese Ships – Colors & Camouflage - 12/31/2019 6:08:20 PM   
Kull


Posts: 2178
Joined: 7/3/2007
From: El Paso, TX
Status: offline
xAP Types:

10) Dairen Maru xAP: Four ships in this class. A single bmp file (0310.bmp), not shared. One data base entry (12/41). Cannot upgrade or convert. No evidence of early war camo.

A refreshing change from the recent reviews (for me anyway), is that we don't have a lot of surprises with this class. Three of the four are true sister ships (Dairen Maru, Hoten Maru (see #1), and Tsingtao Maru) as shown in the ONI report (#2), while the 4th vessel (Taizan Maru) is very similar. As their names imply, the sister ships were built to service the passenger and cargo trade between Manchukuo and China, and it appears that most of them continued in this role until late in the war (only the TROM of Hoten Maru covers early war activities). Accordingly, it seems likely that most of them retained their commercial colors (black hull/white uppers) until fairly late in the war. For the same reason, merchant green camo seems unlikely.

Armament: According to the database, this class has a single stern-mounted Type 88 DP gun. The existing shipside already has it, so no changes are needed.

Here's the foldered plan:

12/6/41 = Change the color to white uppers/black hull, to include the orange-yellow Hoten Maru funnels (#3)
2/1944 = Shift to the late war greyish-grey (#4).





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< Message edited by Kull -- 12/31/2019 8:58:40 PM >


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Post #: 96
RE: Japanese Ships – Colors & Camouflage - 1/1/2020 7:03:09 PM   
Kull


Posts: 2178
Joined: 7/3/2007
From: El Paso, TX
Status: offline
xAP Types:

11) Keihuku Maru xAP: Twelve ships in this class (the largest xAP group). A single bmp file (0311.bmp), not shared. One data base entry (12/41). Cannot upgrade or convert. No evidence of early war camo.

The main issue with this class is the extreme variability in ship profiles. One of the most obvious is funnel count, in particular the fact that every ship has one funnel except the class namesake, Keihuku Maru (#1). But we also see variations in height of superstructure, promenade decks in the superstructure (varies from 1 to 3), length of hull, flush decks vs raised forecastle and/or poop, etc. (#2). Even worse, the existing shipside doesn't match ANY ship in this class. However, after looking through the various ONI pages (all but 2 ships have them), the Ural Maru (#3) appears to be most representative, and thus a good candidate for the new profile. Worth noting that this issue affects the xAK classes to a far greater degree, but it's more noticeable when you have a small number of ships to compare against one another.

As to colors, all of the Japan-built vessels have pre-war photos showing a black hull and white uppers, but we don't have any wartime pics or models. On the other hand, there's an undated photo of the Tango Maru (#4) which is certainly from the war years, probably late 1942-early 1943. Per the TROM, this was originally the German vessel Rendsburg, confiscated in 1940 by Dutch authorities in the NEI, scuttled near Batavia as a blockship, refloated & repaired by the Japanese in August 1942, and returned to service as the Tango Maru sometime thereafter. Since the ship name is clearly visible in the photo, it must be dated post-August 1942, and the vessel obviously has bright white uppers and a very dark (probably black) hull. Which is one of the clearest indicators yet that Japanese commercial shipping was still being painted in pre-war colors well into 1942. Additional information can be gleaned from the TROMs and other sources (such as they are). Of the 12 ships:

7 of 12 have combinedfleet TROMs
8 of 12 were small "Japan-built" passenger+cargo ships, most of which were assigned to Japan-Manchuria routes
5 of 8 Japan-built vessels do not have TROMs
4 of 12 were foreign (3 from Vichy, the other being the previously discussed Tango Maru)
2 of 12 have TROM records indicating IJA conversion to Troop Transports (with grey paint)
2 of 12 served as hospital ships, one for the entire war.

So what does that tell us? In general, the absence of a combinedfleet TROM tends to correlate with civilian-controlled ships that operated outside the main war zones. Which makes sense here, since the Japan-Manchuria routes kept many of these vessels operating in the seas north of the Home Islands. Accordingly, a number of them probably retained the white upper/black hull combination for some time. We also know that a few of these were definitely painted in "wartime grey" colors (for example, see Ural Maru TROM entry for November 1941), so that's a reasonable transition for this class, probably in late 1942. With nothing else to go on, let's take an approach similar to that used with the smaller xAK classes (since this is the smallest xAP class), and give them a greyish rust in 1943, and even more of the same in 1945.

Armament: According to the database, this class has a single stern-mounted Type 88 DP gun, but the existing shipside placed it in front, thus we need to place it in the correct location on the new shipside.

So here's the foldered plan:

12/6/41 = New shipside with white uppers/black hull (#5)
11/1942 = Shift to a uniform greyish color scheme (#6)
9/1943 = Add rusty streaks to the shipside (#7)
1/1945 = More rust (#8)

Note: Of some interest perhaps, is a prewar photo of the Ussuri Maru (another ship of this class and very similar to the Ural Maru) berthed dockside in Dairen, Manchuria (#9). Unfortunately the picture is rather low res, but it's still fascinating to see the cargo winches in action, and the piecemeal way in which goods were handled in those days. So yes, build up your ports, dammit! ;-)





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Post #: 97
RE: Japanese Ships – Colors & Camouflage - 1/2/2020 2:49:49 AM   
Kull


Posts: 2178
Joined: 7/3/2007
From: El Paso, TX
Status: offline
xAP Types:

12) Shanghai Maru xAP: Three ships in this class. A single bmp file (0312.bmp), not shared. One data base entry (12/41). Cannot upgrade or convert. No evidence of early war camo.

There's a real conundrum with this class. We'll start by taking a quick look at Shanghai Maru (#1), which provided passenger service for decades between Nagasaki and Shanghai (along with the nearly identical Nagasaki Maru - not part of this class for some reason). Not nearly as opulent as the large liners of this era, she still had upscale features like this smoking room and the decidedly kitschy verandah cafe (#2). Neither ship has a TROM, and it seems very likely that both of them continued to make the same runs throughout their short war time careers (Shanghai Maru sank near Shanghai in late 1943 after colliding with another vessel, while her almost-sister hit a Japanese mine and sank near Nagasaki in early 1942).

By contrast, the other two ships in this class, Naminoue Maru and Ukishima Maru, had military roles right from the start. According to her TROM, Naminoue Maru served as a hospital ship from 1937 until September 1942, when she converted to a troop transport and was "painted grey overall and fitted with AA guns". That was a short-lived career as she was torpedoed and sank near Rabaul less than a month later. Ukishima Maru was requisitioned by the IJN in late 1941, converted to an auxiliary cruiser at Sasebo (with four large 15cm guns), and served in this role almost to the end of the war (she hit a mine and sank in mid-1945). Motoyuki has modeled her (#3) in mid-1942 (albeit the color should be dark Sasebo bluish-grey).

The problem is this: The existing shipside features the Shanghai Maru profile (#4 - includes two funnels) while the two vessels with actual wartime service have a somewhat different profile (#5 - featuring one funnel). A similar issue applies to colors, as the Shanghai Maru probably kept her commercial paint until the end, while the other two were Sasebo grey and hospital colored until late 1942 (at which point they were both, briefly, war time grey - albeit perhaps different shades). It really is a dog's breakfast, and there's no obvious "correct" approach, soooooo:

1) Profile: Keep the existing shipside along with its two funnels. Aside from "it saves me a lot of work", the current profile has a slightly different "look" from most of the others, whereas the Naminoue/Ukishima profile is more generic.
2) Colors: Start off with the commercial look of white uppers/black hull, transition to Sasebo bluish-grey in September 1942, and finally shift to a greyish-grey tone in early 1944. This addresses the fact that all 3 ships have prewar photos showing the white/black colors, gets us past the hospital ship period, and uses the navalized blue-grey schemes that definitely applied to one ship, and possibly two.

Armament: According to the database, this class has a stern-mounted 12cm short gun and a single Type 88 DP gun on the forecastle. The shipside has the front weapon, but needs the stern gun. Fortunately this is one area where the AE database overrides historical reality, because otherwise we'd also have to figure out which of three different types of armament to use.

Anyway, here's the foldered plan:

12/6/41 = Change the color to white uppers/black hull (#6)
9/1942 = Implement the dark Sasebo blue-grey (#7)
3/1944 = Shift to the late war greyish-grey (#8)





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Post #: 98
RE: Japanese Ships – Colors & Camouflage - 1/2/2020 3:12:58 AM   
Kull


Posts: 2178
Joined: 7/3/2007
From: El Paso, TX
Status: offline
xAP Types:

Time to finish up the xAP types. We just completed a sequential review of 11 of the 15 classes, which leaves four more:


1) Brazil Maru xAP:

This was already reviewed in Post #49 (and greatly expanded upon in Post #124)

13) Heian Maru xAP:

Also previously reviewed (in Post #53), since it shares a bmp file with the Heian Maru AS class.

14) Yasukuni Maru xAP:

Will be reviewed with the AS Auxiliaries (Yasukuni AS)
Edit: Complete - See Post #102

15) Aikoku Maru xAP:

Will be reviewed with the AMC Auxiliaries (Aikoku Maru AMC)
Edit: Complete - See Post #107

That completes the xAP types! Not much in the way of interesting camouflage, but the research turned up some interesting historical nuggets, many of which will appear in these new and revised shipsides. Next up? Stay tuned. :-)

In closing, I'd like to pay tribute yet again to the DMP mod team - throughout my work on the xAPs, many of their hulls and topsides served as the "starting point" for additional modifications. It's true that most of their shipsides are direct copies of the originals in AE, but they altered the colors in both accurate and novel fashion, and I can tell you that it's not an easy process.

< Message edited by Kull -- 2/11/2020 3:57:56 AM >


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Post #: 99
RE: Japanese Ships – Colors & Camouflage - 1/8/2020 7:44:09 PM   
Kull


Posts: 2178
Joined: 7/3/2007
From: El Paso, TX
Status: offline
It's been about a week since the xAPs were finished, but I haven't been sitting around eating bon bons. This project started off mostly as an intellectual exercise: "Wow, just look at all the historical variability in Japanese ship camo and colors! If only we could see this in-game!" All presented in a way that was intended to be interesting and informative, and hopefully enticing enough that somebody with artistic skill might be interested in taking up the challenge. As it turned out, that wound up being me....although my first attempts were horrible (and laughable) in hindsight. The poster child of this period was a full WEEK spent on multiple iterations of CV Shinano (yes, I know), before I finally bagged the whole thing (it still lies buried in a sub-folder, taunting me). If nothing else, I suppose it taught me what NOT to do!

Anyway, over the months there's been a slow but steady accretion of research and completed shipsides (137 and counting), and I'm beginning to see the hazy outlines of how this might all come together. Which is what I've been working on recently. The extremely boring process of examining all the different ship types and classes and bmp files, making sure that all bases have been covered, and developing a masterplan for what should be the first release. Which will be all the merchant ships and auxiliaries, the latter loosely defined as ships that aren't submarines or "pure" warships. Which is a pretty fuzzy definition, so I'll talk about it later in this post.

Without further ado, here is the high level plan for finishing off the Merchants & Auxiliaries:

I. Groups & Types that are complete:

1) xAK & AK Groups: 16 Types (comprising multiple classes) complete & posted
2) xAKL Groups: 7 Types (comprising multiple classes) complete & posted
3) XAP Groups: 15 Types (comprising multiple classes) complete & 13 posted (2 will be posted with the AS & AMC Types)
4) ACM Types: There are 2 classes of ACM in WitP-AE, To'su xACM & Kiso xACM, both included in the xAKL section
5) AD Types: There are 2 classes of AD in WitP-AE, Ehime AD & Akasi AD, both included in the xAK section
6) AGP Types: There are 2 classes of AGP in WitP-AE, Gozan AGP & Miyati AGP, both included in the xAK and xAKL sections
7) AKV Types: There are 2 classes of AKV in WitP-AE, Lima AKV & Aden AKV, both included in the xAK section
8) AMc Types: There are 2 classes of AMc in WitP-AE, To'su xAMc & Kiso xAMc, both included in the xAKL section
9) AR Types: 4 Types complete & posted
10) LSD Types: There are 2 classes of LSD in WitP-AE, Shinshu Maru & Akitsu Maru, each previewed in the LSD section
11) PB Types: There are 3 classes of PB in WitP-AE, To'su xAPB, Kiso xPB, & Ansyu xPB, all three included in the xAK and xAKL sections


II. Types that are next to be completed (in no particular order):

- AV Types: 5 classes, 4 complete, 1 in process
- AS Types: 7 classes, 4 complete, 3 in process
- AMC Types: 6 classes, 2 complete, 4 in process
- AG Types: 9 classes, 4 complete, 5 in process
- AKE Types: 17 classes, 13 complete, 4 in process


III. Types that are pending:

- LST Types - 2 classes, Not started (2 to go)
- LB Types - 4 classes, Not started (4 to go)
- ARD Types - 1 class, Not started (1 to go)
- AO Types - 7 classes, Not started (7 to go)
- TK Types - 8 classes, Not started (8 to go)


IV. Types that might be included:

- CMc Types - 2 classes, 1 complete, 1 in process
- CM Types - 10 classes, Not started (10 to go)
- MTB Types - 4 classes, Not started (4 to go)
- MGB Types - 4 classes, Not started (4 to go)
- ML Types - 3 classes, Not started (3 to go)
- HDML Types - 1 class, Not started (1 to go)
- AM Types - 2 classes, 1 complete, 1 in process
- DMS Types - 6 classes, Not started (6 to go)

I am *probably* going to bite the bullet and do all the ships in Section IV, but that category exists because either the ships aren't true auxiliaries (small torpedo boats, for example) or they morph from true auxiliary into warships (f/e most of the CM & DMS classes convert to Escorts). As for the AM and CMc types, they are easy enough to finish (the "half complete" status comes from bmps that are shared with the To'su AKL classes), but it seemed odd to leave the rest of the minesweeping/minelaying groups untouched. We'll see.

So what does that leave? Without getting into a count of types and classes here's what's in the next two groups:

2) Submarines: SS, SST, SSX
3) Warships: CV, CVL, CVE, CS, BB, CA, CL, CLAA, DD, APD, E, TB, PC, SC

The "Master Plan" is to deploy the new shipsides in 3 different releases, starting with the Merchants & Auxiliaries, then the Submarines, and finally the Warships. Initially each release would be a stand-alone download, but eventually (probably) they would be merged into a single zip file. As noted earlier, this is purely a graphics mod, and is fully compatible with all the official AE (i.e. AndyMac) and DaBabes scenarios. That also means it will seamlessly overwrite files in existing campaigns, too, so you don't have to start over to get the benefit of the new ship art. It will probably work with most non-official mods, but the mod leaders would have to verify that. Anyway, that's what we're looking at, so back to the grindstone!

< Message edited by Kull -- 1/10/2020 2:58:00 AM >


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Post #: 100
RE: Japanese Ships – Colors & Camouflage - 1/9/2020 7:05:44 PM   
Kull


Posts: 2178
Joined: 7/3/2007
From: El Paso, TX
Status: offline
As noted earlier, work on the Auxiliary shipsides was paused in order to complete the AK, xAK, xAKL, and xAP groups. That being done, we'll close out each of the "in-process" Auxiliary types, to include a short status summary for each.

AV Types:

This is the 5th of 5 AV Types, the other 4 having been reviewed earlier:

1) Akitsushima: See Post #30
2) Husimi AV: See Post #47
3) Kamoi AV: See Post #52
4) Sanyo AV: See Post #48

5) Kamikawa AV: Six ships in this class. A single bmp file (0050.bmp), not shared. One data base entry (12/41). Cannot upgrade or convert. The pictures and ship models depicting 4 of the 6 do not show evidence of camo. Although two of these ships did have early war camo (Kimikawa Maru & Sagara Maru), it has already been assigned to other AV classes (for reasons explained earlier - see links above to Posts #47 and #48). Motoyuki has modeled all six of these vessels, but most are very similar to the namesake ship, Kamikawa Maru (#1). One of the main takeaways is that 5 of the 6 models (this included) do not have kingposts aft of the superstructure, so they should be removed from the shipside. Colors will begin with the navalized bluish-grey of the early war, transitioning to greyish grey mid-war, and ultimately shifting to merchant green camo (as we see on the Kiyokawa Maru model - #2)

Armament: Per the database, this class has 15cm Navy Guns fore and aft, so both weapons should change from the angled "DP/AA look" to the flat traverse of the navy gun. The AE database has Type 88s and 25mm AA on R&L but the Kiyokawa Maru model indicates they are located parallel to one another at the rear of the superstructure, so only one set will be visible on the shipside.

Here's the foldered plan:

12/6/1941 = Alter armament, delete rear kingpost & change color to bluish-grey (#3)
12/1943 = Change color to "greyish-grey" (#4)
7/1944 = Shift to "merchant green" camo (#5)





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< Message edited by Kull -- 1/9/2020 7:08:14 PM >


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Post #: 101
RE: Japanese Ships – Colors & Camouflage - 1/10/2020 11:59:40 AM   
Kull


Posts: 2178
Joined: 7/3/2007
From: El Paso, TX
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AS Types:

This is the 5th of 7 AS Types, the other 4 having been reviewed earlier:

1) Heian AS: See Post #53
2) Jingei AS: See Post #54
3) Kyushu AS: See Post #63
4) Husimi AS: See Post #64

5) Yasukuni Type (2 classes):

- Yasukuni AS: A single ship in this class, Yasukuni Maru, in game on 12/41. A single bmp file (0278.bmp), shared with Yasukuni Maru xAP class. One database entry (12/41). No upgrades or conversions (please note that neither ship can convert to the other class). There is a Motoyuki ship model depicting Dazzle camo (see #1).

- Yasukuni Maru xAP: A single ship in this class, Terukuni Maru, in game on 12/41. A single bmp file (0278.bmp), shared with Yasukuni AS class. One database entry (12/41). No upgrades or conversions. No evidence of camo. This particular ship should not be in-game (much less the only representative of its class) since it was sunk by a mine in 1939 - presumably German - while entering the Thames approaches to London. Obviously that means there's no profile, armament or color information which would otherwise have to be accounted for when developing this shipside.

Yasukuni Maru is another pre-war passenger liner (#2) with typical period amenities such as this stylish lounge (#3) and an intriguing 1934 breakfast menu (#4). The existing AE ship coloration is purplish, but that should change since we know that Yasukuni Maru was converted from xAP to AS in January 1941 at Kure Naval Yard (thus "bluish-grey" at the start). Although I couldn't find photos to verify the camo, Motoyuki says the "camouflage is based on multiple actual ship photos" and represents "Yasukuni maru in about 1943". As to when camo was applied, there is a 1941 photo of Yasukuni Maru and BB Nagato (#5) and another taken in February 1942 at Kwajalein (#6), showing Rio de Janeiro Maru (at right) and Yasukuni Maru (at left). In both pictures, she does not have dazzle camo. I couldn't find any pictures from later in the war, and she was sunk in January 1944.

The next step was to analyze the combinedfleet TROM, which says nothing about paint, but indicates that Yasukuni Maru was damaged in Halsey's Marshalls Raid in February 1942, and returned to Kure for repairs. From April to December, she performed various missions between the Marshalls, Truk and Palau. 1943 was much of the same, except involving New Guinea instead of the Marshalls. There were periodic returns to Japan but none of any length greater than the time spent being repaired at Kure in early 1942. By process of elimination that strongly suggests she gained her camo at that time, and it's likely that Yasukuni Maru was still wearing it at the time of her sinking. For late war colors, greyish-grey is as likely as anything else, so she'll transition to that in early 1944.

Next is the physical appearance of the shipside. Per Motoyuki's model, the rear-mast-and-raised-derrick-boom is fine, but we need to add kingposts just abaft the superstructure (as per the ONI record - #7). As for armament, the 12cm DP guns fore and aft are represented, but the Type 88s will have to shift from behind the superstructure to just in front of it. Also necessary is the 25mm AA, which appears to sit atop the front of the bridge. Everything else looks OK.

Accordingly, here's the foldered plan (for comparison purposes, #8 is the current AE shipside):

12/6/41 = The new bluish-gray 0278.bmp file (#9)
4/1942 = Shift to dazzle camo (#10)
3/1944 = Change to "greyish-grey" (#11)





Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Kull -- 1/12/2020 12:56:24 AM >


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Post #: 102
RE: Japanese Ships – Colors & Camouflage - 1/12/2020 2:31:21 PM   
Kull


Posts: 2178
Joined: 7/3/2007
From: El Paso, TX
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AS Types:

6) Nagoya AS: A single ship in this class. A single bmp file (0279.bmp), not shared. No upgrades or conversions (an interesting choice, as discussed below). No evidence of camo. Helpfully, there is a Motoyuki model showing Nagoya Maru in 1942 (see #1).

For a class containing a single ship, the ONI report (#2) can be used to confirm the shipside profile (which it does). It also tells us that she had a sister ship, Johore Maru, a Yusen N vessel in AE (a useful piece of information, as we'll soon see).

According to her TROM, Nagoya Maru was requisitioned by the IJN in early 1941 and converted to a submarine tender, to include the installation of all her heavy weaponry, along with "one 1100-mm diameter search light and one 900-mm search light". This is an interesting point since Motoyuki has modeled these on all his AS-type ships, so it's a feature that should be added (albeit at this scale it appears as little more than a few colored pixels). The pre-war conversion means this vessel was most likely painted a navalized bluish-grey at the same time. The TROM does not mention paint schemes, so typically she would go from bluish to greyish, possibly a green camo update, and that would be it.

However, in June 1942 Nagoya Maru was converted to an AKV at Kure (not an option in AE), and served in that role for the rest of the war. Accordingly, since her AE role as an AS is thus incorrect for the majority of her service, that suggests she would be a good destination for one of the unused Yusen-N class Dazzle camo schemes (in this case, two wrongs do make a right!) Since both profiles are similar, the best candidate is the Keiyo Maru (see #3), which also has the benefit of having an unusual two-tone camo pattern.

Per the TROM, Keiyo Maru was converted to an AKV in mid-1941, and served in that role until early 1944. Although the TROM has nothing to say about paint colors, Motoyuki notes that his model is based upon several photos and that it represents "Keiyo Maru in Apr 1943". Looking back through the TROM, there are extended stays at Yokosuka in December 1942 and again in April-May 1943 (all other ports were quick visits). With nothing else to go on besides pre-war photos, a reasonable time frame for the paint schemes would be: Start the war with bluish grey, change to Dazzle in 12/42, and finally shift to a late war silver grey in mid-1944.

Armament: Per the database, this class has 15cm Navy Guns fore and aft, two more R&L, and 13mm AA R&L as well. The model shows all of this quite clearly, including the location of the central 15cm guns right in front of the superstructure and the 13mm AA just atop the bridge. None of this matches the shipside weaponry, so it all has to change.

Which brings us to the foldered plan:

12/6/1941 = Alter armament & change color to bluish-grey (#4)
12/1942 = Shift to dazzle camo (#5)
4/1944 = Change to silver-grey (#6)





Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Kull -- 1/12/2020 2:33:06 PM >


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Post #: 103
RE: Japanese Ships – Colors & Camouflage - 1/13/2020 2:30:48 PM   
Kull


Posts: 2178
Joined: 7/3/2007
From: El Paso, TX
Status: offline
AS Types:

7) Buenos Aires AS: A single ship in this class (Rio de Janeiro Maru). A single bmp file (0280.bmp), not shared. No upgrades or conversions (not even to or from the sister xAP class). No evidence of camo.

Rio de Janeiro Maru (#1) was one of several pre-war passenger liners dedicated to South American routes (as the name implies), primarily transporting immigrants. She was a fairly large ship, and (at least for the 1st Class passengers) had luxury features such as this Piano Lounge (#2). Like all Japanese liners of this era, her construction was partially subsidized by the Japanese government in order to incorporate design features that would allow her to be converted quickly to a war time role.

Which is exactly what happened in late 1940, when (according to the TROM) she was registered as an auxiliary transport and had the first AA guns installed, while later, in March 1941 she was converted to a Submarine tender. As there were multiple conversions at an early pre-war date, it seems likely that she would have been painted in bluish-grey. The photo of her in February 1942 (see #6 on the Yasukuni Maru attachment in Post #102) is inconclusive as to colors, but Motoyuki has modeled her "at the start of the Pacific War" in an all-grey color scheme (#3).

So what about Dazzle camo? There's no conclusive evidence for "had it" or "didn't have it", although the TROM notes that she was torpedoed near Borneo and spent the whole of June 1942 drydocked in Singapore, undergoing repairs - which would certainly be the right time, place, and condition for getting a Dazzle paint job. If she did have camo, it's possible that it would still be present at the time of her sinking at Truk, during Operation Hailstone (Feb 1944). I picked up a Truk Lagoon Dive Map in order to correlate photos from that operation with sunken vessels, but unfortunately Rio de Janeiro Maru was located in an isolated position east of Uman (#4), and I couldn't find any photos showing that portion of the strike zone.

There are still about 10 unassigned "ships with Dazzle", so there are options in that regard, but none of them feature the extended superstructure characteristic of true passenger liners, and all previous (and planned) assignments of Dazzle patterns have been either to the actual ship which had it or to one with a very similar profile. Which would not be true here, so I'm inclined to stay away from Dazzle in this case, and instead go with the bluish-greyish-green progression seen with many ships of this sort. (Although eventually I may succumb and create a pretty Dazzle-side.....just because!)

Armament: Per the database, this class has 15cm Navy Guns fore and aft, two more R&L, and both 25mm and 13mm AA R&L as well. Unlike Yasukuni Maru, the model only has about half this armament, and there aren't any photos which indicate where the center weapons would be placed. The shipside has a single DP gun on the poop, so we'll replace that with Navy guns fore and aft, as well as AA atop the bridge.

And so, to the foldered plan:

12/6/1941 = Alter armament & change color to bluish-grey (#5)
9/1943 = Change color to greyish-grey (#6)
9/1944 = Shift to "merchant green" camo (#7)

OK, this finishes the AS Types - on to the AMCs! (Some cool stuff coming up)




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Post #: 104
RE: Japanese Ships – Colors & Camouflage - 1/14/2020 12:17:19 PM   
Kull


Posts: 2178
Joined: 7/3/2007
From: El Paso, TX
Status: offline
AMC Types:

This is the 3rd of 6 AMC Types, the other 2 having been discussed earlier since they share bmps with two classes of xAK:

1) Akagi Maru AMC: See Post #58 (presented in the Yusen-A review)
2) Bankok Maru AMC: See Post #67 (presented in the Toho review)

3) Kongo Maru AMC: Two ships in this class. A single bmp file (0252.bmp), shared with Kyushu Cargo class (xAK-32 ships) and Kyushu AKE class (0 ships). One data base entry (12/41). Can convert to Kyushu Cargo class (same bmp), 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). All those conversions are "one way" (once a Kongo Maru AMC is converted, it can't come back). 1 of 2 has Dazzle camo (the other, Kongo Maru, was lost before dazzle camo was widely used).

Yikes! What a complicated set of relationships! However, most of the cross-class shipside implications were resolved earlier during the Kyushu review, with this result:
- The early war shipside remains unchanged (as-is purplish 0252.bmp file)
- The late war shipside shifts to the Kyushu AKE profile for armament & greyish-grey color.
Which means the shipside for the interim period is based entirely on this AMC class. Of the two ships, the class namesake was sunk near Lae in March 1942 (#1), (so we can ignore it for color purposes) but the remaining ship, Kiyosumi Maru, had a 2-tone form of Dazzle and was modeled by Motoyuki (#2) as "Kiyozumi maru in the autumn of 1942".

The TROM seems to back that up (although, as is typical, painting schemes are not mentioned), by noting that Kiyosumi Maru was in Singapore for unspecified repairs in September 1942. As we've seen in multiple other instances, this would be the logical time and place to receive her Dazzle paint job. I was unable to locate any war-time photos, so it's currently impossible to determine when or if she was repainted. However, we know this vessel was sunk at Truk during Operation Hailstone, and once again I used the Truk Lagoon Dive Map in order to correlate photos from that operation with this particular ship.

The map shows that Kiyosumi Maru (circled in red) lies in the "Repair Anchorage" between Dublon and Fefan islands (#3). Please take note of the two red arrows on the map, as they depict the orientation of the two photos we'll examine next. The first photo looks to the northwest (#4), and you can clearly see two of the ships marked on the dive map; "A" is the Heian Maru (and yes, this photo answers the earlier question and confirms that she DID have Dazzle camo at this time) while "B" is the large oiler, Tonan Maru #3. The next photo looks back toward the southeast (#5), and the same two ships are marked as "A" and "B". But now for the first time, we can also see Kiyosumi Maru (red arrow). Unfortunately she was not in the first picture because the SE photo was taken into the sun and all the shipsides are shadowy and dark - even the striking Heian Maru camo is barely noticeable. So no, even though we can identify the ship in a late war context, the photo quality is not good enough to determine whether she still has camo.

My apologies if this whole exercise seems to be of little use, but I took you through it on the off chance that somebody out there has access to other Hailstone photos showing this portion of the strike zone. If so, and even if the ships are unnamed, you can see how it's possible to determine which ones they really are.

Anyway, this is as good a date as any to terminate the camo scheme (and all the other AMC-specific profile details) and shift everything over to the Kyushu AKE. But first, let's look at....

Armament: The database calls for 14cm Navy guns fore and aft and another set to the R&L. The model appears to show 3 sets of the side guns, all flush mounted to the deck (most on the forward weather deck). There's also 13mm AA, which appears to be mounted atop the front of the superstructure, along with two large searchlights fore and aft of the funnel. All of this is different from the starting shipside, and will have to be added. And while we're at it, the floatplane can appear as well.

Accordingly, here's the foldered plan:

12/6/41 = The as-is purplish 0252.bmp file (#6)
9/1942 = Dazzle camo, altered guns, and floatplane file (#7)
3/1944 = Change to the late war "greyish-grey", revert guns, and remove floatplane (#8)





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Post #: 105
RE: Japanese Ships – Colors & Camouflage - 1/15/2020 2:25:30 PM   
Kull


Posts: 2178
Joined: 7/3/2007
From: El Paso, TX
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AMC Types:

4) Kinryu Maru AMC: A single ship in this class. A single bmp file (0251.bmp), shared with Yusen S Cargo class (AK-10 ships). One data base entry (12/41). On 6/42, the AMC can convert to the Yusen S AK (0317.bmp) configuration (and can't go back). No evidence of camo.

As you can see, this situation is similar to what we just saw with the Kongo Maru AMC class, but a lot less complicated. And once again, the cross-class shipside implications were resolved earlier, this time during the Yusen S review:
- The starting shipside has a small adjustment to armament, but color remains unchanged
- In early 1942, the shipside gets the Sasako Maru Dazzle camo (#1) as per the Motoyuki model
After this however, for the remainder of the war the shipside is based entirely on the AMC class, since the assumption is that all vessels in the Yusen S class will have upgraded to the better version of the AK (much more firepower).

Let's talk about the Kinryu Maru. Per the TROM (and confirmed by Motoyuki), this ship was requisitioned as a transport by the IJN immediately upon completion in late 1938 and had no civilian service. In late 1941, she was converted to an AMC (and modeled as such by Motoyuki - #2) and served in a number of major operations up until the time she was sunk in the Solomons in late 1942. A short career, with nothing particularly remarkable about it. However, her association with the Yusen S class gives us an opportunity to add not just the Dazzle camo of Sasako Maru, but something altogether different, and wholly unique.

In June 1943, the Italian submarine Torelli departed Bordeaux on a secret mission, a journey that would ultimately lead this vessel to serve in both the German and Japanese navies. But for now we are concerned only with her cargo, which, per the TROM, included "Colonel Satake Kinjo, a telecommunications officer returning to Japan after extensive training in Germany, radar engineer Heinrich Foders of Telefunken who has a set of Würzburg AA radar blueprints and two civilian mechanics. Two complete sets of Würzburg radars are also carried for delivery to the IJA and IJN". One of the few instances of direct technology transfer from Germany to Japan at this stage of the war, the Wurzburg was an aircraft detection radar, and although primarily land based, was fitted to several vessels (the Togo is one example - #3) and used in a seaborne capacity to coordinate German night fighters operating over the Baltic. The submarine arrived at Singapore in early September, and soon thereafter one of the Wurzburgs was installed on the Yusen S class transport Kinka Maru for test and evaluation purposes.

Noted Japanese maritime artist Kihachiro Ueda has an excellent painting of the Kinka Maru in late war green camo, and the Wurzburg radar can clearly be seen atop the bridge (#4). WW2 merchant ship modelers and certainly anyone who has perused the records at combinedfleet.com will be quite familiar with the many detailed paintings created by this remarkable artist. But what fewer may know is that Ueda was an anti-aircraft gunner who served on 28 merchant ships, 6 of which were sunk while he was aboard. The last of these was the Kinka Maru, which was attacked and destroyed in November 1944, during which Ueda was so severely injured that he lost the use of his right hand. Yet he recovered, learned to paint and draw with his left, and the rest is pictorial history. More to the point, the Yusen S clone Kinryu Maru - the solitary member of it's class - is the perfect ship to represent this interesting piece of naval history. Keep in mind of course that absent a change to the database, the addition of this visible radar is purely cosmetic.

Note: Ueda is a fascinating character. To give you some sense of the man (#5), I've attached a few excerpts from the book, "Master Modeler - Creating the Tamiya Style".

Armament: Per the database, this vessel has a 15cm Navy gun at the stem, 2 more R&L, and a Type 88 DP at the stern. The model shows this clearly, with the side guns flush mounted to the forward weather deck (as with Kiyosumi Maru). The 13mm AA is mounted atop the front of the superstructure, and once again we see two large searchlights fore and aft of the funnel. Plus a floatplane.

Here's the rather extensive foldered plan:

12/6/41 = The slightly revised purplish 0251.bmp file (#6)
4/1942 = The Sasako Maru Dazzle camo file (#7) (Note: Both of these were included in the Yusen S review, and are just added here for reference)
9/1942 = Physical profile altered to match that of Kinryu Maru (#8)
10/1943 = Add German Radar atop the superstructure (#9)
9/1944 = Change to merchant green camo (same as Kinka Maru) (#10)
1/1945 = Remove the Radar (testing presumed complete) (#11)





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< Message edited by Kull -- 1/15/2020 2:31:00 PM >


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Post #: 106
RE: Japanese Ships – Colors & Camouflage - 1/17/2020 12:42:04 AM   
Kull


Posts: 2178
Joined: 7/3/2007
From: El Paso, TX
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AMC Types:

5) Aikoku Maru Type (2 classes):

- Aikoku Maru AMC: Three ships in this class, all in game on 12/41. A single bmp file (0304.bmp), shared with Aikoku Maru xAP class (0 ships). Two database entries (12/41 & 2/42). Can upgrade to the xAP class on 2/42 (the upgrade is "one way" - once an Aikoku Maru AMC is upgraded, it can't come back). No conversions. Two of three have evidence of Dazzle camo, although the styles are rather different.

- Aikoku Maru xAP: Zero ships in this class. A single bmp file (0304.bmp), shared with Aikoku Maru AMC class (3 ships). One database entry (2/42). No upgrades or conversions.

For once, there's a lot of information on the Early War camouflage for the Aikoku Maru AMC class. Motoyuki has modeled all three ships, but we'll look at the two that have Dazzle camo - Aikoku Maru (#1) and Hokoku Maru (#2). Interestingly, the namesake ship has a 2-tone scheme while the other has the more typical three (Black, Dark grey, Light Grey). Normally in a case like this - multiple forms of camo within the same class of ship - you have to choose one of them, and that's that. However, there is another option here. The U.S. Naval Technical Mission Report (page 15 of the linked pdf file) tells us that LtCdr Fukui (the Japanese camouflage expert based in Singapore) "also repainted in September 1942 two ships, Aikoku Maru and Hokoku Maru, whose camouflage had been designed at Kure. Their design was criticized in that the pattern was too small and that it was effective only if seen directly abeam. These faults, Fukui asserted, were characteristic faults of all dazzle painting designed in Japan." (emphasis added)

There's a bit more in the report (and we'll get to it shortly), but that is a VERY interesting nugget of information, especially since the Technical Team findings were quite emphatic that there was no organized system for implementing early war camouflage. Yet here we have a clear statement that Dazzle schemes were "designed" and implemented at one of the major Japanese Naval shipyards! Digging a little deeper, the TROM for Aikoku Maru (and likewise that for Hokoku Maru) shows that each of these two vessels were refitted as AMCs at Kure before the war even began. So not only a Naval shipyard-level implementation, but one that was in place from the very beginning. All the records which detail the hows, whens, and whys of this system were apparently lost or destroyed, but going forward (and looking back), it is helpful to know that Kure Naval Shipyard was definitely another locus for Dazzle camouflage.

So what did the Kure scheme look like and how did it differ from the repainting performed by Fukui in Singapore? Well we don't know for sure. All the photos, paintings and models look just like those portrayed by Motoyuki. On the other hand, the Technical Mission report does say that "Hokoku Maru was in two colors and Aikoku Maru was in three: black, dark grey, and light grey", and these are actually the REVERSE of what we see in the pictorial record. Whether that was before or after Fukui's changes is unknown, but absent pictures it really doesn't matter - we can only use what we have. And in-game, it will look like this:

- The AMC class will start off with Aikoku Maru Dazzle, and in September 1942 it will transition to the Hokoku Maru Dazzle (we could do the reverse and it would be equally valid). Determining the end date for the Dazzle is a bit trickier, since Hokoku Maru was lost early in the war, and the only late war picture of Aikoku Maru is little more than a mushroom cloud (#3) as she blew up in Truk Lagoon during Operation Hailstone. So yes, once again we have a situation where we can identify her location on the map (#4), so if other pictures turn up they might answer the question. Absent that (and as with Kiyosumi Maru earlier), we'll arbitrarily choose this date to transition from Dazzle to a late war greyish grey.

Armament: The database calls for 14cm Navy guns fore (#5) and aft and 3 more sets to the R&L, which matches the shipside. It also calls for Type 88 DP and 25mm AA at the stem and stern along with 13mm AA to the R&L. These are not on the shipside, and the models don't show us where they might fit, other than placing AA guns atop the bridge. They do have two large searchlights to the front and rear of the funnel & a visible floatplane should appear as well.

Profile of AMC vs xAP: The last issue involves the profiles of each class, which are somewhat different since the xAPs have fewer guns and no floatplanes. However, the only advantage of the xAP over the AMC is doubled troop capacity, which is more than offset by the loss of amphibious unload benefits. Accordingly, the player is unlikely to perform the xAP upgrade, so we'll retain the "AMC-only" shipside profile throughout the war.

Which brings us to the foldered plan:

12/6/41 = The Aikoku Maru Dazzle camo & altered profile 0251.bmp (#6)
9/1942 = Replaced with the Hokoku Maru Dazzle camo file (#7)
3/1944 = Change to the late war "greyish-grey" (#8)





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Post #: 107
RE: Japanese Ships – Colors & Camouflage - 1/18/2020 5:38:36 PM   
Kull


Posts: 2178
Joined: 7/3/2007
From: El Paso, TX
Status: offline
AMC Types:

6) Nosiro Maru AMC: A single ship in this class, in game on 12/41. A single bmp file (0288.bmp), not shared. One database entry (12/41). No upgrades or conversions. No evidence of camo.

According to the combinedfleet TROM, Noshiro Maru was requisitioned as an IJA troop ship in 1937, later transitioning to the IJN for conversion to an AMC at Yokosuka in September 1941 (as modeled by Motoyuki - see #1), to include storage and handling capability for two floatplanes. However, she only served in the AMC role until August 1942, after which she was re-rated as a transport and served as such until sunk in late 1944. But from a game perspective, this is another opportunity to utilize the camo scheme from a similar vessel.

Awata Maru is one of 3 ships in the Akagi Maru AMC class, a group which shares the shipside of the Yusen A xAK class (as previously reviewed above). Yet it has a very rare form of camouflage (see the Motoyuki model - #2), a set of zig-zags which are very similar to that worn by the German Battleship Bismarck (#3). We couldn't use it for the other classes, as potentially it could apply to 10 ships, but it's perfectly appropriate for a single-vessel AMC class! Intriguingly, both ships share an extremely similar profile, in which the funnel is placed near the rear of the superstructure and the masts follow an M-K-K-F-K-M sequence (see #4, the ONI report), all of which necessitates changes to the shipside.

Looking through her TROM, Awata Maru was a passenger-cargo ship serving the Japan-Europe routes until 1940 (perhaps the source of the idea for her later camouflage), eventually being requisitioned by the IJN and undergoing an AMC conversion at Kure in October 1941. Her early war service was in northern waters (Kuriles/Aleutians) and we don't have to guess about the timing of her camo, as the TROM tells us she was "painted with a zigzag dazzle camouflage" in October 1942. A year later she was assigned to southern waters and shifted to a transport role.

Armament: The database calls for Type 88 DP guns at the stem and stern as well as 15cm Navy guns and 13mm AA to the R&L. Only the Type 88s match the shipside, so the others will have to be added (although the AA is so low on the superstructure as to be effectively invisible).

Accordingly, here's the foldered plan (for comparison purposes, #5 is the current AE shipside):

12/6/41 = The new bluish-gray 0288.bmp file with altered profile & weapons (#6)
10/1942 = Shift to zigzag camo (#7)
12/1944 = Change to silver grey (#8)

Note: Although this vessel is called "Nosiro Maru" in AE and the ONI report, other records insert the "h" into her name. In-game it does differentiate her from the AE "Noshiro Maru", which is a Std-B Cargo vessel arriving in early 1943.

This completes the AMCs and their many new Dazzle camouflage schemes! Next up are the AG Types, which bring additional camo opportunities. :-)





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Post #: 108
RE: Japanese Ships – Colors & Camouflage - 1/21/2020 6:28:56 PM   
Kull


Posts: 2178
Joined: 7/3/2007
From: El Paso, TX
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AG Types:

This is the 5th of 9 AG Types, the other 4 having been reviewed earlier as they share bmps with their associated xAK or xAKL types:

1) Gozan AG: See Post #75
2) Miyati AG: See Post #81
3) Daigen AG: See Post #82
4) Kasu AG: See Post #83

5) Muroto AG: Two ships in this class, both in-game on 12/41. A single bmp file (0091.bmp), not shared. Two database entries (12/41 & 9/42). Can convert to Ehime Cargo, Ehime AKE, & Ehime AD classes (all 3 of which share 0264.bmp) while Ehime Cargo (58 ships) & Ehime AKE (0 ships) can convert to Muroto AG. One real oddity (I haven't noticed this with any other class) is that Muroto 12-41 does NOT upgrade to Muroto 9-42, but has to convert! No evidence of camo.

Muroto and her not-quite-sister Nojima were originally built as IJN coaling auxiliaries, but the Muroto TROM tells us she was converted to a supply ship in 1937 and Nojima's shows that she followed suit in 1941. There's an undated photo in the Muroto ONI report (#1), showing a large cheering crowd at the dock and a full complement of passengers standing under canopies. Based on the TROM, this is probably from late October 1936 when she was "used as an observation ship for the yearly special naval review". It's worth noting because while neither TROM mentions painting, Muroto appears to be a uniform dark grey in this photo. Since these were IJN vessels from the beginning, they probably started the war with the standard dark bluish-grey.

As for camouflage, there is a picture of a camo ship at the Battle of the Bismarck Sea (almost certainly Oigawa Maru - more on her in the next review) plus there's video of the air assaults in progress, and I captured a fuzzy screenshot (see #2) which *might* be a second ship (starting at 2:03 of the video). If it is, that would probably be Nojima, which was sunk during this attack. However, that's a pretty sketchy link, plus there are problems with using Dazzle in this class since a lot of Ehime-type ships will probably convert to Muroto AGs. For the remaining colors, we should expect a shift to greyish-grey in late 1943, and - since these are valuable ships - a final transition to merchant green camo in late 1944.

Armament: The database calls for 12cm DP guns fore and aft (on large pedestal platforms) plus Type 88 DP guns R&L (although the latter aren't visible in any photos and are probably obscured by the superstructure). The 9/42 upgrade adds 25 mm AA to the stem and stern plus 13mm AA to the R&L. There aren't any photos showing this, but it seems logical that some of the AA was placed atop the superstructure.

That said, here's the foldered plan (for comparison purposes, #3 is the current AE shipside):

12/6/41 = The new bluish-gray 0091.bmp file (#4)
10/1942 = Add AA atop the superstructure (#5)
12/1943 = Change to greyish-grey (#6)
11/1944 = Shift to "merchant green" camo (#7)

Note: Although the second vessel in this class is called "Noshima" in AE, most other records refer to her as "Nojima" (including combinedfleet.com and the ONI).





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Post #: 109
RE: Japanese Ships – Colors & Camouflage - 1/22/2020 12:53:22 PM   
Nihonkaigun

 

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Hi Kull!

First, let me complement on your extensive work in this thread.

Regarding your last post:
The unidentified dazzle ship from Bismarck Sea is the "Teiyo Maru" (Ex-German Saarland). She's in the video at 2:05.

The burning ship with false (bow) waves at 2:26 and 3:31 is the 1C standard ship "Aiyo Maru" (one mast each in between the cargo hatches fore & aft).

The Nojima comes in sight at 2:45 and 4:25 - being a Navy supply ship, she's not camouflaged. She also has two masts, but a bigger deck house (than Aiyo Maru) and gun platforms on bandstands fore & aft. Please note that Nojima’s sister, the Muroto (shown in the ONI-report) has a prolonged deckhouse and box-like structures on the decks because she was used as hospital ship for some time. Nojima didn’t receive those changes.

The ship at 3:40, heavily burning, is most likely the small 1E standard ship Kembu/Kenbu Maru.

Also present at Bismarck Sea – and sunk – was a second ship with false (bow) waves, the "Taimei Maru" (four sets of kingposts on the edges of bridge, forecastle and poop – huge load of Daihatsus aft). She’s not in the video footage, but can be found on several pictures from the attack.

Best regards,
Hendrik

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Post #: 110
RE: Japanese Ships – Colors & Camouflage - 1/22/2020 10:55:11 PM   
Kull


Posts: 2178
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From: El Paso, TX
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Nihonkaigun

Hi Kull!

First, let me complement on your extensive work in this thread.

Regarding your last post:
The unidentified dazzle ship from Bismarck Sea is the "Teiyo Maru" (Ex-German Saarland). She's in the video at 2:05.

The burning ship with false (bow) waves at 2:26 and 3:31 is the 1C standard ship "Aiyo Maru" (one mast each in between the cargo hatches fore & aft).

The Nojima comes in sight at 2:45 and 4:25 - being a Navy supply ship, she's not camouflaged. She also has two masts, but a bigger deck house (than Aiyo Maru) and gun platforms on bandstands fore & aft. Please note that Nojima’s sister, the Muroto (shown in the ONI-report) has a prolonged deckhouse and box-like structures on the decks because she was used as hospital ship for some time. Nojima didn’t receive those changes.

The ship at 3:40, heavily burning, is most likely the small 1E standard ship Kembu/Kenbu Maru.

Also present at Bismarck Sea – and sunk – was a second ship with false (bow) waves, the "Taimei Maru" (four sets of kingposts on the edges of bridge, forecastle and poop – huge load of Daihatsus aft). She’s not in the video footage, but can be found on several pictures from the attack.

Best regards,
Hendrik



Hi Hendrik - I appreciate the comments, and while I do agree with you on Taimei Maru and Kenbu Maru, I'm not so sure about the others. With respect to Teiyo Maru being the "Dazzled" ship, I have doubts. The profile in the ONI record (#1) does bear a certain resemblance, but there is an extreme closeup of Teiyo Maru under attack (#2), and the hull does not show any sign of camouflage near the prow, especially the bright white patches visible in a more distant shot (#3). As for Aiyo Maru being the second bow-wave ship, that's also questionable. There are two different web pages (links one and two) which refer to it as Shinai Maru, and the ONI profile (#4) seems to fit the photo. It's also possible (given the uncertainties involving Kanji translations) that the real name might be Sin Ai Maru, but that ONI profile also works (#5). As for Aiyo Maru, unfortunately there isn't an ONI record and as for photos, even the combinedfleet TROM doesn't have one. The picture of her sister ship does seem to fit, but it's hardly conclusive. I did find an original head-on picture of that ship for sale on eBay (#6), so check that out (you might be able to get better resolution than the one I attached)

Worth noting that while looking into this today, I found a somewhat better quality video embedded at the bottom of this web page, so you might want to do a frame-by-frame look at that. For example, the ship you believe to be Nojima (#7) has a pair of kingposts, not masts, which is different from what one sees in her TROM picture (#8).

As for Kyokusei Maru, she was sunk the day before during a high level bombing run by B-17s, so we can ignore her as part of this exercise (since all these photos are low level and none of that happened the day before). Last is Oigawa Maru, but I'll reserve any discussion on that for the upcoming Mamiya AG review. ;-)





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Post #: 111
RE: Japanese Ships – Colors & Camouflage - 1/23/2020 5:02:41 PM   
Nihonkaigun

 

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Hey Kull,
Thanks for your reply!

So we are quite sure about Kenbu (small grey 1E) and Taimei (4 kingposts, false waves).

Regarding Teiyo Maru; please take a look at the aft portion of the dazzle ship and compare it to the ONI #1 profile (only marked B!) - the dazzle ship shares the two cranes at the aft edge of the deckhouse, the stick mast with 4 booms and the two combined vent-cranes at the poop. No ther ship present at BoBS shares these features. So I am sure about this one. I think the close-up is a completely different and also smaller ship - might be Sinai Maru. The caption is wrong for sure.

Regarding Aiyo Maru; the two web links you shared simply got the ship wrong. Pictured is clearly Aiyo Maru. The ebay picture #6 also shows this ship - the white canvas over the first hatch is visible in the video as are the Daihatsus stored in front of the bridge.

Regarding Sinai Maru: ONI #4 is a much smaller ship, ONI #5 is correct and in accordance with the photo and data given at combinedfleet. As i stated before, this could be the ship in the pic with the A-20 pulling up.

Nojima; I am aware she had no two kingposts - none of the ships present at BoBS had these features. My first guess when I saw this part of the clip was the Takatsu Maru which was sunk 1.5 years later in the Phillippines ;) so I believed it's Nojima with tthe cargo booms erected straight up - but the better quality video clearly shows kingposts. So this one is a mystery. They might have smuggled some other material into the newsreel.

Oigawa Maru was a pretty big 1A standard ship, so she would have 4 masts.

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Post #: 112
RE: Japanese Ships – Colors & Camouflage - 1/23/2020 5:19:47 PM   
Nihonkaigun

 

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I just re-checked Nojimas TROM. The only photo of her is from 1935, but:

- 1941: refit as supply ship
- Dec 1941: torpedoed, bow blown off
- Dec 1942: repairs completed
- Jan 1943: "some" reconstruction work

Given the extensive modifications on Muroto, wouln't it be possible that Nojima received new masts during one of these refits? Just a thought...

One more thing: look at the pronounced shape of the stern in the video still. That resembles Nojima's stern A LOT!

< Message edited by Nihonkaigun -- 1/23/2020 5:22:32 PM >

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Post #: 113
RE: Japanese Ships – Colors & Camouflage - 1/23/2020 8:26:18 PM   
Kull


Posts: 2178
Joined: 7/3/2007
From: El Paso, TX
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Nihonkaigun

Hey Kull,
Thanks for your reply!

So we are quite sure about Kenbu (small grey 1E) and Taimei (4 kingposts, false waves).

Regarding Teiyo Maru; please take a look at the aft portion of the dazzle ship and compare it to the ONI #1 profile (only marked B!) - the dazzle ship shares the two cranes at the aft edge of the deckhouse, the stick mast with 4 booms and the two combined vent-cranes at the poop. No ther ship present at BoBS shares these features. So I am sure about this one. I think the close-up is a completely different and also smaller ship - might be Sinai Maru. The caption is wrong for sure.

Regarding Aiyo Maru; the two web links you shared simply got the ship wrong. Pictured is clearly Aiyo Maru. The ebay picture #6 also shows this ship - the white canvas over the first hatch is visible in the video as are the Daihatsus stored in front of the bridge.

Regarding Sinai Maru: ONI #4 is a much smaller ship, ONI #5 is correct and in accordance with the photo and data given at combinedfleet. As i stated before, this could be the ship in the pic with the A-20 pulling up.

Nojima; I am aware she had no two kingposts - none of the ships present at BoBS had these features. My first guess when I saw this part of the clip was the Takatsu Maru which was sunk 1.5 years later in the Phillippines ;) so I believed it's Nojima with tthe cargo booms erected straight up - but the better quality video clearly shows kingposts. So this one is a mystery. They might have smuggled some other material into the newsreel.

Oigawa Maru was a pretty big 1A standard ship, so she would have 4 masts.


Hi Hendrik - I'll grant you that the ONI profile for Teiyo Maru is a pretty close match for the Dazzle ship in the photo, in particular the "mast-then-kingpost" at the rear, which is the opposite configuration when compared to the Oigawa Maru model (#1). In addition, the Teiyo Maru TROM tells us that she was in Singapore for a month in early 1942, and that has proven to be a known locus for the application of Dazzle Camo (the same was not true of Oigawa Maru). Also, because the model-vs-photo camo patterns are different, I had earlier considered the possibility that we were looking at two different Dazzle-camo ships in these photos, but further analysis indicates otherwise.

When you compare the still photo (#2) with the best obtainable video capture of the ship wearing Dazzle camouflage (#3), it appears that both have the same pattern - the small black dots circled in red are the tell-tale similarity. There's also a distant view in the next screen capture (#4), and it has the same sequence of three white areas in the front half, separated by two dark bands. So yes, all of these are the same vessel.

As for Aiyo Maru being the unidentified bow-wave camo ship, you are probably right on that as well. However, the evidence you've presented so far is not fully convincing, so I'll try to make the case for you. First we have a picture from the attack, showing the vessel on fire (#5). Note in particular the angled shape of the bow and the rounded stern. Next we have a pre-war photo of Imizu Maru (#6), the sister-ship of Aiyo Maru. The prow is identical in shape, albeit the stern is perhaps a bit more rounded. By contrast, the Tone Maru (a ship from the Sin Ai Maru class) has a blunt prow and an indented stern. Absent other evidence, this tends to suggest that Aiyo Maru is the bow-wave camo vessel.

Going one step further (and kingposts aside), the Tone Maru profile looks a lot like the "Nojima" in pic #7 above. So if "unidentified bow wave ship" is Aiyo Maru, then "maybe Nojima" is probably Shinai Maru.

The final piece of evidence in all this was a short sentence in the Teiyo Maru TROM: "The convoy is divided into two Divisions. No. 1 Division (starboard column) consists of SHINAI MARU (IJA No. 324), TEIYO MARU (IJA No. 842), AIYO MARU (IJA No. 947) and KENBU MARU. No. 2 Division (portside column) consists of KYOKUSEI MARU (IJA No. 776), OIGAWA MARU (IJA No. 480), TAIMEI MARU (IJA No.967) and NOJIMA." (emphasis added)

That is EXTREMELY interesting, because the various video snippets appear to show only 4 ships, and in this analysis we've been able to identify all of them as probable members of the Number One Division! Which makes sense, since two widely separated divisions were unlikely to appear in the same low level series of videos. Of some interest perhaps, here's a story on one of the recon pilots from that event. Note in particular the slide show at the top of the linked page - I would LOVE to see high res photos of that! So, good discussion...we definitely learned something!

Anyway (getting back to the whole purpose of the thread), this has been useful in other ways because I was going to use the Oigawa Maru camo on a vessel with a similar profile, but given these findings I'll opt for a ship with better provenance.





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Post #: 114
RE: Japanese Ships – Colors & Camouflage - 1/23/2020 10:13:27 PM   
Nihonkaigun

 

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Thank you very much for your input and the fruitful discussion! And sorry for interrupting this thread. Just two more things;

I positively identified the close-up with the A-20 as "Taiei Maru" (aka Daiei, Taiyei), sunk by A-20s and on 3/19/44. Being a new member, I cant post links - please check the TROM of Yakumo Maru.

Second, I will contact Hawkesbury Gazette and ask for the BoBS pictures in better quality. The medium-altitude pics might show the other column of this convoy. Will let you know about the outcome.

Keep up the good work - and sorry again for interrupting ;)

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Post #: 115
RE: Japanese Ships – Colors & Camouflage - 1/27/2020 1:43:00 PM   
Kull


Posts: 2178
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AG Types:

6) Mamiya Type (2 classes):

- Mamiya AG: A single ship in this class, in game on 12/41. A single bmp file (0094.bmp), shared with the Mamiya AKE class (0 ships). Two database entries (12/41 & 9/42). Can upgrade to the AKE class on 9/42 (the upgrade is "one way" - once a Mamiya AG is upgraded, it can't come back). No conversions. No evidence of camo.

- Mamiya AKE: Zero ships in this class. A single bmp file (0094.bmp), shared with Mamiya AG class (1 ship). One database entry (9/42). No upgrades or conversions.

Mamiya (#1) was purpose-built for the IJN in 1922 (as exemplified by it's presence at the Imperial Naval Review at Yokosuka in 1940) and per the TROM she was a large (15K tons) refrigerated supply ship that "carried provisions to support 18,000 men for three weeks and had stalls for 50 head of cattle below-decks". Apparently a well-designed vessel, she survived multiple torpedo hits on two separate occasions in 43-44, and it required two successive submarine attacks in late 1944 to finally sink her. As a "single ship member" of this class, it's worth confirming that the shipside matches the profile in the ONI report (#2), and it does. There's also a nice non-Motoyuki ship model (#3) which has good details (the raised horizontal banding on the hull is not correct, but the rest is accurate).

For colors, we'll start with a dark navalized bluish-grey, a good example being this undated photo (#4) which was probably taken just prior to the 1940 Naval Review (as indicated by pennants, fresh paint and a large complement of crew and visitors wearing crisp white uniforms). I was planning to incorporate the Oigawa Maru camo scheme as an interim paint job (since that is the only remaining camo model with a profile similar to Mamiya), but the recent Battle of the Bismarck Sea analysis (above) and Motoyuki's own comments (that it "is perfect fiction") cast some doubt on its accuracy. Pending evidence, we'll give it a pass and transition instead to a mid-war greyish grey, finishing up with late war silver grey.

Armament: The database calls for 14cm Navy guns fore and aft (on large pedestal platforms), a pair of Type 88 DP guns at the rear (photos and models show that these are located at the base of the bridge, and thus invisible), and 13mm AA R&L. None of this matches the existing shipside, so it will have to be modified. The 9/42 AKE upgrade adds 25 mm AA and some additional 13mm AA, most of it (probably) in locations that are masked by the superstructure, but we can place some of the AA atop the bridge.

Accordingly, here's the foldered plan (for comparison purposes, #5 is the current AE shipside):

12/6/41 = The new bluish-gray 0094.bmp file (#6)
9/1942 = Add AA atop the superstructure (#7)
12/1943 = Change to greyish grey (#8)
1/1945 = Transition to silver grey (#9)





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Post #: 116
RE: Japanese Ships – Colors & Camouflage - 1/29/2020 9:32:12 AM   
Akos Gergely

 

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From: Hungary, Bp.
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Amazing work, and much appreciated. The amount of research you have put into this is just beyond comprehensible (and I've done a lot on warships :D). Very well done!

Can'T wait to see your warships pack.

I possible, make a package in the end so that a simple download/overwrite install would be enough, a'la BigB's art files.

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Post #: 117
RE: Japanese Ships – Colors & Camouflage - 2/2/2020 10:11:32 PM   
US87891

 

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Hello Kull,
JWE asked me to say he has seen the wonderful work you have done on shading and camo-tinting the Japanese merchies and auxiliaries. He has always been a great fan of these more prosaic representatives of the Japanese nautical heritage. You do them justice, and give them the care and attention he wishes he had given them, way back then. Modifications to the original graphics are eagerly anticipated. You are doing very, very good. Please keep up the great work.
Matt

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Post #: 118
RE: Japanese Ships – Colors & Camouflage - 2/3/2020 5:55:53 AM   
Kull


Posts: 2178
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From: El Paso, TX
Status: offline
Thank you Matt. JWE paved the way here, and it's gratifying to know that he's enjoying this ride. I am always cognizant of the debt owed to those who set this wheel in motion.

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Post #: 119
RE: Japanese Ships – Colors & Camouflage - 2/3/2020 6:21:19 AM   
Kull


Posts: 2178
Joined: 7/3/2007
From: El Paso, TX
Status: offline
AG Types:

7) Irako Type (2 classes):

- Irako AG: A single ship in this class, in game on 12/41. A single bmp file (0095.bmp), shared with the Irako AKE class. Two database entries (12/41 & 12/42). Can upgrade to the AKE class on 12/42 (as with Mamiya AG, the upgrade is "one way" - once an Irako AG is upgraded, it can't come back). No conversions. No evidence of camo.

- Irako AKE: Zero ships in this class. A single bmp file (0095.bmp), shared with Irako AG class (1 ship). One database entry (12/42). No upgrades or conversions.

Irako (#1) was the second "of the IJN's two purpose-built refrigerated fleet supply ships", and "carried provisions for 25,000 men for two weeks." She has an interesting profile, including a tripod mast between bridge and funnel, and in particular features eight large cranes, 4 on the forward weather deck, and 4 more on the after weather deck. That's in addition to the booms attached to the forward mast and rear kingposts, so her cargo handling abilities must have been prodigious! The presence of four large "lighters" (all clearly visible in this model drawing - #2) would have enhanced her ability to perform ship-to-ship provisioning, as well as to support smaller bases with rudimentary port facilities.

As with Mamiya, the starting color will be navalized bluish-grey and this time we'll utilize one of the unused Kyushu camo schemes (this class is the best match in size, speed and profile), specifically that of Brisbane Maru (conveniently modeled by Motoyuki - #3). The TROM states that she was "painted in camouflage colors" immediately after being requisitioned by the IJN in August 1941 and was still wearing it at the time of her sinking near Guadalcanal in November 1942, so we have plenty of leeway in the timing of its application and removal. To clarify, there is no indication that Irako was ever camouflaged, but (as discussed quite often), Brisbane Maru has an interesting, well attested camo pattern that otherwise will never appear in-game. So we'll use this opportunity to display it until roughly the period of the AKE upgrade. Eventually we'll transition to the lighter grey which we know she was sporting in the late war. The Irako TROM tells us that she underwent major repairs and upgrades in Nagasaki (at both the Mitsubishi and Sasebo shipyards) during March-thru-August 1944, which is probably when this next picture was taken (#4). Also note the anti-mine degaussing cable surrounding the hull (unfortunately too narrow to display at this scale). Irako was one of many ships sunk at Coron Bay near Palawan (September 1944), and although the best photo from that attack is somewhat blurry (#5), she appears to be light grey in color.

Armament: The database calls for Type 89 DP guns fore and aft and 25mm AA R&L. The 12/42 AKE upgrade includes additional 25 mm AA, which was probably located atop the bridge. All of this (along with many other profile features) is only partially captured by the existing shipside, so it will have to be revised.

All that said, here's the foldered plan (for comparison purposes, #6 is the current AE shipside):

12/6/41 = The new bluish-gray & altered profile 0095.bmp file (#7)
3/1942 = Shift to the Brisbane Maru Dazzle camo file (#8)
1/1943 = Return to bluish-gray and add AA atop the bridge (#9)
4/1944 = Change to greyish grey (#10)





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