IJN Soryu | Aoshima AOS14851 | 1/700

So far I have not been attracted to ship modeling. In the past years I’ve started some Chinese cruiser, Markgraf from ICM, some HB’s submarine, but it all was 1: 350 and they got stuck in fairly early stages, then ended up in a quarantine or in a bin.

It has changed when I came across a few profiles of Japanese modelers in 1/700 scale on YT, quite by accident, and something started.

For starters, I thought I would do something easy, an aircraft carrier – it fell on IJN Sōryū, but when the model arrived I saw what I bought. The old Aoshima, now I know why the prices of Aoshima’s Soryu vary. The new one is much better, I also bought it.

Sōryū (蒼龍, Sōryū, meaning “Blue (or Green) Dragon”) was an aircraft carrier built for the Imperial Japanese Navy during the mid-1930s. Sōryū’s aircraft were employed in operations during the Second Sino-Japanese War in the late 1930s and supported the Japanese invasion of French Indochina in mid-1940. During the first months of the Pacific War, she took part in the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Battle of Wake Island, and supported the conquest of the Dutch East Indies. In February 1942, her aircraft bombed Darwin, Australia, and continued on to assist in the Dutch East Indies campaign. In April, Sōryū’s aircraft helped to sink two British heavy cruisers and several merchant ships during the Indian Ocean raid.

After a brief refit, Sōryū and three other carriers of the 1st Air Fleet (Kidō Butai) participated in the Battle of Midway in June 1942. After bombarding American forces on Midway Atoll, the carriers were attacked by aircraft from the island and the Enterprise, Hornet, and Yorktown. Dive bombers from Yorktown crippled Sōryū and set her afire. Japanese destroyers rescued the survivors but the ship could not be salvaged and was ordered to be scuttled so as to allow her attendant destroyers to be released for further operations. She sank with the loss of 711 officers and enlisted men of the 1,103 aboard.

In this model, Aoshima couldn’t decide whether she was doing Sōryū or Hiryū , hence some issues with the island and the mast behind it. Complete lack of details. Panel lines on the deck which airplanes would be likely to crash into during take-off or landing. Well, but for the first model, let it be.

I’ve only replaced the 127 mm artillery, anchors and boats with a set of accessories from Fujimi, added etched railings, a few more details from the Fujimi set. I opened the funnels. The rest is my own work, it turned out so so. Rigging the masts with Uschi 0.02 mm lines, the ones attached to the mast behind the island made of the stretched sprue (and I already know that this is not the good choice in this scale). One could probably add some more details to the boards, but I stopped myself. It was just supposed to be a study if I would like it. And I liked it a lot!

I also decided to make water. The waves are probably a bit exaggerated, but the work on making this stand (the first one in my life) brought me a lot of fun. Hope you like it 🙂

5 thoughts on “IJN Soryu | Aoshima AOS14851 | 1/700

    1. Didn’t use the decals, as there aren’t any in the box. Masking was very easy, as all the stripes (except the circle at the back) are prominent as raised lines on the deck. Like in the 60’s and old WW1 airplanes that had the cockades and other markings represented as “reliefs”. Only the Hinomaru at the front is a 1/72nd scale decal. Thanks for the comment! Best, Hubert

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