Book Review

Gakken Pacific War series 26 - IJN BB Ise Class - by Tom Kristiansen
Pacific War
Book Title
Pacific War 26 - Ise class
Gakken, Japan
ISBN Number
Retail Price
1800 JPY (ca. $17 USD / €14 Euro)
Imperial Japanese Navy Battleships Ise & Hyuga
Japanese text + a handful English captions
Gakken Pacific War series 26 - IJN BB Ise Class - Book Review
The Pacific War series from Gakken are highly regarded by IJN modeling-enthusiasts as a fantastic source of information of Japanese IJN ships. Altough the books are written in Japanese, they contain enough visual information to be of invaluable help for a non-Japanese IJN modeler.

Book Contents:

181 Pages

88 B/W -photograph

33 Color 1/110scale supermodel-photos

36 Drawings

4-pages Foldoutplans:

- modelphoto BB Ise 1937-41, port

- modelphoto BBCV Ise 1944, stbd.

- modelphoto 1/450 BB Ise 1937-41, top & stbd.

- line-draw. BB Ise 1937-41, cross-sect's. & top & stbd

- line-draw. BBCV Ise 1944, cross-sect's. & top & stbd & internal

- constr. drawing 365 mm barrels

The two Ise-class battleships; Ise and Hyuga are the subjects of this volume. These two ships was constructed during WWI and is clearly inspired by british battleship-design. They were meant to be the third and fourth ships in the Fuso-class, but delays and improvements in the Fuso-design lead to the design beeing altered. Thus a new class was born which had the 3. and 4. main turret aft of the funnel. From 1934 til 1937 these ships underwent major reconstruction resulting in the pagoda-style bride area so caracteristic for IJN BB's. Later in WWII these ships was reconstructed as hybrid battleship/carriers: BBCV for short.

The book is softbound with a dust-jacket. The first chapter is a photodocument with full/half-pages photos of Ise and Hyuga's servicelife. The photo document shows the evolution of the class with closeup photos of the superstructure. Some of the photos are taken from the US bombers that crippeled these two sisters. The sisters settled in shallow water and thus it was possible to inpect the damage inflicted. The photos from this inspection are quite interesting but a pretty sad sight. Most of the superstructure intergrity are intact, but with horrible wounds.

There are some very good foldout photos of Ise as BB and as BBCV. The BB-photo is sharp, but the BBCV seems to be somewhat out of focus, but it still satisfactory as a whole. The line drawings are good and show the rigging in detail. 1/450 scale foldout-photos inludes comments/info of varoius ship-installations in japanese. The star of this book is of course the 24-pages photoseries from a 1/110scale model of Ise. The model depicts Ise as in 1941. The detaillevel of the model are quite stunning, but some minor bends and twists in the rigging and railing can be seen.

These photos are sharp and an excellent source for modelers. The model is superb detailed and would ensure inspiration for additional details to add to a ships-project of this class.

The history-section shows some of the ship-designs that inspired the design of this class. Some small line drawings of other ships as well as early Ise-design are included.

A construction-section with photos/tables and text shows the history of construction. The reasearch-section show the structure-differences between Ise and Hyuga as well as the difference on the ships as they were as battleships compared to their structure as hybrid battleship/carriers. A large drawing of Hyugas brigdestructure is very useful for seeing the small differences between Hyuga and Ise. Details such as 25 mm cannons and searchlights are ommited in these drawings in this section in order to see the superstructure-details better.

For those who can read Japanese, this book must be a fantastic source of information. For us others it still is a magnificent source of visual information in the understanding that an image says more than 1000 words. This book is highly recommended to those who are interested in Ise-class battleships; both those who read Japanese and those who don't. Let us hope that these fabulous books someday will be translated to english so IJN-enthusiasts could fully benefit from them.

Tom Kristiansen

Gakken Pacific War series 26 - IJN BB Ise Class - Scans from the Book

From where you can buy the book (if not sold out):
HobbyLink Japan, Ltd
Nishitakane-cho 43-6
Gunma 374-0075
Fax: +81-276-80-3067
Tel. kom: 0-601311877

WWW: http://www.hlj.com/