1250 SCALE MESSAGE BOARD
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Re: 1/1250 Akitsu Maru
The IJA seemed to be much more secretive about its specially built amphibious landing ships. One of the sources I did manage to come by on my company trips to Akashi was a little bookstore that had an interesting selection of books. They ranged from anime, photography, origami, cars, motorcycles, plastic modelling and a small but nice selection of military books. In that store I found a book labelled 'Aircraft Carriers of the Imperial Japanese Army'. Based upon what I have seen in that book the Trident model probably closely resembles the ship as built. John's model would represent a wartime configuration with barracks blocks and additional AA added for protection. The barracks were probably added to the flight deck to house additional staff required for invasions. The Tiny Thingamajigs model represents the model after the ship had modifications to make the flight deck useable for take-offs and landings. Akitsu Maru had been torpedoed by the USN submarine Crevalle in Nov. 1943. My thinking is that while under going repairs from this damage the modifications were made to the ship. With the effectiveness of USN submarines in destroying Japanese merchant shipping and the shortage of IJN carriers to protect/escort the IJA's transports the army developed its own small aircraft carriers.
The Akitsu Maru would have made a logical choice as the ship already had a flight deck.
Page 47 of that book has a picture of the ship showing the flight deck in the configuration that John has built. Also included on that page are drawings of the flight deck barracks buildings that give the dimensions of the buildings and showing the slope of the roofs on those buildings.