I was hooked right away when I was asked to write a review on the new reference book from Kagero Publishing in Poland with as subject the IJN Tone. Kagero Publishing is well known for the series of reference works it has marketed containing beautiful 3D drawings of some of the most well known warships built. Their newest book about the IJN Tone, by Waldemar Góralski, Grzegorz Nowak and translated by Kazimierz Zygadlo, would appear to be the best yet.
The book is a soft cover 84 page edition that contains a concise, 15 page description of the history of the IJN Tone, specifications of ship and armament and a bibliography if you decide to do further research. The book also contains a very large fold-out black and white drawing, with on one side detailed drawings of the bridge superstructure, funnels and most importantly the rigging and on the other side there is a 1/350 scale general arrangement plan of the IJN Tone. The rest of the book contains magnificent drawings of just about every piece of superstructure, deck and hull that you can imagine. The information provided on the IJN Tone would appear to be correct, (as far as I can verify from online information on the Tone and sister-ship Chikuma).
In how far the drawings are 100% accurate is hard to tell from the grainy photos of the Tone on Internet, several being of the Tone after being bombed into submission and resting on the sea bed. I haven’t found anything glaringly wrong or anachronistic in the drawings contained in this book.
The book is very obviously aimed at anyone who has recently bought Tamiya’s magnificent but very expensive 1/350th IJN Tone and wants to take the detailing that one step further than strictly out of the box. If that is your aim you can’t really go wrong with this little gem from Kagero.
On my first quick browse through the book I ran into several details in the drawings that would improve and add even more interest to a build of this WW II Japanese greyhound: what appears to be stowage of some spare lengths of anchor chain on “B” turret, the storage of spare wings and floats for the aircraft around the smoke stacks, ( yes, these storage baskets are included in Tamiya’s IJN Tone), and extensive details of the aircraft marshalling decks, (rails, turntables catapults etc. The crew must have needed eyes in the backs of their heads to work safely in that area of the ship). Primary, secondary and anti-aircraft artillery are all shown in full detail and there are several drawings of the torpedo launchers and stowage.
The book should be appearing in the stores very shortly, ISBN number: 978-83-62878-07-9. I would recommend buying it if you are building or going to build a model of the Tone or Chikuma. It gives great insight into how full and cluttered every inch of space on board these sleek vessels, (top speed 35 knots!), really was. It is also one of those books that I enjoy browsing through sitting in my chair with a good glass of wine and discovering details of how the ship was designed and built.
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Highs: Obligatory companion to an IJN Tone build. Great reference on the rigging of the Tone and Chikuma. Lows: none I can think of. Some people might be put off by the fact that it is drawings only and no photos. That certainly isn’t an issue for me though. Soft cover might bother some folks.Verdict: Loved it, great work.
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