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Ise- Japanese battleship-aircraft carrier . . Ise was a Japanese battleship, completed in 1917, rebuilt and modernized several times in 1930’s. Most notable changes were the ‘pagoda’ style foremast and removing of one of the funnels. New engines increased her speed to 25 knots, and newly added anti-torpedo bulges increased her protection. Despite all efforts she was still considered to be too slow, and with too short range to act as a fast battleship. Unsurprisingly she failed to catch the Doolittle raid carrier force. After the disastrous Battle of Midway, in which Japan lost four fleet carriers, it became apparent that it was necessary to at least partially compensate for this loss. Therefore the Japanese decided to convert Ise-class battleships Ise and Hyuga into full sized aircraft carriers. Lack of time and resources resulted in the compromise to make a hybrid battleship/carrier conversion. This concept was often discussed in several navies in 1930’s but soon abandoned, because the roles of a carrier and a battleship/cruiser just don’t fit together. This Japanese act of desperation gave us an oddly looking behemoth. Two aft turrets were removed and replaced by a hangar surmounted by a 70 m long flight deck. Two catapults were installed, and an air group consisting of fourteen E16A ‘Paul’ seaplanes and eight D4Y2 ‘Judy’ dive bombers was embarked. The latter were supposed to land on a conventional carrier or on island airstrips, while the seaplanes could be hoisted back aboard by using a crane. Conversion was complete in late 1943, but the pilot training lasted until the autumn of 1944 and she was never used in her new carrier role. With her increased AA weaponry Ise was part of the cover force during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, and successfully completed Operation Kita with her sister Hyuga taking part there too. Ise never sailed again and was finally sunk in shallow waters between Kure and Kurahashijima by American carrier-based aircraft on 28th July 1945. This model is over 180cm long (6ft) so the scale used is around 1:120. I started with the building of turrets and then adjusted the whole ship’s size in order to obey the proportions. Three airplanes (I didn’t have enough pieces for the whole air group, so I decide to built three N1K1 Kyofus, to add some additional what-if flavor) and AA armament were another tricky task to accomplish, and in the part where the ship can be separated in two, there is actually some interior too. But I’m not so proud of it so I’ve omitted it from the ‘photo album’… Perspective familiar to pilots of Helldivers… Pagoda mast, bristling with AA’s and numerous walkways. Two Kyofus on the deck and one on the catapult ready for launch. Some turret interior.

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