Tuesday, 23 December 2014

The Japanese Combined Fleet

Japan started the Russo Japanese war as a definite underdog. Expected by all western nations and attached observers to be soundly whooped by the numerically superior Imperial Russian forces amply backed up by an economy that could replace the losses of an aggressive war, Japan by comparison had almost bankrupted itself in order to provide its navy with 6 Battleships and 6 Armoured Cruisers. Rear Admiral Togo Heihachiro knew that the way he fought the war had to be in such a way as to conserve his naval assets.

Japans European ally, Great Britain routinely called Japan in the press of the day Gallant Little Japan!

Japan had such a paucity of resources that they were still forced to use the armoured cruisers that had fought (and won) the Sino-Japanese naval war of 1895, albeit in the Fifth reserve naval division.

What the Japanese under the Emperor Meiji lacked in resources they more than made up for in professionalism, aggressive modus operandi and the state of repair that the naval vessels were kept in.

In the final analysis it was these elements that dealt such a crushing blow to the European superpower; Imperial Russia!

The Japanese First Squadron

First Division: OBB Mikasa, OBB Asahi, OBB Fuji,
OBB Yashima, OBB Shikishima, OBB Hatsuse

OBB Asahi

OBB Fuji

OBB Mikasa

OBB Shikishima

OBB Tatsuta

Third Division: OCR Chitose, OCR Takasago,
OCR Kasagi, OCR Yoshino

OCR Chitose

OCR Kasagi

OCR Takasago

OCR Yoshino

1st Destroyer Division:
ODD Shirakumo, ODD Asashiwo,
ODD Kasumi, Akatsuki

2nd Destroyer Division:
ODD Ikazuchi, ODD Oboro,
ODD Inadzuma, ODD Akebono

3rd Destroyer Division:
ODD Usugumo, ODD Shinonome
ODD Sazanami

14th Torpedo-Boat Division
TB Chiyoda, TB Hayabusa
TB Manadzuru,TB Kasasagi

1st Torpedo-Boat Division
TB67, TB68,TB69, TB70

The Japanese Second Squadron

Second Division
CR Idzumo, CR Adzuma, CR Asama
CR Yakumo,CR Tokiwa, CR Iwate, CS Chihaya

CR Adzuma

CR Asama

CS Chihaya

CR Idzumo

CR Yakumo

Fourth Division
OCR Naniwa, OCR Akashi,
OCR Takachiho,OCR Niitaka

OCR Akashi

OCR Naniwa

OCR Tsushima

4th Destroyer Division
ODD Hayatori, ODD Asagiri,
ODD Harusame, ODD Murasame

5th Destroyer Division
ODD Murakumo, ODD Shiranui,
ODD Yugiri, ODD Kagero

9th Torpedo-Boat Division
TB Aotaka, TB Hato,
TB Kari, TB Tsubame

20th Torpedo-Boat Division
TB62, TB63, TB64, TB65

The Japanese Third Squadron

Fifth Division
OBB Chin Yen, OCR Ikutsushima,
OCR Hashidate, OCR Matsushima

OBB Chin Yen

OCR Hashidate

OCR Matsushima

Sixth Division
OCR Idzumi (ex Chilean OCR Esmerelda)
OCR Suma, OCR Akitsushima, OCR CR Chiyoda

OCR Akitsushima


OCR Idzuma (Ex Chilean OCR Esmerelda)

Seventh Division
OBB Fuso, SC Kaimon, 
OCR Saiyen (ex Chinese OCR Chi Yuan)

OBB Fuso

SC Kaimon

OCR Saiyen (Ex Chinese OCR Chi Yuan)

Gunboat Division
OBB Heiyen (Ex Chinese OBB Ping Yuen)
OCR Tsukushi, PG Banjo, PG Chokai,
PG Atago, PG Maya, PG Uji

Another Gunboat Division Shot

PG Banjo

OBB Heiyen (Ex Chinese OBB Ping Yuen)

PG Maya

CS Miyako

OCR Tsukushi

PG Uji

10th Torpedo-Boat Division

11th Torpedo-Boat Division

16th Torpedo-Boat Division

The 1905 Additions to the Combined Fleet

All of the line of battle vessels that were added to the fleet

OCR Niitaka

CR Nisshin & CR Kasuga

OCR Otawa

CS Yaeyama


  1. superb work, any tips on basing?

    1. Hey Neil,
      Thanks for the compliment. I'm a fan of your work as well. Superb stuff!

      The basing for my Russo Japanese War stuff is actually really simple. Simply a wooden base with tile grout on. I leave the tile grout to set for 5 minutes and then stipple the surface with an old toothbrush (or new if that's your fancy).

      Once that's done to the distressed level that I'm happy with I push the vessel in down and forwards to create the Bow Wake.

      The painting is a matter of personal choice. I decided on a more blue oceanic look as opposed to green on account of so many of the naval engagements happening so close to shore and the water having a bluer tint (thats an assumption rather than hard research). A greener hue may have been more appropriate BUT I love the choppy ocean look of sea bases so I spared no expense on the spume and made sure there was more of it painted around the vessel itself... and then of course the final touch was a gloss varnish on the sea and a matt varnish on the ships!

      Hope that helps!