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Jeff Groves
33 articles

Akitsushima, Scratchbuilt Japanese Seaplane Tender in 1/72 Scale

Long time lurker, but this is my first attempt at posting. This is my largest scratchbuilt project to date, the Imperial Japanese Navy seaplane tender in scale. The project was inspired by 's announcement of their release of the new tool flying boat, long a favorite of mine. The idea of displaying the Emily on a tender took hold of my imagination and wouldn't let go, sixteen months later the project was complete. The dimensions of the base are just under 6' x 2' (183 x 61 cm), the width was determined by the wingspan of the Emily and the length by what I could fit into the bed of my truck! The hull was built up from Evergreen sheet, several fittings are 3-D printed parts from Shapeways. For anyone interested, more finished pictures, construction notes (in twelve parts), and reference pictures can all be found on my blog here:

11 additional images. Click to enlarge.

14 responses

  1. WOW just WOW that is an amazing build! why have you waited so long to post 🙂 ? That is beyond impressive. I keep looking back at the photos and all the little details. thanks so much for posting. Please share more of your work!

  2. Superb Jeff ! I had no idea that the Japanese produced tenders like this - I thought they were for smaller aircraft - so great to see this and in 1/72!
    Magnificent !

  3. WOW...helluva introduction to the site, Jeff. Outstanding workmanship, sir. Welcome!

  4. Amazing work, sir.

  5. Superb build.

  6. Incredible model, both the concept, and the workmanship ! You might post this over on also. I'm sure they'd be equally blown away -- just great!

  7. Jeff, this is jaw dropping! most excellent sir.

  8. A real beauty, this plane build is almost as good as the scratch job, but you really got yourself a unique model. Where did you get the drawings and plans for the ship, Jeff?

  9. Thanks for all the kind words, much appreciated!

    For Akitsushima drawings, the best thing to do is find a copy of NAVY YARD Volume 10, the one with the Yamato on the cover. There are line drawings from the original builder’s plans printed inside. They are small, but quite usable when enlarged to 1/72. You will have no problems working from them in smaller scales. There is also a nice pair of builds of the 1/350 Hasegawa kit in that issue, very useful.

  10. ...and in 1/72... insane 😛

  11. Excellent! Love the Emily, and your tender really sets her off. Wonderful details all around.

  12. What museum is this going in! Fantastic build!

  13. Yes indeed, simply amazing. Great job, and what an intro!

  14. Attention to detail is fantastic.Great to see more scratch building.

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