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Monograph Morskie #5
IJN Battleships Nagato and Mutsu

Reviewed by Jon Warneke

A J Press, 1996
ISBN 83-86208-43-0

I've been noticing this book for six months at model shows. Sales were good at the last one so I took the leap and bought it.  Having seen prior AJ Press releases (see the Warship review of their HMS Hood Profile), I thought I knew what to expect.  Nevertheless I was hesitant but breathed a sigh of relief on removing the shrink wrap.  Now this was a find!

Morskie02.jpg (16464 bytes)As with other volumes in the Monograph Morskie series, there are 50+ pages of information, and a good photo selection.  The text is in Polish, so unless you're conversant in the language, it's a "pick out certain words" proposition.   Fortunately the book has many self-explanatory items, such as scrap views of the hull and fittings, 1/200 scale drawings of each floatplane type carried, and small profile views showing the different "looks" of these impressive ships during their service careers.  The front inside cover has a very nice color plan/profile drawing of Mutsu 1937, while the rear inside cover has color illustrations of floatplane paint schemes.  There is also an excellent selection of photos that will come in handy for the modeler building these ships.  So far, a good buy.

But here's what makes this book special. The Nagato/Mutsu profile includes two 18"x 24" sheets of heavy stock paper, printed on both sides with complete 1/400 scale drawings of the two ships.  And when I say complete, I mean complete.  All information needed for the scratchbuilding of either ship is included.  There are drawings of each pagoda mast level, as well as the information necessary for constructing the hexapod mainmasts.  Deck fittings, hull lines, bulging information, scrap drawings of the aft port side bulge, deck plan variations - they are all here.  And if that isn't enough, you get six 1/400 profile drawings showing the ships' evolution from 1920 through 1945.  Lest I forget, there are rigging diagrams, lower hull deck levels, inboard profiles, and scrap drawings illustrating how these ships differed at the bow.  The plans themselves are worth the book's price, and you get a book to boot!

This is an outstanding reference that I recommend without hesitation to anyone interested in these ships.  I obtained mine from The War Room in Atlanta.  Both Pacific Front Hobbies and White Ensign Models also carry the Monograph Morskie series.  If future releases from this publisher as as good as the Nagato/Mutsu volume, ship modelers are in for a treat.

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