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SUPERIOR'S MARUS

 

Superior Models has released five "new" Japanese Marus in their 1:1200 line. I will call them "new" because the masters have been re-done by Wayne Smith, in his ongoing efforts to update and improve the Superior line. They are:

M18 - KANZYU MARU
M20 - BIYO MARU
M24 - ADEN MARU
M37 - AMAKASU MARU
M47 - KINKO MARU

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Each kit comes unassembled, but assembly merely requires installing cranes (none on AMAKASU MARU and KINKO MARU); this required drilling a small hole at locations clearly marked on the decks, and then gluing the cranes in place. The other assembly steps included filing down mold lines, cleaning and painting.

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I'm sure that much detailing could be added to these models. The only detailing I carried out was to add deck hatches on KANZU MARU, BIYO MARU and ADEN MARU. These are simply cardstock, cut to differing sizes with a very sharp Xacto knife blade. The resulting hatches were glued to the deck using small drops of super glue. Once in place, another drop of super glue was added to the top of each hatch. The super glue soaked into the card stock, filling in the "gaps" in the paper. When dry, any raised edges on the hatches (caused by the cutting process) were then filed down to a flat surface.

Following cleaning, the Marus were painted. As I had no information on particular ship colors, I decided to paint them in a "generic war-time gray" scheme. As a base color, each ship received a coat of Polly Scale Undercoat Light Gray. KANZYU MARU and ADEN MARU had hatches and lifeboat covers painted with Model Master Wood paint; the other three had a similar treatment with Polly Scale Deck Tan. The top of each stack was painted black with Model Master Semi-Gloss Black.

And that's all there was to it! While my pictures may not do them justice, I am happy to add these five merchantmen to my fleet. As I understand it, these ships sell out fast -- so if you'd like to add them to your fleet, too, you need to contact Alnavco (www.alnavco.com) and get yours today!

The information I've collected came from many sources on the Internet, and may not be 100% accurate; the approximate dimensions came from my ruler and my Mk. I eyeball -- and are, thus, approximations.



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M18 KANZYU MARU
Transport
3 ships in class
built circa 1926
7,627 tons
approx. 445 x 68
KANZYU MARU:  fate unknown, but possibly renamed LA PLATA MARU (sources vary)
LA PLATA MARU:  torpedoed in 1944
MONTEVIDEO MARU:  torpedoed 1 July 1942 by US sub STURGEON while en route to Japan
with prisoners for slave labor; 610 Australian soldiers and 130 civilians killed

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Superior M18

KANZYU MARU

port side view

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Superior M18

KANZYU MARU

top view

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Superior M18

KANZYU MARU

starboard side view

 

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M20 BIYO MARU
Freighter
17 ships in class
built circa 1921
also known as YOSHIDA MARU NO. 1 class
5,425 tons
approx. 415' x 50'
BIYO MARU: fate unknown

 

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Superior M20

BIYO MARU

port side view

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Superior M20

BIYO MARU

top view

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Superior M20

BIYO MARU

starboard side view

 

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M24 ADEN MARU
Freighter
43 ships in class
built circa 1919
5,824 tons
approx. 402' x 55'
ADEN MARU: torpedoed 6 May 1944 by US sub GURNARD

 

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Superior M24

ADEN MARU

port side view

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Superior M24

ADEN MARU

top view

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Superior M24

ADEN MARU

starboard view

 

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M37 AMAKASU MARU (also known as AMAKASU MARU NO. 1)
"Coaster"
40 ships in class
built circa 1901
1,913 tons
approx. 293' x 43'
AMAKASU MARU NO. 1 (ex-AMUR): torpedoed 24 December 1941 by US sub TRITON while possibly transporting water to Wake Island

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Superior M37

AMAKASU MARU

port side view

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Superior M37

AMAKASU MARU

top view

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Superior M37

AMAKASU MARU

starboard side view

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M47 KINKO MARU
Freighter
13 ships in class
built circa 1917
1,268 tons
approx. 273' x 35'
KINKO MARU (ex-SHIBISAN MARU): torpedoed 5 May 1944 by US sub SNOOK

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Superior M47

KINKO MARU

port side view

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Superior M47

KINKO MARU

top view

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Superior M47

KINKO MARU

starboard side view

 

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