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IJN Tokiwa, Asama Class Armored Cruiser

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"MSW crew mate Bob Cicconi sends in a portfolio of images of his build of the IJN Tokiwa, Asama Class Armored Cruiser, in this MSW "On Display"

Base Kit- Sealsmodels Tokiwa
Scale- 1/700
Bob writes, "I built it pretty much out of the box, but added Gold Medal Ultra railings and stretched sprue rigging...Floquil and Testors enamels were used, and the water, made from Cellu-clay, painted with acrylics, and then topcoated with gloss clear acrylic gel. The model took bronze at the 2007 Mosquitocon in its category."

Vessel History
The IJN Tokiwa (常盤 装甲巡洋艦, Tokiwa Sōkōjunyōkan?) was an Asama class armored cruiser of the Imperial Japanese Navy. The IJN Tokiwa was named after a lake in Yamaguchi prefecture, near Ube city. Its sister ship was the IJN Asama. The Tokiwa had one of the longest service lives of any ship in the Japanese fleet.

The Tokiwa was one of six armored cruisers ordered to overseas shipyards after the First Sino-Japanese War as part of the “Six-Six Program” (six battleships-six cruisers) intended to form the backbone of the Imperial Japanese Navy. Construction of the Tokiwa began as a private venture by the British shipbuilder Armstrong Whitworth of Elswick, and the design had to be modified slightly to meet Japanese requirements. It arrived in Yokosuka on 17 July 1899.

The Tokiwa served an important role in the Russo-Japanese War, as part of the 2nd Squadron of the 2nd Fleet. It was assigned to the force blockading the Russian squadron at Vladivostok, and also participated in the Battle off Ulsan, It was at the crucial Battle of Tsushima where she was damaged by gunfire.

After the end of the war, the Tokiwa was retrofitted with new coal-fired Belleview boilers in 1910.

In World War I, the Tokiwa was assigned to the 4th Squadron of the 2nd Fleet, and participated in the occupation of the German port of Tsingtao. It was later assigned to Pacific Ocean patrols against the German navy, as part of the Japanese contribution to the Allied ware effort under the Anglo-Japanese Alliance. .

The Tokiwa was used as an oceanic navigation and officer candidate training ship after the end of World War I, cruising between Japan and Hawaii, California and to Shanghai, Singapore and the Indian ocean.

The Tokiwa was re-designated a 1st-Class Coast Defence Vessel on 30 September 1921.

On 30 September 1922, the Tokiwa was converted to a minelayer at the Sasebo naval yards, with the removal of its 200 mm twin mount gun turrets and its 150 mm secondary batteries. Offensive mine maneuvers by the Japanese Navy began in the Russo-Japanese War, using modified merchant ships; afterwards cruisers captured from Russia were modified and used. The use of the Tokiwa as a minelayer gave the Japanese fleet a ship with an unprecedented large capacity. With mine launching tracks topside and on the mid-deck, the Tokiwa could deploy over 500 mines at a time.

On 1 August 1927 the Tokiwa suffered substantial damage in an accidental explosion in Saiki Bay during which 35 crewmen died and 65 were severely injured, and it was placed in the reserve fleet. In 1937, at the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Tokiwa was retrofitted with eight Kanpon boilers and returned to active duty.

In 1940, the Tokiwa was assigned to the 19th squadron of the 4th fleet. Its operational area to mid-1943 was in primarily in the Southwest Pacific (around the Marshall Islands), and it was bombed by the US Navy on 1 February 1943 at Kwajalein Atoll, forcing a return to Sasebo for repairs. As the Pacific War situation deteriorated further for the Japanese, the Tokiwa was reassigned to mine laying in Japanese territorial waters.

Ironically, the Tokiwa was herself mined in April 1945, and was later severely damaged by a direct bomb hit and four near misses in an air attack on 9 August 1945 at Ominato port, northern Honshū 41°20′N, 141°60′E. The ship flooded and had to be beached on the nearby seashore. The wreck was later scrapped after the Pacific War.
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  • IJN Tokiwa in 1905 postcard
  • Wreck of the IJN Tokiwa, at the end World War II
  • IJN Tokiwa in 1904
  • The Japanese cruiser Tokiwa in 1905

About the Author

About Bob Cicconi (bobcicconi)


Excellent Bob! Really like the nice clean built, the (subtle) toned down colours and the sea base! A well deserved win Rui
JUN 01, 2008 - 03:43 AM
Fantastic work Bob! Clean build, nicely accentuating a fine paint job. thank you for sharing with us, Frank
JUN 01, 2008 - 04:50 AM
As always, Bob, beautiful work! The master of pre-dreads strikes again! I bow to your incredible skills.
JUN 01, 2008 - 06:50 AM
very nice clean build, thanks for posting, cheers!
JUN 03, 2008 - 06:38 AM
Nice work Bob!
JUN 03, 2008 - 12:17 PM
nice subject and well presented, great looking deck and rigging
JUN 06, 2008 - 09:26 PM