Pit Road 1/700 PL-06 Kurikoma
|PRICE:||1800 yen MSRP|
|NOTES:||Pathetic historical section courtesy of your editor|
Well, I found out a few things about this ship. One is that while some seem to think it is an Erimo class patrol vessel, it seems that it is not. Apparently it is an Ojika class ship. Here is a link to a bunch of photos. http://www.vspg.net/jcg/pl02-ojika-class.html .
I also found out that the Japan Coast Guard's patrol vessel Kurikoma was built in 1999 and is the fifth of its class, fitted with cutting-edge rescue gear as well as being armed with 35mm and 20mm cannons. The redesigned rear deck can also handle larger helicopters, such as the Super Puma. For the rest of the background on this class of ships, I've not a clue where you can go as the internet was not very helpful on this one. Ed.
I bought this kit on an impulse at a model show, because I liked the vessel´s lines and look and assumed SWMBO might appreciate a non-grey vessel once in a while. So the box lingered a few points astern my workbench for some months. After some and during a more ambitious and demanding project I needed a break, grabbed the box and started building.
The vessel has been built virtually without research, save a cursory image search on the net. I only added PE railings and heli netting from my spares. As usual, I used Lion Roar PE for the crew figures. As usual with me, acrylic paint was used throughout. Painting white paint wasn´t exactly easy, but worked in the end. The kit´s fit was OK, yet not overwhelming, and the decal for the helideck turned out to be too wide and unusable. Luckily, the central marking was supplied as a decal of its own, so I was able to combine this with sprayed markings.
I did put some thought in the presentation of the model, I wouldn´t want the ship to be all alone at sea. Musing about something Japan-themed to combine with her I thought about a yacht in distress / some decorative rocks / a trawler / Godzilla / a yacht that was not in distress – until I remembered these highly decorative Japanese gates. And I was sure I had seen an image of one in the water.
Another image search quickly found the iconic floating torii (Japanese for the gates marking the boundary of a Shinto shrine) outside Itsukushima shrine on Miyajima island in the inland sea. Which coincidentally is one of Japan´s top tourist attractions.
Thanks to Wikipedia I soon had enough images and drawings to construct a loosely similar gate inspired by the famous one. In a true „swords to ploughshares“ spirit I used machined brass barrels for the IJN Yamato for the main pillars. Styrene stock and PE railings supplied the remaining parts. Sprayed bright vermilion and lightly weathered around the waterline, the torii was mounted to the base I had prepared earlier in my usual manner.
The vessel slowly sails past the torii, with her crew manning the rails, and I do like the simplistic diorama.
Just building without overly torturing oneself about accuracy can be fun, too – and you know what: Expanding one´s knowledge finds a way of sneaking through the backdoor. Dear kids – do this at home, you might even learn something about Shinto shrines in the process!
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