Loose Cannon review
Reviewed by Timothy Dike
After capturing vast portions of the South West Pacific, the Japanese found themselves ill prepared to transport the oil to all of their forces. Tankers were in short supply and one way to get the supplies to the front lines was with the use of barges. These non-powered barges were of four basic types. Loose Cannon has recreated three of those types in 1/700 scale. 
There are three types of barges in this set. Two each of the type V, W, and Y style barges. All are cast on a thin resin wafer. There are a few areas on my samples that will need some cleanup. Fortunately most of the cleanup is along the waterline.  The barges are mostly one piece with a few extra parts that need to be added. The type X features a sharp bow and stern to allow it to cut through the water with less resistance. It also has an upper deck and bridge area. Type V is cast with breakwaters on the pointed bow and stern to keep the water from washing over the deck. Gussets are cast inside the breakwaters to reinforce them. Extra capstans are provided to line the deck edges. Finally type W is a more conventional barge with the common rectangular shape. All the details on the latter are cast in place.  click images
to enlarge
Detail views
The instructions two pages with some background and location drawings. I would have liked to see some prototype photos, but these are adequate to build these barges. 

This kit is yet another unique addition to the Loose Cannon line. I can envision scores of Far East dioramas using these barges to give realism to the scene. These barges will make great additions to your Japanese supply lines running up and down the slot. Not all combat involved duels between warships. Sometimes it was single combatants sent to intercept supply barges like these. The diorama possibilities are endless and the kit has lot of potential. This is the first in a series of Japanese small vessels. Steel Sea Trucks set #120 is also available more will be announced soon. This is kit #121 and has a retail price of $30 US, a pretty good value. They are available where ever Loose Cannon products are sold. Check the Loose Cannon page for details on these and other kits.

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