This ship paper model is the Matsushima, a Matsushima-class protected cruiser of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN), the papercraft was designed by etsutan. Like its sister ships, the Itsukushima and Hashidate, her name comes from one of the traditional Three Views of Japan, in this case, the Matsushima archipelago near Sendai in Miyagi prefecture.
Forming the backbone of the Imperial Japanese Navy during the First Sino-Japanese War, the Matsushima-class cruisers were based on the principles of Jeune Ecole, as promoted by French military advisor and naval architect Louis-Émile Bertin. The Japanese government did not have the resources or budget to build a battleship navy to counter the various foreign powers active in Asia; instead, Japan adopted the radical theory of using smaller, faster warships, with light armor and small caliber long-range guns, coupled with a massive single 320 mm (12.6 in) Canet gun. The design eventually proved impractical, as the recoil from the huge cannon was too much for a vessel of such small displacement, and its reloading time was impractically long; however, the Matsushima-class cruisers served their purpose well against the poorly-equipped and poorly-led Imperial Chinese Beiyang Fleet.
Matsushima was built by the Société Nouvelle des Forges et Chantiers de la Méditerranée naval shipyards at La Seyne-sur-Mer in France. Matsushima differed from her sister ships primarily in the location of her main gun, which was situated behind the superstructure instead of in the bow.
Matsushima had a steel hull with 94 frames constructed of mild steel, and a double bottom, divided into waterproof compartments, with the area between the bulkheads and armor filled with copra. The bow was reinforced with a naval ram. The vital equipment, including boilers and ammunition magazines, were protected by hardened steel armor, as were the gun shields. The main armament consisted of one breech-loading 320-mm Canet gun mounted in behind the superstructure of the ship, which could fire 450-kg armor-piercing or 350-kg explosive shells at an effective range of 8000 meters. The maximum rate of fire was two rounds per hour, and the ship carried 60 rounds. Secondary armament consisted of twelve QF 4.7 inch Gun Mk I–IV Armstrong guns, with a maximum range of 9000 meters and maximum rate of fire of 12 rounds/minute. Ten were mounted on the gun deck, five to each side, with the 11th gun located on the upper deck of the fantail. Each gun was equipped with 120 rounds. Tertiary protection was by six QF 6 pounder Hotchkiss mounted in sponsons on the upper deck, with a maximum range of 6000 meters and rate of fire of 20 rounds/minute. Each gun had 300 rounds. In addition, eleven QF 3 pounder Hotchkiss were mounted at various locations, with range of 2200 meters rate of fire of 32 rounds/minute and 800 rounds per gun. Each ship in the class also had four 356-mm torpedo tubes, three in the bow and one in the stern, with a total of 20 torpedoes carried on board. The weight of this weaponry made the design dangerously top-heavy, and armor was sacrified in an attempt to lower the weight.
The ship was driven by two horizontal triple expansion steam engines. The seaworthiness of the design was poor, and the designed speed of 16.5 knots was seldom possible. For more information please click here.
You can download this ship paper model template here: Japanese Protected Cruiser Matsushima Free Ship Paper Model Download