The 25mm Type 96 was the standard Japanese medium anti-aircraft weapon of the Imperial Japanese Navy and was it was fitted in at least one configuration to just about every ship in the fleet. This gun was a locally built variant of French Hotchkiss 25mm anti-aircraft gun and was fitted on
mounts in a single, double or triple configuration. The Japanese made a number of minor changes to the original Hotchkiss design, changing some components from forgings to castings to simplify production. A German designed Rheinmetall flash suppressor was also added. A
submarine-mountable version of the gun was also produced, which made extensive use of stainless steel. The double mount type was the first to enter service in the 1936, with triple mounts following in 1941 and single mounts in 1943. In theory, the gun could fire 200 to 260 rounds per
minute, however the rate of fire was seriously degraded by the fact that the gun was fed by a 15 round magazine and it took time to replace the magazine when expended.
Black Cat Models has now expanded its growing line of 3D printed upgrade accessories to include weapons used by the Imperial Japanese Navy. Their initial offerings in the IJN line are the 25mm Type 96 guns in single, twin and triple mount versions. The triple mounts are offered in two
different varieties, with and without gun sights. Each version is sold separately and you get 9 single mounts and 6 twin and triple mounts in each package.

The details of the 3D printed guns are of the quality we have come to expect from
Black Cat Models, with handwheels, operators’ seats, ammo clips and flare suppressors on the gun barrels faithfully reproduced. In addition, all you need to do is to carefully remove the mounts from the
thin attachment pins, paint and glue into place. There is no assembly needed. You can download a guide for each set from the Black Cat Models website, which will show all of the attachment points, but it is really not required to work with these guns. The downside to no assembly required
is that you cannot adjust the elevation of the guns.

Also included as part of the 25mm Type 96 line is a set of ammo lockers in two styles with 9 of each provided. The label on the blister package has a typo in that it says that 24 lockers provided. Again, the details of the lockers, with hinges and latches, are quite impressive.
I cannot think of an easier way to upgrade your IJN ship models than the 25mm Type 96 gun mounts and lockers from Black Cat Models. I highly recommend them. My thanks to Black Cat Models for providing the review samples.

Felix Bustelo
New York