IJN gunboat Heien former Chinese ironclad Pingyuan

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IJN gunboat Heien former Chinese vessel Pingyuan


Pingyuan gunboat in 1894.

Former Imperial Chinese Fleet Pingyuan ironclad coastal battleship  in 1894. The ship was captured by Japanese forces and renamed as IJN Heien operating as a gunboat vessel category.


The Pingyuan was as an ironclad coastal battleship operated by the Imperial Chinese Beiyang Fleet. After it was captured by Japanese, it was included as Imperial Japanese Navy vessel. Previous transliterations of its Chinese name include Ping Yuen and Ping Yuan. In Japanese it was known as Heien or Heiyen.

Pingyuan was at the Battle of the Yellow Sea/Yalu River during the First Sino-Japanese War. It was a Chinese armored cruiser built by the Mawei Navy Yard, inspired by the French Acheron-class gunboat. Pingyuan fought in the Battle of the Yalu River, damaging the Japanese flagship Matsushima, and was later captured as a prize of war in the siege of Weihaiwei.


IJN Heien gunboat in Chinese waters.

IJN Heien gunboat in Chinese waters.


After her capture, she was operated by the Japanese fleet for the rest of the First Sino-Japanese War. On 21 March 1898, she was re-designated as a first-class gunboat and was officially renamed Heien in 1900 based on the Japanese language pronunciation of its original Chinese name.

During the Russo-Japanese War, Heien was assigned to the 3rd Squadron and was part of the blockading force against the Imperial Russian Navy at the Battle of Port Arthur. Heien was hit by a naval mine at Pigeon Bay (Piegen Bay), located to the west of Port Arthur on 18 September 1904 and foundered in heavy weather later that day. It was struck from the navy list on 21 May 1905.

The ship has been modeled recently at 1/700 scale which is a great addition to the collection of the Imperial Japanese Navy Waterline series.

Other Imperial Japanese Navy gunboats existing at 1/700 are :

Japanese Navy gunboats Seta and Hira

IJN gunboats Katata and Hotsu

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