Painted, Scale Kit, Weathered, WIP

Tamiya 1/350 IJN I-400 Submarine Special Edition

As for the final build of the year, i decide to dig up a kit that have been half build and been keep that way for about 4 years! This actually the first naval kit that i bought and during that time even the normal ver was hard to come by so i got lucky that i found a special edition on my usual seller. I choose this kit since it easier to build as the submarine don’t have alot of fiddly things on it.

The difference between the normal and the special edition as far i can tell is the adding another PE runner which mainly for the railing and one plastic crew runner.

The History

IJN submarine is already quite large compare to other major powers so it quite a surprise for the US when the I-400 class come along with the ability to launch seaplanes and hold the title for the largest submarine until the age of nuclear submarine in the 60’s.

This came up as one of the ways to bring the war to the mainland US by aerial attack. Isoroku Yamamoto submitted a proposal in 13 January 1942 for a 18 submarine fleet with the ability to 3 round trip to the US west coast without refueling and able to launch atleast 2 seaplane with a torpedo or 800 kg bomb.

While it’s main job was to carry the 3 Aichi M6A1 Seiran seaplane (and parts for the 4th), the submarine itself was quite formidable with 8x 533mm torpedo battery at the bow with 1 x 140mm deck gun, 3x 25mm triple gun and 1x 25mm single gun. It can launch all of it 3 planes in 45 minutes.

But it came too late to the war with only 3 of the class been completed before the war ended so it never been proved in combat which probably for the best because of it desperate mission set that they receive. The US and Soviet interested with the tech which made the US decide (after their inspection) to scuttle all of it to prevent the Soviet learning on it’s. While the idea of launching seaplane from submarine die with it but the concept of stand-off attack submarine still live on with Ballistic missile submarine that we have now today.

Military Factory
Combined Fleet

The Build

It was half build back in 2012 and i really stop because of the railing since unlike most 1/700 railing, this one require you to drill the surface to attach it. During this time i don’t have a 1mm drill or close to it so it put back in the box and probably never leave it until this month.

Anyway as expected from Tamiya, it have superb fit even tho i find the the fit between the upper and lower hull bit of gap which can be fixed just by reinforcing the inside.

Now fast forward to December 2016 and the kit is literately gathering dust that is so thick that it wrap around the small parts. As i finally have the drill bits that i needed, it time to drill the darn thing. Tamiya provided these drill sticker guide to make it easy for us but it not pre-cut so you have to cut it yourself. My mistake when it come to this is that i glue on the parts on the deck already which mean i need to cut some of the space to make it fit but thankfully most don’t interfere with the drilling process.

At first i want to do a simple water dio like i have done with Akagi & Kaga dio but since i don’t really have the space now, i decide to use the provided base instead. Also because it have been sit in the box for so long, some parts somehow missing like the propeller so i get an unused 1/350 kit to replace them. As for the seaplanes at first i thinking of using the provided pedestal to place on it but i decide that would be a bit fiddily to place with the sub so i decide to use metal rod to hold them up beside the sub. The torpedo stand also put on the main base.

The crew was glued into place with white glue.

As for the color scheme, i find out from my relative limited research is that the Tamiya provided scheme is wrong and it the sub itself is in single color so i decide to reflect that here. Anyway the colors used in the project are:

  • Modo MK-13 White Surfacer – Primer
  • Tamiya XF-75 IJN Grey (Kure Arsenal) – Hull
  • Warpaints Monster Brown – Deck
  • Warpaints Greedy Gold – Propeller
  • Mr.Color 124 Dark Green (Mitsubishi) – Seaplane
  • Tamiya XF-12 JN Grey – Seaplane
  • Tamiya XF-64 Red Brown – Seaplane Propeller
  • Warpaints Tanned Flesh – Crew
  • Warpaints Deep Blue – Crew
  • Tamiya XF-58 Olive Green – Crew
  • Warpaints Matt Black
  • Warspite Dragon Red
  • Warpaints Gunmetal – Torpedo
  • Warpaints Strong Tone – Wash
  • Tamiya Panel Line Accent Color Brown – Wash

The Result


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