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IJN I-19 Submarine

AFV Club 1/350 IJN I-19 Submarine Kit First Look

By Cookie Sewell

Date of Review October 2009 Manufacturer AFV Club
Subject IJN I-19 Submarine Scale 1/350
Kit Number 73506 Primary Media 111 parts (72 in grey styrene, 31 etched brass, 7 clear styrene, 1 in dull red styrene)
Pros First kit of this vessel in this scale; several options for construction; complete “Glen” aircraft nicely done Cons Some etched brass parts very tiny with minuscule "footprint"
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $30.00

First Look

Most people and only dedicated historians are aware of the fact that in September 1942 the only attack by enemy aircraft directly on the United States mainland took place when a Yokosuka E14Y1 light floatplane and its crew of two dropped two light incendiary bombs on a forest in Oregon. Unfortunately the Japanese never realized how wet this area of the US actually could be, no massive forest fires were started, and as a result nobody knew about the attack until after the war. But it was a singular achievement.

The Japanese were the only country to actually ship and use powered aircraft from submarines during World War II, and the E14Y1 was the most numerous of those aircraft with over 125 built. Tiny (wingspan of roughly 10 meters, 9 meters long, and a loaded weight of only 1500 kilograms) but reliable, the E14Y1 was standard equipment for Japanese Type “A” (I-15 to I-35) and Type “B” (I-9 to I-11) submarines.

The Type B1 submarine (of which the I-19 was arguably the most successful) was a very large and powerful machine for its time, carrying 17 torpedoes and a 140mm (5.5") deck gun plus an E14Y1 scout aircraft. Starting in 1937 20 of these vessels were built. As noted the greatest success took place on 15 September 1942 when I-19 fired a spread of six torpedoes which resulted in sinking the carrier USS Wasp, the destroyer USS O’Brien, and damaging the battleship USS North Carolina.

AFV Club has now released a 1/350 scale kit of this submarine class, and it is quite an impressive kit. Approximately 31.5 cm in length, it comes with a complete lower hull and also the pressure hull (like the German Type VII U-boats did). It provides some odd features such as a moveable rudder if the lower hull is used, but it also comes with a nicely done E14Y1 “Glen” made from clear styrene and consisting of 16 parts (less if you skip the etched brass details) to include the two 52 kg incendiary bombs!

The hangar appears to offer the option of being opened or closed and there are even more brass details for deckside. An aircraft handling crane is included as well as bridge details and railings. A rangefinder for the deck gun is provided on top of the sail as are all controls.

The directions are picture-type but descriptions are provided in Japanese, English and Chinese.

Two decal sheets are provided, one for the I-19 and one for the E14Y1. Although only in Japanese a small broadside also describes the work these submarines carried out and shows them with aircraft, radio antennas and handling cranes erected, and one with “Kaiten” midget submarines on deck.

Overall this is an impressive little model and if nothing else shows the huge difference in concepts between the German and Japanese submarines.

Sprue layout:

  • A 55 Pressure hull, torpedoes, controls, stand
  • B 9 Sail, deck details
  • C 8 Catapult, deck, details
  • D 7 “Glen” floatplane in clear styrene
  • M 31 Etched brass
  • R 1 Vinyl cap
  • ‒ 1 Lower hull

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