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IJN I-58 Submarine

AFV Club 1/350 IJN I-58 Submarine Kit First Look

By Cookie Sewell

Date of Review December 2009 Manufacturer AFV Club
Subject IJN I-58 Submarine Scale 1/350
Kit Number 73507 Primary Media 107 parts (69 in grey styrene, 29 etchedbrass, 7 clear styrene, 1 dull red styrene, 1 vinyl cap)
Pros First plastic kit of this vessel in this scale; nicely done details and brass finishings, Glen nicely done Cons Early war configuration may disappoint some modelers
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $30.00

First Look

Of all Japanese submarines, perhaps I-58 holds a more famous (or infamous) one in US eyes due to the fact that it was this submarine which sank the cruiser USS Indianapolis in July 1945, eventually resulting in the deaths of all but about 300 of her crew and the court-martial and conviction of her captain. At that time I-58 had been modified to become a “Kaiten” midget submarine carrier and according to Japanese sources even had two Kaiten embarked when she sank the Indianapolis (misidentified as “an Idaho class battleship”). The sub was impounded at the end of the war and scuttled in 1946.

AFV Club has now released this kit of I-58, which shares some sprues with the earlier I-19 kit (No. 73506). The I-19 was a Type B1 sub and the I-58 a Type B2 (or B3, based on source) modified fleet submarine. Like the earlier I-19 the I-58 carries an E14Y1 “Glen” two-seat floatplane and comes with the fittings for that aircraft. But as noted the kit only provides for its early “as built” condition and not the late war mother sub configuration of July 1945.

As before the kit permits building the sub as either full hull (with a stand and nameplate in English and Japanese) or waterline. The full hull version also provides a pressure hull for the ship and six “Long Lance” torpedoes. Most of the small details are provided for in styrene but others are only available in etched brass. These include the aircraft handling crane, catapult rails, handrails, and other small details.

The hull is beautifully done with flood holes and the various ports and details on the bottom as well as a working rudder.

The Glen comes in clear styrene with an etched brass propeller, struts and catapult cradle. It even includes two tiny 114 kg bombs under the wings.

Early war markings and painting instructions are included with “hinomaru” markings on the sail and full markings for the Glen.

Overall this is another great sub kit from AFV Club but I think some modelers would have liked to see it in its July 1945 configuration.

Sprue Layout:

  • A 1 Lower hull
  • A 56 Pressure hull, planes, rudder, details
  • B 1 Upper hull
  • B 4 Sail, nameplate
  • C 8 Foredeck, sail deck, sides
  • D 7 Clear styrene - E14Y1 “Glen”
  • M 29 Etched brass
  • ‒ 1 Vinyl keeper