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The submarine aircraft carrier.

Gordon Williamson

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This is amazing! When were they placed in operation?

The main purpose behind these was to transport their planes towards the western US seaboard from where they would launch dive bombing attacks on the locks of the Panama Canal. In the event, their task was changed to one of attacking the US fleet which was assembling for the attack on the Japanese mainland in July 1945.

A total of 18 of the type were originally planned but only three, the I-400, I-401 and I-402 were completed. They were on their way to attack the US Fleet when news of the end of the war was received so the attack never took place. It wasn't until 1959 that submarines larger than this class were built

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Really detailed & beautiful model of an amazing sub! Besides descriptions in specialist literature, this boat type appears in a novel, Black Wind, written by one Clive Cussler and published in 2004. However, he uses the I 403 and another sister, perhaps to avoid confusion with actual IJN units. Cussler, or his co-writer, or their writing team adequately outlines how the dive bombers were assembled before launching. Edited by 922F
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Darn nice model Gordon, I presume your the maker of it ??

Made me think of a story my mum told me when she was living in Melbourne during the war, it must have been

one of these boats that sent a Japanese aircraft over Melbourne at some stage during the war, and mum said that

the only damage was to a heck of a lot of house roofs from the Flak that was sent up to shoot it down, well apparently

they didn't and it flew on back to it's mother ship, and left a lot of holes in the roofs of local houses by falling shrapnel

from the local flak guns, and created a good talking point with Melburnians for a while to come.

Love your model !



Edited by Bob Lyons
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  • 5 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

Very nice detail.

There was a television program a while ago on the Military Network (I think) about these. At the end of the war the U.S. scuttled the surviving subs and destroyed the plans as they feared the U.S.S.R. would start to manufacture them. The Cold War should have been called the Paranoid War.

Thanks for the intertesting post.

Cheers :cheers:


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I watched a show not that long ago, where they found the remains of the I-400 class subs and a bunch more off the coast of Japan. Did you scratch build that Gordon? Very nice :cheers:

Hi Laurence,

No, not scratch built, don't have that level of skill I'm afraid. Its a commercially available kit from Tamiya in 1/350 scale, all I did was to build it and add some extra detail such as the railings etc.

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Recently visited the V1/V2 facilities / museum on the north coast of germany... interesting little former east german town.

It was noted that the Germans were already experimenting with submarine launched V2s at end of the war.

Anyway, highly recommended place to visit.

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It was fast, managing nearly 19knots on the surface, had a huge crew, around 200 (compared to 50 on an average U-Boat), and a vast range - 69,000km.

Does Tamyia Modeling company in Japan make this model? If they do what scale is it??

Thank You

God Bless

SSG Luna, Lorenzo

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  • 1 year later...

Nice work - you've rigged it well and the open hanger door is effective.

Years ago (1987 perhaps), I purchased (from an old wares shop in Sydney, Australia) a 1/165 scale I-400 manufactured by Japan's Hasegawa company. The whole kit is made of wood and brass! That is, it has about 30 pieces of wood and about 300 pieces of brass. Otherwise you would make it just like a plastic model - piece by piece. It would look beautiful made up, but it's still in the box, complete and in mint condition.

I've scoured the web, including eBay, and have never seen mention of such a kit. I'm not going mad - it does exist ...

Unfortunately, it doesn't come with aircraft and I've been looking for a 1/165 scale Seiran ever since!

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