Fujimi 1/700 I-15/46 submarines

KIT #: 401263
PRICE: 1000 yen SRP
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Probably a reissue


I-15 was a Japanese B1 type submarine. She was completed at Kure Navy Yard on September 30, 1940, whereupon she entered into service with the Imperial Japanese Navy. Her first and only commanding officer was Commander Nobuo Ishikawa. I-15 operated off the north coast of Oahu during the raid on Pearl Harbor. Her second wartime patrol, in May and June 1942, took her to the Aleutians, where she conducted reconnaissance of several islands. I-15 '​s third and final patrol took place from August to November 1942, when she operated in the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific, supporting the Japanese efforts to hold Guadalcanal. One source (Morison) suggests that I-15 hit the battleship USS North Carolina with a torpedo on September 15, 1942, but more recent authorities (Hackett & Kingsepp) maintain that the torpedo came from another submarine operating in the area, I-19. On November 10, 1942, a U.S. ex-destroyer (modified to a fast minesweeper), USS Southard (DMS-10) sank I-15 in Cape Rechereche, San Cristobal, with all hands lost. Commander Ishikawa was promoted to the rank of Captain posthumously. On December 14, 1942, more than one month after I-15 sunk, the USS Wahoo (SS-238) sank an unknown submarine which it misidentified as the I-15. Other records state the I-15 was sunk off San Cristobol on 2 November 1942 by destroyer USS McCalla. The I-15 carried a small Yokuska E14Y 'Glen' reconnaissance floatplane.

The Cruiser submarine Type-C (巡潜丙型潜水艦 Junsen Hei-gata sensuikan?) was one of the first classes of submarine in the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) to serve during the Second World War. Type-C submarines were better armed than the Type-A and Type-B. The Type-Cs were also utilized as Kō-hyōteki or Kaiten mother ships, for this reason they were not equipped with aviation facilities. I-47 was initially designated the I-377, but in a confusing move, the Japanese Navy renamed a number of its later boats with the same numbers as earlier builds. This particular boat was relatively successful in using its Kaiten mini-submarines. These sank the USS Mississinewa on 20-11-1944 and damaged USS Carina (?) on 02-05-1945. The boat survived the war and was sunk as a target in January of 1946.


There is little doubt that this is a reissue of one of Fujimi's many waterline kits. I still have the earlier boxing I bought back in 1974 so it is not a new tool kit. The molds have held up rather well, though finding flash was not difficult with the upper hull sections having the most. None of it is major and easily removed.

Both kits are rather simple, consisting of a flat lower hull onto with an upper hull section is fitted. This kit is in no way changed from the initial issue and while there is no weight (and there wasn't in the first issue either), There is space to add one on the flat lower hull. Both kits have relatively accurate conning towers with the various periscopes and radio masts. Deck guns are provided and there are dive planes and prop guards for both.

The major differences are that the I-15 has the three piece 'Glen' floatplane to fit on the forward catapult ramp. For the I-47, you have two Kaiten to affix to the afterdeck section.

Instructions are quite basic and aside from the Gunze paint information, entirely in Japanese. Each boat has a four step construction sequence that includes color info for small parts as well as the Glenn or Kaiten. There is a photo of each boat on the back of the box that is rather small, unlike the box size artwork provided on the original issue. This is apparently what you use for the overall color scheme. No decal sheet is provided so you will have to paint on the Glenn's hinomarus and the sail numbers.  


Waterline fans will be happy that this kit has been reintroduced. Both submarines are easy builds and those who wish to add more detail in terms of scratchbuilding or p.e. rails will have that opportunity.




January 2015

Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. You can find this kit at your favorite hobby shop or on-line retailer.

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