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IJN I-400 Class Submarine

  • I-401_41
"Kenny Loup (gator) shares a fine portfolio of images, his latest submarine scene focusing on the IJN submarine, I-401, in this "On Display" feature!"

Vessel details...
Sentoku Type (I-400, I-401, I-402)

The I-400 class submarine displaced 6,500 tons and was over 400 feet (120 m) long, three times the size of ordinary submarines. It had a figure-eight hull shape for additional strength to handle the on-deck hangar for housing the three Seiran aircraft. In addition, it had four anti-aircraft guns and a large deck cannon as well as eight torpedo tubes from which they could fire the Long Lance - the largest, longest ranged and most deadly torpedo in use at the time.

Three of the Sen Toku were built, the I-400, I-401, and I-402. Each had four 3,000 horsepower (2.2 MW) engines and enough fuel to go around the world one-and-a-half times, more than enough to reach the United States from either direction.

The submarines were also able to carry three Sei ran aircraft (the Aichi M6A), each carrying an 800 kilogram (1,760 lb) bomb 650 miles (1000 km) at 360 miles per hour (580 km/h). Its name was combination of sei (clear sky) and ran (storm), literally “storm out of a clear sky,” because the Americans would not know they were coming. It had a wing span of 40 feet (12 m) and a length of 38 feet (11.6 m). To fit the aircraft into the hangar the wings of the aircraft were folded back, the horizontal stabilizers folded down, and the top of the vertical stabilizer folded over so the overall profile of the aircraft was within the diameter of its propeller. A crew of four could prepare and get all three airborne in 45 minutes, launching them with a 120-foot (37 m) catapult on the fore deck of the giant submarine.

from Wikipedia

The model...
The kit is Tamiya's 1/350 I-400. I supplimented the kit's photo etch with the I-400 photo etch from WEM. The crew is from the Fujimi IJN Seaman Figures Set #2, WW2.

Using the Hikoki Publications' Japan's Secret Air Strike Sub I-400, I detailed out the aircraft to represent their appearance for the raid on the US Fleet at Ulithi Atoll at the end of the war. The US national insignias are from Starfighter Decals.
  • I-401_151
  • I-401_141
  • I-401_131
  • I-401_121
  • I-401_91
  • I-401_81
  • I-401_71
  • I-401_51
  • I-401_41
  • I-401_31
  • I-401_21
  • I-401_111
  • I-401_101
  • I-401_18

About the Author

About Kenny Loup (gator)

I was the kid that his dad would say "Hey, there's a war movie on." and come running. As a kid, I dived head first into military history. We would always have to stop at the USS Alabama on our way to Florida. I also got to visit the Seawolf Park and the Alamo on vacation, too. All things I want ...


Nice work on your I 401 project Kenny. I especiallly like the figures on deck that give a sense of size to this behemouth of a sub. The second aircraft finished in its' original colors is also a nice touch.
NOV 20, 2008 - 01:45 AM
Hi Kenny Good presentation on the I-401! A well deserved prize too Congratulations (and keep'em coming!) Rui
NOV 20, 2008 - 03:37 AM
A beautiful job on the kit, and an outstanding presentation. I hope you plan to enter it in some IPMS Shows, because that has "AWARD" written all over it. Congratulations. Cheers, Mike
NOV 20, 2008 - 04:08 AM
Wow, Kenny, excellent work! I'm joining the chorus on the awesome presentation. Really great stuff!
NOV 20, 2008 - 04:27 AM
Hi Kenny! Thanks for posting those pics. Which figures did you use? Your water effects are excellent, too! --Karl
NOV 20, 2008 - 05:10 AM
Thank you guys. It was a fun build. Karl those are the Fujimi IJN Seaman Figures Set #2, WW2. I purchased them from Pacific Front. Kenny
NOV 20, 2008 - 05:49 AM
very nice,I really like the plane done in american markings
NOV 20, 2008 - 06:41 AM
very well done and congrats Kenny! ditto on the presentation style... GREAT inspiration for future builds!
NOV 20, 2008 - 11:24 AM
Well done Kenny, great looking captured I-401 sub and equally well done base work. Frank
NOV 20, 2008 - 03:50 PM
Hi Kenny, Really excellent work and a well deserved prize too. Al
NOV 23, 2008 - 03:38 AM