Profile Photo
paul teixeira
98 articles

1/350 Tamiya I-400 IJN Submarine: Project Completed

This is the completed IJN Sub of WW2 fame. This is the first (I-400) of a three-sub class designed to carry out surprise attacks on the USA (I-400, I-401,I-402). One such surprise attack planned was an attack on the Panama Canal in a last ditch effort to slow down the progress of the US Navy into the Pacific Theater. They even painted the on-board attack aircraft in US markings as an attempt to sneak up on this target undetected. The attack was cancelled due to the USA invasion of Okinawa. The sub was order back to the water's of Japan in an attempt to stop, or impeded, the suspected attack on the Homeland by Allied forces. The war then ended and I-400 surrendered to the US Navy. The US Navy, after a careful study of this top secret, technologically advanced sub, sunk it off the coast of HI in order to prevent the Russians from studying her.

This was a commissioned build for a customer from Alaska. He requested that the sub look beat-up, and war weary, as many photos depict it, after it's surrender to the US. I did my best to achieve that look.

For more information on this build please see my previous postings on the building experience:

I would like to thank all those members who provided needed assistance, and feedback in an attempt to help me achieve an accurate representation of this sub. The only thing that still needs to be added to the current model is some 1/350th Japanese Sailor figures, which are on order, and will arrive in early August. It should be a lot of fun painting these tiny figures...LOL!

36 additional images. Click to enlarge.

19 responses

  1. Looks good, Paul. You could have gotten away with more weathering on the decks but what you have is fine. One minor thing: the Saiuns for the Panama Canal attack were a one-way mission, with the floats removed to look more like US aircraft - few people know that, so what you did is more than good. The weathering of the rest of the model is really amazing - it even looks "tin-canned" without having been reworked.

    • I actually new about the floats but wanted to keep floats on b/c it just would not have looked right to most. Actually I should say I had heard of the floats being removed but was not sure if just rumored or not. I do know they sunk the US marked planes so they would not have been tried for war crimes when surrendering. Thanx for the feedback and compliments. Means a lot. Still need to paint the figures. What color would u paint the uniforms?

  2. Excellent results indeed, my friend...outstanding work!

  3. Looks great! You certainly achieved the war weary effect. You're inspiring me to start my

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

    • OMG what a blast from the past. I totally forgot about this vintage kit. Monogram made such cool stuff...some nice ships and subs I totally forgot about! Where did u get that?
      Please build it and post asap!

  4. Paul, I like it !, I didn't know about the US markings on the airplane (good info). The part I'm amazed at is the rigging in the aft area, I'm guessing that's some sort of winch/recovery system ? I'm wondering, that must have been raise on the surface, as I couldn't imagine that surviving long underwater. Over all, very well done !

    • Actually it is only a aerial for communications. The large post does retract into the sub's decking. It is a turned brass piece with an actual hinge built in so it does retract but not with all that rigging. The rigging is slightly out of scale so maybe that is why it looks like a crane, but only crane is forward of the tower. Thanx!

  5. Great work Paul! This tin canning looks the part! Kudos my friend!

  6. Nicely done Paul, you've captured the war weary look quite well.

  7. Beautiful work Paul, a really brilliant job. Looking at the youtube video I think you have absolutely nailed this! A reference piece for sure. Congratulations!

    • Thanx so much Paul, that means a lot! I tried really hard on this one to get the right look and was not so happy and sure but got lots of good feedback like yours so feel much better.


  9. Hi Paul. Beautiful work right there. The stressed skin effect is great and the overall effect for me is really evocative; it really speaks of the power of the sea and the price we have to pay for living in such a hostile environment. However, she really does deserve a much better display stand.

    Fantastic result.

    • Yea, the nice stand thing is really not my strong point but maybe if it was for me to display I may have built something simple with wood. I am now building a large 1/44 Flower Class Corvette and the stand is even worst. It is for me so maybe I can build a nice wood base. After all the work I put into it I will not want to stick it into a crappy plastic stand that is worst then the one on the I-400.

  10. Excellent work - it really looks war-weary, and I like all the creative choices you made on the build. Just a beautiful model. Almost (yes, not quite, but almost...) motivates me to build something besides an airplane!

  11. Now that's a beautiful rust bucket!
    Really cool job on this one! It really looks the part.

  12. Awesome work Paul. I just picked up the kit recently. It looked interesting, having never built a sub. I notice that the below waterline colour is the same as the above colour. What is your reason for this? I have read that some IJN boats were all black or variations of grey and black. Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

    • Hi Clyde: Thanx for the positive comments. It was some time ago that I built this model so I do not clearly recall all my reasoning for color choices. What I do recall is being frustrated by the lack of photo evidence available indicating an exact color scheme. Just lots of poor quality black and white photos and lots of other builders' interpretation of colors. This was a commission build and I had a lot of contact with customer who also expressed a certain look based on what he wanted, and/or knew. Sorry I could not be of more assistance and good luck with your build.

Leave a Reply