by: Ted Hayward [ ]
Originally published on:
The box contains a sprue of clear parts for the E14Y Yokosuka seaplane, a fret of brass photo-etched parts (including optional pontoon supports, propeller, and tail plane braces), 3 sprues in gray styrene, separate upper and lower hulls, and 2 decal sheets: one for the sub, one for the seaplane. A one-page leaflet on the variants of Japanese submarines is included, but is in Japanese.
Brass PE parts are included for the seaplane, its ramp, the railings, radio and radar antennae. Unlike AFV Club’s recent U-boat kits, the lower hull (moulded in oxide red), is one-piece, mating to the upper hull (moulded in gray) seamlessly and easily. Though a separate pressure hull (complete with bow and stern caps and torpedo-tube openings) is included, one would need to carefully thin the upper hull casing, opening-up some vent holes, to see it. Six Type 95 torpedoes are included, along with a display stand and name plaque (in Japanese).
As a tread-head from Armorama, my preferred scale is normally ten times this. I honestly don’t know my stern from my bow. After building the U-boat kits from AFV Club, however, I’m confident this will be a breeze. When compared to AFV Club’s Mk. VIIC U-boat, one gets an idea of the immense size of the I-19 sub. The few assemblies I did dry-fit together pose no problems at all; any beginner should have no difficulty. One has the option of using either PE or plastic for parts such as railings and antennae. The definition of detail in the U-boat kits after treated with a pin-wash of oil paint is superb; this kit is no different.
I fail to see how the after-market manufacturers will improve on this kit, save for replacing the twin Anti-Aircraft gun barrels with microscopic metal replacements. One has the choice of using either plastic or optional PE parts for the railings and other details. The Yokosuka seaplane and its PE parts –including propeller, is well-detailed. Definition of the clear parts are superb, including the canopy frames. I’m at a loss as to how to paint these –with a fine tipped felt pen, perhaps? Stand-out features of this kit include a well-appointed conning tower, movable snorkel and recovery crane, separate pressure hull, and rotating deck gun. The bow dive planes can be optionally modeled in the folded position, while rudders are movable.
Including a whole range of naval and aircraft subjects, the kits now being released by this growing manufacturer are proving that AFV Club is not just about armored fighting vehicles.