The box contains a fret of brass photo-etched parts, 2 sprues in gray styrene, separate upper (for use as a Waterline model in a diorama) and lower hulls, and crisp decals. A one-page leaflet on the variants of Japanese submarines is included, but is in Japanese.
Brass PE parts are included for the railings, radio, and radar antennae. Unlike AFV Club’s recent U-boat kits, the lower hull (molded in oxide red), is one-piece, mating perfectly to the upper hull (molded in gray) with ease. The colors of the molded parts in this release are much more attractive than AFV Club’s usual green styrene. 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 “Kaiten” torpedoes are included, along with a display stand and name plaque.
As a tread-head from Armorama, my scale of choice is usually 1/35. After building the superb U-boat kits (Mk. 7 B, Mk. 7C, and Mk. 7C/41) from AFV Club, however, I’m confident this newest kit will be an enjoyable experience. When compared to AFV Club’s Mk. VIIC U-boat, one gets an idea of the impressive size of the I-58 (see photo, RIGHT). The few assemblies I did dry-fit together pose no issues at all; a beginner should have no difficulty. The definition of detail with all AFV Club kits after treated with a pin-wash of oil paint is superb, and this kit is no different.
This is an enjoyable and simple one-weekend project.. To say I was impressed by the detail possible in this scale is an understatement. I fail to see how the after-market manufacturers will improve on this kit, save for replacing the Anti-Aircraft gun barrels with microscopic metal ones. The bow dive planes can be optionally modeled in the folded position, while the snorkel and rudders are movable. The increasing range of naval and aircraft subjects now being released prove that AFV Club is not just about armored fighting vehicles. Finishing this tiny kit has whetted my appetite to try other naval subjects. Luckily, AFV Club continues to provide more subs in this scale: we’ll soon be tempted by a US Gato kit. The company strategy during these uncertain economic times will be to continue offering value and interesting subjects at an affordable price. The few hours I have spent on this kit provided a relaxing change from building armor. The recent partnership with Voyager means that superb photo-etched detail sets (available separately) will soon be available for these little gems from AFV Club.
Highs: Superb detail and seamless fit. Interesting subject! Lows: The pressure hull won’t be seen.Verdict: Build one!
About Ted Hayward (ted_hayward) FROM: TAIPEI, TAIWAN / 台灣
From B.C., Canada. Living in Taiwan for past several years. I've been building kits for as long as memory serves -armor, aircraft, cars. Big fan of 1/16th scale armor kits. Currently serving as poster boy for working with CA adhesives in a well-ventilated area. My first kit was the positively awful ...