by: Karl Zingheim [ ]
The Japanese I-58 was a B-3 class long range submarine built in 1944. She is best known as the submarine which torpedoed and sunk the U. S. cruiser Indianapolis in July 1945 in the Philippine Sea.
Like AFV’s Type VIID u-boat kit, the I-58 is packed in a wrap-around box decorated with color art, though the pattern with titles is repeated on both sides.
The instructions are printed on a long single sheet with multiple folds. A recommended painting chart is provided with the equivalent brands from Gunze, Humbrol, Revell, and Life Color. The construction illustrations are detailed and well-laid out, and portray an easy-to-follow sequence. A painting diagram is included towards the end.
The kit is arranged on three sprues molded in medium gray, a clear sprue for the Yokosuka “Glen” reconnaissance float plane, a gray upper hull and red lower hull. A small photo etch fret and decal sheet are included as well.
The moldings are crisp with recessed detail and include delicate parts. The kit is engineered with an upper pressure hull, though there is no connecting structure for the conning tower, so if the upper hull is popped off for viewing, the conning tower superstructure goes with the deck.
Again, as like the AFV u-boat VII Minenleger kit, the photo etch fret features long, delicate parts, including a hoist hook and cable and a propeller for the aircraft. The decal sheet features the submarine’s name in Kana and numerals as well as several sizes of Hinomaru.
Although the I-58 is famous for her late-war exploits when she carried Kaiten manned torpedoes, the kit depicts her early aircraft-carrying rig. Modelers wishing to portray the model from the Kaiten era may have to scratch-build or await a later variant kit.