IJN I-13 & I-14

Type-A (Modified) class

As seen in 1945

Pit-Road SkyWave W41

Scale 1:700 Water Line Series

Click on the pictures to enlarge.



2 3 4


6 7 8


10 11 12





Type-A (Modified) class I-13 & 1-14

The Kit

This model kit from Pit Road, /Sky wave is not seen on every hobby shop's shelves. I'm sure this has nothing about the quality of the kit, more about the unknown history compared to Bismack, Titanic, and Hood etc. As they more or less sell itself. I was lucky to find my copy via the net in Germany. The box art of Pit Road is always a pleasure to experience - Pit Road really have a skilled artist (Mr. Y. Takani) in their marketing department. When I opened the box; 2 submarines emerges from the plastic bag. I-13 & 1-14 along with 2 Seiran and 1 Saisun recon. Aircrafts.

The overall quality of this kit is good. The only "missing parts”, was the hinge for the aircraft hanger door and finer details on the periscope suite and 2 extra Serian aircrafts. And if I have to be nitpicky - an in-mould door aft.ont the deck house. The kit comes with a set of 2 aircraft handling cranes, you can attach in upright position, but the lowered crane is moulded in the deck too! - It had been better the crane on the deck was a part by its own. After all that negative talk - the kit is still light years ahead the other brands submarines in scale 1:700. And to my opinion one of the best on the marked, even today when the Pit Road age is over 10 years.



5 stars out of 6 for: Fit, details, exciting ship-class.


Building the model

It was very straightforward as the build process, was with no hidden surprises along the way. You have to track down the PE-set from Tom's Model Work's IJN Subs. enough to build 8 Pit Road sub! Also a Lion Roar IJN 3 bar railing cut to fit, was used as well as IJN ladders Lion Roar and IJN Water tight doors from Voyager. For the first time I used the new "Nano Dred" 25mm AA guns from Fine Molds - they are a fine substitute of ordinary PE-set, but a bit pricy! The scratch building with styrene plastic and metal wires, was only some wells on the superstructure for the binoculars, the binoculars, prop-guards bracings, after antenna suspension, periscopes and mast etc. Invisible tread was used for the antenna lines.

As said before the kit comes with 2 identical subs. with the choice to build in waterline or full hull. I choose one of each! - with I-13 emerge from the deep to the surface in a hurry. With a cut full hull - I used some household cotton soaked in white glue (Will became transparent when dry) together with lots of gloss vanish. The scene was set by my glass plate and some potato powder as sea foam. I-13 is shown as she makes a emergency decompression to the surface, I think the result is quite spectacular.

I-14 is shown on a clam day at sea, with both her aircrafts on the catapult.

Technical data:


3,603 tons surfaced
4,762 tons submerged


113,7 m


11,7 m


5,89 m


2 diesels: 4,400 hp
electric motors: 600 hp


16.75 knots (31.02 km/h) surfaced
5.5 knots (10.2 km/h) submerged


21,000 nm (39,000 km) at 16 knots (30 km/h)

Test depth:

100 m (330 ft)


140 officers and men


6 × 533 mm forward torpedo tubes (12 torpedoes)
7 x 25 mm AA guns, (2x3) + (1x1)

Aircraft carried:

2 Aichi M6A1 Seiran sea-planes

* Some sources state the class also have the main gun on the afterdeck, but the gun was never mounted on the hull. The increased bulged and more heavy superstructure to accommodate the aircraft hanger will have made the vessels too heavy. The "missing" main gun on the ships, is validated by eyewitness reports on the attack of I - 13. And also on the postwar movie clip from USN. of the scuttling of I - 14.


The AM (A Modified) type submarine was a large seaplane-carrying submarine, with a hangar space for two aircraft. These giant submarines were originally of the A2 type, but their design was revised after construction started so that they could carry a second aircraft. The seaplanes were to be the Aichi M6A1 bomber carrying 1,760 lb (800 kg) bombs or torpedoes.

Along with the I-400 class, the I-13 class was the biggest and most complex submarines of the entire WWII. It was planned to attack the Panama canal by Seiran bombers - The four vessels on a "one-way mission" The plan was later dropped as the war progressed. The last definite mission of the submarines was to attract the US forces at Truk but again the time ran out. I-13 was sunk on 16 July 1945 by the destroyer escort USS Lawrence C. Taylor and aircraft action from the escort carrier USS Anzio about 550 mi (890 km) east of Yokosuka. It was the biggest single IJN submariners lost in the war, 140 crew members vanished.

 I-14 surrendered at sea at the end of the war, and was later sunk by US forces in a secret mission to seal the knowledge from the Russians, obtained from the extensive postwar survey made by USN. She now lay in a graveyard with other former IJN submarines on the bottom of the Pacific.

Builder Kawasaki, Kobe

I -13

 I -14

Laid down

Feb 4 1943

May 18 1943
Launch  Nov 30 1943 Mar 14 1944
Completed Dec 16 1944 Mar 14 1945
Surrendered   Sep 15 1945
Sunk Jul 16 1945  
Scuttled   May 28 1946


Books form my own library :  

Japanese Naval Warship Photo Album Submarines and depot ships

from Diamond Sha books.  


Submarines of the Imperial Japanese Navy 1904-1945 from Conway Maritime press

(Pictures and history)


Imperial Japanese Navy  Submarines 1941-45 from Osprey publishing

(Pictures and history)

Submarine I-13: Tabular Record of Movement:


Submarine I-14: Tabular Record of Movement:


Thanks to Mr. Buton of Japan for extensive photo material and all the guys at J-aircraft.com


The building time was 1 week. 

Apr. 2010

If you have any questions, remarks or things you will share, please don't hesitate to contact me.



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