IJN I-361

(Kaiten carrier)

D Type

As seen in 1945

Hasegawa no. 433

Scale 1:700 Water Line Series

Click on the pictures to enlarge.



2 3 4


6 7 8

D type

The Imperial Navy had never been happy about using its combat submarines to carry out supply missions, but felt duty-bound to do all it could to support many increasingly isolated garrisons throughout the Pacific. Aside from removing these boats from their primary missions, losses on supply missions were heavy. To release combat submarines from supply duties, work on a special transport submarine design was begun in mid-1942. The D1 class could carry 22 tons (20 tonnes) of internal cargo plus 110 troops in cargo spaces in the former torpedo room and aft of the control room. External cargo included two 42ft (12.8m) landing craft and 60 additional tons (54 tonnes) of cargo. Of the 104 units projected, only 12 were completed, all between May and November 1944. The D2 design had its range reduced, as 150 tons (136 tonnes) of fuel was now used and total cargo capacity was increased to 110 tons (l00 tonnes). Only a single landing craft was carried.

Armament: The first unit completed had two 21-in. bow torpedo tubes, but these were removed after initial sea trials and were not carried in subsequent units. One 5.5-in. deck gun and two single 25mm guns were carried. In early 1945, 1-361, 1-363, 1-366, 1-367, 1-368, and 1-370 had their deck guns and landing craft fittings removed to permit mountings for five kaiten to be fitted.

 War service: For the loss of nine of the 13 Dl/D2 boats, the Imperial Navy gained a dismal return. These boats proved to be easy targets. Four were sunk by US submarines, two on their first mission; 1-373, sunk by a US submarine on August 14, was the last Japanese submarine lost during the war. The six boats converted into kaiten carriers accomplished nothing; two of these were lost to air-launched acoustic torpedoes and a third to US destroyers.


Technical specification:

Units in class: 13

Displacement: 1,926 tons; 2,240 tons

length: 75.5m

Beam: 8.9m

Draft 4.7m


Two diesels with 1,850shp driving two shafts

electric motors with 1,200shp

Speed: 13kt surfaced; 6.5kt submerged

Range: 9,260km - 120nm at 3kt submerged

Operating depth: 74m

Crew: 75 (plus up to 110 troops)


Building the model

This was a very straightforward building process with only small modifications, such as PE-set railing (2 bars) from GMM merchantís vessel, and some PE ladders etc. The antennas, flagstaff, mast and periscopes where made of silver and copper wire. My intentions were to show the model as from the famous picture of I-370 on a kaiten mission in 1945. The crew is from Eduard IJN 1/700 PE-set. The little extra flag is made of household tin foil. The painting was the most challenged work of the build, as the black colour has to have some pale gray to make the weathering realistic with some rust added too.


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)

The building time was 2 days. 

Jan. 2010

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



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