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WWII Japanese sub colors/Aurora I-19 scale

Static Submarine modelers unite!

Postby 70-1048098440 » Wed Mar 19, 2003 2:37 pm

Does anyone know some color schemes for WWII Japanese submarines? I thought they were black, but have a picture in at least one book of one in gray with horizontal surfaces in black.

Also, does anyone know the scale of the Aurora/Monogram I-19 submarine kit that was out during the 1970s? Thanks so very much for any help on either question!

Fred Tannenbaum
Charlotte, NC

Postby Jim Kerswell » Thu Mar 20, 2003 12:01 pm

There seems to be a bit of interest in the I-19 or the Type
B1 Japanese submarines, lately. As I mentioned in a reply on the General Board, there exists a softcover book on the I-Goh submarines (I-400, I-14), Gakken No. 17. This book also shows a very nicely made up model of the I-19 in 1/200 scale. This may be the Nichimo model of a few years back. This model is painted in a medium gray above the waterline, except for the wooden decking, which is shown as light wood. I would describe the color below the waterline as a brownish-red. I don't know whether to accept the above waterline colors. Twenty years or so ago I built one of the Aurora/Monogram I-19 models and concluded, from the available black-and-white photos, that the above waterline surfaces were black. It is unlikely that the wooden decks of operational submarines would be light colored. If the material was teak, it would probably darken, over time, on exposure to sea water. The black-and-white photos in the Gakken book of other submarine decks show a dark coloration.

I measured the length of that old model. It was 15 and 18/32nd inches (39.53 cm, if I've done my conversions correctly). Using the length datum from, of 356.5 feet, this works out to a 1/275 scale.
Jim Kerswell
SubCommittee Member
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Feb 21, 2003 3:10 pm

Postby 70-1046124970 » Thu Mar 20, 2003 2:17 pm

Japanese ships of WWII came out of four main shipyards. There colors, topside, depended upon what shipyard they were assembled in. The yards in question were Kure, Maizuru, Kobe, and Yokosuka. Model Expo in Florida has a color guide of Japanes ships during that period. They also sell a line of acrylic paints which match the color chips for each of the yards.
I-19 was built by Mitsubshi at Kobe and therefore that color grey would have been used for that boat. The few colored pictures I have of Japanese subs will show a rust color below the water line. I would assume that could be some form of anti-fouling red. I won't swear to it. Hope this helps.

Postby 70-1048098440 » Fri Mar 21, 2003 10:25 am

Many thanks to you all. You have done your homework and I appreciate it. I think one of the boats that made it to France may have been painted gray, but that's about it.

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