IJN Submarine I-26 
by Fred Branyan 

1/350 IJN Submarine I-26 (AFV Club)

This is the AFV I 19 kit built as the I 26, which sank the Juneau. After completing the model of that ship I needed a break from complex camo and a complex ship. This model was well designed and went together well. As always with anything IJN my thanks to Dan Kaplan for sharing both historical info on these subs and a method for duplicating the wood decks on their ships.

The TROM indicates I 26 spent a fair amount of time in Yokosuka. Tamiya does not make that color but Dan let me know their Dark Grey X 24 is a very close match. I used that and their Deck Tan Wooden XF 78 for the deck. The lower hull is XF 9 Hull Red.  As a slight modification to the procedure Dan shared with me for the deck I used a mix of Tamiya XF 9 Hull Red and XF 68 Nato Brown in a 90/10 mix respectively to simulate burnt umber color. I then put some of that mix into an approximately 90/10 thinner/paint mix. I then brushed that onto the deck to try to simulate wear patterns I have seen on Iowa class battleships. I then brushed on a very light wash of water and flat black to simulate dirt and wear.

Since this boat had some wear and tear on it by 11/13/1943 I also weathered it with pastels, my first attempt ever for that procedure.  The exhaust stains are per photos I found on line of actual I 19 class boats. The rust patterns are from late war color photos of U boats. I used the water/flat black wash on the lower hull plates. I tried to put green slime below the water line but that chalk did not show after a coat of clear flat for reasons unknown. Perhaps due to multiple coats of clear flat after each pastel color was applied the lower hull developed a slight orange peel effect. Rather than probably destroy the model trying to solve that issue I left it on as marine growth crud. Grounding damage to the bow and lower 4 tubes I tried to simulate with aluminum paint but that does not show well in the photos.

For the history students I found photos of I 19 class subs with and without railings the full length of the deck. Most of the war time photos showed them only by the conning tower, so I went with that configuration.  I suspect the wood deck was a dark color possibly black by 11/13/1942. Absent photo or documentary proof of that guess I decided to go with the natural wood color and the white stripes on the deck to add interest to the model. I also decided to portray all cranes stowed as they would have been at battle stations.

Closeups of the port stern to show rust stains and the conning tower to show application of PE are included. Kit was built OOB except for Albion .004/.1mm nickel silver rod for thin rigging and a FineMolds twin 25. Radio antennas to the stern are brass rod.

This model placed 3rd at Mosquitocon in Wayne NJ on 4/1/17 for category 24, submarines.

Fred Branyan

Gallery updated 5/5/2017

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