Tamiya 1/48 scale
Aichi M6A1 Seiran
by Roland Sachsenhofer
Aichi M6A1 Seiran
Tamiya's 1/48 scale Aichi M6A1 Seiran is available online from Squadron
Airplanes being operated from giant submarine-carriers are rather uncommon in the history of aviation. Japan is the only nation to develop and use this concept; to illustrate this: the sole bombs that exploded on Us-mainland in World War II did fell from a Kugisho E14Y “Glen” airplane operated from the submarine carrier I-25.
The M6A was designed to fit in the hangar of the I-400 class submarine carriers from the outset. Wings and tailplane could be folded, the floats had to stored separate.
Flown in late 1943 for the first time, the M6A1 Seiran was ready for production in Mai 1944. 28 Seirans have been produced; one of them, called “Nanzan”, was fitted with an undercarriage for training duties.
The original plan saw the Panama Canel being attacked by a large fleet of I-400 class submarines and their Seirans, but as the demands of war changed, the US-carrier staging at the Ulithi atoll was chosen as a more promising and important target. On 23 July 1945 the two submarine carriers I-400 and I-401 set out for Ulithi for their first and last combat mission. On 15th August a radio message was monitored that informed the submarine flotilla about armistice. Both submarines surrendered to US-forces soon after.
Tamiya's kit was a pleasure to build, anyway some enhancements have been made: I used a Eduard detail set for the cockpit and deep-drawn parts for the sliding sections of the cockpit. For this I had to open the solid one piece canopy of the kit. In addition the plastic Pitot tube was exchanged for a needle.
The kit decals did work well and have been used for the few markings.
Tamiyas Aichi M6A1 is a good suggestion for all those who would like to do a rather uncommon aviation subject without all the troubles of a short run kit.
If you are interested in the building process, please have a look on the workbench at the JAM Forum.
As ever, remarks will be appreciated: firstname.lastname@example.org
Model, Images and Text Copyright ©
2013 by Roland Sachsenhofer
Page Created 11 November, 2013
12 November, 2013
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