The Imperial Japanese Navy’s I-400 class of submarines were the largest ones built during World War II, larger than most contemporary destroyers. They remained the
largest until the 1960s when nuclear-powered ballistic missile subs surpassed them. They were aircraft carrying subs with a massive hangar/sail capable of storing three
Aichi Seiran M6A1 floatplanes. The plan was to build 18 boats but only three were completed and but saw no action in the war After the Japanese surrender, the subs
were handed over to the American military. The subs were inspected and studied and later sunk to prevent them from being inspected by the Soviets who were
demanding access. Tamiya released a very nice 1:350 scale kit of these massive submarines with a small photo-etch part fret. Several years later, Infini Models released
a multimedia detail set for this model. The detail set is comprised of a photo-etch brass fret, a slew of turned brass parts and thin wooden decks. This set is a mix of
additional and replacement parts for the kit.

The photo-etch fret has railings, vertical ladders, parts for the aircraft handling crane, detail parts for the single and triple Type 96 25mm mounts, detail parts for the
Type 11 14cm deck gun, sections of perforated metal decking and details for the watertight hangar hatch. For the Aichi Seiran M6A1 aircraft, the photo-etch has the
propellers, cockpit framing and handling trolleys. Rounding out the photo-etch parts are various handwheels, antennas, aerials and other small detail parts. The photo-
etch frets have parts numbers etched into them for easier identification and cross-reference to the assembly guide. The brass has excellent relief-etching and appears to
be fine but still sturdy enough to handle.

A sheet with 11 sections of wooden decking is included. The largest section is for the deck running from the massive hangar/sail to the stern. Two sections with cut
outs for the airplane rails are to be fitted forward, with two smaller square strips for the ramps meeting the main deck section. The deck atop the hangar has a section
and the sail has two smaller pieces. Even the large airplane trolley has three small sections of wood decking. The decking is thin and looks good and has self-adhesive
There are a large number of turned brass parts with this set ranging from fairly large to downright tiny. The larger parts include the main mast and aircraft crane
pedestal which are nicely tapered. The bottom of the main mast has a peg that fits into the turned brass spindle base, which allows you to raise and lower the mast if
you so wish. The top of the main mast has an opening to accommodate a tiny photo-etch eyehole. The aircraft crane pedestal also has a brass spindle base and an
opening about half up insert a small brass pin to attach the photo-etch crane to the pedestal. Another brass pin fits into the other end of the photo-etch crane holding
together the photo-etch hook and pulley. Like I said, some of the turned brass parts are downright tiny. The Type 11 14cm deck gun has a turned brass barrel, pedestal
and shaft for the hand wheel. Other turned brass parts include the 25mm barrels for the single and triple mounts, bases for the 25mm triple mounts, propeller spinners
for the airplanes, ensign staff, capstans and hatch covers. The latter has tiny pins on top to which photo-etch hand wheels are attached. The turned brass parts are very
well done with great detail where needed.

The assembly guide is comprised of a foldout double-sided sheet of paper making a four-page guide, with full color photos showing the assembly and placement of all
the parts provided with this detail set. One illustration covers the placement of the wood decking and the main deck photo-etch railings and perforated deck sections.
The photos include images of the actual kit with the various parts fitted in place, which is very helpful. The use of some of the detail set parts require removing some
molded-in details, cutting and altering other parts and drilling some holes in places. For a relatively small model, this is quite a complex and complete detail set and as
well done as the instructions are I strongly suggest studying them carefully.
The Tamiya Models I-400 kit builds into a very good model out of the box. The kit has a small photo-etch fret with a limited amount of parts that does help but doesn’t
go far enough in my opinion. If you want to take your model farther, then Infini Model has exactly what you need with their dedicated detail set. I would recommend it
for experience modelers and not for someone new to working with photo-etch. My thanks to Infini Models for the review sample.
Felix Bustelo
New York