I have the folding landing craft info from this book: Gakken vol. 17, a book primarily about the I-400 class submarine. but also of a lot more.
The book is however in japanese, and when i use translateprogrammes it often gets a little "funny" so some things gets lost in translation
but it says that the boats were collapsible and could be stoved under deck.
And the boats were special types built for these subs. - You are quite right the ones in the Aoshima kits looks like a Moku Daihatsu landing craft, but they are not, - Moku does in fact mean wodden, and the landing craft were supposed to withstand the preasure on the divingdepth of 60m. which a wodden construction wont be able to.
Even though it looks like Aoshima has made its homework regarding the part C24 to be a kind of deck on top of a exterior cargo space, i am not sure this was the case, i think this area had something to do with the landing crafts, and that the external cargo was placed elsewhere between deck and preasurehull, hence the many small cranes that can be erected a lot of places on deck.
By the way i have the answer to the stange bowform right in front of my nose, but i can not read it.
- In Gakken vol. 17, there is a very thorough scematic drawing that has been downscaled from somewhere, there are some japanese signs saying what the strange object is, but they have been downscaled so much, that it is unreadable, maybe if you could read japanese you might be able to recognize/guess what it says.
So anyone with japanese reading skills and a Gakken vol.17, here is your chance to be Sherlock Holmes.
The kit instructions show the single landing craft provided to be mounted on the deck. I am then curious what is leading you to believe there were any folding landing craft? All the info I have found says one, or two, landing craft were carried on the deck, as unlikely as that might seem.
The kit's instructions are contained here:
They show that--if you want to add the landing craft-- you put part C24 over the exterior cargo space, and mount the craft to it. C24 is not a folded up landing craft. It is a mounting plate for the landing craft.
This link has general info on the subs, and shows a drawing of them with two landing craft mounted (and aft guns removed) :
ou are quite right the ones in the Aoshima kits http://www.navypedia.org/ships/japan/jap_ss_d1.htm
The specific type of landing craft supplied in the kit looks like a Moku Daihatsu landing craft. Some details on that here:
General info on the different types of Japanese landing craft here:
Note that the Moku Daihatsu was a 15 meter craft, while the specs call for 14 meter Daihatsu (the standard steel type.) However, that is not what the kit supplied item looks like. To me, it looks like a Moku Daihatsu. FWIW
(Can tell you nothing of the round object at the bow. Has been asked here before with no answer provided.)