Pavla 1/72 Q1W1 'Lorna'
KIT #: ?
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Carmel J. Attard
NOTES: Short run with etched and vacuformed parts


Following the initial successes by the Japanese Navy and its air power during the last war, the Allies in the South West Asia and the Pacific area possessed only the United States aircraft carriers, along with some small naval units and submarines. The submarines in particular caused serious losses to the Japanese invasion fleet and to the transport shipping carrying raw materials from conquered areas. To eliminate the treat of Submarines the Japanese in 1942 used a 17-Shi specification to develop a three seat all metal monoplane designated Q1W1. This was assigned to KK Watanabe Tekkosho (later Kyushu Hikoki KK).

The aircraft was to be powered by two low consumption GK2C Amakaze engines, which gave maximum endurance at the cost of low cruising speed. For this mission radar and also a magnetic anomaly detector were essential and an armament consisted of up to 500Kg of depth charges and a 7.7mm machine gun plus provision for a 20mm cannon in the nose. Initial tests conducted during autumn 1943 proved satisfactory, with the plane given combat name Tokai (Eastern Sea). Series delivery started in late 1944 and production aircraft went to combat units in Japan, China and Formosa. The Q1W2 variant had a wooden rear fuselage; the Q1W1-K was an all-wood 4-seat variant for radar operators training. To the allies the aircraft was known as Lorna.


Moulded in medium grey styrene the kit consists of 35 injected parts; some 50 brass etch detail parts, and two vacform canopies. A comprehensive instruction booklet is easy to follow stage by stage. Complete sets of decals are issued for two aircraft. A Q1W1 of 901.,Kokutai, Jokosuka, that had green upper surfaces and silver lower, or a Q1W1 finished in overall light grey and which was based in Formosa in 1945.


Apparently this is one of the early releases of Pavla models with lots of heavy runners and fining at edges of parts requiring cleaning up before set to start assembling the kit. This is done with a sharp Exacto razor saw and a sharp blade and a flat file for cleaning the parts.

There are no dowel pins to assist in aligning parts together and unless short tabs are added to assist mating parts together one needs care when fixing the kit fuselage parts and wing parts. The Radial engine part item 21 has to be inserted in the cowling but to do so needs to remove a 1mm all round in order to fit. A star shaped detail goes in front which is therefore inserted first to the front of the radial engine item. Reference material indicated that the two air intakes scopes under the cowling are fixed off centre to each side., A complete cockpit to house 3 or 4 seats is decorated with brass etch metal items consisting of instruments to side consoles, foot pedals, control stick, and instruments panel. Other brass etch detail are also given for the undercarriage and wing flaps actuators. I added a hydraulic oil pipe to front of main wheel legs. Six exhaust pipes made from stretch sprue drawn to 2mm diameter and cut to lengths of 2mm are fitted around the rear of engine cowling. Their position is indicated on the colour side view on the box cover. Two small intake fairings are added to port side forward fuselage area beneath the cabin. Filler was needed to wing root joints. Radar array antennae were fixed to rear fuselage and to starboard wig tip as the final stage of assembly.


I painted the interior cockpit green and all instruments in black. Seats were brown with medium blue cushions while seat straps were light tan. For the upper camouflage I used Compucolor CA3, which matched the Japanese dark green. Under surfaces being a mix of commercial grade silver, few drops of Model Master clear varnish and one or two drops of white. The kit was given an overall coat of Johnsons Klear and the decals fixed in place. Propeller blades and front cover were brown and yellow decal strips attached to the blades. Kit was finally given an overall coat of semi gloss finish.


 Being a short run kit, the Lorna required a little more effort to assemble and one should not go about assembling it overnight. More care and time gives better results and this model should appeal to anyone who wants to expand the IJN Pacific air fleet.

 Carmel J. Attard

May 2010 

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

Back to the Main Page

Back to the Review Index Page