Kawanishi 1/144 H6K Mavis






6 options


Keith Walker


49 gray, 19 clear parts


The Type 97, 'Mavis' long range patrol flying boat was the predecessor of the Type 2, 'Emily'.  While the Emily was regarded by many to be the best flying boat of WW2, the Mavis, to my eye, is the more graceful craft.

Like the Consolidated Catalina, the Mavis epitomized the flying boat genre with it's sleek thin boat hull, separate strut supported high aspect ratio wing, with engines built in to the leading edge.



I have a problem.  I love flying boat kits, but live in a tiny studio apartment.  A visit to the hobby shop revealed that Trumpeter's new Mavis flying boat in 1/144 scale has been released!  A happy compromise for the spatially challenged.

I suspect that modelers in Japan have a similar lament, as this kit is a collaboration with the Japanese company Monochrome.

Monochrome/Trumpeter's previous kit was the 1/72 North American F-107.  Like the F-107, the Mavis kit is characterized by fine recessed panel lines, smooth surface features and minimal interior detailing.

Whereas the lack of interior detailing is a detriment to the 1/72 F-107 with it's large canopy, it is not a problem with the 1/144 Mavis.  The interior consists of the pilot's deck with molded in seats, control column, and bulkheads.  This is adequate for 1/144 scale.

The parts are well molded, with no warping of the wings or fuselage halves apparent.  Wing trailing edges are thin.

The clear parts are well finished.  The areas on the canopies intended to be painted are glazed, and the windows are slightly recessed to facilitate painting.

The propellers are particularly well done for this scale, with an accurate looking twist and camber.  They are more petite than the propeller on the Sweet 1/144 Aermachhi MC.200.  There is minimal flash on the propeller hubs.

The cowlings have no engine detail.  This is OK as I have yet to see a 1/144 injection kit with believable engine detail.

The side observation blisters have to be cut and hollowed out from the fuselage interior.  Provision for civilian model as evidenced by the porthole type window recesses on the interior of the fuselage.

I have two minor complaints about the kit.  First is that the box art is literally copied from the Monochrome box art.  The colors are washed out and muddied, and the artist's signature is illegible. I suspect this is not a problem for most.  Still one of the joys of getting a new kit is admiring the box art that comes with the kit.

To add salt to the wound, there is a typographical error on the box top, i.e. 'Maritimce'.  How Trumpeter misspelled 'maritime' and spelled 'reconnaissance' correctly is a wonder!

The second complaint, parts for the civilian liner version are physically removed from the gray and clear sprues.  I suspect that Monochrome will have exclusive rights to release the civilian version of the kit.

Painting and Markings are included for three Green/Gray and three overall gray craft.  There is no biographical data pertaining to the craft.  Included are civilian code letters for at least one aircraft, which are not shown in the decal placement guide.

A competent kit, with some rough edges in the packaging and presentation; is better than an incompetent kit with good packaging and presentation!



Like Japan's current flying boat, the Shin Meiwa US-1/PS-1, references on the Type 97 Mavis are hard to come by.  I do not know of any monographs on the type 97.  I only have photos in an old Koku Fan monograph on the Type 2 Emily to go by.  The kit's lines look accurate and I will have to wait until I build to kit to pass judgment on it's dimensional accuracy. (Your editor would like to recommend Model Art #541 on Japanese Flying Boats as an excellent one-source reference, though the majority of it is on the Emily. Finding it may be difficult, but if you can, and don't mind Japanese-only text, then grab it).

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