Fine Molds 1/72 Kyushu Q1W1 'Lorna'

KIT #: FP 27
PRICE: $2600 yen
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken


The Kyūshū Q1W Tokai (東海 "Eastern Sea"), was a land-based anti-submarine patrol bomber aircraft developed for the Imperial Japanese Navy in World War II. The Allied reporting name was Lorna. Although similar in appearance to the German Junkers Ju 88 medium bomber, the Q1W was a much smaller aircraft with significantly different design details. In a book I recently read on Japanese ASW and Patrol aircraft, it stated that the designer was heavily influenced by the Ju-88. This aircraft was rather well covered.

The Imperial Japanese Navy ordered development of the Kyūshū Q1W as the Navy Experimental 17-Shi Patrol Plane in September 1942, and the first test flight took place in September 1943. It entered service in January 1945. The Q1W carried two low-power engines, allowing for long periods of low-speed flight, and was the first purpose-designed anti-submarine warfare aircraft in the world.

The type was generally outfitted with either a sea search radar system or the KMX, which was a magnetic anomaly detector system. The last US submarine lost was to Q1W using these two systems.


This kit is from 2017 so it is a pretty recent tooling. FM kits have gotten better and better as the years have gone by. This one looks just as good as any Hasegawa kit in this scale and like those kits, offers a fair cockpit with decals for the instruments. Since this kit can be built as the radar equipped or KMX equipped plane, you need to make a choice right from the start as to which set of black boxes to install. This requires opening a couple of holes in the cockpit floor. The rest of the interior looks like it builds up rather quickly and while no seat harness is provided, Fine Molds does offer them in their Detail Up line.

Throughout the build you will be asked to open or make holes in the wings or fuselage depending on the variant you are building. Most of the time, these are flashed over, but in the case of the bombs and racks, you have to do some measuring. The positioning is provided so a bit of extra thought is required for these. Before trapping the cockpit in the fuselage halves, one has to decide if the rear gun will be posed ready to fire or stowed.

Main gear wells are separate and installed in the lower wings before joining them. the engines are simply a front face, which is fine for this scale. When attaching the canopy, there are upper hatches that can be posed open or closed. The rear of the canopy section is open for the gun. On the lower wing are separate flap hinges to be attached. Main gear is nicely done and looks like it can be installed after painting, which will help.

For things under wings you have a pair of fuel tanks and a pair of depth charges. The last steps will have you attaing the props and if chosen, all the various radar antennas.

Instructions are well written in Japanese with minimal information in English (mostly colors), using the usual Gunze paint references. The colors for both options are Nakajima green uppers and Mitsubishi grey on the underside with yellow wing leading edges. The box art plane is the one carrying the radar and was based in Shanghai in 1945 with the 901st Kokutai. The other is the KMX plane with the Saeki Kokutai. The first option is the more colorful of the two, but also the one with more stuff hanging on the airframe. Decals are nicely printed and include the yellow wing markings.


Thanks to Fine Molds for providing yet another interesting and little known Japanese aircraft that actually served in fair numbers, albeit late in the war. Here is hoping they pick similar subjects for future releases.


November 2018

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