Fujimi 1/72 Aichi E11A1

KIT #: 722689
PRICE: 1440 yen (about $12) from www.hlj.com
DECALS: Four options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken


The Aichi E11A ("Kyu-hachi Yatei") was an Imperial Japanese Navy flying boat used during the first year of World War II for maritime patrol duties. The Allied reporting name for the type was "Laura"; the Japanese Navy designation was "Type 98 Reconnaissance Seaplane". The Type 98 was quite similar to the earlier E10A Type 96, whose allied name was "Hank". "Lauras" were rare - only 17 were built. It was designed to be launched from cruisers or battleships in order to spot their shellfire at night. The Type 98s were soon diverted to communications and transport duties.


Since most of these planes were painted in black, the kit is molded in black plastic. The interior is in three major compartments for the nose gunner, the pilot and the navigator. Detail is minimal consisting of seats and a control stick. There are transparencies that fit into the nose section from the inside and a radio set is included for the navigator. There is no indication of weight, but I'd add some to keep the model from sitting back. Both wings have upper and lower sections with the lower section including part of the fuselage. A single piece tailplane slots into the fin.

The aircraft has a four bladed prop consisting of a pair of two blade props stacked on each other. A very nice touch is an assembly cradle for getting the top wing in place. There are a lot of struts involved and attaching the upper wing would be a real challenge without it. The kit also includes a beaching dolly.

Markings are for four planes. Three of them are in overall black and differ in tail codes. The fourth is green over grey and includes the 'bandage' on the fuselage hinomaru. Decals are nicely printed though to me the red is too bright. A second set of all white decals is included so you can stack the markings and ensure maximum opacity. The yellow leading edge markings are supplied as decals for the option that needs it, though painting these would probably work better.  


Thanks to Fujimi for producing this one. This is not a new kit, but it is the only one around of which I am aware of this interesting little flying boat.



July 2015 

Thanks to www.hlj.com for the preview kit. You can get yours at this link.

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