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Hasegawa 1/72 Shinmeiwa PS-1 Flying Boat Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review June 2012 Manufacturer Hasegawa
Subject Shinmeiwa PS-1 Flying Boat Scale 1/72
Kit Number 04008 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Easy build, unique subject Cons Old school tooling
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $34.99

First Look

The Shinmeiwa Industries PS-1 flying boat was an indigenous design to provide the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) with an anti-submarine warfare and air-sea rescue capability in the waters that surround the Japanese islands. Shinmeiwa Industries descended from the Kawanishi Aircraft Company who produced a wide range of flying boats and floatplanes during World War II. Development of the PS-1 started in 1960 as the UF-XS which was a large flying boat that featured a short take-off and landing (STOL) wing, a super-sized hull based upon the Grumman HU-16 Albatross, and powered by four turboprop engines plus a turbine engine in the fuselage who's thrust is vented over the top of the wings for boundary layer control for enhanced STOL performance.

The PS-1 entered production in 1969 with 21 aircraft built. 19 additional aircraft were procured without the anti-submarine warfare equipment installed to serve as US-1 air-sea rescue aircraft. The PS-1 remained in service as the JMSDF's ASW platform until 1989 when it was replaced by the P-3 Orion. The US-1 served into the 1990s and entered an upgrade program that included new engines and now operates as the US-2.

RF-4B Kit
RF-4B Kit
RF-4B Kit
RF-4B Kit

The Hasegawa PS-1 kit is one of earliest toolings from this company and was quite advanced for its day. Molded in light gray styrene, this kit is presented on three parts trees plus one small tree of clear parts (not shown). The surface detailing is raised which is natural for a kit of its age, yet the detailing is nicely done and the molds appear to be holding their age nicely - no signs of flash.

I really wanted to take a closer look at this kit since I've seen this model on shelves over the decades but never really looked inside the box. When Hasegawa reissued this kit not too long ago, it was time to dive inside.

Among the features/options in this kit:

  • Simple cockpit (can't see much through those tiny windows)
  • Optional crew figures
  • Choice of retractable landing gear (PS-1) or beaching gear (US-1)
  • Movable STOL flaps
  • External weapons pods with torpedoes
  • Simple construction

Markings are provided for three different examples:

  • PS-1, 5801/01, JMSDF
  • PS-1, 5802/02, JMSDF
  • PS-1, 5803/03, JMSDF

Some of you might remember when Lockheed tried to sell the idea of an amphibious C-130, but that idea never got past the drawing board. Shinmeiwa had already developed this capability and that robust design remains in operation today. This kit may be ancient by today's standards, but it was an advanced design in its day and it provides contemporary modelers with a very unique and colorful aircraft to add to the scale flightlines. You can be certain you won't see many of these on the average contest table! Unfortunately the kit is once again unavailable with retailers but if Hasegawa is true to their schedule, this kit will come back around again in the not too distant future. In the meantime you can find these for a wide range of prices on eBay.

My sincere thanks to HobbyLink Japanfor this review sample!