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Fine Molds 1/72 scale A-Target Type A “Pearl Harbour”
Japanese Midget Sub

by Bruce Salmon


Fine Molds A-Target Type A “Pearl Harbour” Kit No. FS 2

Hasegawa's 1/48 scale F1M2 is available online from Squadron.com



“Is that a rocket in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?” “Actually no it’s an A-Target Type A Japanese midget sub you sick puppy.”

Actually I was the one that was sick. I was suffering from a bout of modellers block after biting off a bit more than I could chew in super-detailing the new Wingnut Wings Bristol Fighter. I had just about had enough of aeroplanes that take me more than a year to build so I decided I needed something quick and easy to lighten the gloom clouds brewing over my modelling bench. 



The Fine Molds submarine fitted the bill perfectly and it also falls within my main modelling interest – the Pacific War.




No cockpits with this one – once you’ve glued the hull halves together and the conning tower on you’re mostly done! The instructions are in Japanese with a few English translations but essentially the drawings show you all you need to know. I did manage a bit of extra scratch building however, enough to tart up a few areas that just ‘had’ to be fixed - namely:

  • Thinning out the net cutters on the bow

  • Making a new thinner screw guard from scrap PE fret

  • Putting a cover over the vent on the back end of the hull

  • Adding other bracing from brass wire



For reference I used period photos of the actual Pearl Harbour sub (Ha-19) that I Googled from the internet. It was found beached on Oahu and later toured the U.S. featuring at war bond drives.
FYI - Don’t trust the instructions or the box art as there are many inaccuracies.

The only bad bit of the kit is the screws which are poorly moulded and needed loads of filler and sanding to create a reasonable facsimile.



Painting and Markings



The whole model was initially primed with Humbrol primer then painted with the “Hull” mix stated below. Once dry I post-shaded using the “Hull” colour successively lightened with white in vertical streaks and patches.



Paints used are as follows (all enamels):

10 – Tamiya XF-1 Flat Black / 2 – Tamiya XF-2 Flat White / 1 – Tamiya XF-9 Hull Red

Screws and torpedo heads:
10 – Tamiya XF-1 Flat Black / 1 – Tamiya XF-2 Flat White

The hardest thing about the painting process is that you have nothing to hold the model with so you have to paint it in sections letting it dry in between (this adds a few extra days to the build time).
Decals were from the kit and went on without trouble.



After a coat of satin varnish the model was given an overall wash with a 50/50 mix of lamp black and burnt sienna oil paint (Winsor & Newton Artisan water mixable oil paint mixed in Bars Bugs car window washer detergent).



Once dry I drybrushed on (vertical strokes) a mix of raw umber and burnt sienna gradually adding white until it was a light grey colour. Any over-staining is easily rubbed out with a finger tip. Another coat of matt-ish varnish was then sprayed to finish the job. Finally a very subtle silvering was applied to the screw tips and one or two other places with Humbrol metalliser steel.



I glued on the screws and then added the net-cutting forward and aft clearing wires (made from woven nylon cord and painted black).





This is a very easy kit to build and the fit is very good. Only the aforementioned screws sullied an otherwise pain-free build.


  • Fine Molds 1/72 scale Midget Submarine by Bruce Salmon: Image
  • Fine Molds 1/72 scale Midget Submarine by Bruce Salmon: Image
  • Fine Molds 1/72 scale Midget Submarine by Bruce Salmon: Image
  • Fine Molds 1/72 scale Midget Submarine by Bruce Salmon: Image
  • Fine Molds 1/72 scale Midget Submarine by Bruce Salmon: Image
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Model, Images and Text Copyright 2010 by Bruce Salmon
Page Created 26 January, 2010
Last Updated 26 January, 2010

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