The third release from Trumpeter of a modern Japanese and of course the latest JGSDF MBT. I only say that this is the third when actually they were all released together. Of course these kits were made in conjunction with Pit-Road, but judging by the latest releases from Trumpeter such as the S-Tank which has the same parts breakdown and general layout as these kits, it seems that Trumpeter made and own the moulds.
The Hull is broken down in the same way as the other kits, an upper and a lower portion, the lower hull is nicely detailed, with the return rollers in place, the suspension arms are separate giving the opportunity of showing movement in the road wheels. The upper hull is nicely moulded with fine details, the drivers hatch is open and even the anti-slip portions being represented.
As in the other kits Sprue A of which there are two, contains the road wheels and sprockets, along with the suspension arms and a lot of the other smaller parts. Everything is finely moulded and very nicely detailed.
Sprue B contains the lower portion of the turret and all the other parts of the turret. The turret roof comes as a separate part. Also included is a tower to fit on the commanders cupola, used for deep wading, which is an interesting option.
Sprue C contains the rearplate, drivers hatch and seperate tools plus the sight housing for the turret.
Sprue D are the tracks, moulded in the same vinyl as the rest of the kits, also included is a small vinyl part that fits over the gun mantlet. The tracks are very nicely detail, both inside and out, they are also the correct length so that they are not pulling on the sprockets and idlers like a lot of vinyl tracks, these tracks are also a lot stiffer than the normal vinyl so that they don't distort around the sprockets.
There are decals for more than one version, unfortunately the instructions only show placement for one set.
not shown in this review, is the basket for the rear of the turret, moulded as a single piece it is very nice. If anyone has a picture of it not fitted, could they please send it in, to show.
A generic set of figures are included, unfortunately although all three hatches are open, only two figures are included, commander and Loader. Nicely detailed and in proportion, they are some of the best hard plastic figures I have seen, a far cry from the figures included in the Hasegawa and some Italeri kits.
Overall a very nice kit of this vehicle, it scales out to exactly 1/72nd according to the references I have. Although it is an unusual subject, with the releases of other unusual subjects from trumpeter I am crossing my fingers and everything else in the hope that they might release a Centurion, maybe as with the S-Tank I should try and scratch build one!.
Jane's Armour and Artillery 1990-91 11th Edition by Christopher F Foss
Jane's Tanks and Combat Vehicles Recognition guide Second Edition by Christopher F Foss
My apologies to hannants for having to borrow their boxtop pictures, I unfortunately threw mine away before loosing the pictures!!