Type 89 (2594) Chi-Ro
Kit No. 72088 Preview by Doug Chaltry

ARMO has obviously been taking advantage of the new AJ Press books on Japanese Tanks of WW II, and have recently released a series of Type 89 medium tanks, as well as several versions of the Sumida armored car. I certainly hope that they plan to continue this trend with more releases of Japanese tanks, because this scale is seriously lacking in that regard.

The hull and turret parts are molded solid with closed hatches. The detail on the parts is fully up to ARMO's current standard. The kit is actually quite simple, with the majority of the parts composing the chassis. There are a bunch of wheel and track pieces, all very well made. In fact, these are some of the best tracks that I have seen come from ARMO.

The Chi-Ro underwent several design changes throughout its service life, including major changes to the turret shape, front hull shape, and suspension design. It seems that ARMO is providing us with several kits that reflect the many different versions of this tank, but curiously enough, I think that this present kit actually is an anomaly. Overall, it is a late version of the tank, with the late turret, and late hull design (with the driver on the right, and machinegunner on the left). Yet the suspension is the early style. I've gone through the AJ Press book several times, and have found no photo or reference in the text to this particular combination of parts. There is a single drawing at the top of page 21 which I believe shows this tank, but there is no caption to it that would explain the unusual combination of late hull and early suspension. If anybody can shed some light on my confusion, I would be most appreciative. The following kit in the series (#72089) is the late model with the revised suspension.

This is a gorgeous model, and it bodes well of things to come from ARMO if they continue with the Japanese tank releases.

Thank you very much to Rafal Niedzielski for donating the review kit.

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Article Last Updated: 3 November 2003