Fairy Planning


Japanese Tank Chi-Nu Type 3

Kit #: 20 Preview by Henk Timmerman - contact(dot)henkofholland(at)gmail(dot)com
Edited by Al Magnus

Historical background:
Type 3 Chi-Nu was one of the many improvements of Type 97 Chi-Ha in a series of medium tanks began with Type 1 Chi-He. Type 3 Chi-Nu had the same hull and suspension as Type 97 Chi-Ha but a larger turret with a Type 3 75mm cannon, one of the heaviest guns ever built in a Japanese tank during the war. The Type 3 gun was based on a Japanese Type 90 cannon, which in itself was based on a French Canon de 75 M (montagne) modele 1919 Schneider cannon.

Type 3 Chi-Nu was quickly developed to deal with the American M4 Sherman tank which was superior to any tank from the Imperial Japanese Army. The original successor of Type 97 Chi-Ha was to be the Type 4 Chi-To, but the development of this tank was delayed and there was a a need for quick emergency solution. The development of Type 3 Chi-Nu began in May 1943 and was completed in October of the same year with development being only half a year. The tank was did not enter production until 1944 and by war's end only 166 units had been built.

Crew - 5
Length - 5.64m
Width - 2.41m
Height - 2.68m
Weight - 18.2 ton
Armor - varied from 8mm > 50mm
Main Armament - Type 3 75mm cannon
Secondary armament - 1 x 7.7mm Type 97 machine gun
Engine - 240hp (197KW) Mitubishi Model 100 V-12 diesel engine
Speed (on road) - 39km/hr
Operation range - 210km


The kit comes in a carton box measuring 21.5cm x 8.5cm x 3cm. Parts are separate packed in separate plastic bags and contains only 16 parts cast in light blue resin.

  • A 4-side drawing is all that is included as an instruction manual.
  • There is no painting guide.
  • There are no decals.
  • The few tools are molded directly on the fenders.
  • The hull is cast in one part and is hollow.
  • The hull is without a bottom and requires the builder to make one.
  • The topside and sidewalls are without air bubbles but have some flash.

  • The tracks are cast in 2 parts and are very simplified.
  • All of the parts have flash that will need to be carefully removed.

  • Hatches on the hull and turrets are separate pieces.
  • The casting is a little rough.

  • Conclusion:
    This model is best suited for collectors only, especially those with an interest in the "Japanese War Theatre". With so few parts, the model makes for a simple build out-of-the-box. To make the model more presentable will require a lot of work and some experience in modeling.

    [1] Wikipedia

    Review sample received from an independent third party donor.

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    Article Last Updated: 05 December 2012