The first Modern armour releases from Trumpeter, Although not my main interest, they were somewhat out of the ordinary to warrant buying and I must admit that I am somewhat impressed with the kits.
The hull is moulded in two halves, upper and lower, with the lower being a single piece with all the suspension arms in place. The moulding is nice ans sharp, the drivers hatch is open. Some of location points for part seem a bit oversized, do not be put off by this, as already having built the Type 90, I found this to be a bonus, in that the parts could be fitted and then glued from the inside, certainly a good thing for those of us that are not so nimbled fingered.
Sprue A contains the wheels and other small parts, there are two of these, for those of you wondering where all the wheels were. The wheels are nicely detailed showing the corrct bolt arrangement and profile.
Sprues B and C contain the parts for the turret and small hull parts, a nice touch is that as in the Type 90, the Type 74, can be built ready for wading, with the exhaust extensions and commanders cupola tower being provided in the kit.
Sprue D is a small sprue that contains the parts for the smoke dischargers and the IR search light
Trumpeter also include a small length of string for the tow rope and a small piece of acetate for the search light lens. I am not sure about the string, or how well it really works.
In a change from the Ferdinand and Elefant releases, trumpeter have opted for vinyl tracks albeit highly detailed, maybe this is to do with the co-operation between Trumpeter and Pit-Road with these kits?. However having said that, the vinyl provided in the kit is harder and holds it shape well compared to other vinyl tracks that I have seen. The other good things about the tracks are that they are the correct size and as such dont pull on the idlers and sprockets pulling them out of shape like most other Vinyl tracks do. It remains to be seen how well they paint??. There is of course one other drawback to these tracks, due to the very thin plastic of the hull and turret components, the model is very light and will rise up off the tracks unless glued down or even weighted down.
Trumpeter provide markings for 3 vehicles, although the instructions only show placement for 1 set.
Trumpeter also provide a generic set of crew figures, although only a commander and loader are provided, it is at least a step in the right direction for Manufacturers, as most people would like crew with their kits. the figures are well sculpted and detailed, although not as good as Resin figures they are very acceptable.
On the whole I like these kits, the kit scales out at 1/72nd scale according to the references that I have. I am looking forward to more modern releases from Trumpeter, if these kits are anything to go by. they will be welcome by most modern fans, although I think that some wont like the vinyl tracks and would prefer link and length instead.
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