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Takom Type 94 Late

FineScale Modeler reviews the 1/16 scale armor kit
Developed in 1934, the Type 94 tankette operated with the Japanese army in China and Manchuria in the 1930s as well as through World War II. 

Takom’s big kit crams a lot of detail into the tiny tank — even in 1/16 scale, the model is less than 6 inches long.

There are 427 plastic parts in the kit, but if you use the vinyl tracks rather than the optional crisply molded individual-link nonworking tracks, you’ll only use 227 parts. Features include posable hatches with detail on both sides, working suspension, and rolling wheels. 

The suspension and lower hull build quickly, aided by good fits. Paint the suspension parts before assembly, as some visible areas are impossible to paint once built.

To ensure the suspension and the rear idler sat on the ground with the vinyl tracks, I weighted the rear hull with eight 1-inch metal washers. I used the vinyl tracks, which responded well to Tamiya Extra Thin Cement.

The upper hull went together easily. The kit provides struts and actuators to pose the hatches open, but there is no interior. This kit would be perfect for a scratchbuilt or aftermarket interior because most of the hatches are large.

The turret was a straightforward build. The machine gun is movable, but because of the tight quarters, it needs to be angled to accommodate the beautifully sculpted figure; that molding includes realistic folds in the fabric and crisp edges on the helmet and belts.

This is a lovely kit with great exterior detail, and it goes together without problems. The optional tracks and relatively low parts count mean anyone can build it. Using the vinyl tracks to keep the suspension workable, I built and painted my model in about 15 hours over a weekend.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the September 2018 issue.


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