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Tamiya Type 16 maneuver combat vehicle

FineScale Modeler reviews the 1/35 scale armor kit with working steering
RELATED TOPICS: ARMOR
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Tamiya has a history of producing vehicles from the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force (JGSDF) and follows up its Type 10 Main Battle Tank with the release of this Type 16 maneuver combat vehicle. The Type 16 MCV was designed to have the firepower of a tank, yet be able to be airlifted. 

Tamiya’s Type 16 features 255 parts molded in olive green plastic with vision blocks and lights molded in clear styrene. Eight vinyl tires and 28 polycaps also are included. Detail is crisp with a subtle anti-slip texture molded on the hull and turret. The vinyl tires have good tread and fine sidewall detail with no flash. 

Unlike most tanks, assembly on this one started by painting the back side of the lights. This must be done first because the lights are installed in the front and rear hull panels from the inside.

Hull assembly starts with fitting spacers to the upper hull, then attaching the lower hull. Make sure the spacers are positioned properly to prevent alignment issues later.
 
Front, rear, and side panels complete the hull. I left off all of the crew steps (parts A24, C48, and C49) until the hull was assembled to prevent them from being broken. The vehicle’s four front wheels have linked working steering using polycaps.

I painted the suspension subassemblies and the lower hull separately with black green. This ensures all of the undercuts are painted and gave the model a shadow coat. Assembly of the rest of the hull was straightforward. 

Add the vision blocks to the turret before assembly. The join between the upper and lower turret halves around the main gun needed filling, although the mantlet hides much of the seam. A one-piece gun barrel is supplied to which the muzzle, fume extractor, and dust cover are added. 

The unique muzzle brake features lines of holes corkscrewing around the barrel. They can be represented with a decal. Or, using Tamiya’s self-adhesive mask printed with the holes, you can drill the holes with a .5mm bit. Opting for the latter, I had the bit move a little on the curved surface so not all of the holes are properly aligned. Still, I think this looks better than the decal. Several aftermarket companies already offer replacement muzzle brakes for the gun. 

The bustle basket features ejector-pin marks, but cleaning them up seemed to do more damage to the parts so I left most in place. The join between the basket’s lower and rear panels was not great, but the only option would be replacing it with brass wire. 

Two partial figures are supplied to fit the turret’s hatches. Their details are good with particularly striking faces. 

Painting choices are limited because the camo pattern is the same on all Type 16s.Tamiya provides masks for head and taillights as well as vision blocks to simplify painting. I used a punch-and-die set to make circle masks for the side marker lights.

The decals didn’t want to stick, moving with even the slightest jostling. Once I had them positioned, I added Tamiya Mark Fit decal solution and left them alone. They settled with no problems. Decal 20 is a mesh that fits atop Part C49. Make sure to trim the excess film from the decal’s sides for fit. 

This model was a joy to build. With its modest parts count and well-engineered assembly, the Type 16 is a great change of pace model after doing several complex builds. It took 33 hours to complete, but much of that was spent masking the camouflage and weathering. 

The only changes I would make are replacing some of the solid-molded grab handles and tiedowns, and enhancing the simplified .50-caliber machine gun.


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

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