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In-Box Review
135
Type 95 Light Tank Ha Go
1.35 IJA Type 95 Light Tank
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by: Jacob Hederstierna-Johnse [ HEDERSTIERNA ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

The Type 95 light tank was produced from 1936 to 1943. Around 2300 units were produced, and it saw action in all of the Japanese theatres of war. The Type 95 was intended as an infantry support tank and armed with a 37 mm. main gun and two 7.7 mm. machine guns. Against lightly and poorly armed enemies, it was quite successful, but when encountered by the Soviet BT 5 and BT 7 light tank, which were armed with a 47 mm. gun, it proved too lightly armed and armored.

Kit contents

The kit comes in the standard Dragon Models sized box, with some nice and dramatic box art. The artist is unknown. On the sides and on the bottom of the box, the kits special features are shown. The kit contains over 270 parts, and the sprues are sealed in clear plastic bags.
  • 10 sprues molded in light grey styrene
  • 1 sprue in clear styrene
  • 1 slide molded hull tub
  • 1 slide molded upper hull part
  • 1 slide molded turret
  • 1 fret of PE
  • 1 small decal sheet
  • 1 set of DS tracks
  • 1 instruction booklet (black/white)

Review

Dragon Models starts up with construction of the road wheels and drive sprockets. The road wheels are fitted in pairs, and Dragon Models give us two options; one with a smaller road wheel in between the other two, and one without the extra road wheel. This small road wheel was supposable added to improve the vehicles cross country performance. Then the frontal machine gun is to be assembled. Again we are treated with two options of different types of machine guns, a nice touch. These can be made movable.

Next step is adding smaller parts, such as tow ropes, license plate, and shackles to the rear hull plate. The license plate comes in both styrene and PE. The idler wheel is also assembled and fitted to the hull tub. Thereafter is the suspension system, final drive houses and frontal armor plate glued in place. Step 4 adds the road wheels, the return rollers and drive sprockets.

Now begin the construction of the upper hull. All the three hatches to the engine compartment can be glued open or closed, but if done open you are left with empty holes, because Dragon Models have not included any interior in this kit. Then the frontal machine gun and the rear hull plate are assembled.

Next step is the assembly of the front fenders and the frontal upper hull plate. The fenders have got some nice PE details on the inside, and Dragon Models once again give you an option on opening or closing the transmission inspection hatches on the frontal upper hull plate. But again, no interior to show through the hatches. In step 8 the upper and lower hull parts are fitted together, and the drivers hatch is assembled and set in place.

And now, as Dragon Models like to do, they leave the construction of the hull, and goes for the turret. Itís a tiny turret, but there are plenty of crisp details, at least on the outside. First step is the commanderís hatch, which can be chosen to be open or closed. It has some great details molded on both sides, but you might remove the grab handles on the inside, and use some copper wire or such, because the ones molded on the hatch, is kind of lumpy looking.

Then the main gun is assembled, and fitted in the turret, together with the commanderís cupola. What appear to be smoke candles can be chosen for the left front turret side. The turret machine gun, which is not a coax, but located in the five oíclock position in the turret, has the same optional two machine guns, as the frontal MG in the hull. Apart from the gun breech and machine gun, the only interior provided in the turret, is a small hand wheel for the traverse of the turret.

Then back to the hull. A hatch on the engine compartment, probably the air intake, is fitted with PE mesh, and can be open or closed. There are two kinds of exhausts to choose from, both covered with protective mesh wire from PE.

Pioneer tools, a jack and a stowage box are located on the left rear fender, and the fitting of the tracks completes the model. The tracks are DS Tracks, personally Iíd rather use individual tracks for this kind of vehicle, because the tracks needs to have a bit of a sagging, which is nearly impossible to achieve with the DS ones. Why oh why does Dragon Model keep bringing us these darn DS tracks, when they easily could provide us with their great MagicTracks. (Or Both types;))

Painting and marking

Dragon Models provide two options on this vehicle, both finished in a four color camouflage paint scheme:
4th Tank Rgt., 2nd Company Command Tank, Khalkin-Gol, July 1939
Koushurei Tank School, North China 1941

Conclusion

Dragon Models has done an excellent job on this small AFV. Itís loaded with crisp details and there are several different options to the build. I must say, that I think Dragon Models should have added some more interior to this. An engine drop in would have been nice, since a lot of big hatches can be open. Some MagicTracks would have been nice, too. But all in all a very nice kit, which is a pretty straight forward build.
SUMMARY
Highs: Lots of crisp details and several options to choose from.
Lows: No interier and DS Tracks.
Verdict: A great kit of a small, but cool looking vehicle. A pretty straight forward build.
Percentage Rating
88%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 6777
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Dec 16, 2013
  NATIONALITY: Japan / 日本
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 88.11%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 86.19%

Our Thanks to Dragon USA!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.
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About Jacob Hederstierna-Johnse (Hederstierna)
FROM: NORDJYLLAND, DENMARK

Copyright ©2017 text by Jacob Hederstierna-Johnse [ HEDERSTIERNA ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of TankRat's. All rights reserved.


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Comments

So could you say this was the Japanese version of shock ans awe ?
DEC 17, 2013 - 07:27 PM
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