Type 97 Shinhoto CHI-HA
Kit #FM21 - Kit #35137
Review by Terry Ashley
The Finemolds hull is a conventional tub with separate front and rear plates as well as separate upper sponson covers and includes panel and rivet detail on both sides and the bottom plate with all other details as separate parts for good definition. One issue with this and other parts is the rivet heads seem to be undersized when compared to photos and those on the Tamiya parts look better sized.
The Tamiya hull is again a conventional tub with separate front and rear plates but with the usual open sponsons as is Tamiya’s want and has no detail on the underside. The rivet heads are better sized when compared to photos than those on the Finemolds parts and give a better visual appearance.
Detail on the Finemolds front and rear plates also sees the rivets undersized and on the rear plate the lights are provided as clear parts and considering these will be painted anyway is of little consequence. The rivet detail around the idler wheel mountings are again undersized and the large screw head which is only on the right side mounting is missing altogether and the rivets on the undersides of the mountings are no existent due to the constraints of injection moulding.
On the Tamiya kit the detail on the front and rear plates sees the rivets again better sized with just the taillight as a separate part and the rivet detail around the idler wheel mountings nicely represented including the large screw head on the right side mounting missing from the Finemolds part and again the rivets on the undersides of the mountings are compromised due to the constraints of injection moulding.
The fit of both the front and rear plates is excellent without any trimming or filler needed.
The Finemolds final drive housings have excellent details on both sides but the rivets on the front edge are undersized and could do with replacing with more prominent rivets for a better look while the Tamiya final drive housings have quite basic details on both sides and again the rivets on the front edge are undersized and could do with replacing with more prominent rivets for a better look.
All the axles on the Finemolds kit are separate parts for good definition from the hull but there are a few sink marks in the centre of the axle mountings with those of the bogie mounting being hidden when the wheels are fitted but those on the first and last wheels are visible and you may want to fill these.
The Tamiya axles are moulded with the hull and while adequate lack any real definition compared to the separate Finemolds axles.
The Finemolds return roller mountings are again separate parts and have nice mounting detail included but strangely omit the two securing bolt heads top and bottom and these should be added for a better appearance.
The Tamiya return roller mountings are included with the hull tub and are lack any detail but do include the two securing bolt heads top and bottom missing from the Finemolds mountings.
Assembly of both suspensions is very straightforward but ensure you don’t mix up the smaller brackets (Finemolds parts B27, B28, Tamiya parts B10, B13) as they are very similar once removed from the sprue so attaching one at a time may avoid any mix-ups.
Click on each headings below for a detail look as those sections:
Lower Hull:(This page.)
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Page created December 26, 2006