Build Review
Kit No.00307 Chinese 122mm Type89 multi-barrel rocket launcher

by Terry Ashley


Following on from the First Look Review is this full construction review to give a better idea of the kit.
Please note:The construction is straight out of the box as the kit was built as a display model for use by the Australian Trumpeter Distributors at a trade show and as time was short the kit only has very basic weathering and some detail painting missing.

The first 20 steps in the instructions are the same for all three kits (apart from step 16 which includes the different return rollers for the 152mm howitzer kit) so these notes apply to all three kits for those steps.

Step 1 to 7: Engine/gearbox/transmission assembly:
The construction here is straightforward and there were no problems with fit etc. One thing to watch is the direction of the cylinder head covers as they have an overhang at one end only, the instructions show this.
There are no locating pins for fitting the two cylinder assemblies to the main engine block but they seem to find their own way into place due the curve of the block and the pushrod link at one end of the engine, so this isn’t a problem.
The transmission fitted snugly between the hull sides without modification as did the gear box between the engine and transmission. This all builds into an impressive assembly and with the addition of some plumbing it would be even better.
Painting and weathering these assemblies would be advisable before fitting into the hull.

Step 8:
This is the assembly of the driver’s seat and compressor for the rear fighting compartment. The seat is straightforward and you could probably forget about the compressor as you can’t see it anyway when finished.

Here you have to open up various holes in the lower hull for the bits needed for this kit.

Step 10 to 13:
This covers the fitting of the engine assemblies to the hull plus the various bulkheads and driver’s foot pedals. The fit of the bulkheads was again spot on with everything just slipping into place, these should be painted at this stage as it’s obviously impossible later.
Some initial suspension components are also fitted here and you should watch the direction of the parts D58 and D59 as they can easily go on the wrong way around if you don’t follow the instructions exactly.


Step 14 to 19:
This is the final fitting the suspension components with all the axles having a flat side to the pin to ensure they are positioned correctly, but do make sure they all line up before the glue sets.
The road wheels and idler wheels have poly caps trapped between the two halves while the drive sprocket has a centre disc, there were no problems here but I did leave the wheels and tracks off until after painting to make things easier.

Step 20:
Is the radiator assembly that fits inside the main engine door and this has nice grill details on both sides, this will obviously only be seen if you leave the engine door open but does look good in place.

Step 21:
Assembly of the various storage boxes fitted to the kit fenders. These are all multi-part assemblies for good detail definitions and the fit was quite good with only a few spots needing some filling.


Step 22 to 23:
This is the assembly of the hull magazine brackets and front headlight assemblies.
The magazine brackets are straightforward in assembly but the main bracket (parts E43 and E44) has a large seam down the middle needing filling, this can be quite fiddly with the other components on the bracket. The head lights assemblies are straightforward but a bit care is needed when fitting the guards together and attaching to the light base for a good fit.

Step 24:
There are numerous holes to be opened up in the upper hull. Take care to study the instructions before opening the holes as there are quite a few and only about half have to be opened up for this kit, you don’t want to end up filling the wrong ones again later.

Step 25 to 29:
This is the attachment of the storage boxes, magazine mountings and other smaller hull fittings. So long as you opened up the right holes in Step 24 there is no problems here, also the small detail parts all fitted precisely.
The rear upper hull top also fitted well with no filler needed as did the front and rear magazine mounting brackets.
You have to decide if you are going to leave the hull engine hatches open or closed, the hinge mechanism on the main engine door is workable but the upper hull door is not.

Step 30 to 31:
Final hull assembly sees the joining of the upper and lower hulls, this is again spot on with no filler needed anywhere and highlights the overall excellent fit of the kit.
The rear hull door can be fitted open or closed but as there is basically no interior its probably best to fix it closed, other smaller fittings are attached to the rear hull and the fitting of the final drive covers to the hull front.

Step 32:
The rocket launcher assembly has four banks of launcher tubes, the fit of these is good but you do have the seam along the edges to be removed. These seams are small due to the good fit of the tubes and only minor sanding was needed to eliminate the seams. Also take note of the part numbers making up the tube assemblies as they have to go in a particular order. The lower tube bracket is another well fitting assembly without any problems.


Step 33 to 35:
The fact there is three steps in the assembly of the 12.7mm machine gun and mount should indicate the detail included here with the assembly being made up of 19 parts. It is an intricate assembly with the only problem I encountered was the fitting of the left and right handles which didn’t quite match up on the underside but with a little coaxing it did make it. The final appearance of this assembly is quite excellent.

Step 36 to 40:
This is launcher turret and magazine assembly, with the turret made up of numerous panels to form the base and commander’s tower. The fit is mostly good but filler was needed on some joins mostly around the rear quarter, but nothing dramatic. The commander’s cupola has open periscopes into which you fit clear sheet provided, but these needed some trimming to get a good fit and it may be better to remake these from thicker clear stock. The weld seam detail on the side of the tower is excellent and there are grad handles and lifting eyes to be fitted around the turret.
The launcher tube assembly simply fits into grooves on the rear of the turret base and is not designed to elevate after assembly.
The magazine box is just that a large box but you are provided with internal bracing to ensure the box is square when assembled another nice touch from Trumpeter. The fit of the box sides was excellent with no filler needed during assembly.

Step 41:
This is the final fitting of the magazine box and launcher turret to the hull, but in left these as separate assemblies to simplify painting and weathering.

Painting and weathering:
As mentioned this kit was built on a very short time schedule and the painting was done just as quickly. Approximate colours were chosen using Humbrol enamels with the overall sand being airbrushed followed by the light and darker greens. To match the cam scheme from the hull to the turret, the turret was temporally fitted in place to apply the scheme from one to the other and then removed again to complete the painting.
One small problem was with the instructions where the cam scheme on the side view didn’t match the top view drawings so some ad hoc painting was required.
A coat of xtracolor clear gloss was airbrushed to the sides of the magazine box and rear hull for the decals and when dry the decals were applied.
While the decals are nice and thin and conformed well to the surface details with the use of decal setting solution there were large bolt heads on the side of the magazine box which were just too much for the decals. I cut the centre out of the 0 decal that went over the bolt and positioned this around the bolt to fix this problem. I don’t think any decal could cope with these large bolt head so it’s not a criticism of this particular kit.
When dry a final coat of matt varnish was airbrushed over the whole model ready for the weathering. After 48 hours drying time the weathering simply consisted of a wash to bring out the detail followed by basic drybrushing and airbrushing of a fine ‘dust’ over the rear and lower sections of the vehicle.
Before adding the final ‘dust’ effect all the sub-assemblies, road wheels and tracks were fitted to the model for a uniform effect.
The tracks were given a light drybrushing to bring out the details before fitting to the model.
Even with the rushed assembly and paint job the quality of this model still comes through and will look even better with more time spent on the model.

Decal sheets
Trumpeter Trumpeter
Overall the assembly was straighforward with only minimal filler needed on some parts with the fit of parts the equal of any kit around today.
The detail included on the parts is really first class and these kits push even closer to the standards set by the leading kit producers.
Hopefully the kit will return from the trade show in one piece and I will post additional photos of the internal engine/ transmission assemblies.

Highly Recommended.

Page Created 16 March 2003

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