Both kits share the same lower hull and suspension components with different upper hulls and other details with this kit consisting of 208 parts in olive drab plastic, 53 parts in light grey plastic for the figures along with an etched fret, three metal axles and a length of twine plus a small clear sheet for the windows, the decal sheet and of course the instructions.
The standard of moulding is very good overall with many fine parts included with a minimum of pin marks although there are a few on the insides of the hatches but these are easy to deal with and just the normal fine moulding seam line on most parts to be removed.
The large lower hull tub is a complex moulding that includes well defined access panel details on the hull bottom, the lower sides with suspension mounting plate details as well as the upper sponsons/wheel wells with equally well defined head light detail on the front plate and it is obvious that multi-part moulds have been used to ensure the detail is crisp and well defined on all surfaces.
All the suspension components are separate parts including the axle mounts, large spring units that have good spring detail for plastic parts to the swing arms and steering mechanisms on the front two sets of wheels but due to the three metal axle shafts provided the front wheels are not steerable and altering their position will be quite a job if you did want to include this. The front mudguard and crew step is provided in etched metal and includes nice treadplate pattern on the step as well as the front number plate also in etched metal.
The large plastic wheels are in two halves each with nice tread pattern and include the ‘Bridgestone” embossing on the sidewalls while the separate hubs have excellent bolt head details that match photos very well.
The rear hull panel is a separate part again with good details but with the rear door moulded integrally with the rear panel and there are separate jerry can holders with two part jerry cans, separate tail light clusters and a large storage container with etched mud guards and all this builds a very busy and well detailed lower hull assembly.
The large upper hull is again in a single moulding with very well defined details such as the engine intake grills at the upper rear to engraved panel lines on the side walls plus other fine details and has the two front hatches as separate items with clear sheet for the periscope faces and can be positioned in the opened or closed position although there is no interior. The detail on these hatches is very well done and captures the feel of the actual complex hatches quite well.
There is numerous separate fine smaller parts positioned around the hull such as all the grab handles as well as separate side hatch hinges, front head lights and guards, front and rear lifting eyes, side front rear view mirrors, rear aerial mounts and all the pioneer tools with all these separate parts giving a very well defined finish to the model.
This is moulded in three parts of the upper shell with the periscopes for the Commander’s hatch included (with clear inserts), the rear turret panel and lower turret ring as well as separate hatches that can be positioned open or closed.
Additional details include the two large sight boxes in front of both top hatches, the four smoke grenade clusters on each side of the turret, four lifting eyes and the one piece mantlet with separate fluted 25mm cannon barrel. Overall the turret is a simple but nicely detailed assembly that attaches to the hull in the usual manner to be fully movable.
Also included are five figures with two vehicle crew figures designed to be standing in the rear top hatches and three infantry figures which have quite nice uniform and other details that also portray the smaller stature of the typical Japanese soldier.
A nice selection of person gear and weapons is also provided again with good details that can be used with the figures as you wish.
These are the usual exploded view drawings but careful study before hand and during construction will be needed as some sections are little confusing but with care there shouldn’t be any problems.
The small decal sheet is well printed and provides makings for three vehicles with the instructions showing five view drawings of one to show the cam scheme and decal placement with another shown on the box sides but some reference will come in handy with the painting.
Overall another nicely detailed model with the many smaller separate items making for a well defined model out of the box with the etched parts adding to this feel.
The model should go together well as the fit of the main hull parts is good with much of the assembly taken up with the busy suspension and smaller detail parts and the inclusion of the figures is also a nice bonus.
If you are looking for something different that can be finished is quite attractive cam schemes and is not an unattractive vehicle either then this kit could be the thing.
The TANK GUY website has and excellent walkaround for the Type 87
Thanks to the Australian Trumpeter Distributors J.B.Wholesalers for the review kit.
Page created 13 April 2005