Fine Molds has already released kits of most of the World War II Japanese tank arsenal, but they were missing the “grand-daddy” of them all, the Type 89. Instead of a conventional release, they teamed up with the Japanese tank modeling magazine “Armour Modelling” to release it as a part-work in the Nov-Dec 2010 and Jan 2011 issues. Fortunately, Hobby Link Japan is offering this as a package deal for about US $95.00 which translates to about $120.00 when air mail postage to the States is added in. This is a bit pricey for a kit, but most Fine Mold medium tanks retail for about $70.00 in the US. The accompanying magazines are quite nice with a fair amount of new reference material, and HLJ throws in a set of Masterbox Japanese infantry figures. I especially liked the magazine material about Japanese tanker uniforms, and the several of the articles on built-up models were very impressive. It’s also a bit less painful than the price on Japanese resin kits!
As if I hadn’t abused the credit card enough, I also bought a set of Model Kasten Type 89 individual link tracks, the new Model Kasten figure set for the Type 89, and the Fine Molds PE upgrade set.
The only weak bit of the kit is the interior details. There are no interior details on the cupola inner walls, and the front driver’s hatch misses some of the obvious details. The Armour Modelling magazines provide good detail shots of the driver’s hatch, but details of the cupola interior are lacking.
Model, Images and Text
by Steven J. Zaloga