Japanese Amphibious Ka-Mi Type 2 Tank
Gaso.Line, 1/48 scale
Reviewed by Luke Pitt
The Japanese Ka-Mi Tank was the only axis purpose built amphibious Tank used in the Pacific War, it is strange then, that all the major manufacturers have chosen to ignore this type in any of the major military scales. The Ka-Mi were first used en mass during the defense of Siapan in the Marianas in 1944 were they supported the failed amphibious operation. The tank was no world beater but did boast a good head of speed and range in open water. This reviewer can only think of two 35th examples in resin that that have been produced thus far so it is pleasing to have a 48th example to be finally be produced.
The kit is supplied in a sturdy box with some 114 resin cast parts. The resin for the most part is very well cast and is free of bubbles and pin holes. The upper and lower hulls are cast as separate items and are cast as hollow pieces. The front and rear floats are as solid resin pieces and are quite well detailed. The running gear and tracks are all cast to a high standard and are for the most part very well detailed. The problem with all in box reviews is the parts may look nice but will they fit?
Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:
With this in mind I proceeded to saw off the molding blocks on the upper and lower Hull and found they fitted well with a minimum of gaps. I compared them to the drawings in the AJ Press Tank Power book and they scaled out well. I then compared them to photos of the real vehicle and found in the same book they were slightly different? The first point of difference is the front of the hull from the top f the glacis to the bottom of the hull over hang. From the drawings you would think the kit hull is correct but when looking at the photos I noted that their needed to be more depth… not much mind you but noticeable. The second point of concern on the hull is missing the front float mounting point between the visor and the machine gun mount.
Moving on to the running gear the first point of interest is the boomerang type Bogie supports. The kit has the thin ridge on these molded too thickly and with not enough overhang. The road wheels have one of the cutouts not symmetrically spaced compared to the others so that too looks ever so slightly wrong
The front and rear floats once trimmed fit very well to the hull and in fact hide most of the minor accuracy problems with the Hull. The Turret Water tower is molded as hollow but the turret is not? The tracks are generally very good but do not have the cutouts in the guide horn teeth. I would have liked more track section as a lot of photos in the field so very saggy tracks on this type.
Considering some of my comments you might be forgiven for thinking that I don’t like this kit but, in fact, nothing could be further from the truth.
Gaso.Line's Ka-Mi tank has good “bones” and will make a fine model with a few very simple fixes. I have compared this kit to both the 1/35 scale examples and, to be honest, this one is better than both of those in terms of finesse and buildability.
Thanks to Gaso.Line for the review sample
Text by Luke Pitt