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MIG Productions Technical BJ45 and B-11 107mm RCL (35-141)

by Graeme Davidson

In-Box Preview: 1/35-scale MIG Productions Technical BJ45 and B-11 107mm RCL (35-141)

Newest in the "Technical" series from MIG Productions is the heavily-armed Toyota Land Cruiser. The BJ-45 is the 2-door Pick-up version of the series-40 Land Cruiser, and I believe this specific kit depicts a Japanese production export from late 1980 to late 1984. However, the series-40 was introduced in 1960, and did not appear to change much over the course of its production run, so you could likely get away with depicting your Technical in a pre-1980 scenario without too much effort.

Series-40 Land cruisers were also produced in Brazil, though I'm uncertain whether the Brazil plant made both the petrol engine FJ series and the diesel engine BJ series. They did however produce all versions of the short (-40), medium (-43), and long wheelbases (-45) right until 2001. Called the Bandeirante, this Land Cruiser had a slightly different grille than the one used in the Mig Productions kit. Notwithstanding their age, the reliability and popularity of the Land cruiser means that many of them are still running today. I've seen recent pictures of a Kurdish BJ45 equipped with a bed-mounted multiple rocket launcher taken in Iraq.

The main difference between this all-resin kit and others in the "Technical" series is the longer wheelbase and of course the B-11 107mm Recoilless Rifle. The tires and some power train components have also been swapped. Approximately 40 parts comprise the B-11, and all are cast without a trace of bubbles or warpage, even the gun barrel was perfectly straight. Some flash is present, but as the photos show, this should clean up quick with a new x-acto blade.

The truck kit is equally well done, with only the thinnest flash (see leaf suspension) being present on some of the 36 parts. All of the casting is clean, without any warping, and totally bubble free. The bed is cast with a very subtle wood grain which I have tried to enhance for the camera with a swipe of pigments. Also present on the bed is the waffle pattern tread plate, again, difficult to see in the picture, but I'm sure the subtle texture will pop out with some careful dry brushing. Interestingly, the characteristic "TOYOTA" logo is not present on the kit's tailgate - probably a concession to corporate licensing issues.

The instructions are clear and in full colour, featuring incremental in-progress photographs of the actual model. My only gripe here is that the instruction sheet is printed on a 4.5 x7.5 inch sheet of paper. This means that photos are reduced to roughly 1 x 2 inches, and are a bit small. I think it would be an easy fix to re-print the directions on a lager paper and still fit it in the box.

Overall, a great kit of a long awaited subject. Perfect for your "Three Block War" subject, whether its Somalia, Lebanon, Bosnia, Iraq, or just about any other conflict.

Mig production website: http://www.migproductions.com/index.htm