Aoshima 1/72 "HTV" H-II Transfer Vehicle

KIT #: 46648
PRICE: 2000 yen SRP
REVIEWER: Mark Hiott
NOTES: Interesting subject, #2 in a series


The H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) is an unmanned inter-orbital cargo transporter for the International Space Station (ISS). It delivers up to six tons of food, clothes, and various experiment devices to the ISS, then is reloaded with used devices and clothes to be burned when it reenters the atmosphere. It is approximatly 10m long and 4m wide and has a 16ton max load.
On September 11, 2009, the
HTV (Demonstration Flight) was successfully launched and achieved all planned missions including its on-orbit technical verification, its rendezvous with the ISS, and cargo transportation.

After the scheduled Space Shuttle retirement in 2011, the HTV will be the only transporter that can carry both pressurized and unpressurized cargo; therefore, its importance is increasing internationally.


Molded in gray and clear blue plastic, the detail is nicely done and crisp. The solar panels are the clear blue parts and should make for a very colorful model. Parts breakdown is quite simple, but there are some very small parts that will need care when attaching. A section of ISS is provided as a stand and you get 3 options on how to display the completed model.

The instructions are all in Japanese, but there are enough notes in English to get the job done. Paint callouts numbers are in Gunze colors I believe, but there are English names. There are 7 assembly steps, each broke down into smaller steps.

There are no decals as none are needed, but I was surprised there wasn't at least a Japanese flag.



Construction is straight forward and starts with the main body. The main body painted, and the various solar panels were added. At this point I should mention that the thrusters are VERY tiny and care will be needed to get the parts attached. The only thing that gave me trouble were parts #5, I had to remove the inner lip in order to get them to fit properly. Other then that, there were no problems. No seams to fill and parts fit was very good.

The payload is the last assembly. There were more parts to this then I expected, with the containers each being 4 parts, with the "cart" it makes for a total of 20 parts.


I followed the instructions color callouts for the most part. My research shows that the solar panels were a blackish/Kevlar color, not blue. I painted the backs of the solar panels flat black and used chrome silver to outline each panel. Doing it this way gave the panels just a hit of blue. The main body has the wrinkled foil covering us space nuts have come to know so well. In an effort to replicate this, I first covered the main body with Bare Metal Foil that I wrinkled as best I could. The effect was not quite what I was after, but looks better then just the smooth plastic. The body was then painted with Tamiya Clear Orange, Clear Yellow or MM Chrome where called for. The Propulsion Module was painted MM Neutral Gray.

The RCS nozzles were painted copper with neutral gray mounts. The RCS mounts on the Propulsion Module were first painted MM Chrome and the over coated with Tamiya Clear Orange.

The interior of the unpressurized cargo section was painted gold and the containers neutral gray.

The ISS section and Canadarm were painted in a thin coat of MM Flat White that left just a hint of the gray plastic showing through. The HTV was then attached, but not glued to, the Canadarm.


A great kit of a unusual subject. Anyone who likes Real Space subjects will love this kit. Easy to build, low parts count, no decals... even a beginner will find this a fun build.


Photos from the internet

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency webpage for the history.

Mark Hiott

January 2012

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