Tamiya 1/48 scale Komatsu G40

KIT #: 32565
PRICE: $21.95 MSRP
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Bill Michaels
NOTES: WW2 Japanese Navy Bulldozer


I’ll quote Tamiya’s website:  

 The Komatsu G40 was produced for the Japanese Navy during WWII and had the distinction of being Japan's first ever domestically-produced bulldozer. It was developed as a means to speed up airfield construction, which had up to that point been done by hand. Komatsu based its design on their existing farm tractor and it was equipped with a 50hp gasoline engine as well as a hydraulic dozer blade. About 150 were built from 1943 to the end of the war and they were sent to engineering units in the northern and southern fronts. It also influenced the design of postwar Japanese construction machinery.

 According to Tamiya’s website, there is only one example of the G40 still in existence, on display at Komatsu’s Techno Center in Japan.


 The kit is molded in the same gray color that they used for many of their German armor subjects.    It is a small model— it is only about 3 inches (75mm) long. The moldings all look very good, no flash or troublesome ejector pin marks. 

Tamiya claims the suspension has been engineered for easy assembly, and that sure looks to be the case.  The tracks are molded as one piece units, with the drive wheels and suspension wheels included.  The upper track sections have a nice sag molded in. The moldings look great on the sprue, and should look even better on the finished model, once it is properly painted, with some dirt and other weathering.

 The kit also includes a driver figure— a man in shorts and soft cap.   Like many of the Tamiya 1/48 figures, the detail on the face and hands is the weak point.  (He looks OK from the back, though!)

 There is only one finishing option for the G40--  IJN Kure Arsenal Navy Gray, which is XF-75 in Tamiya’s line of acrylic paints.  Interestingly, the pictures on Tamiya’s website of the assembled model look like it was painted in this color,  while the picture of the real one shows a more greenish- gray color.   There is a very tiny decal sheet, and a separate “metal transfer” for the IJN emblem on the bulldozer’s radiator front. 

The instructions are like those included in all of the new 1/48 scale armor kits, printed in English and Japanese.  Colors are called out with Tamiya colors, as you’d expect.  This is not a very complicated vehicle, so it should be pretty easy to assemble. 


   Highly recommended to anyone wanting something a little different,  something that will look at home next to 1/48 scale aircraft.   This should be a simple, fast build.   Tamiya is continuing to release various softskin and other support vehicles in 1/48, and this bulldozer is the first construction vehicle.  Hopefully, more will follow!

 Review kit courtesy of my wallet. Note that while the retail price is $21,  you can find it for less.  I only paid $16 plus tax  at my local shop.


 I only had one-- The Tamiya website:   http://www.tamiya.com/english/products/32565komatsu_g40/

Bill Michaels

May 2010

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