Hasegawa 1/72 Toyota Starter Truck
KIT #: 31117
PRICE: $1.98 when new
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Peter Burstow
NOTES: Still around, don't pay a silly price for it!


19,870 Toyota GB trucks were produced between 1938 and 1942. They were used for a variety of purposes by the Japanese military forces. The starter truck model incorporated a somewhat primitive rig, to engage with the Hucks starter dogs on the propeller hub or spinner of aircraft engines.


 Coming in a top opening box, there are about 50 tan coloured parts on two sprues. The parts are nicely detailed, but there are many ejector pin marks that will need attention.

 The chassis and running gear is well detailed with separate leaf springs. The cabin has a steering wheel, gearshift and handbrake levers. There is no engine detail. The five part starter rig requires some cabling to be added, the box top illustration shows this clearly. The whole rig could easily be left off if a standard truck model is desired. There are 3 figures included, and a bonus bomb trolley with four small bombs. A thin and clear injection moulded windshield is supplied.

The small decal sheet, printed in black only, has 2 number plates and 2 small stencil markings. The instruction sheet, printed in English, has an eight part assembly guide and a short history. A painting and decaling guide, which also shows details of the figure painting, is included. The instructions and illustrations are sufficient to construct and finish the model.


I suspect this is one of the several 1/72 military vehicles produced by Hasegawa in the 1970's. The box top bears a close resemblance to a photograph in Green, in the Ki-43 article. The starter rigs were fairly standard, in wide use from their invention during the first world war. The rig parts could be transplanted onto another vehicle such as a US, British or German truck if desired. A nice little kit, somewhat marred by excessive ejector pin marks. It would make a fine addition to an aircraft diorama. Like most vehicle kits, it's all in the painting and detailing, the basics are there for a good model.

 A google search found several for sale, some for as much as $70, I paid $7 from a local dealer.





William Green, Fighters Volume Three, Macdonald, London, 1961

Peter Burstow

March 2013

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