Aoshima 1/72 JGSDF Type 73 Truck

KIT #: 002346
PRICE: 1900 yen
DECALS: Several options (license plates)
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken


The SKW (6 6) 3,500 kg truck was developed by Isuzu from the late 1960s to replace the range of 2,500 kg (6 6) trucks then used by the Japanese Self-Defence Forces. After trials and modifications it was standardised in 1973 as the Type 73 large truck series and since then it has been produced in large numbers for the JGSDF.The original SKW440 series was followed by the 1989-introduced SKW464 series, this then followed by the 1999-introduced SKW475 series. Production continues and it is anticipated that the latest SKW475 series will ultimately replace the earlier SKW440 and (more numerous) SKW464 series trucks.

The first model Type 73 was the SKW440, this identifiable by a sloped cab front and square engine air intake. The SKW440 was produced in a wide variety of variants, these including SKW 440M (cargo truck with tarpaulin cover), SKW 440MW (cargo truck with winch), SKW440MV (cargo truck with crane), SKW440MR (light wrecker), SKW440MD (dump truck), SKW440MV (tanker for water, fuel or aviation fuel). The SKW441 is a slightly modified Type 73.The SKW440 series was replaced by the SKW464 series, this introduced in 1989. The SKW464 series is identifiable by a less sloped cab front and wider engine air intake. The SKW464 series was also produced in a wide variety of variants, these including SKW 464M (cargo truck with tarpaulin cover), SKW464MW (cargo truck with winch), SKW464MR (light wrecker), SKW464MD (dump truck), SKW464MV (tanker for water, fuel or aviation fuel).The SKW464 series was replaced by the current SKW475 series, this introduced in 1999. The SKW474 series is identifiable by completely new design cab, albeit similar in overall appearance and dimensions. The SKW 475 series is also produced in a wide variety of variants, these currently known to include SKW 475M (cargo truck with tarpaulin cover), SKW 475MW (cargo truck with winch), SKW475MV (cargo truck with crane), SKW475MD (dump truck), SKW475MV (tanker for water, fuel or aviation fuel).The forward control cab of all models has a windscreen that can be folded forward onto the bonnet and a removable canvas top. A basic protection kit has been developed for the SKW475. This kit appears to be the the SKW 464 version


As some of you may have noticed over the last year or so, Aoshima is making a resurgence into the US market with a variety of subjects. This is the first of their 1/72 military vehicle kits I have seen and it is appropriate that it be a Japanese subject. Though not identified as an Isuzu, it is in fact made by this GM of Japan company and is somewhat unique in that the rear 'dualies' are fore and aft in order to keep the truck at a reasonable width to increase cargo capabilities.

The kit is molded in a dark olive brown shade and is a curbside, as are almost all 1/72 military vehicle models. The kit has a one piece chassis onto which various suspension bits are attached. All of the wheel/tire combinations are hollow on the back side, something that is frowned upon in larger scales, but is relatively acceptable in this scale. The cab section is separate and includes molded in seats to which one attaches the steering wheel, gear shift and instrument panel. Clear bits are suppled for the cab.

The bed is made up of several pieces and provides the builder with the option to build the slat seats on either side either folded up or down in position to use. Small braces are provided for the latter option and from my experience riding in similar vehicles, it is not a smooth ride! The tailgate can also be posed open or closed. The kit comes with a canvas top and it totally enclosed, would pretty well make the cargo area invisible. However, Aoshima has provided a rolled up back section as an option. I found the two piece canvas top to be a bit unusual as it will mean a seam all the way down the center of it that will need filled. \

Instructions are well done and almost completely in Japanese with Gunze paint references. All of them are as the box art vehicle in terms of colors. One only has the options for different license plates. The small, but well done decal sheet (not shown) offers several plate colors and a full selection of individual letters and numbers to allow you to do any vehicle for which you might have a photo.


In all it makes for what is sure to be a nice model and of a subject that is a bit different from what we have normally seen in this scale.


March 2013

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