|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Type 95 Ha-Gō (九五式軽戦車 ハ号 kyūgo-shiki kei-sensha Ha-Gō) (also known as Ke-Go or Kyu-Go) was a light tank used by the Imperial Japanese Army in combat operations of the Second Sino-Japanese War, at Nomonhan against the Soviet Union, and in the Second World War. It proved sufficient against infantry, however, like the American M3 Stuart, it was not designed to fight other tanks. Approximately 2,300 units were produced, making it the most numerous Japanese armored fighting vehicle of the time. Hokuman is Japanese for northern Manchuria (Manchuu at the time) so this particular kit is for those vehicles that participated in the Nomohan war against the Soviets.
Those of you who have seen Dragon's amphibious tank kits will recognize much of this one. They share the same running gear so several of the sprues will be familiar. This kit also shares bits with the 'early version' that was released a while back. With under 300 parts, this will be one of the simpler of Dragon's highly detailed kits, and as such may well see more buyers than for an 800 part panzer. Photo etch is used for engine screens and exhaust shrouds as well as for some smaller bits. The circular pieces are for the road wheels and two of these stack on either side of the wheel. One of the more interesting options is for two different turret mounted machine guns. For more features, check out the list below.
Instructions are well drawn with just as many pages as one of their larger panzer kits. However, the drawings are not as crowded, which is quite nice. There are two camo schemes provided. One is the box art tank from the 4th Tank Regiment during the Khalinin-Gol campaign in july 1939. The other option uses the decal sheet for turret markings and is from the Koushurei Tank School in North China during 1941.
No collection of WWII era light tanks is complete without at least one Type 95. This kit will fill the bill nicely as it is well detailed and will not take up a bunch of shelf space.
Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. You can find this one at your favorite hobby shop or on-line retailer.
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