Dragon 1/72 Type 95 'Ha-Go' light tank
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||New tool. DS tracks|
The Type 95 light tank Ha-Gō(九五式軽戦車 ハ号 Kyugoshiki keisensha Ha-Gō) (also known as the Type 97 Ke-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 the Second World War. Its speed was about 18 mph cross country, which was comparable to theStuart's 20 mph nearly 6 years later in 1941. It proved sufficient against opposing infantry in campaigns in Manchuria and China, as the Chinese National Revolutionary Army had only three tank battalions consisting of Vickers export tanks, German PzKpfw I light tanks, and Italian CV33 tankettes to oppose them. However, the Type 95, like the M3 Stuarts of the US Army, were not designed to fight other tanks, they were designed to support the infantry., and due to the IJN's priority in receiving technology and steel for warship construction, tanks for the IJA were relegated to receiving what was left. By 1942, Japanese armor remained largely the same as they did in the 1930s, and were regarded as obsolete after 1941. Approximately 2,300 units were produced. The Type 95 was also used by Imperial Japanese Navy SNLF detachments in Pacific areas during the conflict.
It is great to see Japanese subjects being done in quality kits and quality this one is. Though there is not much in the way of plastic in this one, its 35 parts are very well molded and it comes with Dragon's superb DS tracks, so no worries about fit or about painting.
Now I have to say that you could easily put six kits in this box and still have room but that makes it a super easy build, a nice refreshing break from some 1/72 kits that are very parts intensive. It uses a single fret of photo etch (hence the 'Armor Pro' name) and that is for the exhaust shroud. The bogies are well molded and fit onto already formed suspension bits that are on the main hull. The turret can be built with the main hatch either open or closed. Most will probably pick closed as there is no figure included to put there.
Markings are provided for a single tank as participated in the Philippines campaign during 1942. Such is the camouflage scheme that one could easily brush paint the entire kit, making for an even quicker build. Apparently the DS tracks tend to stretch a bit as the instructions provide a standard track length diagram and instructions on how to adjust the length if needed. A small, but well printed decal sheet is also provided for the box art tank.
Nice to see these ultra-easy to build kits being offered. They not only fill a gap between the super simplified wargaming tanks and the overly complex ones we often find from Central and Eastern Europe. Apparently these are selling well as several places have sold out already.
Thanks towww.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours today from your favorite retailer.
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