Dragon 1/72 IJN Type 2 (Ka-Mi) Amphibious Tank

KIT #: 7435
PRICE: $21.00 SRP
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: New tool kit


Like most nations, the Japanese developed an amphibious tank, specifically the “Ka-Mi” amphibious tank. This vehicle was the first amphibious tank used by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN), and it was closely based on the Type 95 “Ha-Go” light tank. It was designed for Japanese landing forces performing amphibious invasions of Pacific islands that didn’t have regular port facilities. Production commenced in 1942 and a total of 184 Type 2 amphibious tanks were made, although the design was really too late to participate in Japan’s island-hopping campaign. When used in water, large pontoons were attached to the glacis plate and rear deck to give it a top speed of 10km/h. These pontoons could be shed as soon as it reached land. The turret featured a 3.7cm Type 1 gun and a coaxial Type 97 machine gun.


Many were hoping that Dragon would produce this kit in 1/72 scale and it has come to pass. This is, by my count, the third Japanese tank kit Dragon has produced in this scale. This one also has a pretty low parts count with only about 45 pieces to complete the build, making it a nice change from some of the more parts intensive kits, even in this scale.

This is a completely new tool and the molding is everything we have come to expect from Dragon with crisp, clean detail. Dragon has limited photo etch to a muffler guard screen, so those who are not fond of p.e. will not have to be overly concerned in this area. A set of their excellent DS tracks is included so no worries about having to piece together individual track links.

The kit Is a curbside, but has a number of fittings for the inside of the hull as well as a very nicely detailed main gun and machine gun. Options are non-existent so I have to assume this is a later model. Even the hatch is molded shut, though the adventurous modeler could cut it open if they wanted. As is usual with Dragon kits, color information is provided by Gunze and Model Master paint references. There are markings for two vehicles, both in an overall grey. One is from the 5th Naval Ground Base Guard on Saipan in June 1944.  This is the box art tank with the flag on the turret. The other is #801 with the 27th Naval Special Ground Base Guard in Aitape during July 1944.


In all, a most welcome kit and something that will be a bit of a relief from all the Shermans and Germans that now seem to dominate armor kits, even in this scale. We can hope to see more of the same in the future. .


Wikipedia was a big help on this.

March 2012

Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours today at your local hobby shop.

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