|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
At the beginning of WWII in the Pacific, when the Japanese captured US air bases, primarily in the Philippines, Wake island and Guam, they became aware of the highly efficient machines used to construct them. Up until that point, airfields in Japan had been entirely built by hand. So to speed up the process, the IJN contracted Komatsu to produce a bulldozer of sufficient capabilities to use in building air fields. Kommatsu which had already successfully produced a domestic tractor, used their G40 farm tractor as the basis and equipped it with a hydraulic dozer blade to create Japan's first bulldozer.
From January 1943, through to the end of the war, approximately 150 units were built. They were used by the IJN on both the northern and southern fronts. The G40 bulldozer laid the foundation for postwar construction machines which greatly contributed to the reconstruction and development of Japan.
I bought this kit almost 10 years ago and have just now gotten around to opening the box for a preview. There are two grey sprues and the usual quality Tamiya molding. This is a 'low end' 1/48 kit and so comes with the vertical roadmap instructions that are so typical of these kits.
Construction begins by building up the engine section that includes the vehicle's controls. Then the seat assembly which fits atop the rear fenders, is attached. The next major assembly is the tracks, which are a single piece along with the sprocket, idler and bogies. Attached to these is a lot of external plumbing for the bulldozer's blade. With that built up, all is attached to the chassis and the included driver is installed for the final part.
This is not a complex kit and would be a nice introduction to Tamiya military kits. The kit comes with a small decal sheet that has an emblem or two. While this one is to be painted overall grey, there were postwar vehicles that were painted yellow as well, so you have some choices.
A nice kit of an unusual subject that will add some interest to your collection of 1/48 vehicles.
Tamiya kit instructions.
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