Model, text and images by Luca Cinacchio
I needed a small 1/72 Japanese car to complete the diorama base of the new Airfix and Tamiya Zero kits.
So I went on Ebay and i found this "exotic" short run kit, that costed to me 9 $ (plus shipping). Here the review of the kit, with a quick bull building story.
Because I never read about it, and i think i am no the only one, I quote some infos from Wikipedia:
The Type 95 Kurogane ("Black Metal") reconnaissance car was a Japanese scout car used during the war with China and World War II in the East. Between 1937 and 1945 approximately 4,800 were built. It was the only completely Japanese designed reconnaissance car ever used by the Japanese Army, which tended to use civilian cars.
The Type 95 could accommodate only 3 persons - two in the front and one in the back. The two-cylinder air-cooled petrol engine was an advantage in cold climates encountered in China and it had 4-wheel drive. It was unarmed and unarmoured.
The kit comes in a sturdy top open box, with a very nice art-box.
And here the good news finish. Indeed, after opening the box, you find 3 small sprues, one page instructions sheet, and a small frette of decals.
The sprues are the celebration of the flash (not so strange for a short run kits). The plastic is very tick, and totally out of scale. The gates, or attachment point of the pieces to the sprue, are illogically short, and you have good chances to break the smallest pieces, even paying much care, when cutting them. And, even worst, the pieces lack of any details. Yes... a Revell or Airfix kit of 60 years ago is much, much more detailed than this kit. Just to complete the fest, the plastic is covered here and there with scratches.
The instruction are even not photocopied, but probably printed with an old cyclostyle. They are vague, and lack of any colors call-out, with the exception of the external of the car (caki).
Building the kit
You start assembling the lower parts of the vehicle, wondering how to place some parts thanks to the instructions that seems more suggestions than precise notes about how to build the kit. Then you continue adding the lateral sides. Fitting is not poor, but hugly, so be ready to use not just putty, but also plasticard to fill the gaps, because simple putty will be not enough, as you can see from the images.
With most of the car assembled, i started to paint it, using a custom mix of Vallejo Aircolor for the green.
It is now time to bring together all the sub-assemblies, and "enjoy" the finished model. I added a oil wash, and some Tamiya pigments to add a worn look.
Would i recomend the kit? NO, is the answer. If you don't need a Japanese car for your diorama, or if you aren't a hugly fan of the Japanese WWII vehicles in this scale, at roughly the same price there are much better alternative around, for small WWII vehicles.