ARM: Review - DML 1/72 scale IJN Type 4 Ke-Nu light tank

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/72 scale Armor-Pro series Kit No. 7404;=
IJN Type 4 =93Ke-Nu=94 Light Tank; 93 parts (84 in grey styrene, 7 etched =
brass, 2 DS Plastic track runs); pre-order price US$17.95 via Dragon USA On=
Advantages: first kit of this vehicle in this scale; large number of spare =
Disadvantages: only a handful of these vehicles built
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all small-scale Japanese armor fans
The Japanese did not have a good handle on tanks prior to WWII, and sadly =
for them never solved that problem during the course of the war. The Type 9=
5 =93Ha-Go=94 seemed to be a good vehicle when attacking Chinese peasants, =
but proved close to useless in combat with US forces later in the war. As a=
result, in 1944 they modified the Type 95 to take the original turret from=
the Type 97 Medium Tank with its short 57mm gun to provide better fire sup=
port. Six prototypes were built and 100 were converted, but they provided l=
ittle impact on future events. One captured in Manchuria (=93Manchuko=94) b=
y the Soviets is the sole surviving example.=20
DML has now done the same thing =96 they have offered their nicely done Ty=
pe 95 kit with the complete sprue from the Type 97 with its original turret=
. (Since models rarely have to match their prototypes, they use the same tu=
rret ring and opening so it is a drop fit). The result is an imposing sound=
ing number of parts, but fully half of them are not used.=20
As with the previous kit, DML has used its slide molding technique to mold=
the idlers and return rollers in single pieces with holes in place and sim=
ple but effective bogie assemblies for the running gear. The model comes wi=
th an etched brass muffler guard (MA1) which is shown, but the rest of the =
brass parts are not covered in the directions. They appear to be the brass =
parts from a Type 97 that just =93came along for the ride=94.
The DS tracks on the review sample were noted as being 130mm in length but=
measured 129mm, so some slight stretching will be needed prior to assembly=
Finishing directions for a single vehicle are provided: 19th Tank Regiment=
, Kyushu, 1945 (tricolor with turret symbol markings). A tiny sheet of Cart=
ograf decals covers the symbols, but while not shown there are several othe=
rs on the sheet which are given as options in the directions.=20
Overall this is a neat little tank conversion and DML has done a nice job =
of capturing it.=20
Thanks to Freddie Leung of DML for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
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