The Type 89 Japanese tank was the first mass produced diesel engine tank, and was borrowed in design from the Vickers Model C medium tank. It had a conical turret mounting a Type 90 5.7cm gun in the front and a ball-mounted 6.6mm machine gun at the rear (similar to Soviet tank designs). It was an important tank for the Imperial Japanese Army, so when Fine Molds brought out their kit, modelers were disappointed to discover the version released had fewer than 40 built, and served only during the Manchurian Incident in 1939. Bummer.
Cobber Bro/Arms Corps Models has come to the rescue with a resin conversion that swaps out the kit's engine deck to create a version that actually did some heavy fighting. But what about markings? In comes Decalomaniacs, who produce offbeat but highly-desirable sets of markings for numerous vehicles.
>h6>what the sheet includes
Printed on a single 4 x 5 inch sheet are markings for six different vehicles, plus instructions. They include:
1.) 7th Tank Regiment, Gonkiang (Xinjiang in western China), March 1939
2.) Special Tank Company (China)
3.) 4th Tank Regiment, Quantung (Kwantung) Army
4.) 4th Tank Regiment, Kungchuliang, Manchuria
5.) Special Tank Company, Battle of Taierchwang (Tai'erzhuang), April 1938
6.) 7th Tank Regiment, Gonkiang (Xinjiang), China, March 1939
Decalomaniacs does not try to rival the quality of Cartograf, but given the specialized nature of its products, and the good value-for-money, these decals will delight anyone looking for these rare tanks. If you have the Fine Molds kit, or have an interest in IJA AFVs of the Sino-Japanese wars, then you will want this set.
And those who've used the decals would mostly agree that once the vehicle has been weathered, the markings will do very nicely.
I am not sufficiently expert in Japanese AFVs to comment on the accuracy of these decals, but applaud Georg Eyerman's efforts to fill the gaps in markings for many lesser-known, but still interesting and important vehicles.
Thanks to Decalomaniacs for providing this review sample. Please be sure to mention you saw this review on Armorama when ordering.
NOTE: IF ANYONE WOULD LIKE TO USE THESE DECALS IN A BUILD OF THE VEHICLE, PLEASE PM ME AND I WILL SEND THEM TO YOU FREE OF CHARGE.
Highs: That they exist at all. Good value for money.Lows: Faint whites, some loss of registration due to limitations of the Alps printer used. Will need to be weathered to look right, but the results should satisfy most modelers.Verdict: If you plan on modifying the Fine Molds kit to a tank that actually saw action, there's no choice.
Our Thanks to Decalcomaniacs! This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.