Category Archives: 1/48 Tamiya Series Armor

Tamiya 1/48 Matilda Mk.III/IV Tank

The Matilda was developed as a heavily armored infantry tank and was one of the British Army’s main tanks in North Africa during WWII. The Matilda swept aside opposing Italian tanks and was respectfully called the “Queen of the Desert” by German forces. During Operation Battle axe to lift the siege of Tobruk in June 1941, German forces famously used their 88mm AA guns in the anti-tank role as they were the only effective counter against Matildas.

The first suggestion for a larger Infantry Tank was made in 1936, with specification A12 and the contractor was decided around the end of the year. The Infantry Tank Mk II was designed at the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich to General Staff specification A.12 and built by the Vulcan Foundry. The design was based on the A7  (which had started development in 1929) rather than on the Infantry Tank Mk I, which was a two-man tank with a single machine gun for armament.

When war was recognised as imminent, production of the Matilda II was ordered and that of the Matilda I curtailed. The first order was placed shortly after trials were completed, with 140 ordered from Vulcan Foundry in mid- 1938.

[Source: Wikipedia]

IN THE BOX

  • Highly detailed plastic pieces molded in tan
  • Assembly type tracks with one-piece straight sections
  • Realistic cast metal texture on mantlet and hull
  • Metal chassis weights enhance the sense of mass
  • Commander with 3/4 torso figure
  • Waterslide decals
  • Illustrated instructions
  • MARKING OPTIONS:
    One decal sheet with markings for 3 versions:
  • 1) 42nd Royal Tank Regiment
  • 2) 32nd Army Tank Brigade
  • 3) 49th Royal Tank Regiment

matilda-tank-in-wwii

The 1/48th scale Matilda Mk.II/IV model kit from Tamiya was a project I started pretty much last summer. But soon other projects arrived to my office’s desk that had more priority. The kit ended up back in the box to a corner. When I decided to pull it back from the oblivion’s corner, I forgot colors I already started and left the model with. I recalled I was using Tamiya Light Blue XF-23. But I wasn’t sure about the sand and ‘bronze’ looking color on the camouflage pattern. Well, I found which one was the sand color of the base color. After using XF-59 Dessert Yellow for some touch ups, I quickly realized that it wasn’t the color I originally covered the model with. Tamiya’s XF-59 Dessert Yellow has a reddish tinge that honestly, I hate. Well, finally the color after some trials was XF-60 Dark Yellow. I don’t mind that much if the color is a bit dark in this case because one can always light it up a bit during the weathering process. Now I needed to find out what color was the bronze/brownish I also outlined the model with before I sent it to the oblivion’s corner. After a few trial and errors inside the lower hull I found it; It was Tamiya Khaki Drab XF-51.

The kit build very nice and has plenty of nice detail for its scale including separate molded tools. Unlike many of the lower hulls on Tamiya’s 1/48 Miniature Series that are molded in die-cast, the lower hull on this one has 2 metal tubes to add some weight/mass to the model. There was one big mistake I made with this kit and has nothing to do with the fact that it was put on hold for so long. To have the camouflage lines aligned, I cemented the side skirts (parts # B2 & B5) to the upper hull. This came later to haunt me because the roller guides on the inside of the skirts were on the way when I tried to slide the upper to the lower hull. So cementing the side skirts on this kit before its step call out is a no-no my dear friends.

The decal markings were added on puddles of Microsol to avoid giving the model kit a coat of gloss. Once the decals had dried, I gave them a pass of the stronger Walthers Solvaset and once this was dried, the model received a coat of Testors Dullcote in spray before proceeding with the weathering. All weathering was done with a combination of AK Interactive and Ammo by Mig weathering products.

Because I have to put aside some builds to give way to other build priorities, it is not the 1st time that I forget which colors I started X or Y model with I learned my lesson. I’ve got small sticky notes to write down the colors I’m using on models that I have to put aside for some time.

Note from the Author
If you like the scale, the 1/48th Matilda MK.II/IV will not disappoint you. It builds very nice with the quality that Tamiya has accustomed us to. This review sample comes courtesy of my wallet and I highly recommend this little gem.

1/48 Tamiya German Panzer II A/B/C

In the mid 1930s, the German military pushed the production of tanks. The Panzer I designed as a training tank, did not have the adequate performance, so a light tank was needed to full the gap until the Panzer III could be introduced. Therefore, the German Ordnance Department issued a request for a new training tank that could be used for combat. In the end, MAN was chosen in 1934 to produce the Panzer II, a compact 4.8m long, 2.2m wide design with a three man crew. The 8.9 ton tank featured a 2cm Kwk 30 L/55 cannon and 7.92mm machine gun in the turret, 15mm armor protection for turret and hull front, leaf spring suspension, and a 140hp Maybach HL 62 TRM engine matched with a ZF SSG46 transmission, which gave it a 40km/h top speed.

Panzer II

The Ausf. A was produced from 1937, followed by the Ausf. B and C, which were difficult to distinguish from each other visually. About 1,100 Panzer tanks were produced by April 1940, and due to delays with the Panzer III, they were immediately issued as the Panzer divisions’ main tank for the invasion of Poland in September 1939.

Based on lessons learned on the battlefields of Poland and, in May 1940, France, improvements such as extra armor and a turret cupola were added, and the Panzer II went on to serve in North Africa and Russia in front line and liaison and reconnaissance duties until the end of 1943. Afterwards, they were used to police occupied territories and the chassis was also adapted for use as the basis for various self-propelled gun designs.

The Kit:

This is the 1/48 Scale German Panzerkampfwagen II Ausf.A/B/C (Sd.Kfz.121) French Campaign Plastic Model Kit from the Tamiya Military Miniature Vehicle Series.

This is another interesting subject in the quarter scale added to my growing collection. A 1/48 Panzer II from Tamiya Models that can be built as either an AB or C version.  Unlike many models from Tamiya in the 1/48th scale, this one lacks the diecast lower hull found on most of their armour model kits of this scale. Obviously the leaf type suspension would have been hard to recreate with such crisp detail in diecast. Instead, the kit includes 2 solid metal tubes to add the weight to the model. This might seem a bit unnecessary to some but it does actually serves its purpose.  A 1/48 kit doesn’t have the weight benefit of the larger 1/35 counterpart. Either thru a diescast lower hull or weights, the road wheels and tracks all touch the surface.

Kit Highlights

  • Authentically reproduced
  • Detailed armor plates on turret and hull
  • Differences between cariants accurately depicted
  • Assembly type tracks with one-piece straight sections
  • Metal chassis weights
  • Commander figure (full body)
  • Waterslide decals
  • Kit # 32570
  • MSRP: $31.00 USD
  • Scale 1/48

Decal Options

  • 6th Panzer Division, France, 1940
  • 35th Panzer Regiment, 4th Panzer Division, France, 1940
  • 36th Panzer Regiment, 4th Panzer Division, France, May 1940

The instructions start with the lower hull followed by the tracks. As it is already the norm with these 1/48 kits from Tamiya, they offer the lower and upper tracks in long segments and individual tracks to go around the idler and drive wheels. After a few years building tanks in 1/48 scale, this one was a challenge to me. I use Tamiya Thin Cement for most of my builds but Ambroid Pro Weld Plastic Cement has proven to be the best cement with stronger bond for individual links (IMHO). The individual links on this kit have little surface area in which the plastic cement will do its work. As a result,  links will snap here and there.  This is in no way a defect on the kit but rather the nature of the links in the real tank. I had to use a hair drier to soften the assembled tracks and bring them to place. They are there and survived the photo session, but I wouldn’t be surprised if in a few weeks or months from now I find a snapped link on the shelf.

If I had to build this kit again, I would move the idler wheel’s  prong at least .5 mm to release some of that tension from the tracks.  By the way, the links are very crisply molded and due to their delicate nature, caution should be observed when removing them from the sprues. The upper track sections do fall in the right spots over the return rollers to create that nice natural saggy effect on the tracks.

The rest of the build went without a problem. The supplied full body tank commander figure is very usable. The instructions are clear as to which part should be added or omitted to create either version A, B and C. The decals worked very nice with no hint of silvering and responded very well to Solvaset decal solution. The only negative sentiment with this kit is the poor excuse Tamiya provides as an exhaust cover. Nothing more than a decal. The model as whole would have benefited greatly from a photo etched exhaust cover and I’m pretty sure that adding a small piece of photo etched metal wouldn’t increase the cost of this kit for more than a dollar. Other than that, the kit is very nice I highly recommend it.

Acknowledgments
My sincere thanks to the folks at AMMO Mig for kindly supplying their weathering products for this build.

Tamiya 1/48 British Crusader Tank

In the 1930’s, a British mission observed the field maneuvers of the Russian army and were impressed by the performance of some of their tanks, which were influenced by the designs of American Walter Christie. The British decided to develop their own fast cruiser tank for their army and their efforts eventually resulted in the Crusader.

When it entered operational service in 1941 as part of Operation Battleaxe in North Africa, the Crusader was found to be faster than its German counterparts, but had a less powerful gun, thinner armor, and was less reliable. Nevertheless, it served well as a battle tank until replaced by newer designs.1950’s.

barbed-wire-division

The Kit:

  • High quality 1/48 scale assembly model kit can be built to depict Crusader Mk.I or Mk.II.
  • Differences in turret details between the two variants such as machine gun turret and front panel meticulously replicated.
  • Die-cast chassis for added weight and realism.
  • Tank treads are assembly type, with the upper section featuring realistic sag effect.
  • Markings for 3 different tanks included.
  • Item #32541
  • MSRP: $33.00 USD.

Here is another addition to our 1/48 Tamiya Military Miniatures. Here is the 1/48 British Crusader kit # 32541. As with most of the kits from this line, it comes with a die-cast lower hull to add some weight. The parts count is kept to a minimum yet they keep great detail even for the scale.

The figure shown here is not included with the kit.  The commander IS available separate in Tamiya’s British Infantry Set (European Campaign) kit #32526.

Note from the Author

Only the side racks are scratch built pending some Black Dog Accessories.

Highly Recommended!

1/48 Tamiya Sturmgeschutz III Ausf.G

Of the many assault guns utilized by the Germans in WWII, the most numerous was the Sturmgeschutz III. Based on the durable Panzer III chassis with a completely new superstructure, the revolving turret was eliminated and the short barreled 75mm L/24 gun was mounted directly onto the hull, giving the StuG III an extremely low vehicle profile. Originally intended for close infantry fire support, it was used as self-propelled artillery against enemy strong points. However, when the German forces encountered the Russian KV-I and T-34 tanks on the Eastern front, the situation abruptly changed.

To cope with this Russian tank threat, the Germans were forced to upgrade their existing weapons systems. The resulting StuG III Ausf.G, built from late 1942 onwards, used a more powerful, long barreled 75mm L/48 gun.

  • Assembly model of the Sturmgeschutz III Ausf.G Early Version on a compact 1/48 scale.
  • Realistically replicated gun and square-shaped welded type mantlet.
  • Kit allows choice of either 75mm L/48 gun or 105mm howitzer.
  • Die-cast lower hull for extra weight and enhanced realism
  • Kit includes 1 commander figure (torso).
  • Choice of 3 sets of markings.
  • Kit: 32540
  • MSRP: $37.00 USD.

barbed-wire-division

The Kit:

Here is another palm sized German armor with great detail out of the box. This time we present the 1/48th Sturmgeschutz III Ausf.G (Sd.Kfz.142/1) Fruhe Version. This is stock # 32540 from Tamiya’s MM (Military Miniature Series). As I mentioned before on previous builds from this line, the build is very straightforward. The chassis/hull is presented as a pre-primed die-cast to add ‘mass’ and enhance realism.

Many of the Tamiya 1/48 MM series subjects, feature molded on detail. But also you will find tools, jacks, spare tracks and other accessories molded separate. This particular kit comes with a Tank Commander torso which in my opinion is well moulded and better than nothing.

Almost a dozen Tamiya 1/48 kits later, and I have yet to find one with fit issues worth mentioning here. As I have mentioned before, these kits are quite fun to build and make a nice display alongside your 1/48 German aircraft. If you haven’t build one of these, give them a try but I must warn you. You may get hooked!

My daughter gave me as a gift the Stug III Stowage set from Legend Productions (LF4102). This gave the model an overall great look and there were a few parts leftover including an extra bucket and jerry cans for another kit.

The kit was painted with Tamiya XF-59 and weathered with AK-Interactive washes, rust and grime streak effects. A final light coat of ”Dust Effects” (AK-015) was applied on the side armor plates.

As I explained a few weeks ago on our Facebook page when just 1 picture of this build was shared, it seems overly done. This is an effect of the studio strobe reflecting on the pigment. If there is one product on the AK Interactive line that works very subtle, is the ‘Dust Effects’.

Note from the Author

These subjects in this scale are gaining popularity and a plethora of accessories are already available for many popular subjects. Don’t believe me, take a look at what the folks over at Black Dog have available so far and see for yourself. I know that our scale of choice for armor is 1/35th. But give one of these kits a try. You won’t regret it!

Highly Recommended!

Tamiya 1/48 Marder III Tank Destroyer

The German Marder III series tank was designed using the chassis of the obsolete 38(t) tank made by the Czech company CKD. This tank destroyer was developed to counter the Russian T-34 and KV-1 tanks. The initial version of the Marder was armed with the PaK 36(r) 7.62cm anti-tank gun. Additional versions of the Marder were created based on the 38(t) tank. The series culminated with the development of the Marder III M, which differed from the earlier models.

The Marder III moved the engine to the center of the tank and the fighting compartment to the rear of the vehicle. This revision lowered the profile of the crew compartment allowing for additional armor plates for protection. Between May 1943 and May 1944, 942 Ausf. M tanks were produced.

The Kit:

click to enlarge

Kit Highlights
  • 1/48 scale plastic assembly kit of the German Tank Destroyer Marder III M.
  • The Marder’s combat compartment has been recreated in superb detail.
  • Display the model on its own or together with other 1/48 scale vehicles to create impressive dioramas. Related Products

Here is another subject added to our Tamiya 1/48th armor series.  This time is the German Tank Destroyer Marder III.  A beautifully engineered model kit and for its scale, it will please the most demanding armor builder. Like I have mentioned plenty of times before, armor builders for the most part prefer their kits in 1/35th scale. But the 1/48th scale armor is gaining popularity among aircraft model builders. Either as stand alone display models or with your favorite aircraft from the given era, the display and diorama possibilities are endless.

Unlike most of the armor subjects from the 1/48th Tamiya armor series, the Marder III German Tank Destroyer does not come with a die-cast pre-primed chassis. However, as with the case of the 1/48th scale Russian KV-2 Tank, the Marder III does include metal plates to add some weight and mass to the model. The instructions are in a 5 fold sheet with 20 steps to complete the model.

As with the other kits from the 1/48th series, the tracks are injected styrene. It is a love and hate relation but once one gets used to them, the assembly is very straight forward.

Again, I’ve concluded that Ambroid or Tenax plastic cement works better (for the track sections) than my regular Tamiya Extra Thin Cement. Once dried, a dab of CA glue with some kicker on the joint areas will help the tracks stay together during the assembly process.
The drive sprocket is attached via poly cap, however the idler wheel needs to be glued. A word of advice, don’t glue the idler wheel until you have fitted the tracks on the lower hull. It will be a lot easier, plus you won’t have to force the tracks that much and risk having them snap at some points.

I did not find any fitting problems with this model kit, nada, zero, zip. The included figure has some molding seam which was fixed in no time. That seam IMHO, falls into the acceptable/normal range. The kit comes with 3 marking options as follow:

  1. 15th Panzer Division, 33rd Tank Destroyers Battalion. North Africa, 1942.
  2. 7th Panzer Division, 42nd Tank Destroyer Battalion. Russia, 1942.
  3. 19th Panzer Division, 19th Tank Destroyer Battalion. Russia, winter 1942.

Painting and Weathering:

I don’t usually prime my models. The base color for this Marder III was Tamiya XF-63 German Gray. It was time to give it a try to the AK-Interactive Worn Effects (AK-088). If you’re happy with the old hair spray technique that’s fine. But I’m glad to report that the Worn Effect AK-088 does works as advertised. After this was applied and dry, a modest cat of Tamiya XF-2 Flat White was sprayed with my AZTEK A470 airbrush and Tan Nozzle.

After this step, I started to scrub the white paint with an old tooth brush. Then a smaller hard brush was used for harder to reach areas like corners. Then I proceeded to my decals which went without a problem. The decals were sealed with Testors Acryl Flat Coat to protect them from the wash that was about to come.

Following the decals, a Dark Wash from MIG Productions was given to the model. Rust streaks was the final touch and it was achieved using ”Rust Streaks” from AK Interactive (AK-013). As with the Worn Effect, it does work superb.

Final Verdict
The 1/48th scale Marder III German Tank Destroyer is not the regular weekend build I sometimes refer on other subjects from the line. It has exquisite molded on detail as well a separate. Tool boxes, axes, picks and hatches are included as separate parts. There are some notable ejection pin marks under the fenders. But considering the distance between them and tracks, they don’t pose a negative point given the fact that they will be barely if not visible at all. Still, if you want to fix them, be my guest. They won’t be hard to fill and fix either.

There are 2 ejection pin marks on each side of the armor plate (visible on the pictures). They are there on purpose and sure, I can photoshop them. But the only one I’d be lying to, is to myself. What you see on the pictures, is what you’ll get out of the box. This model kit is a palm size gem and is highly recommended!

Tamiya KV-2 Gigant Russian Tank

Following the creation of the KV-1 heavy tank, the Soviets produced a variant model armed with a short-barreled 152mm howitzer mounted in an impressively large turret. The so-called KV-2 heavy assault tank was developed as a more heavily armed tank, intended to target bunkers and other enemy strong points. The tank carried 36 High Explosive rounds for its main gun, and featured a machine gun for secondary armament.

Like the KV-1, the KV-2 featured thick armor that rendered it immune to everything but artillery and aircraft fire, and was capable of posing a formidable threat to the invading Germans. However, it was also handicapped because of its heavy weight, which reduced speed and maneuverability and contributed to a higher number of breakdowns than the KV-1. 334 KV-2 units were built between November 1940 and November 1942, before production factories were captured or forced to relocate due to the German advance.

 

 

Tamiya 1/48 KV-2 Gigant Russian Tank

Kit Highlights
  • Detailed 1/48 assembly model kit of the Russian KV-2 Heavy Tank.
  • Includes diecast chassis for added weight and realism.
  • Model accurately replicates 152mm howitzer and large size turret.
  • Gun and turret can move, and hatches on top and rear of turret may be opened or closed.
  • Assembly type tracks come with straight parts made of single pieces.
  • Includes 3 types of turret slogan decals.
  • Scale: 1/48
  • Tamiya Kit # 32538

Here is another subject on our featured 1/48 scale armor series from Tamiya models. The 1/48 KV-2 Gigant Russian Heavy Tank.  Armor builders tend to favor the more popular 1/35 scale.  But for us 1/48 aircraft builders, the quarter scale palm-sized armor are fun subjects to build and display along our aircraft models from the era.

Kits on the 1/48 scale from Tamiya come for the most part with 3 to 4 sprues, nicely detailed and a die-cast pre primed chassis which also add some mass and enhance realism on the finished model.

Assembly on the KV-2 Gigant Heavy Tank is very straight forward. The tracks are not single links but rather small 1, 3, 4 and strips of around 15+ link strips for the top and bottom sections. Make sure you carefully follow the assembly by the parts numbers.

The KV-2 doesn’t have the running wheels in the same place on both sides. As a result, the molded on ”sag” will not match the top running wheels on the left side but rather on the right and viceversa. My cement of choice has been always Tamiya Ultra Thin, but the tracks seems to work better with Ambroid Plastic Welder and or Tenax cement.

I am very pleased with the 1/48 series. The box art is amazing and breaks the mold (no pun intended) from the familiar 1/35 subject on white background art. The art is on a glossy colorful finish that screams for a photo frame in my humble opinion and taste. If you appreciate the box art on model kits, you’ll love the art on the 1/48 Matilda Mk.III / IV.

Painting and weathering the KV-2 Gigant Tank:

The base color used was Tamiya Olive Green XF-58.  A light post shading was done with 5 drops of  XF-58  to 2 drops of  XF-1 Flat Black.  The tracks are painted with Tamiya German Gray XF-63 as a base color. Decals are the usual inconsistent quality. One side went on without a hitch and the other one got some silvering which was reduced by airbrushing some base color carefully.

Hard to see but present is a heavy wash with MIG Productions Dark Wash behind the running wheels and idlers. I like the model clean as it is, but that pending wash with MIG Dark Wash is the prelude to a very possible winter wash so stick around ;o)

Note from the Author

As I mentioned earlier, although armor builders may favor their subjects in 1/35 scale (which is understandable), these model kits are a nice relieve builds with their low (yet nicely detailed) parts count. Nice display subjects with aircraft of the same scale. Oh OK, I already said that. At least for *me*, I’m not looking forward to super detailing these.

For the price on most subjects from this series, Tamiya can throw a humble fret of photo etch details without having to sacrifice production costs. For example, the 1/48 Jagdtiger would have benefited greatly from a small photo etch set for the engine grills.
Bottom line, I highly recommend this kit.

PS,
Painted with an AZTEK A470 Airbrush.  The bottom row of pictures are featuring close ups of some missing parts during the studio pictures session. You can see the towing cables on shackles. These are not glued pending the upcoming winter wash. Also, there are 3 types of slogan decals with the model. However, during my research I couldn’t find a single KV-2 with Russian slogans. If you happen to have reference pictures of KV-2 tanks with slogans, please do share it with our readers.

Tamiya 1/48 T34/76 Russian Tank

History: The T-34 was a Soviet medium tank produced from 1940 to 1958. Although its armour and armament were surpassed by later tanks of the era, it has been often credited as the most effective, efficient and influential design of World War II.  First produced at the KhPZ factory in Kharkov (Kharkiv, Ukraine), it was the mainstay of Soviet armored forces throughout World War II, and widely exported afterwards. It was the most-produced tank of the war, and the second most-produced tank of all time, after its successor, the T-54/55 series.  In 1996, T-34 variants were still in service in at least 27 countries.

The Russian T-34 Tank was developed from the BT series of fast tanks and was intended to replace both the BT-5 and BT-7 tanks and the T-26 infantry tank in service.  At its introduction, it was the tank with the best balanced attributes of firepower, mobility, protection and ruggedness, although its battlefield effectiveness suffered from the unsatisfactory ergonomic layout of its crew compartment, scarcity of radios, and poor tactical employment.

The two-man turret-crew arrangement required the commander to aim and fire the gun, an arrangement common to most Soviet tanks of the day; this proved to be inferior to three-man (commander, gunner, and loader) turret crews of German Panzer III and Panzer IV tanks. However according to analysis at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds of a T-34 sent over by the Soviets in 1942, the T-34 had the best optics of any tank so far analyzed there, both domestic and foreign.

 

 

The Kit:

Another week, another model along with a new look on our site. This time a new Tamiya 1/48th scale T34/76 is added to my 1/48 Russian subjects shelf. This is a 1941 T34/76 model with cast turret finely molded by Tamiya. This is a very straightforward one color and out of the box build. Every single part from this part fits perfectly with precision.  Almost one year ago (June 7, 2011 to be exact) I posted pictures and comments from the workbench about Tamiya’s 1/48 Sturmgeschutz III Ausf.B (Sd.Kfz.142).

The tracks on the T34 are reminiscent of the 1/48 Sturmgeschtz III. The are also plagued by pin ejector marks. To be honest, they don’t bother me that much but it is worth mentioning it for those more demanding model builders. One can just disguise those marks with weathering, or take the task of filling and sanding almost every single link. Below I’m providing a picture pointing out this issue.

Note from the Author
Tamiya recommends for the Russian T34 Dark Green XF-61. The tracks were painted with Polly S Grimmy Black and weathered with Raw Umber artist oil and Tamiya Weathering Master sets. The decal sheet comes with marking for 4 different. The markings on this model are for ‘Soviet-Estonia’ Eastern front, June 1943, built at factory #112 ”Krasnoye Sormovo”.

Tamiya did one great job on this kit considering the scale, especially the cast turret and rear engine grille. If you don’t have to have all armor built in 1/35th scale, this 1/48 will look very good with the rest of your Russian 1/48 aircraft. Recommended!

1/48 Panzerjager Jagdtiger

Jagdtiger (“Hunting Tiger”) is the common name of a German tank destroyer of World War II. The official German designation was Panzerjäger Tiger Ausf. B. The ordnance inventory designation was Sd. Kfz. 186. It saw service in small numbers from late 1944 to the end of the war on both the Western and Eastern Front. The Jagdtiger was the heaviest armored fighting vehicle operationally used during World War II. Due to an excessive weight the Jagdtiger was continuously plagued with mechanical problems. With the success of the StuG III, Marder I, Marder II, and Marder III in the tank destroyer role, the military leadership of Nazi Germany decided to use the chassis of existing armored fighting vehicles as the basis for self-propelled guns. German tank destroyers of World War II mostly used fixed casemates instead of moveable turrets to significantly reduce the cost of mounting large caliber guns.

 

 

 

Tamiya 1/48 Panzerjager Jagdtiger

OK, you want to know about the kit and see the rest of Tamiya’s 1/48 Jagdtiger pictures? Then head over our good friends over at Agape Models for the rest. See you there!

Tamiya 1/48 Komatsu G40

During WWII, Japanese forces developed the Komatsu G40 Bulldozer to aid in airfield construction. This was the first bulldozer manufactured by the Japanese. One hundred and forty-eight G40 bulldozers were built throughout the war.

The G40 was sent to the northern and southern fronts, but due to the war few managed to reach their assigned airfields. Only one G40 survived the war, and can be seen at the Komatsu Techo Center in Shizuka, Japan. The Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers recognized the vehicle in 2007 as a Mechanical Engineering Heritage item.

Kit Features

  • 1/48 scale model of the Komatsu G40 Bulldozer. Length: 75mm.
  • Accurately reproduced based on thorough research of the actual vehicle.
  • Detailed mechanisms such as the hydraulic lines give the model a distinctive air.
  • IJN emblem on the front grille is realistically depicted by a metal transfer.
  • 1 driver figure included.

 

 

 

The kit: After reading the history of the Komatsu G 40 on a full page ad from Tamiya, I was struck by the background story and the rarity and circumstances in which the only surviving G 40 Bulldozer resides today at the Komatsu Techo Center in Shizuka, Japan. As you can see in the the pictures, the G40 is composed of two sprues with finely crisp detail.

Very nice detail if you ask me considering the scale and final size of this kit when finished. There is little to no flash at all and mostly one has to deal with the common seam lines which for the most part, I get rid of by using TENAX. Every part fits in place very nice with any problems whatsoever.

There is something though, first, the included metal transfer was a VERY nice touch. But there is no reference to the other remaining transfers included in the instructions. Also, the art work on the box does features a metal coil around the hydraulic hoses. In the G40 box, you will find a nice leaf with information and sepia color pictures. Too bad that info was not provided in English but in Japanese. In my opinion, a glossy 8×10 would have made a great display addition to this Komatsu G40 model.

And back to the hose, it is not clear if the coiled version was when the G40 was factory new or the plain hoses are replacements prior to body restoration. At one point I considered adding the spring that comes inside the ball points over the hoses but later I changed my mind. Another one, the kit comes with head lights which are not seen on the art work or the historical reference pictures; but one is prompted to assemble in the instructions (step 2).

Painting and Weathering: As straightforward build with a similar paint scheme. The colors for G 40 Bulldozer according to Tamiya’s is no more than Tamiya  XF-63 for the tracks area and Tamiya XF-75 (IJN Gray Kure Arsenal) For the hoses you’ll be suggested a mix of Tamiya XF-9:1 and XF-64 :1. I skipped this and use NATO Black which is perfect (IMHO) is great to depicts black colored rubber (tires, etc). Weathering on the G40 was achieved with Tamiya Weathering Master (Set B) and Vallejo Pigments with their native glaze.

Final Verdict
This model kit screams for a diorama. Or you can add some same scale subjects to your 1/48 scale Japanese aircraft and other accessories. A lot of simplicity without sacrificing detail on such a small subject. Tamiya’s 1:48 Komatsu G40 Bulldozer, gets an A+ in my book. Highly recommended!

Tamiya 1/48 Sturmgeschutz III Ausf.B (Sd.Kfz.142)

Well, I have just finished this Tamiya 1/48 Sturmgeschutz III. Although there might be a few armor model kits within the 1/48 scale. Tamiya is taking this scale more seriously and bringing out popular WWII armor subjects. When I started modeling back in the eighties, everything was 1/35 Armor. I was the old Italeri-Testors kits found at local pharmacies in Puerto Rico (if you were lucky enough to find them). Boy, if model kits were scarce, even harder to find was the proper camouflage paint colors. Using the circa Testors square glass bottle, I had to play alchemist with what was available. My best efforts couldn’t bring my model close to those pictured on the bright yellow Testor’s box. Out of frustration for the lack of supplies, my great interest in building 1/35 scale armor disappeared.

About the German Sturmgeschutz III Ausf. B

Germany’s versatile Stug III was originally designed as an assault weapon, however also came to be used as a weapon of defense as the war progressed, providing both assault gun and anti-tank support. Based on the durable Panzer III chassis, the Stug III featured a monoblock structure with an L24 75mm short barreled gun mounted directly to the hull, eliminating the revolving turret and reducing overall height.

The Ausf. B was the first truly mass produced Stug III with 250 produced from June 1940. Featuring wide tracks and powered by a 230hp Maybach HL 120 TRM engine the Ausf. B boasted a top speed of 40km/h. The Ausf. B saw action during the Balakans campaign in April 1941 and Operation Barbarossa in June, 1941. The simple construction leading to low costs and easy mass production made the Stug III one of Germany’s most produced armored vehicles with over 10,000 produced.

 

 

The kit:
Can’t start talking about the kit without mentioning the nice box art on a glossy stock. This one is a keeper and will be framed to display it along others I have.  The Tamiya 1:48 Sturmgeschutz III comes in 3 crispy, flash-less, sprues molded in dark gray -almost as Tamiya XF-63 German Gray-, a small bag with 2 metal screws, 4 poly caps, a pre-primed die-cast chassis and a decal set with markings for 3 versions.The kit features a nice die cast chassis which adds some mass and weight to it with ‘built-in’ suspension. It also features styrene molded tracks which has the natural ‘sag’ of the tracks already shaped.

A word of advice, I started the threads assembly from rear. NOT recommended!  A few mm wrong on the backside can become a nuance when you reach the main propulsion sprocket. I did learned the hard way. This kit features some moulded on tools which in my opinion are fine as long as you paint them very careful.

Once painted, it will be hard to say they are separate. I will call this tank due to the low volume of parts and ease of build, a weekend project. It took me just 2 days from removing the wrap to the finished photo session. Decals are very nice with a thin carrier film but strong enough to hold on to the more aggressive SOLVASET.

Note from the Author
The main reason to build this Tamiya kit, was to display it alongside our Luftwaffe 1/48 subjects. No we have a piece of German Armor to give a nice scale on our display of BF-109 and Fw-190‘s. This Tamiya kit is highly recommended!