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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!

George Collazo
George Collazo

George has been hosting review sites and blogging about toy collectibles, travel, digital photography and Nikon digital imaging since 1998. His first model kit build was a Testors 1/35 DODGE WC-54 in 1984.