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Type 97 Chi Ha Medium Tank


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I found this in the stash and thought it ideal for this GB as well as another attempt at stash reduction. It's been sitting in a box for quite a long time. 

 

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Two small green sprues with the upper and lower hull. Classic Airfix moulding but little flash, though I suspect there will be a little bit of cleaning up along the way. 

 

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Classic Airfix instructions on one page 

 

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and colour call outs for a single tank.  

 

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And a tiny transfer sheet. 

 

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welcome along and with one of these wee little beauties as well!

 

I remember thinking of this kit when Enzo posted his 1/35th one (originally though it might be one of these) and was hoping to see the wee Airfix one.

 

I don't really know why but I remember I was quite excited when they first released this one, it was such a strange tank compared to al the ones from Europe/UK, and US at the time. Though I never bought one.

 

She is a classic, with rivets the size of Xmas puddings! 

 

Well good luck with the build, am so glad you bought this one along, it's brought back plenty of memories! :thumbsup:

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Thanks @trickyrich , I've no idea why I bought it and when but I obviously did. And from Beatties, which does date it a bit as being around 20 years ago or so. Be been away so nothing has been done but I had a spare hour and a bit this afternoon so dived into it. Completed one side, cleaned up the upper hull and added the drivers hatch, and got started on the turret. I'll leave the aerial off until after painting   Though that's a little time away. Went together well with little cleaning up needed beyond tidying up the sprue gates, which are admirably small, and a couple of pieces of light flash. 

 

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having seen Enzo's and the picture of one of these on the back of a Sherman tank, they must have been tiny!

 

Airfix back in that day were pretty good with their mouldings, the mould are probably still good today (unlike some from the far east that barely last a production run!!)

 

nice to see this one under way.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/27/2022 at 7:46 AM, trickyrich said:

having seen Enzo's and the picture of one of these on the back of a Sherman tank, they must have been tiny!

 

Airfix back in that day were pretty good with their mouldings, the mould are probably still good today (unlike some from the far east that barely last a production run!!)

 

nice to see this one under way.

It certainly isn't very big. It must have been very cramped with a crew of 4. The moulding is really good. There's almost no flash and everything fitted together really well. So far there's been no filler required. The other side completed. 

 

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And the hull assembled. 

 

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And the turret on. 

 

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Ready for some paint but the options given by Airfix are not easy to get. 

 

 

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Hu170 is no longer available, and Hu94 isn't available in acrylic. I'll have a look through the stash and some equivalence tables. 

 

 

 

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A rummage through the paint stash has got me these three. And here's the Chi Ha with a base coat of the Tamiya Dark Yellow. I just hope the three different brands work together. I'm not a fan of Tamiya paint when brushed as it tends to streak and can lift on subsequent coats. But it's the best colour I can find. 

 

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18 minutes ago, 825 said:

A rummage through the paint stash has got me these three. And here's the Chi Ha with a base coat of the Tamiya Dark Yellow. I just hope the three different brands work together. I'm not a fan of Tamiya paint when brushed as it tends to streak and can lift on subsequent coats. But it's the best colour I can find. 

 

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If you give it a clear coat it should seal it and help. Its best if you do 3-4 watery coats with Tamiya as you're correct it doesn't brush well. 

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If you don’t have any retarder for the Tamiya, keep you brush damp with Tamiya thinner (the yellow cap lacquer is the best, but standard X-20 works fine) when applying the paint. It will help thin it out a bit which will smooth things out.  If you do need a second coat, let it fully dry before applying.  Part of the struggle with Tamiya acrylics is they dry so fast, which is why the “peel” if you go over drying paint before it’s fully dry.

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Thanks @Corsairfoxfouruncle and @helios16v for the advice. I got the sand on using a few thin coats and leaving a while between the coats. It went on OK. Before the green and brown I gave it a coat of Kleer and again left to cure. Not had any problems adding the brown and green apart from it's quite painstaking because of the size of the tank and the nature of the camouflage. However, it's coming along and here's where we are this morning. Still a little work to do but getting there.  

 

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Painting finished hopefully, I'll add the remaining bits and transfers before pulling it all together with some matt varnish. 

 

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Transfers on, not too difficult as there were only 5, and the remaining parts stuck on. I used a razor saw to remove the aerial as I was worried it would be a bit fragile. Everything went together well. There's just a little bit of touching up to do and then the tracks on to finish. 

 

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All the touching up done and a coat of matt varnish. Just the tracks to do now. And these close up photos always show the flaws so there's still a tiny bit of touching up still to do. 

 

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A bit of a problem. I was trying to straighten the tracks which were bent after years in the box, and one snapped. The plastic isn't really amenable to most gluesso I'll have to have a bit of a think. 

 

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The other track is OK but the fit isn't great but I'll get it sorted out. 

 

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I always use mini staples to join tracks these days - I got a "bambi" stapler in a Christmas cracker quite a few years back and it takes Rexel No 25. A touch of paint and they are virtually invisible - depending on the track width I try and use 2 in parallel as it holds the track in line. Incidentally they are also useful in aircraft modelling as I will be using some to replace the actuating arms on the rudder and elevators of a Do-17 and I have used them suitably cut up as lamp irons on locos..

 

Pete

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On 5/29/2022 at 10:59 PM, PeterB said:

I always use mini staples to join tracks these days - I got a "bambi" stapler in a Christmas cracker quite a few years back and it takes Rexel No 25. A touch of paint and they are virtually invisible - depending on the track width I try and use 2 in parallel as it holds the track in line. Incidentally they are also useful in aircraft modelling as I will be using some to replace the actuating arms on the rudder and elevators of a Do-17 and I have used them suitably cut up as lamp irons on locos..

 

Pete

Pete, that's a real old school solution and I recall it suggested in the Airfix magazine from a fair old time ago. Another solution used was to sew the tracks together with fine thread. Unfortunately I don't have a mini stapler, I've never been lucky enough for one to fall out of a Christmas cracker for me. 

 

I've got by using small amounts of Hypo-GS jewellers cement which glues almost anything. The broken bit I slipped underneath the rear mudguard under the exhaust and glued the broken section of track to the underside of the mudguard butting both ends together. It's a bit of a lash up but unless one knows it's there and looks close, I think I've got away with it. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Gee she looks nice, and I think the paint job came out great.  :thumbsup:

 

I find Tamiya paint is a real bugger to paint over no matter how long its been drying for!  Anyway she's an AFV, a bit of dust and dirt and she'll be perfect.

 

Oh dear tracks breaking, have had that happen many times, staples for the bigger tracks where the join can be hidden, or as you say out with the needle and thread. Which I think is the better way as the join is still flexible and with some coloured thread completely invisible.

 

Keep up the great work, she's nearly there! 

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