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Type 87 Kit

Trumpeter 1/35 JGSDF Reconnaissance Vehicle Type 87 Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review March 2005 Manufacturer Trumpeter
Subject JGSDF Reconnaissance Vehicle Type 87 Scale 1/35
Kit Number 0327 Primary Media Styrene/Photo-Etch
Pros Nicely detailed exterior Cons No interior
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $24.95

First Look

Type 87 Kit
Type 87 Kit
Type 87 Kit
Type 87 Kit
Type 87 Kit
Type 87 Kit

The Type 87 Armed Reconnaissance Vehicle entered service with the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) in 1987. Armed with a 25mm cannon, the Type 87 can carry its crew of five into a hot spot, gather intelligence on an opposing force while suppressing the enemy's defenses. The vehicle is almost 6 meters long, is powered by a ten-cylinder diesel 305 hp engine, and weighs approximately 15 tons. Its 6x6 drive train gives the vehicle good off-road mobility.

This release from Trumpeter is one of several recent kits clearly aimed at the Japanese market. The Type 87 has not been released previously in 1/35 scale, though this kit will be released under the Skywave/Pit Road banner in Japan soon. You can see in the first photo that the hull is of contemporary design - there is no provision for motorization. Instead, the underside of the hull is detailed with access plates.

On opening the box, you first notice how well-packaged this kit is with cardboard cutouts holding the hull and turret parts safely in place. The three olive green parts trees provide the wheels, suspension, and the various hull and turret parts.

On opening the box, you first notice how well-packaged this kit is with cardboard cutouts holding the hull and turret parts safely in place. The three olive green parts trees provide the wheels, suspension, and the various hull and turret parts.

The two light grey parts trees provide two vehicle crewmen for posing in open hatches, plus three additional soldiers dismounted.

A fret of photo-etched parts is also included which provide the first photo-etched mud flaps I've seen on a kit. In fact, the front and rear gravel guards/mud flaps are provided in photo-etch.

Assembly appears to be straightforward, though you'll be spending a while (seven steps) assembling the suspension as this kit is quite detailed.

For some reason, the periscope transparencies were done with cut acetate parts. While there is no problems using these parts, you might elect to leave these off so they won't be painted. Instead, you can use something like Microscale Crystal Clear to create the transparencies once the painting and weathering is complete.

This is another interesting release from Trumpeter. While not the cup of tea for the WW2 Panzer modeler, most modelers of contemporary combat vehicles will enjoy the unique size and look of this modern Japanese reconnaissance vehicle.

My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!

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