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Type 74 Kit

Trumpeter 1/72 JGSDF Type 74 Tank Kit First Look

By Ray Mehlberger

Date of Review May 2005 Manufacturer Trumpeter
Subject JGSDF Type 74 Tank Scale 1/72
Kit Number 7218 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nicely detailed exterior. Cons  
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $12.95

First Look

Type 74 Kit
Type 74 Kit
Type 74 Kit
Type 74 Kit
Type 74 Kit

The Japanese Self Defense Force’s Type 74 main battle tank, a successor to the Type 61, entered production on a small scale in the late 1975. The production rate never increased above around 50 vehicles per year, which meant a very high unit cost.

The tank carries a laser range-finder, computerized fire-control and nuclear, biological and chemical (BC) defense systems as standard. However, the Type 74 has an unusual cross-linked hydro-pneumatic suspension system, which allows it to raise or lower different parts of the chassis in order to cross difficult terrain or to engage targets outside the gun’s normal elevation/depression range. Internal layout is conventional, with a center turret and rear powerplant. The Type 74 forms the basis of the Type 87 37mm self-propelled anti-aircraft gun tank also.

The kit comes in a tray and lid type box. The box art is reminiscent of Tamiya kits, with a color painting of the tank on a pure white background. Side panels of the box give 4 full-color paintings of the Type 74 from different angles. The inside of the box is compartmented. The largest compartment holds the largest parts trees and the smaller one holds the one piece hull bottom tub, one piece upper hull part and the decals. This is odd to see in a kit this scale.

The kit holds 5 trees of dark green parts, a light gray tree of parts, the single lower hull tub part and the hull top (already mentioned), the decal sheet and a length of string (for tow cables) and a piece of clear film to use for the infrared detection lens. The final item is the black vinyl rubber-band type tracks. These items are packaged into 6 cello bags. The instruction sheet completes the kit’s contents.

The instructions consist of a single sheet that accordion folds out into 10 pages.

Page one of the instructions begins with a black and white profile of the Type 74. This is followed by international assembly symbol translations and READ BEFORE ASSEMBLY instructions in English, Chinese and Japanese.

Page two is the parts tree drawings.

Pages 3 through 9 give us a total of 16 assembly steps.

Page 10 has a 5 view drawing for the painting and marking schemes. You get 2 choices:

  1. The 71 st Tank Regiment, 4 th Company
  2. The 73 rd Tank Regiment, 1 st Company

There are 2 identical letter A parts trees. These hold the road wheels, drive sprockets, idler wheels etc. (28 parts per tree).

Letter B tree holds: turret top and bottom, various hatch lids etc. (22 parts).

Letter C tree holds: the main gun barrel, tools, more hatch lids, turret basket etc. (42 parts)

Letter D tree holds: parts for the infrared detection device etc. (10 parts)

Lettering now jumps to letter F parts three. This is the one light gray parts tree that holds 2 tank crew figures. The are both standing figures, with full bodies and only their arms being separate parts.

The single upper and lower hull pieces are next. They have no letter designations.

Finally, are the length of string for the tow cable, the clear film for the infrared device’s lens, the vinyl tracks and the decal sheet.

I think that this kit will really make up into a nice model of Japan’s Type 74. I detected no flash on any parts and detail looks very good.

My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!