Building the Fine Molds Type 97 "Te-ke" 1/35 scale
by Federico Collada © Modeler Site
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At the beginning of WWII the small tank Type 97 Te-ke was the main one of the Imperial Japanese Army. Inspired on the French FT17 vehicle, the crew consisted of two people, the driver and commander poorly armed and suffered from severely deficient armored protection, it was conceived and used for infantry support. One of the few advantages was the diesel engine which consumed little fuel and didn’t easily catch fire. In spite of being obsolete, it served until the end of war.
Its production started in 1937 and as well as its predecessor, the Type 94, it was used as truck and for transporting supplies.
The Type 97 main gun was Type 94 37 mm Tank Gun with caliber of 37 mm, barrel length of 1.3585 m (L36.7), The angle of fire of -15 to +20 degrees, AZ angle of fire of 20 degrees, muzzle velocity of 600 m/s, penetration of 45 mm/300m.
In spite of improvements, the Type 97 was ill-suited as a combat tank. The hull was still much too small to accommodate more crew members, which left the loading and firing of the main gun to the commander.
Perhaps the worst of this vehicle was the 4-16mm armor that even hand-held machine guns could penetrate.
Contrary to the real vehicle, the kit is gratifying. It’s no surprising since Fine Molds have always produced full detailed kits and this is not the exception.
The weak point is that instructions are in Japanese except for the color overviews.
The kit includes a PE part, individual track links and two figures, besides of the plastic parts, of course
To take advantage of the detailed interior, I decided to leave all the hatches open so that everything could be visible.
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