Type 97 Shinhoto CHI-HA
Kit #FM21 - Kit #35137
Review by Terry Ashley
Both kit drive sprockets are in two halves each and have detail on both sides of each disc although the inner ring of hub bolts on the Finemolds sprockets are fairly undersized and there is inner rib detail but this is better defined on the Finemolds sprockets. The only other difference being the Tamiya sprockets have the usual poly cap trapped between them for easy fitting to the axles while the Finemolds sprockets are simply glued in place on the axles.
The road wheels on both kits have good rim and hub details with the only difference being the hub caps on the Finemolds wheels include the small grease nipple that is missing from the Tamiya wheels. The wheels attached to the bogie arms on both have separate hub caps while the first and last wheels have them moulded with the wheels and there is little difference between the bogie arms on either kit.
At the back the idler wheels on both kits are nicely done but the rim contours are better on the Finemolds idlers with the contours on the Tamiya idler are a little harsh. The upper return rollers have nice hub details although the Tamiya rollers feature the hubs from the original CHI-HA kit while the Finemolds have the revised hubs of the later CHI-HAs and the inner roller is detailed on the Finemolds kit but are plain discs on the Tamiya kit.
Both kits have full length vinyl tracks but the Finemolds tracks have better defined details and glue together with normal plastic cement while the Tamiya tracks are showing their age with fairly “soft” details and the join pins have to be heat welded together.
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Page created December 26, 2006