Type 97 Shinhoto CHI-HA
(improved turret)

Finemolds Kit #FM21 - Tamiya Kit #35137
1:35th Scale
Review by Terry Ashley


This is a major area of difference in the kits with the Finemolds kit having the exhausts in two halves with separate end plates and moulded pipe (part F37, F38) leading into the hull although these had a small sink mark due to the thicker plastic which is easy to fill as there is no raised detail and the outlet pipe has nice perforations depicted on the inner bend. Once the exhausts are assembled and glued to the fenders there are etched outer heat shields to be added and you are provided with a jig (part F23) to bend the screens to the right profile.

The etched screens should be annealed by running through a candle flame until the metal turns red and then allowed to air cool naturally which only takes a few seconds due to the thin metal and is then easy to bend to the contours of the jig.

There are small “feet” in the shields that fit through holes in the fenders and the outer pair have to be bent inwards to mate with the holes and care will be needed when bending as you don’t get a second chance if you bend in the wrong direction so study the instructions carefully beforehand to avoid any problems.

Once the “feet” are passed through the fender openings they can be bent over to hold the screen in place but I found gluing the screens to the fender with thin cyanoacrylate was a better method of securing the screens with the “feet” ensuring the screens were in the right place.

The assembled exhausts and screens look very good and add a nice detail touch to the kit.

The exhausts on the Tamiya kit show their age with them being just the moulded heat screens with end sections and pipes on both ends and are lacking in detail by today’s standards with the Finemolds exhausts being a standout feature.

Exhaust parts
Assembled exhausts

Click on each headings below for a detail look as those sections:

Lower Hull:
Running Gear/Tracks:
Upper Hull:
Exhausts: (This page.)

Page created December 26, 2006

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