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IBG Type 89 Kou

FineScale Modeler reviews the 1/72 scale plastic model armor kit
Although small, IBG’s kit of the late gas-powered Type 89 is expertly engineered with only a few fiddly issues that are primarily due to the scale. Panel lines are finely engraved, and there is excellent rivet detail. A driver and a standing crewman are included.

I followed the directions with the exception of leaving the tracks until the end.

I did have some problems assembling the running gear. Sprue gates and ejector-pin marks obscure four teeth on all halves of the drive sprockets and return idlers; I removed the gate from behind with a razor saw, then sanded the freed tooth to shape. Also, the return rollers have a minimal mating surface with the housings. Remove the axles and pin the wheels to the housings for a stronger bond.

The hull and turret went together easily and required no filler.

Due to the camouflage pattern’s scale and complexity, painting the model took as much time as assembling it. The painting instructions are confusing: The tank pictured does not match the model in some areas, the colors look wrong compared to the paint and the box images, and the camouflage doesn’t line up from side to top to side. Taking some creative license to resolve the mismatched pattern, I masked with Silly Putty and used Tamiya paints as called out on the instructions.

The decals were perfectly printed, went down fine over a coat of Pledge FloorCare Multi-Surface Finish, and reacted well to Microscale Micro Set. Still, they are very thin and require care to position. I tried to move one and … Tamiya flat white to the rescue!

The model took 12 hours to build and scales out well with my references in height and width. But length is another story. Tip-to-tip, it matches Wikipedia’s stated 18 feet, 10 inches — but Chris Foss’ Great Book of Tanks (Zenith, ISBN 978-0-7603-1475-3) has it at 14 feet, 1 inch. This does match the length of the model from the forward edge of the hull to the rear-mounted storage box, disregarding the trench tail and the drive sprockets’ extension past the hull. The model went together easily, but tiny parts and mating surfaces limit my recommendation to modelers with a few kits under their belts.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the July 2017 issue.


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