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Takom G6 Rhino

FineScale Modeler reviews the 1/35 scale plastic model armor tank kit
RELATED TOPICS: TANKS
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South Africa produced weapons to circumvent an arms embargo placed against it in 1977 by the United Nations. One of the vehicles developed was a mine-resistant, wheeled, self-propelled 155mm howitzer known as the G6 Rhino. 

Takom’s Rhino is molded in light gray plastic with just a few ejector-pin marks in need of filling and minor mold seams. Vision blocks, light lenses, and windows for the driver’s compartment are clear. Two photo-etch (PE) frets are included.

Overall, fit is good — I only needed filler where I got careless.

The six large tires are molded in vinyl with good tread and sidewall placards. Minor flash on the lip of each tire was easily removed with a sharp knife.

The plastic is brittle — some of the more delicate parts broke on the sprues during handling, and the mirrors and ladder broke several times.

I added the pads for the pneumatic arms when building the rest of the assembly, rather than waiting until Step 12 as instructed, to avoid losing parts D28 and D29, which are expected to just sit there  for several steps. Make sure you get the correct pad on the correct arm. The small tab on each pad should go to the outside of the vehicle.

 The pneumatic arms and rear spades are workable if you are careful with the glue. One end of the tub for the right rear spade (B28) is open, giving a view into the hull. I filled the opening with styrene.

The hull builds around the driver’s compartment. The front wheels can be left steerable if you omit parts C3 and C4. This is called out in the directions.

I left off the rearview mirrors and rear ladders until construction was complete.Covers shield the center of the wheels, but photos show they are not always used. So, I left them off the front wheels to show the hubs.

Diverging from the instructions, I joined the upper and lower turret halves before adding details. The gun barrel is molded in halves, but the fit was good and I had no trouble removing the seam from the join between the gun housing (parts F10 and F7) and the elevation mechanism (F19). You can add styrene blocks to F19 to give the gun a bigger mating surface.

When assembling the turret basket, make sure to use the replacement part TP5. The marks on this new part make bending easy. Leave the large box that is assembled in Step 30 separate so you can paint the detail that is underneath.

Two paint schemes are shown in the directions: The one I built in plain yellow-gray, the other in the three-tone camouflage. Pictures on the internet showed a gray band around the barrel where it recoiled into the turret. Several photos show the large storage box on the turret painted a brownish color, which adds a splash of color. All of the armored glass was painted with Ammo of Mig Jimenez crystal periscope green.
 
These vehicles wore few markings, and the decals includes only two large instrument dials, two ID numbers, and two warning labels. The decals went on without silvering and I had no trouble manipulating them.
 
The finished model is quite large — 10½ inches long and 4¼ inches tall — making it as big as many 1/35 scale main battle tanks. I completed it in 38 hours and it was a nice change of pace from complicated builds. The low parts count does not mean detail suffers.
 

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

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