by Shawn Levy
As stated in the Tamiya kits instructions, “The Japanese Type 74 entered service in the JGSDF (Japanese Ground Self Defense Force) in Sept 1974 as their main battle tank. It has a standard NATO 105mm gun by Vickers in the UK. It’s most unique feature is it’s air/hydraulic suspension. This allows the Type 74 to lower it’s overall height, lower the front and raise the rear and vise-versa. It is still in service, but was replaced as the JGSDF’s MBT by the Type 90 several years ago.”
This kit was a joy to build. Modern Japanese armor is not a popular subject among armor modelers. Hence, there’s not a lot of publications on them.
The box art shows a lot of details not included in the kit. I added the grill on the front lights using heat-stretched sprue. Also added were Verlindern bolt heads on the IR search light, and rubber tubing for the IR light cable. I wanted to scratch build the drivers’ compartment, but couldn’t find any shots of it.
This kit was the first of the Type 74. The second Tamiya kit is one in Winter camoflage (#35168) It includes the rubber hose. Tamiya also does two kits of the newer Type 90: One with mine rollers and one without. By the way, the Pink Panther decal on the IR light, is included on the decal sheet.
Photo by Shawn Levy