Author Topic: Japan '46 - Chi Nu Kai tank  (Read 237 times)

Offline robunos

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Japan '46 - Chi Nu Kai tank
« on: April 02, 2021, 11:50:03 PM »

Japan '46 - Chi Nu Kai tank


By late 1943, it became obvious to the Japanese Army that the Type 97 Chi-Ha tank was no longer competitive on the battlefield, due to the appearance, in ever increasing numbers, of the US M4 Sherman, in addition to 50mm + calibre anti-tank guns. A two stage process was thus begun, firstly improving the existing Chi-Ha, with increased firepower and armour, and secondly by designing and building new tank types with increased performance.
By late 1944, the first process had led, via the Shinhoto Chi-Ha (also known as the Chi-Ha Kai) and the Chi-He, to the Chi-Nu, armed with a 75mm L38.5 gun and protected by a maximum of 50mm of armour, and the second to the Chi-To, larger and heavier than the Chi-Nu, with a more powerful 75mm L56 gun, and a maximum armour thickness also of 75mm.
While the Chi-He was in limited production, the Chi-Nu had yet to move beyond 'hand built' pre-production examples, and the Chi-To was suffering from development problems with it's modified running gear. This was due to the current war situation, both enemy action, and more importantly, the dominance of the Japanese Navy, and their priority for materials and production facilities. 
In order to expedite Chi-To development, it was decided to fit Chi-To guns to a couple of the Chi-Nu tanks, for gunnery tests (it was found to be possible to modify the Chi-Nu turret to accept the Chi-To gun, mounting, and mantlet assembly). This done, it was discovered that the hybrid made a perfectly suitable combat machine. Accordingly, it was decided to cancel the Chi-To  as such, in favour of the hybrid vehicle, to be called the Chi-Nu Kai. The Chi-He production set up would be changed to produce Chi-Nu hulls and modified turrets, along with Chi-To guns and mountings, which would be put together to make Chi-Nu Kais. The maximum hull armour would initially be 50mm, but it was hoped that in due course it would be increased to 75mm. 'Small Gunned' Chi-Nus would still be built, to utilise supplies of the L38.5 gun, until that line could be switched over to making the L56 gun.
All these plans were of course academic, as there was effectively nothing to build all these tanks out of. This changed with the August Coup. Primarily instigated and carried out by the Army, along with the Emperor and his Staff, several of the most senior Navy personnel were also arrested and detained, being accused of being  'Saru O Kofuku Sa Seru' (surrender monkeys). With the IJN High Command effectively decapitated, and the Army in definite charge, the priorities were changed, large ship building was stopped, and men and materiel diverted to the tank programme. Despite the war situation, by the date of the US landings, more than 200 Chi-Nus, and nearly 100 Chi-Nu Kais were available to repel the invaders . . .


For this GB I'm going to build the IBG 1/72 Chi-Nu-Kai kit.


Okay, lets make a start . . .


First up, the 'Pack shots'.
The box top,





I do really like this picture, I think it captures the two aspects of the wartime Japanese mindset, the brutal militarism co-existing with the Zen philosophy . . .
Next, the small decal sheet along with a small PE fret, and the large, glossy instruction leaflet. The paint guide, not visible here, is in colour . . .





Opening the box, we can see we have a bonus game of 'Guess which corner of the box the parts are hiding in?'





and the parts on their runners. Lots of slide-moulding going on here.





That's All For Now, Stay Tuned . . .


cheers,
Robin.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2021, 05:14:48 AM by robunos »
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Offline Frank3k

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Re: Japan '46 - Chi Nu Kai tank
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2021, 12:58:48 AM »
That boxtop really is distinctive! The box could probably hold a 1/35 version of the tank

Should be an interesting build - at least no individual track links to worry about!

Offline robunos

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Re: Japan '46 - Chi Nu Kai tank
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2021, 09:28:51 PM »
That boxtop really is distinctive! The box could probably hold a 1/35 version of the tank

Should be an interesting build - at least no individual track links to worry about!


I have quite few 1/72 IBG vehicle kits in the stash, and they all have the same size box, irrespective of the size of the kit inside . . . :o
The tracks are beautifully moulded ( you'll see them when I come to build them), only problem I have is assemble the wheels first then paint, or paint first, then assemble?


cheers,
robin.
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline robunos

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Re: Japan '46 - Chi Nu Kai tank
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2021, 09:30:31 PM »

Okay . . . let's bash some plastic !
The slide-moulded lower hull,





There are some very delicate parts that make up the suspension, I had to be really careful to remove them from the runner.





But I did It! (and only broke one of them . . . )





after attaching these, and the rest of the lower hull parts.





Time for the upper hull now.
This was quite simple, two plates underneath to fill in the sponsons, a separate detail piece for the hull front plate, and finally, the hull top plate.





Like a Quick-Build kit, the upper hull has those hollow pegs that engage pins inside the lower hull.
I shortened these, and widened the holes to get a good fit between the hull halves. I'll add the upper hull detail parts at the end . . .


Turret time !
The slide-moulded turret body,





hatches added,





and the mantlet attached. There is no provision to adjust the position of the gun with this kit.





The turret base attached. I removed the lugs from the turret base, so the turret is just a drop-in fit to the hull.





A dry-fit test with the hull,





then gun, MG, and recoil cylinders added. That's the turret assembled.







That's All For Now, Stay Tuned . . .


cheers,
Robin.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2021, 09:34:15 PM by robunos »
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: Japan '46 - Chi Nu Kai tank
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2021, 10:14:07 PM »
Looks like a great kit, especially for mini-scale armour, & you're putting it together nicely! 8)

OK, well, it looks like there is some construction required of the tracks (in Steps 1-to-3, I'm assuming). If it was me (but I only build 1/35 armour): I'd build the track units separately, then paint everything, then fit the tracks.
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Offline robunos

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Re: Japan '46 - Chi Nu Kai tank
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2021, 11:28:45 PM »
That's the problem. The tracks, inner halves of the road wheels and idlers are moulded together as one piece, then the outer road wheels, and both sprocket halves are moulded as separate pieces, so paint then glue, or glue then paint? I can see the merits of both approaches . . .   :-\


cheers,
Robin.
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline Dr. YoKai

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Re: Japan '46 - Chi Nu Kai tank
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2021, 04:37:53 AM »
That's the problem. The tracks, inner halves of the road wheels and idlers are moulded together as one piece, then the outer road wheels, and both sprocket halves are moulded as separate pieces, so paint then glue, or glue then paint? I can see the merits of both approaches . . .   :-\


cheers,
Robin.

Ah, the joys of track work. I have a similar issue with the E-100, but since I'm using a fairly simple paint scheme, I'm primering, than hand painting some of the suspension elements, then some assembly. Good luck regardless - I like this particular tank, and look forward to seeing the progress.

Offline Buzzbomb

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Re: Japan '46 - Chi Nu Kai tank
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2021, 06:36:08 AM »
Quite fine parts. Looking fine so far

Offline Frank3k

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Re: Japan '46 - Chi Nu Kai tank
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2021, 09:39:01 AM »
I would paint the tracks first - the dark color would act as a shadow as well - then paint the road wheels an glue to the tank.

Offline apophenia

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Re: Japan '46 - Chi Nu Kai tank
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2021, 04:39:46 AM »
Very cool concept  :smiley:

... I do really like this picture, I think it captures the two aspects of the wartime Japanese mindset, the brutal militarism co-existing with the Zen philosophy ...

So, does this mean that you're going for a full, pink 'cherry blossom' camouflage pattern?  ;D
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Offline robunos

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Re: Japan '46 - Chi Nu Kai tank
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2021, 05:11:06 AM »
Very cool concept  :smiley:

... I do really like this picture, I think it captures the two aspects of the wartime Japanese mindset, the brutal militarism co-existing with the Zen philosophy ...

So, does this mean that you're going for a full, pink 'cherry blossom' camouflage pattern?  ;D


Well . . . I've rather painted myself into a corner (pun most definitely intended) with this build. As it's set in the same timeline as my 'Umi Bozu' build, [size=78%]https://beyondthesprues.com/Forum/index.php?topic=9559.msg179696#msg179696[/size], it's already been established that paint is in critically short supply. So now I don't have a clue what colour to paint the damn thing . . .   :-[   :o   >:D
The idea is that these tanks are valuable assets, and not to be wasted in suicide attacks, rather they are to be used to lead counter attacks following the US landings. Therefore they need to be camoflaged in order to lie in wait to ambush advancing US armour. Oh well, suppose I can whiff up some decent paint supplies from somewhere . . .   ???
[/size]Also, while doing some research as to how to paint this, I've found that my understanding of what makes a Chi-Nu Kai is incorrect. It isn't a Chi-Nu with a Chi-To turret and gun. The Chi-To turret is a new, cast design. The Chi-Nu Kai is in fact a Chi-Nu tank, with a Chi-Nu turret, modified to take a Chi-To gun and mantlet assembly. I've edited my backstory accordingly.cheers,Robin.[size=78%]
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Offline MAT

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Re: Japan '46 - Chi Nu Kai tank
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2021, 04:47:59 PM »
Due to the war situation and lack of steel, the Imperial Japanese Navy stopped all shipbuilding i 1945. So maybe there were some supplies of paint left at the shipyards. So my proposal is to paint the tank in navy warship colours.

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: Japan '46 - Chi Nu Kai tank
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2021, 06:34:59 PM »
You could go with something like this:



(See the last entry in the Inspirations thread or here; https://beyondthesprues.com/Forum/index.php?topic=8708.25
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Offline LemonJello

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Re: Japan '46 - Chi Nu Kai tank
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2021, 08:34:52 PM »
If there is a paint shortage, wouldn't the use of camouflage netting or other materials be an alternate solution?

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Re: Japan '46 - Chi Nu Kai tank
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2021, 03:12:27 AM »
Bare metal finished tanks!! ;)
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Offline Geoff

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Re: Japan '46 - Chi Nu Kai tank
« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2021, 03:46:43 PM »
Bare metal finished tanks!! ;)

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Offline Dr. YoKai

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Re: Japan '46 - Chi Nu Kai tank
« Reply #16 on: April 09, 2021, 11:33:09 PM »
Bare metal finished tanks!! ;)

I was thinking the same thing.