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Armor/AFV
For all ground-operating modelling subjects.
REVIEW
IJN Type 2 Ka-Mi w/Floating Pontoon
firstcircle
_VISITCOMMUNITY
England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: November 19, 2008
KitMaker: 2,156 posts
AeroScale: 34 posts
Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - 12:11 PM UTC
Matthew Lenton builds and reviews Dragon's second version of the Ka-Mi amphibious tank, this time with the floating pontoons.


How great is that picture?

Link to Item

If you have comments or questions please post them here.

Thanks!
weathering_one
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Ontario, Canada
Joined: April 04, 2009
KitMaker: 458 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - 04:31 PM UTC
Thanks Matthew for this review and your detailed descriptions about building it. It's reviews like this and those of a few others that make this site the best for those of us with more modest skills. This looks like an interesting kit and I'll keep my eye out for one.

Regards,
AJ
tread_geek
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Ontario, Canada
Joined: March 23, 2008
KitMaker: 2,801 posts
AeroScale: 124 posts
Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - 03:54 AM UTC
Matthew,

Fascinating subject and very interesting (and at times entertaining) review. I've read a few comments about building the Ka-Mi both in 1/72 and 1/35. Issues with attaching the pontoons (fit) seemed to be a virtually universal problem. Therefore, I was surprised to read that on your kit this wasn't a problem and the fit overall was good. As for the kit instructions and their problems; typical Dragon. Being somewhat familiar with CAD and drawing programs, there shouldn't be a issue with reusing parts (copying) of a "drawing" and correcting discrepancies after it's pasted into a new location/document.

I also find it strange that the machine guns have such nice detail on their internal portions and the main gun lacking a breach. With their Chi Ha tanks, the main gun had very nice interior breach detail but the machine guns none! Lastly, as with a number of recent Dragon kits with turrets, why no slots and tabs to aid in not having a turret fall off if one desires to have it rotatable?

Cheers,
Jan
firstcircle
_VISITCOMMUNITY
England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: November 19, 2008
KitMaker: 2,156 posts
AeroScale: 34 posts
Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - 10:22 AM UTC
AJ, thanks, your message is appreciated.

Jan, as is yours; hopefully it was not unintentionally entertaining! Hmm, you have me slightly worried with your comment about widespread difficulties with fitting the pontoons - I went back and checked the photos to see if I have mistakenly perceived them as fitting well when they don't. It seems to me however that there should be some apparent gap between the pontoons and the hull of the tank, and since my pontoons are only clipped on, not glued, I could probably get them a bit tighter if I force them on and cement them in place.

If we compare the two photos below, it seems to me that there is nothing particularly wrong with the fit and alignment of them on the kit, and I certainly didn't need to make any adjustments in order to achieve this.




The issue with the odd elements of internal detail is an interesting one; I can only imagine that there is, for example, a complete machine gun already in their CAD files for another purpose, so it is just included in, as is.

Locking rotatable turrets... I find these things are often troublesome as they are commonly so tight that you don't dare rotate them due to the amount of force needed to do so. Besides, touching completed models is forbidden surely!

tread_geek
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Ontario, Canada
Joined: March 23, 2008
KitMaker: 2,801 posts
AeroScale: 124 posts
Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - 01:10 PM UTC

Quoted Text


Jan, as is yours; hopefully it was not unintentionally entertaining! Hmm, you have me slightly worried with your comment about widespread difficulties with fitting the pontoons - I went back and checked the photos to see if I have mistakenly perceived them as fitting well when they don't.



Sometimes reviews can be a bit too dry so this one seemed lighthearted or a bit more personable than most. As for the fit issues, they were posted on less prestigious sites than this. In a case or two the builders resorted to filling the joints between tank and pontoon which according to pictures I've seen is incorrect.


Quoted Text

If we compare the two photos below, it seems to me that there is nothing particularly wrong with the fit and alignment of them on the kit, and I certainly didn't need to make any adjustments in order to achieve this.



Again, from pictures I've seen, your build looks quite appropriate. Impression is that these pontoons were sealed floatation devices. BTW, it had to be pretty cramped in these tanks with a five man crew.


Quoted Text

The issue with the odd elements of internal detail is an interesting one; I can only imagine that there is, for example, a complete machine gun already in their CAD files for another purpose, so it is just included in, as is.



I would guess that these more detailed pieces were a hold over from the master meant for a 1/35 version. Then again, perhaps the Chi Ha's hit the market before these were considered, or something. Isn't speculation grand!


Quoted Text

Locking rotatable turrets... I find these things are often troublesome as they are commonly so tight that you don't dare rotate them due to the amount of force needed to do so. Besides, touching completed models is forbidden surely!



First point, I always sand/file down the little pegs and turret ring as needed to permit a more free movement. This is invaluable during finishing when the turret needs removal and you don't want it scraping the paint. Once the build is complete, one must find the proper "pose" for the tank and if it goes to several shows a certain degree of contact is inevitable. Also a good reason to have a supply of latex gloves on hand (great for painting too).

Cheers,
Jan
tread_geek
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Ontario, Canada
Joined: March 23, 2008
KitMaker: 2,801 posts
AeroScale: 124 posts
Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - 01:10 PM UTC

Quoted Text


Jan, as is yours; hopefully it was not unintentionally entertaining! Hmm, you have me slightly worried with your comment about widespread difficulties with fitting the pontoons - I went back and checked the photos to see if I have mistakenly perceived them as fitting well when they don't.



Sometimes reviews can be a bit too dry so this one seemed lighthearted or a bit more personable than most. As for the fit issues, they were posted on less prestigious sites than this. In a case or two the builders resorted to filling the joints between tank and pontoon which according to pictures I've seen is incorrect.


Quoted Text

If we compare the two photos below, it seems to me that there is nothing particularly wrong with the fit and alignment of them on the kit, and I certainly didn't need to make any adjustments in order to achieve this.



Again, from pictures I've seen, your build looks quite appropriate. Impression is that these pontoons were sealed floatation devices. BTW, it had to be pretty cramped in these tanks with a five man crew.


Quoted Text

The issue with the odd elements of internal detail is an interesting one; I can only imagine that there is, for example, a complete machine gun already in their CAD files for another purpose, so it is just included in, as is.



I would guess that these more detailed pieces were a hold over from the master meant for a 1/35 version. Then again, perhaps the Chi Ha's hit the market before these were considered, or something. Isn't speculation grand!


Quoted Text

Locking rotatable turrets... I find these things are often troublesome as they are commonly so tight that you don't dare rotate them due to the amount of force needed to do so. Besides, touching completed models is forbidden surely!



First point, I always sand/file down the little pegs and turret ring as needed to permit a more free movement. This is invaluable during finishing when the turret needs removal and you don't want it scraping the paint. Once the build is complete, one must find the proper "pose" for the tank and if it goes to several shows a certain degree of contact is inevitable. Also a good reason to have a supply of latex gloves on hand (great for painting too).

Cheers,
Jan