Type 97 Chi-Ha hull and turret questions

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Type 97 Chi-Ha hull and turret questions

Joined: August 12th, 2004, 3:14 pm

November 19th, 2011, 11:37 pm #1

Being that I have several of the Tamiya kits and they are not that bad...

Can I take the 57mm turret and fit it to the late hull in the Shinhoto kit. I do not know if the later hull never had or sometimes had the driver's hatch. Likewise, can I take the Shinhoto turret and use it on the early style hull. I assume I can do both of these things but I do not know if the 57mm turret would be correct on a hull without the driver's hatch and was the Shinhoto turret used on hulls with a driver's hatch.

The drawings I have seem to show the definitive early Chi-Ha or the late hull Shinoto version and I cant really tell from photos about the driver's hatch.
DAVID NICKELS
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Joined: November 8th, 2003, 2:51 am

November 20th, 2011, 1:54 am #2

Dave, I have the Finemolds Type 97 Shinhoto Chi Ha "Early Hull" and it does not have the door. I also tried to fit my Tamiya Shinhoto Turret in the Tamiya Chi Ha hull and it didn't fit (close but not quite). I also think it needs to be moved to the center a bit. I don't think any of the Shinhotos had the door as the turret was just to big. Also I'm pretty sure that the 57mm Chi Ha "Late Hull" still had the door in the hull top (at leaste they did in all the pictures I've seen). I didn't call it the drivers door though because the driver sat on the right side and the door is right above the hull MG gunner on the left. I think if you want to take a Tamiya early Chi Ha and place a Shinhoto turret on it you will have to do some surgery. I think the easiest would be to just cut out the kit hull top and drop in a new one made out of sheet plastic.

Roy
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Joined: August 12th, 2004, 3:14 pm

November 20th, 2011, 12:50 pm #3

Also... I noticed the turret ring holes are slightly (maybe 1mm?) off from each other. I don't think I really need to make a new upper hull deck but just enlarge or shim the turret rings. Or just cut the rings off the bottoms of the turrets and swap them out. The tank I want to make is the 57mm Chi Ha with the late hull. But I figure if I can at some point in the future use the Shinhoto turret on the early hull that is good.

If the 57mm gun tanks all had the hatch I can add that. I want it closed anyway so I can just scribe it into the upper hull. And for the Shinhoto I can just putty it over and sand it out. That was my main concern.

Thanks for confirming the details I was wondering about. I can make my late 57mm tank
DAVID NICKELS
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Joined: July 1st, 2004, 8:30 am

November 20th, 2011, 10:21 pm #4

Hi David

If I got this right, you are writing about using the Tamiya Shinhoto turret on an early hull? While this would be correct - as pointed out by Roy, as well - there is a problem.

I agree that the Tamiya kits are fine, e.g. the bolt heads depicted are better than on the Fine Molds kits, but the Shinhoto turret is dimensionally off. (e.g. too short, you might find threads on this topic in this forum)

Cheers,
Peter
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Joined: November 8th, 2003, 2:51 am

November 20th, 2011, 11:10 pm #5

I think David is aware of the dimentional problem as he mentions it quite often in some of those threads. I still think the biggest problem is the position of the Shinhoto turret as compared to standard Chi Ha turret. I think it need to be positioned closer to the center line of the tank. I do not know if just widening the hole in the Chi Ha hull so the Shinhoto turret will fit will do the trick as I think the position will be off. Of course I'm basing this off by studying the kits themselves and not any drawings or anything so I could be wrong. I had planned on doing the same thing as I am not really disturbed by the errors of the Tamiya Shinhoto Turret (as I was more geared at making a 57mm Chi Ha Late version).

Roy
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Joined: August 12th, 2004, 3:14 pm

November 21st, 2011, 12:54 am #6

Hi David

If I got this right, you are writing about using the Tamiya Shinhoto turret on an early hull? While this would be correct - as pointed out by Roy, as well - there is a problem.

I agree that the Tamiya kits are fine, e.g. the bolt heads depicted are better than on the Fine Molds kits, but the Shinhoto turret is dimensionally off. (e.g. too short, you might find threads on this topic in this forum)

Cheers,
Peter
But I am making a late 57mm Chi Ha or want to by using the early turret on the Shinhoto hull. And did the late tanks still have the hull top hatch(which aparently they do). I figured though since I would have a spare Shinhoto turret and early hull that at some point in the future I can combine those two and make an early Shinhoto.

I actually like the Tamiya kits quite a bit. I have a couple of each anyway and for $13-$18 they are still a good value compared to $45-$80 for the Fine Molds kits. I have the Fine Molds Type 3 and its "okay" but is not any better detailed then the old Tamiya kit overall.

I dug out my AJ Press books and vol 2 shows the Type 1 Che He as having the hull top hatch with the Shinhoto type turret.

DAVID NICKELS
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Joined: November 8th, 2003, 2:51 am

November 21st, 2011, 5:56 am #7

the Chi He had a very different upper hull then the Chi Ha. I too like the Tamiya kits as they are still very nicely detailed and I have several of them as well. Like you I am planning a conversion using the Late Hull from the Tamiya Shinhoto kit and mating it with the turret from Tamiya's 57mm Chi Ha. I only have two of the Finemolds Type 97 Medium tank kits, the Shinhoto "Early Hull" and a 57mm Chi Ha "Early Production", both of which are very nice as well but still a bit pricey. I too have the Type 3 which I think is also very well done.

Roy
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Joined: July 1st, 2004, 8:30 am

November 21st, 2011, 12:37 pm #8

But I am making a late 57mm Chi Ha or want to by using the early turret on the Shinhoto hull. And did the late tanks still have the hull top hatch(which aparently they do). I figured though since I would have a spare Shinhoto turret and early hull that at some point in the future I can combine those two and make an early Shinhoto.

I actually like the Tamiya kits quite a bit. I have a couple of each anyway and for $13-$18 they are still a good value compared to $45-$80 for the Fine Molds kits. I have the Fine Molds Type 3 and its "okay" but is not any better detailed then the old Tamiya kit overall.

I dug out my AJ Press books and vol 2 shows the Type 1 Che He as having the hull top hatch with the Shinhoto type turret.
Hey David (and Roy).

OK, I thought I would better mention it. No damage done, if you already knew it.

I have some rather good reference books, mainly in Japanese, but one of them has a couple of good drawings. I will have a look tonight if there is a definite answer concerning the hatch, and the correct position of the turret.

If I find something, I could pass you a scan by email, ok?

Cheers,
Peter

PS: While I also find that the Tamiya kit depicts some details better than Fine Molds, I still find that over all, the Fine Molds kits offer more detail (one small example: the grease nipples on the road wheels). That said, I still buy Tamiya kits for some of my conversions, but I use mainly the lower hulls.
Last edited by Rathgeb on November 21st, 2011, 12:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: August 12th, 2004, 3:14 pm

November 21st, 2011, 12:56 pm #9

Any help is appreciated.

I guess its a trade off. I like the detail of most of the Tamiya parts better than Fine Molds although Fine Molds does include some small details here and there Tamiya has missed.

I really hope Dragon steps up and does some more 1/35 Japanese tanks.
DAVID NICKELS
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Joined: July 1st, 2004, 8:30 am

November 21st, 2011, 1:59 pm #10

If I include upgrade parts, mainly for the Tamiya exhausts + covers, I really like it very much!

Concerning Dragon: This would be great. I do not expect that they make a Chi-Ha in the first place, but my money would go on the Type 95 Ha-Go. They already make one in 1/72, and the Fine Molds offering has a couple of shortcomings.

Cheers,
Peter
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