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Japanese Type 97 Tank

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ACTION FIGURES AT WAR

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This picture gives an idea of how small a Te-Ke really was. It was so small it only had a two man crew. A driver and commander/gunner.

Scratchbuilding a 1/6 scale Japanese Te-Ke Tank

I love things Marine. WWII Pacific War US Marines to be exact. To that end, I needed an enemy to defeat and all enemies need transport, armor or both. Here is my effort to provide armor support to my Imperial Japanese Army troops.
 
I am working with Ransome Chua and Jeff Finney (and many others!) on Project Tarawa.  My tank and my Japanese forces will be featured here along with several other collectors who are also contributing to the story.  If you would like to see the progress of this story click on the link below.

Tarawa Photostory Notice Board

Ransome Chau's Tarawa Photostory

BRONZE AWARD WINNER IN THE ACTION FIGURE MILITAIRE INTERNATIONAL 1/6 SCALE MILITARY COMPETITION FOR 2001

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THIRD PLACE AWARD WINNER AT THE WEEKEND OF HEROES CONVENTION APRIL 2002 IN THE WWII CATEGORY

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Japanese Tank Commander

The figure above is my first attempt at making a Japanese tank crewman from a poor illustration that came from a first run Osprey book.  I suspected it was wrong but there was virtually no information available on Japanese tank equipment.
 
Finally after a lot of research and some meager pictures and information I was able to dig up I made up a better figure below.  This is my finished Japanese Tank Commander!

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Click on the underlined text below to get an easy to follow pictorial on how to tie leg wraps!

How To Tie Japanese Leg Wraps

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First I cut down a Sunny Smile tank. Here is a picture of the finished cut down tank next to another Sunny Smile tank.

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The cost and availability of large styrene plastic sheets makes every piece valuable. I make cardboard templates of each piece before I cut any styrene. Once I get a good fit, then I move on to styrene. The dog was not neccessary to the model but I highly recommend one.

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Here the basic shape is taking place. The turret is added using the bottom of a large family sized pickle jar.

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Details were added, muffler, screen, hatches, rivets glued on (I used 3mm doll eyes, 144 for about $1.49), headlight and turret top was cut out and inverted for the hatch. I bought a door knob wall protector for the bottom part of the hatch. You can see the frame of the gun opening here.

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Not a great picture, but if you look carefully, you can see the cannon has been installed. I ran a pin thru the sides so the gun does elevate. I also added a breech and other details to the gun.

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Here is my Te-Ke after construction. I have already put the base coat of green on it and all is left is to apply the camo scheme and markings. Note the muffler screen is off to the right. I made it removable for painting.

That's it. Start to finish took ten days. I could have done more interior detail, but stopped at making the turret interior and some hatch interior details. This was a fun project and I have a Te-Ke tankette that is about 1/7th scale, just under the right size for a true 1/6th vehicle.

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My finished custom Japanese tank commander to go with my Te-Ke tank.  This was a figure that look a long time to make due to severly limited research materials on Japanese tank crewmen.

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Still a work in progress, these are my Imperial Japanese Army troops. I still need to do various modifications, and add a commander and a tank crew as well.

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Here is a 1/6 scale Taisho Model 3 Heavy Machine Gun and helmet nets I added to upgrade my troops.  I did these for Ransome Chua's Tarawa photo story project.  I am also working on a Type 96 machine gun and hope to also build a 70mm Mountain Howitzer but I'm not sure time will permit finishing the howitzer for the story.

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Click here to see my Type 92 Heavy Machine Gun