The Type 87 is a reconnaissance armored
vehicle build upon the Type 82 command vehicle chassis. It mounts a 25mm
automatic gun coupled to a light intensifying sight and one 7.62mm coaxial MG.
The crew is of 5 : the driver on the right, one scout on his left, two men manning the turret and one scout at the rear with the capability of looking either through a vision block or a camera set in a protecting cage at the rear left.
The two front axles are steering. The vehicle is not amphibious operations capable.
The kit is released by Trumpeter and comes in a cardboard box with protecting sockets for the hull halves and the turret upper half. The model is in 1 main sprue, 2 others for the running gear, the hull and turret parts already mentioned, a photoetched parts sheet, a clear plastic sheet with precut vision block glasses, a piece of thread, 3 metal shafts and a decal sheet. As a bonus, there is a sprue with 5 figures.
The instructions come in a 12-page booklet with 1 presenting the various sprues, 1 for the figures and 1 for the decoration instructions. The build comprises 17 well detailed steps. The cast is correct and the details are rather crisp. The overall fit is good and, except for the rear panel, does not require major filling.
The build starts by the running gear which needs 5 steps plus
the wheels assembly. These ones will be glued only after the painting to ease
the weathering of the lower hull. To get a correct alignment
of the parts, I advise you to use the metal shafts even if the wheels are not
glued. The PE steps require some attention as Trumpeter have not engraved
bending lines on the PE6 parts.
Unlike what the notice states, I assembled both hull halves prior to gluing the various parts on the upper one. I didn't glue the headlight guards either to be able to paint the lights later. Do not forget to install the glass of the vision block present to the left of the engine compartment. However, it is still easy to set in place from outside.
On the roof, Trumpeter cast 3 grab handles solid. They must be removed and replaced by brass wire ones. At the front of the vehicle are many tiny spikes representing the tow cable retaining hooks. They should be replaced by brass made L shaped hooks matching more the real ones. The front hatches are temporarily set without the vision ports glasses for painting purposes.
At the rear, the exhaust has been drilled from inside. The bottom of the part D55 is thinned to ease a perfect fit.
The turret has got 8 vision blocks which glasses must be installed prior the assembly of both halves as then they won't be accessible anymore. The main sight housing is designed to be closed but it remains possible to have the door open and to scratchbuild the sight (see the ref below). The gunner and TC hatches can be set open if you intend to use the figures. On the turret sides, the smoke dischargers are detailed with the caps retaining chains. To increase realism, the barrel muzzle is drilled deeper than how Trumpeter did it .
The decoration proposed by Trumpeter
comprises 3 ID plates set and 2 unit shield sets. Unfortunately, as often with
this manufacturer, the instructions only show one possibility. Moreover, the
decals #3 and #4 do not appear on the instructions.
As far as the colors are concerned, you may choose between 2 variants. The references are from the Gunze range. The colors I used are those shown by Tamiya for their Type 90 : XF65 Field Grey and a mix of XF49 Khaki, XF51 Khaki Drab and XF65 Red Brown one part each.
The decals are laid after having sprayed a layer of semi-gloss varnish then they are covered by a layer of matt varnish to seal them before the weathering stage. The weathering starts by spraying several layers of a very diluted Earth shade. The finish is done using various pastel chalks powder.
This kit is pleasant to build and does not require a lot of extra work to get a good model. Unfortunately, Trumpeter did not figure the anti-slip coating. It is highly recommended to those wanting any original model.