Type 90
Ref : Tamiya #35208

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The Type 90 MBT is the 3rd generation MBT designed by the Japanese defense industry. Entered in service in 1990, it benefits from state-of-the-art technologies. It has an automatic fire control system associated to a laser rangefinder, a stabilizer for the 120mm smoothbore gun and a passive infrared viewer for nighttime firing. The secondary armament consists of a 7.62mm coax MG and a roof mounted .50cal AAMG.
Thanks to the autoloader, the crew has been reduced to 3 men.
The Type 90, closely looking like the Leopard 2, is fitted with an original hydraulic suspension enabling it to increase the gun elevation upward and downward.
Its 1500hp diesel engine enables it to drive up to 70km/h.

The kit is of a high standard making profit of a high level carving and casting. It comes with 5 sprues, a separate hull and a vinyl tracks set. A decals sheet allows to choose among 10 various decorations. The instructions come with a 10-page booklet and a separate decoration leaf.

The build is done without any trouble. The fit is perfect and only needs few commentaries. Tamiya provides the parts necessary to represent a tank fitted to conduct fording operations. The very clear instructions draw the builder's attention whenever a choice is necessary.
The vision blocks are represented by a pre-cut clear styrene sheet. All the hatches remain moveable as well as the wind sensor. The rear bustle mesh is provided by Tamiya and is used, too, to make the headlights protections. This fabric mesh is not easy to use and Tamiya could add some PE parts which will increase the realism while facilitating the build.

The decoration is that of 1Co/71Tank Battalion stationed in Hokkaido. The colors come from the Tamiya range : XF65 and a mix of XF49-XF51-XF64. Tamiya has now issued appropriate JGSDF colors but they appear to be available for Japan use only.
The crew is painted following the instructions. The camo pattern is close to the current Bundeswehr one.
This kit may be highly recommended to any modern armor fan.