Saturday, September 10, 2016

IJA Type 97 Chi-Ha Tank

A bit of armor for the new Imperial Japanese Army. This is the Chi-Ha (九七式中戦車 チハ) medium tank, which was introduced in 1938 and used in China and the Pacific theaters.

This is the Warlord Games kit and overall it is a decent model.   There was quite a lot of resin flash build up in the treads, but it wasn't too difficult to clear out.  Bubbles were minimal and thankfully on the underside of the turret and body. The trickiest part to assemble was actually the railing on the turret, which is shipped flat and has to be bent into the appropriate shape.  There are only divots for 3 of the five posts, so I had quite a bit of trouble with the posts not lining up properly and popping lose during the bending. But in the end I managed to get the railing relatively level.  One thing to note is that their assembly instructions have you putting the engine covering on backwards, so check the fit before gluing.

Looking at, there was some variation in the camouflage patterns depending on the year and the area of operation.  I opted to go with a pattern seen in Manchura, 1940.  For the paint, I used the following Vallejo colors:

Khaki-iro: English Uniform 70.921, Khaki 70.988, German Camouflage Beige 70.821
Tochi-iro: Hull Red 70.985, Flat Brown 70.984, Saddle Brown 70.940
Midori-iro: German Dark Green 70.896, Luftwaffe Camouflage Green 70.823, Camouflage Olive Green 70.894
Stripe: Dessert Yellow 70.977, Golden Yellow 70.948, 50/50 mix Golden Yellow/ Ice Yellow 70.858

 This particular camouflage pattern appears to belong to a tank from the 34th Tank Regiment, so I've used the Warlord decal for its 2nd Company. The tank number was created using Woodland Scenics dry rub numbers, with hand inked kanji added (the ink allowed me to get finer lines than with paint).

Finally, I've done a little weathering, adding bits of exposed steel, some rust and grime, and a layer of dust build up.   


  1. Lovely job on the tank and thanks for the paints you used which have been logged for future reference.

  2. Well done in making a good job of that tank. Splendid end result.
    It would have been quite confusing for me. BB

  3. Nice work. It looks like a tough old combat veteran.