Dragon has previously released superb 1/35 scale plastic kits of Japanese armored and amphibious vehicles from WWII, including the Type 2 Ka-Mi, Type 95 Ha-Go and Type 4 Ke-Nu, but the time has finally come to unveil what was the most important tank type! It is the Type 97 Chi-Ha medium tank as used by the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA). The Type 97 was Japan?s most widely produced medium tank of WWII. Boasting a 57mm main gun and two Type 97 machine guns, this tank was intended to serve as an up-scaled version of the Type 95 for infantry support. A total of 2,123 tanks were produced from 1938-43, most of which had the low-velocity 57mm gun. The Chi-Ha was used in combat in Manchuria and China, as well as in fighting against the Allies.
The new 1/35 scale model specifically depicts an Early-Production variant of the Type 97 medium tank, possibly the most well-known Japanese tank of WWII. The kit was thoroughly researched by a Japanese design team, based on investigations and measurements of several surviving tanks. This level of research ensures that it will be undeniably the most accurate and precise Chi-Ha available on the market. The engine deck layout, toolbox, shovel, rear-plate brackets and distinctive flaps on the engine deck are all correctly depicted for an early-production tank. The kit resorts widely to slide molds so that fewer parts are needed. Naturally, this leads to a perfect balance of easy assembly and accuracy, which is what Smart Kits are all about! This Japanese tank kit allows modelers of 1/35 scale AFVs to field a tank widely used by the Japanese throughout the Asia-Pacific theater.