Entry No. 10: Tamiya Type 16 MCV Review
The genesis of the Type 16 program was the 2003 JSDF Future Combat Vehicle study, in which the possibility of designing a wheeled fighting vehicle that could augment tank units was explored. Throughout the late 2000's and early 2010's the JSDF continued to research the feasibility of using wheeled AFVs to complement the heavier tank units. Although the various designs from the FCV study were eventually scrapped due to cost, a design which proposed a vehicle similar in nature to the Stryker MGS would influence future developments. By 2008, a prototype vehicle had been made, and by 2013 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries had been given a contract to build 99 of these "MCV"s. The Type 16, as it is known today, replaces almost half the JGSDF tank arsenal. Armed with an L/52 105mm cannon and two machine guns, it is protected by a modular system of composite armour plates which give it a very angular look. The MCV has an 8x8 chassis driven by a 570hp turbocharged diesel engine.
Released by Tamiya in 2018, this kit is typical of Tamiya's modern kits, in that it combines excellent detail with an easy assembly. There are 259 parts in this kit (plus eight well moulded vinyl tires), and markings for four different vehicles. Assembly is very quick and easy, and in about four sessions the kit was built. I opted to use the Tamiya metal barrel rather than the kit barrel on this build, and I believe that this is one piece of aftermarket that is worth buying. In the kit, the barrel is slide-moulded and comes either with decals to represent the muzzle brake or a masking sticker to locate holes to be drilled by a pin vise. While these are innovative solutions to the problem posed by the muzzle brake, I do believe that the metal barrel is a worthy aftermarket purchase. Two torso figures are also included, and they are very good.
I began the project by first painting the clear parts for the running lights. I used lacquer silver, as well as acrylic orange and clear red. Next, I assembled the hull, which clicked together. The next stage was working on the steering, which is fantastic. The front four wheels are joined by a system of linking rods that tie their movements together. An interesting feature is that, through a reduction in the steering rod lengths, the second set of front wheels turns at a slightly reduced ratio to the first pair, just like in real life! From there, the hull was complete, and I began work on the turret. Like all of Tamiya's modern kits, this was a refined affair, with well-moulded antiskid texture, good parts fit, and detailed components. The .50 M2HB was also quite good, and the only modification I made to it was to drill out the barrel.
Painting and weathering
Carrying on a trend I started with the Bronco Staghound, the base colours for this kit were painted with lacquers (JGSDF Brown and Dark Green). I freehanded the camouflage pattern, and used my airbrush on 10psi to achieve the hard edges. From here, the underside was painted with lacquer Olive Drab, and detail painting was carried out with acrylic Rubber Black. Some shading was done on exposed powertrain surfaces with flat black, as well as a black wash. I also added some AK City Dust pigment to the tires, but this and some splatter effects were the only elements of weathering I added. JGSDF vehicles are generally kept very clean. To complete the build, I also used some thread from Berkshire Junction to replicate the webbing on many vehicles, and added some Asparagus Plumosis to present a vehicle that had been very lightly camouflaged.
This kit is highly recommended for all scale modelers, and will certainly add some interest to anyone's display cabinet!
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