OK, this strange looking vehicle was finished alongside the Type 92 Combat Car, but since I only bought it in February it doesn’t qualify for the Neglected Model May challenge. I think it deserves its own post anyway and I reckon Mark, who reads my blog in the US, would agree with me on this (check out his great retro sci-fi stuff here if you haven’t already)!
The vehicle is a Japanese Type SS engineering tank, dating from the 1930s. It existed in several versions, some of which performed slightly different functions and had different equipment and weapons fitted. I’ve got some info on it in a couple of books, and there is a Wikipedia page for it, but I’m still not quite sure which variant this model represents (but I’m not too hung up on that, thankfully)! This model is fitted with three flamethrowers, a ball mount for a machine gun, two mine rakes on the front and rollers on the hull top to allow a portable bridge to be carried. Production of the Type SS totalled more than 100 vehicles, they were apparently used in China in the late 1930s and some were captured in the Philippines in 1945 by US forces.
As with my Type 92 model, this is a 3-D printed model from Shapeways, although in a white, strong and flexible (WSF) plastic. I saw this model in February when it was first made available, so I just had to get one! The detail is not quite as good as the Type 92 and, somewhat surprisingly, it is solid. The WSF material has a grainy texture, so I wasn’t sure how this would look after drybrushing! I’ve got other WSF models in the painting queue, so I was keen to see how this tank turned out.
It’s painted in the same colours, style and method that I used for the Type 89s and Type 92, although I left off the thin yellow bands – difficult to tell from photos whether the Type SS carried these or not! Whereas I thought the grainy finish of the WSF material might pick up too much of the drybrushed sand highlight, it turned out it was the thinned black/brown mucky/shade that was more difficult to deal with, with the grainy finish making the paint a bit harder to wipe off!
The more observant amongst you will have noticed that this model doesn’t have a bridge, even though it has the rollers on the top of the hull to carry one! I think it’ll look better with a bridge fitted, so I do plan on getting one for it – Shellhole Scenics in the UK make a separate bridge for their Russian T-26 bridgelayer and I reckon it’ll do the job!
Unlike my Type 92 combat car, this Type SS is not the first model I’ve owned of this vehicle! Way back in the late 70s (!) I actually scratchbuilt one from card based on a picture in a tank book that I borrowed from a mate! Unfortunately I have no idea what happened to it, although it was no doubt painted in a pretty garish and highly inaccurate camouflage scheme, which I no doubt thought looked great at the time (and it was the 70s after all)!