IJN Type 2 Ka-Mi in 1/72...
...the Dragon kit built
The Type 2 'Ka-Mi' was an amphibious light tank developed by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN), which entered service in 1942 and of which just over 180 were built. The design was based around the Type 95 tank used by the Japanese Army but with significant changes including a welded rather than riveted hull, with rubber seals to keep it watertight. Added to the basic hull were two hollow pontoons at front and back, which would be discarded once the tank got on shore. These were internally divided into compartments to allow for damage but still enabling the flotation device to keep the tank afloat. Twin propellers were powered by the main engine while in the water. Armament was a 37mm main gun along with 2x Type 97 light machine guns, one as a co-axial alongside the main gun and another in the front of the hull. It was first used in Combat on Guadalcanal in late 1942, and following that in many other operations during the war.
Dragon do kits of the little Ka-Mi in both 1/35 and 1/72 and both with the floats and without. This particular example is the 1/72 kit though without the flotation pontoons. It builds very nicely and includes some nicely detailed one piece DS Styrene tracks. Being an IJN operated vehicle it is coloured in an IJN grey rather than a drab green or camouflage pattern. Some light weathering and it makes for a neat comparison to larger AFVs such as the Sherman or the German tanks of the same period. Next step for me will be to finish one with the pontoons as well.