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Tamiya - JGSDF Type 16 Combat Maneuver Vehicle

Kit Number:
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Retail Price:
$40.00 USD
Reviewed By:
Dave Koukol

Japan Ground Self Defense Force 
Type 16 Maneuver Combat Vehicle

Type 16 48th Box Art.jpg


Developed over a decade between 2008 and 2018, the Type 16 Maneuver Combat Vehicle (MCV) is designed to provide direct infantry support in defense of the Japanese home islands.  Smaller and lighter than traditional main battle tanks, the MCV can be deployed more rapidly and operate with less infrastructure and support.  It's narrow 8x8 chassis enables it to traverse narrow roads and bridges and to make ready use of prepared roads and highways without the aid of heavy-lift transports.  It's 105mm main gun can engage adversary armor, buildings, and troops.  

In the Box

 Upon removal of the box lid, the modeler is greeted by 5 olive-colored sprue sporting exquisitely detailed and flash free parts.   Accompanying the styrene is a pair of polycaps for the main gun trunion, 8 vinyl tires, a small decal sheet with markings for 2 vehicles, and assembly instructions and painting guide.


 Turret and Rear Hull Bulkhead



 Sweet Turret Detail - Note the Anti-Skid Detail


 Tires, Wheels, Suspension, and Fiddly Bits



 Hull Parts



 More Suspension Parts and Other Detail


Instructions and Decals

The Build

Not a whole lot to say about the build.  It's Tamiya.  Toss in a bottle of Tamiya Extra Thin Cement, close and shake the box, and out comes a beautifully-assembled kit.  It's almost that easy.  Instructions are typical of Tamiya -- clear, logical, bite-sized steps with clear illustrations and color callouts. Everything goes together without any putty.  Part seams are along natural panel lines, and parts are keyed to prevent misalignment or misplacement.  The following step-by-step shows how easy and pain-free this baby went together.



 Step 1 - Hull bottom and top establish the core structure

Step 2 was deferred until later in the build


 Step 3 - Hull sides and drivetrain build up the hull



Step 4 - Suspension and Steering Arms Added

 Steps 5 and 6 Deferred to Later in Build (On a mission to finish the hull assembly!)


 Step 7 - Toss on a viewport and hatch


Step 8 - Tow cable and wheel chocks complete hull assembly



 Step 9 - Turret assembly starts with polycaps and main gun trunion



Step 11 - Smoke Grenade Launchers



Step 12 - Turret Sides and Mantlet 



Step 14 -  Turret Details and Bustle Rack Added



Step 16 - Armament Added



Step 18 - Turret and Hull Mated

Wheels Added from Prior Step


No rocket science was employed in finishing this Type 16 review sample.  A simple flat black primer base topped with prescribed Tamiya Acrylic colors, with some modulating and basic weathering, really brought a well-engineered assembly experience to a new level.  The following step-by-step gives some insight into the finishing process.


 Economy flat black spray paint provided the perfect primer base and pre-shade


 A monochrome canvas ready for some color



 Kit-prescribed colors give a great camo effect over the flat black primer


 Topside colors, each lightened with a few drops of flat white, provide some modulated highlight effects


 Toss on the wheels, and the basic kit is almost done

Microscale system was used to apply the decals, which were largely silvering-free. 

Decals were sealed with Testors Model Master Acryl Flat



A little more time invested adding antennae, pin washes, and some light pigment effects round out the effects.


Now for the walk-around...











Once again, the crew at Tamiya don't disappoint with this latest addition to their 1/48 armor portfolio with the addition of the Type 16 MCV.   Great engineering, clear instructions, and an interesting subject made this build a lot of fun, and it really piqued my interest in modern Japanese armor (yes, I want to snag a Type 10 Main Battle Tank to serve as a companion piece).  This kit is an outstanding build for beginners and advanced modelers looking for a visually-interesting modern subject that's just plain fun and satisfying to build.  

Highly Recommended for Beginner to Advanced builders.

Thanks goes out to Tamiya for this review kit.

Reviewed by Dave Koukol


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