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Cartoon Kurogane Tamiya's 1/48th Kit

By Valentin E. Bueno

Check Out Club Meeting: June 2008 Meeting

Meeting Featured In: June 2008 Newsletter

Tamiya's Cartoon Kurogane in 1/48thscale

It seems to me that the Japanese are the premier designers of all things cute. Even their war machines are cute. Between a Tiger I from Germany and a Te-Ke Light tank from Japan, which is cuter? The Te-Ke, right. Even the 4x4 Kurogane light car is too cute to be real. With that swayed back hood, oversized tires, hooded eye headlights and three seat interior, it was just calling out for a cartooney paint scheme. I built the model straight out of the box (what's new?) and used the paint scheme as the most cartooney aspect of the model. I used Tamiya's Ame Iro color for the greenish gray color (that color Tamiya recently released for the Pearl Harbor Zero kit). This color was used on the sides and fenders. Tamiya Racing White was used on the upper sides, hood, and interior.

Tamiya's Cartoon Kurogane in 1/48thscale

Masking between the two colors was a real bitch. Even though I used Tamiya's excellent masking tape, I still got paint bleed under of the tape. I touched up the edges as best I could before applying Bare Metal Foil to the moldings. This helped hide the demarcation line between the two colors. I used the foil on the side moldings, the hood molding as well as on the front grille. I sprayed some of the racer white into an old medicine bottle (one good thing about having high blood pressure, lots of empty medicine bottles!) This was used to touch up the areas that bled under the tape.

Tamiya's Cartoon Kurogane in 1/48thscale

After adding the foil, the entire body was blasted with Tamiya's Clear Gloss. I waited a week before adding another coat and only 24 hours to add another coat. The last coat was allowed to set for another week before I started adding all the interior parts and final details. I also added chrome foil to the ragtop supports and to the frames of the windshield. The ragtop was painted Dark Yellow and added to the car's rear deck. The seats were painted the same as the exterior green-gray color by hand. The steering wheel, gear shifts and pedals were painted RLM 66 per photos of the real thing in museums. More foil was added to the headlights and the clear headlight lenses were added on top of that.

  • Kuroga10
  • Kuroga11
  • Kuroga9
  • Wpe10
  • WpeD
  • WpeE
  • WpeF

And that is the proverbial that. Though the model was built out of the box and nothing on the kit was refined or detailed, this sucker took me three months to build, paint and finish I bought another Kurogane that I will build as a normal IJAAF vehicle with a lot more weathering and figures added for good measure.

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