IJA Ko Gata Sensha (FT17)

 In 1919 the Japanese purchased thirteen French Renault FT-17s which they designated Ko Gata Sensha, or “Small Shape Tank”.  With these and some British tanks the Japanese Army began it’s tentative foray into armored warfare.  The Ko Gatas saw active service in China and Manchuria and were still being used as late as 1940.  This model depicts a vehicle which served in Manchuria in the late 1920’s.
 The Kit:
The RPM Type 79 Ko-Gata is a fine little kit and one of the top tier FT-17 kits on the market, despite its age.  The only real weak point on the kit is the tracks.  They are vinyl, very stiff and simply do not display well at all.  I used the Fruilmodel individual link tracks and didn’t regret it for a moment.

 Other than the tracks, I built this kit from the box.
  I masked the camouflage pattern and used Tamiya acrylics XF- Japanese Army Green and XF- Khaki.  I hand painted a small black demarcation line between the colors.
 I gave the tank a heavy wash with black artist oils and mineral spirits.
  Once this was dry a light dry brush with ground pastel chalk served to bring out the many rivets and other fine detail.

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