Thursday, August 6

Review - Takom's 35th scale Whippet gets the once-over

As a follow up to his popular look at Takom’s Mörser, Andy looks at Takom’s new British version of the Whippet in 35th scale. He goes right through the kit in his review before he puts together & paints & weathers the kit in the next chapter. Let’s take a look at what's in the box…

Mk.A Whippet Medium Tank
Kit no. #2025
1/35th scale
RRP ¥6,210/ USD $50/ €45 from Hobbylink Japan (Japanese version in stock)
In their ever expanding range of First World War subjects, Takom have now brought us the Mk.A Whippet.
The Whippet was designed to complement the existing British heavy tanks like the Mk.IV which, although well-armed and armoured, were slow and ungainly. A lighter, faster tank was needed that could exploit gaps in the enemy lines that the heavy tanks had opened. The Whippet proved to be very successful in this role, despite only reaching the battlefields relatively late in the war. The Whippet continued to serve post war, notably in Ireland, while 17 were sent to support the White army in the Russian civil war. A small number were also exported to Japan.
So let's see what Takom have given us with this release.

Firstly, a quick note on the box. Good artwork always helps sell a kit and Takom produce some great box designs and this one's no exception, featuring an evocative painting of a Whippet ready to move out over a desolate battlefield. But, of course, it's what's inside that really counts so let’s take a look at the plastic.

Sprue A (x2)
These feature the tiny road wheels and their axles. Nothing unusual here and very similar to those supplied with the earlier Mk.IV releases.

Sprue B
This one's got the main hull sides and floor plate. Having the upper hull and inner track plate moulded as one will help keep everything square when building up the body.

Sprue C
Here we've got the outer track plates together with an assortment of individual hull plates. These will need careful clean-up and alignment to ensure everything sits squarely and to minimize any gaps.

Sprue D
More hull sections, including the crew compartment roof and engine hood. We've also got the plates that make up the mud chutes and some smaller details including the exhaust pipes.

Sprue E (x2)
Another doubled-up sprue, these ones have the remaining details along with more running gear parts. Unlike their previous Mk.IV's, Takom haven't included the drive chains which is no bad thing as they were completely invisible once installed.
So, with the main sprues covered, let's have a closer look at the parts.

The large, single piece, hull sides feature very nice detailing on both sides.
The floor plate is fully detailed despite the fact that you won't really see it, but it's there should you wish to model a knocked-out tank on its side.
The track tension adjusters have been very well reproduced right down to the threading on the bolts.
As have the bearing covers and drive gear access hatches that run the length of the track plates.
Having separate plates for the superstructure means all the rivets and bolts that festoon these surfaces can be moulded cleanly but, as mentioned before, a bit of care will be needed when during assembly.
The roof plate has the hatch moulded separately allowing it to be posed open. The rear access door can also be left open although there's no interior supplied.
The engine vents have deeply recessed louvres which gives a good 3D appearance.
The drive sprockets are well detailed, although  you'll never see them again one installed.
The road wheels are very basic but that's fine as you don't see them once the tracks are fitted.
The machine guns are a pretty good representation of the Hotchkiss Mk. I's fitted to the Whippet. There's a bit of flash to clean up and drilling the barrels out will help too.
The exhaust pipes aren't hollow but they do at least have indented ends which will make drilling out easier.
Takom have seen fit to include some spare bolts on the sprue should any get damaged during assembly. In fact they've supplied three versions – bolt tails with nuts, bolt heads and domed rivets.
Thankfully, Takom have included the single piece click-able track links and not the earlier multi-part ones that were such a pain to put together.
These ones are simplicity itself to assembly – just click together and you're done. There's a small moulding pip on one edge of each link but that soon disappears with a swipe over from a sanding stick.
The small PE sheet gives you the stowage hooks for the hull sides and the support brackets for the canvas track guards (not supplied) together with a few more brackets for the superstructure.
Instructions are in Takom's usual style, well laid out with a 25 step assembly sequence using 3D illustrations.
The decal sheet's well printed with everything in register.
Takom have been super generous with the marking options for this release. Eight schemes are provided with the colour profiles, again, supplied by AMMO from Mig Jimenez and listing paint references for the AMMO acrylic range, most of which can be found in their recently released British & German tank colours box set - A.MIG 7111. A highlight for me being the inclusion of both Red Army and White Army schemes from the Russian civil war.
I will be using the AMMO WWI set which is featured on these cammo profiles in my build review...
This release looks like being a real winner. Well detailed mouldings combined with a relatively simple construction sequence should make this a joy to build. And all those rivets and bolts are my idea of heaven. What's not to like? The wide choice of markings being the icing on the cake.

Highly recommended.

Andy Moore

Thanks to Takom for sending this kit for us to build and review – expect to see it painted up in another article soon here on TMN