The Mitsubishi Type 73 light truck was based on the Jeep CJ-3Bs. Mitsubishi produced these under license from Willys. Production began in 1973 and ended in 1997 – a pretty good run, I’d say. This light vehicle can be outfitted with a variety of weapons such as anti-tank pods, anti-tank missile launchers, light & heavy machine guns. and the recoilless rifle.
This kit is made up of 4 sprues of green and 1 of clear injected plastic, the body, and 1 decal sheet. The parts are flash-free and show no noticeable sink marks. There were a few pin marks but nothing really major, as they were mostly on the underside. The decal sheet gives you markings for multiple vehicles and was printed cleanly.
The 8-page foldout instructions (which are in Japanese) have 28 steps for constructing this kit. Steps 1-6 deal with the underside of the vehicle. It is nicely detailed with 21 pieces to add. Patience is the key here, as the struts are small and a bit tricky to put on due to the location, but after the first one you will see how easy it is. There is not a complete engine with this kit, but you do get the bottom half of it and, since the hood does not open, it’s not a big deal. Steps 7-16 are for the body, both interior and exterior. There is pretty good detail throughout, and with the number of parts it looks like a pretty busy interior. The decal sheet provides the gauges and other items on the dashboard, and they look pretty good after they are put on. Steps 17 & 18 are for the front windshield, and you are given the option of posing it up or down. The clear piece was thin and fit perfectly. Steps 19 & 20 are for assembling the tires and wheels. There are 3 pieces for this, and I was worried there would be a seam on the tire. Fear not! The fit was outstanding and, since it’s on the inner part of the tire, you wouldn’t see it anyway. Steps 21-27 are the assembly and placing of the rifle. With 24 pieces, it has a good amount of detail, and you are given the option of posing the sight case open or closed and the breech open or closed. Step 28 is the final one and is where you add the side mirrors. Overall, the construction was fairly simple and the parts fit just about as perfectly as can be.
There are a couple items that I will inform you about. Nothing major but still something you should be aware of.
- Due to the different variants of this kit (canvas top, machine gun), there are a few marks and holes you will need to fill in, as they are not used on this version.
- When assembling the dash, there is a piece (A4) that is attached to the sprue in a way that makes it a bit difficult to get off. Yep, I broke mine! (Replaced it with wire.) Be careful.
- Step 11 is where you are instructed to attach the headlight lenses. I waited till the very end for this. It made it easier to touch up and flat-coat it without these on.
- They do not give you the option of stowing the gun in the barrel lock. You get the lock, but it can’t be used. I don’t understand why, but it is what it is.
- In step 24, you can pose the sight case open or closed. The diagram to pose it open was a bit vague…to me, anyway.
I used Testors Model Master acrylic Olive Drab for the body and A/C interior black for the undersides. The instructions called for flat black for the rifle but I opted to use Testors Metalizer, Gun Metal. It looked better to me than flat black. I used a mix of Field Gray and Black for the seats, as the instructions indicated. I used Alclad polished aluminum for the mirrors as it looked a little better than the Bare Metal Foil that I tried. After glosscoating, the decals went on easily and set down nicely with a little help from Solvaset. I used a semi-gloss coating after the decals were dry, except on the seats. I decided they looked better with a flat coat….or at least I thought they would!
I had no idea what to expect when I asked for this kit. My only other FineMolds kit was the Me 410 and although it’s a nice kit, it was a bit tricky. NOT SO with this kit! The Type 73 kit went together pretty easily and with little or no fit problems. I recommend this kit to anyone who wants to build a small, unique military vehicle.
I would like to thank Dragon Models USA for providing this kit and IPMS’review corps for letting me build it.