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Chinese 50 Ton
Tank Transporter


S u m m a r y

Stock Number and Description Trumpeter 1/35 Scale Kit No. 00201; Chinese 50 Ton Tank Transporter
Media and Contents: 681 parts (571 in olive drab styrene, 33 in orange styrene, 26 in clear styrene, 24 vinyl tires, 17 in etched brass, 3 metal springs, 2 aluminum axles, 1 length vinyl hose, 1 length thin insulated wire, 1 length bare copper wire, 1 length cotton string);
Price: price varies from USD$59-80 (available from Squadron.com for $69.97)
Scale: 1/35
Review Type: First Look
Advantages: Beautifully molded kit nearly in same league with Tamiya M26 Dragon Wagon or FAMO kits; complete package kit includes useful sheet of etched brass; very nicely done working features
Disadvantages: Very soft tires with heavy mold seams will be a problem to clean up; obscurity of vehicle may hurt sales opportunities
Recommendation: Highly Recommended to all softskin fans as well as PLA followers, or just those who want something truly different


Reviewed by Cookie Sewell

Trumpeter's 1/35 scale 50 Ton Chinese Tank Transporter
is available online from


F i r s t L o o k


Trumpeter continues to stun with the sudden change in quality of its kits, and the recent releases of PLA equipment has been truly amazing. While most aircraft modelers are off looking at the usual subjects (with the exception of a pair of very large 1/32 scale F-105s) armor modelers find themselves treated to truly different subjects, such as this Chinese-built Type 82 50 Ton Tank Transporter.

This is a domestically produced Chinese heavy truck called the HY 473, although it is obviously heavily influenced by Japanese Hino and German Daimler-Benz offerings (the latter being produced in China under license.) While the original version was approved for production in 1982, a later 1996 version with a turbocharged diesel engine (which I believed is dubbed the HY 521, according to its sales literature) is more powerful and has other improvements. The truck itself is classed as 24 metric tons, but is rated to tow a gooseneck trailer with up to 50 metric ton tanks such as the Type 96/Type 98 main battle tank; the system with the later HY 521 is capable of pulling up to a 75 metric ton load. The trailer is a specially designed HY 962 12-wheel trailer. Although the tractor is a 6 x 6 vehicle, the low clearance of the lowbow and "street" tires limit its off-road recovery capability. In essence, this is a high-speed transport for tanks and other armored vehicles, with a top speed noted (box-top intelligence or BOXINT) of 64 kph (40 mph). The kit provides the basic HY 473 and HY 962 combination.

On first look, this is an impressive kit both in size and complexity. The model is focused on the tractor and as a result most of the detailing goes to the cab and chassis. The model comes with working steering and an opening cab with optional support pistons for posing it. It also has sliding landing gear legs and moveable ramps. While the rear axle bogie on the tractor can be made to operate, as none of the shafts flex this does not appear to be a recommended option.

The cab itself is molded in one piece, which is at least as good as most of the US 1/25 and 1/24 scale car bodies that I have seen over the years. The engine is bright orange, and most of the detail parts on it are either black, silver or a color they describe as "cocoa brown" (Gunze Sangyo H17/29). The hose and wire sections are provided to hook up some of the assemblies, as well as to wire up the double winch on the rear of the chassis.

The brass parts cover the fine details, such as non-slip sections of the sides of the pressed steel non-slip fenders and the mud flaps and windshield wipers. There are a total of 26 clear pieces, about 2/3 of which are lights and lenses for turn signals and marker lights.

One thing I miss from the "good old days" of Revell is an explanation of what each of the parts actually do or represent, and on this kit it would have come in handy. Most of the bits appear to be related to winches or pulleys, but there is no way to say and that complicates painting and detailing later on.

The kit is very cleanly molded, with the one old bugaboo exception of the tires. The kit comes with 10 large and 14 small hollow vinyl tires, with at least the large ones blessed with a significant molding ridge all the way around the center of the tire. While some modelers have noted that freezing some vinyl items may make it easier to sand off the seam, these are so soft and floppy it may not be possible to try that.

Color schemes for the model are alas pretty blah, as the only option offered is PLA olive drab with black chassis details. The front deck of the gooseneck trailer is wood and the directions call for it to be painted natural wood. Decals basically cover license plates and warning panels, and that is about it.

Overall, this is a beautiful kit, but one that is so obscure that it may be passed by for other more popular subjects. (The only one right now more obscure is the DF-21 missile loader/launcher using the same HY 473 tractor, also from Trumpeter.) I purchased their 120mm Type 89 SP gun some time ago, and will probably build it as a load for this vehicle. It's a shame not to build the Type 82, if just for a change of pace!

Highly Recommended

Cookie Sewell

Review Copyright 2003 by Cookie Sewell
Page Created 09 September, 2003
Last updated 09 September, 2003

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