The Type 4 Ke-Nu was a light tank used by the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) in WWII. It was essentially a hybrid combining the hull of a Type 95 Ha-Go light tank with a turret from the Type 97 Chi-Ha medium tank. When the Type 97 was up-gunned with a higher-velocity 47mm gun, turrets with the original low-velocity 57mm tank gun became surplus and were installed onto the obsolete Type 95. The IJA received approximately 100 examples of the Type 4 Ke-Nu from 1944. While the type’s firepower improved, the heavier weight of the turret added a ton of weight and thus reduced its maximum speed to 40km/h. The 8.4-ton tank’s thin armor could be easily penetrated by Allied anti-tank weapons too. It was operated by a crew of three. Most tanks were retained on the Japanese mainland in anticipation of an Allied invasion, but some saw combat against the Soviets in Korea and Manchuria.
Dragon has produced a fine 1/35 scale plastic kit of the Type 4 Ke-Nu. Indeed, this model is another masterpiece from Dragon’s team of Japanese experts. The team conducted research on the real tank, produced highly accurate technical drawings, created the stunning box art and supervised the whole project to a successful conclusion. There are numerous new kit parts such as the turret with the characteristic ring antenna. Although the Type 4’s hull may look similar to that of Dragon’s Type 95 Ha-Go kit, the glacis plate has been completely redone. This will be one of the most eye-catching 1/35 releases of the year from Dragon, and it just proves the adage that good things do indeed come in small packages!