KIT: Tamiya 1/16 IJN Fighter Pilot
KIT #: 36312
PRICE: 1300 yen at
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken


To many of you, it is no secret that Tamiya has been doing some quality figures for years. It may be unknown that they do a very large series in 1/16 scale, something you can't use as part of a diorama with a tank or an aircraft. This is # 12, a WWII Imperial Japanese Navy Fighter Pilot. This is an early war version so would have the highest quality materials all the proper accoutrement that was standard of the time.

The molding is very good as you'd expect, with somewhat more pronounced mold seams than you'd get on your tank or aircraft kit. I'd noticed this with some smaller scale figures, so it seems to be endemic with their figure kits. Nonetheless, they won't be hard to remove. There are two poses provided, both basically giving you separate arms. One is as on the box art and the other is with hands held down at the sides with the right hand resting on the handle of the pilot's sword. The other hold a glove (must be a Michael Jackson thing as I only see one glove!). The kit also includes a clear base and goggle lenses.

No assembly instructions are provided, but there is a detailed painting guide on the back of the box, using Tamiya paints. Stickers for name tags and rank insignia are provided. All the insignia are for officer pilots (hence the sword). Most pilots were enlisted in the IJNAF as in the Luftwaffe, and RAF, and other services aside from the US, who mostly had officer pilots and rarely allowed enlisted pilots to fly combat. The name tag stickers usually carried the pilot's name and on the larger ones had his unit and rank. Check references for something to write on there.


This will make into a superb figure when done. I've seen others built up and they are truly amazing. Much better than spending $100.00 for a resin figure, especially if you are just learning the craft. Highly recommended.

August 2006

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