1/72 Hasegawa Isuzu TX-40 Fuel Truck
(Japanese Army/Navy)
by Dennis Lamm


The Isuzu TX-40, made to the specifications of the Type 97 utility truck, was heavily supplied to both the Japanese Army and Navy for use as a fuel truck. The strong resemblance to certain pre-World War II American Army trucks is not accidental. The basic design for the Type 97 truck was based upon the U. S. Army's design, which were built on license from the American manufacture. As the war progressed and shortages became more prevalent, it was not uncommon for this type of truck to be supplied with only one headlight, no fenders or radiator grill, and possibly even without the spare wheel.

I had recently come into possession of this kit and I guess its companion, a starter truck. I thought that it might be (1) fun to build, (2) could be one of a number of kits that might make up my first try at a diorama and (3) would let me see if these old eyes can work with this small scale and (4) I wanted to build something besides an airplane.

The kit contains two sprue trees and the parts were cast in a light brown color. The plastic is soft and I found it quite easy to cut the parts away from the sprue and the trimming away of excess plastic was easy. The instruction sheet is made up of seven pictures showing numbered parts and how they fit together. Like so many other modelers I "sort of" followed these instructions. As to the parts fitting well together I found that they seem to match quite well with one or two exceptions.

The painting instructions for the vehicle were fairly simple. The entire truck body was painted tan and the canvas cover was to be painted light tan. The only other color mentioned was the black undercarriage and black steering wheel and gear lever. I painted the parts still attached to the sprue. In order to add a little extra to the vehicle I decided to paint the canvas with sand color and then I dry brushed it with black which seemed to add some aging to it. The main truck was painted "Dark Tan." After this had dried well I dry brushed the truck with silver to age the truck. I fill that this worked well. The piping was painted with a metallic finish.

There are three figures that come with the kit and I decided to paint them all although I do not plan to use all three in the future diorama. This turned out not to be as difficult as I had anticipated. With the kit is also some fuel barrels that I decided to paint black and then used a metallic pencil to give them the old ware and tare look. A barrel cart is also part of this kit and it all fit together very well. This and the barrels will probably all be a part of a diorama someday.

I personally feel that this is a fun kit for the hobbyist that is interested in the 1/72 scale modeling. I had fun and think that I did a right neat job.