login   |    register

In-Box Review
WWII IJN Fighter Pilot

by: Kenny Loup [ SUBHUNTER ]

Disclaimer: The images above were supplied by the manufacturer and painted by their artists.

This kit is one of Tamiya’s latest 1/16 figure releases. This is also their first release in this scale of a Japanese serving in World War II.

In the box
The box art shows a confident Imperial Japanese Navy pilot serving with a land based fighter squadron. His aircraft, the A6M2 Type 0 Fighter, awaits him in the background. This said he could easily have been posed on the flight deck of a Japanese aircraft carrier, since the flight suit was issued to all squadrons.

The back of the box shows a completed figure in the box art pose along with an optional pose with the pilot holding a samurai sword. The photos show assembly, painting and decal instructions.

After opening the box, the modeler will find two sprue trees: a one light gray sprue tree containing the figure; and a smaller clear sprue tree with a base plate and flight goggles. Decals for the gloves and life jacket, along with six rank insignia, are also included.

The Figure
The figure, wearing the typical early war flight suit and life jacket, is nicely molded with little flash.

The folds the flight suit where it gathers under the life jacket are realistically sculpted and give modeler a sense of what it was like to wear this cumbersome arrangement. The seams in the flight suit, gloves, helmet and boots are well represented with just the right hint of stitching.

The samurai sword is also nicely molded in the scabbard. The fine detail of the scabbard’s attachment points, ornate elements and the braided handle of the sword are amazing.

The biggest drawback of this kit is the positioning of the hands in a pose holding the sword and gloves. In all three poses, work will required to show these items being correctly held.

In the case of the sword, the grip is far too loose. Gently heating the fingers and flexing them towards the palm can correct this.

The hands holding the gloves are another matter. If you were to try to hold gloves as they are sculpted, you wouldn’t hold them for long. The figure pose with the sword has the gloves glued in to basically an open palm.

The box art pose is the same way. Tamiya should have sculpted the gloves in the hands and given it the same level of detail as they did to the flight suit where it gathers under the life jacket.

Overall, this is another fine large-scale figure from Tamiya. The subject matter is welcomed in a German laden line of 1/16 figure kits. With the clear goggles and well-sculpted details in the flight gear and sword, this kit delivers a lot of bang for the buck.

As this kit is currently only available in Japanese markets, I purchased my copy for 10.99 USD from Lucky Hobby.

A welcome change in subject matter for this scale. Poor modeling of the flight gloves and sword grips mar great details.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:16
  Mfg. ID: 36312
  Suggested Retail: 10.99 USD
  PUBLISHED: Aug 24, 2006
  NATIONALITY: Japan / 日本

Click image to enlarge
  • ijn_pilot_instructions
  • ijn_pilot_stickers
  • torso_back
  • arms_2
About Kenny Loup (subhunter)

i was the kid that his dad would say "Hey, there's a war movie on." and come running. As a kid, I dived head first into military history. We would always have to stop at the USS Alabama on our way to Florida. I also got to visit the Seawolf Park and the Alamo on vacation, too. All things I want ...

Copyright ©2021 text by Kenny Loup [ SUBHUNTER ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Historicus Forma or Silver Star Enterprises. All rights reserved.


Interesting subject. Thanks for the review.
AUG 30, 2006 - 03:26 PM
Thanks for the review, Kenny. Just can't beat Tamiya's boxart, eh? Wow. Pity about the hands. I found the same problem with the German Infantryman on Manouver. Can't you use the left hand from the folded arm pose for the sword pose? Look forward to hearing about the decals. They were crap on the German fig, and I heard they aren't great on the DAK fig either.
AUG 30, 2006 - 03:47 PM
thanks for the review. I noticed the hand positions before I read about them also. You would think they could have done a better job on this part of the kit. Also, (and no offense if intended here) the face does not appear to be very Asian to me, at least compared to the box art (which is very nice I might add). Overall, I agree with the comments especially about a new non-German subject.
AUG 30, 2006 - 07:55 PM
Many thanks for the detail review Kenny. Pity about the hands and from the what David has written and what I found on their Rommel kit, it would appear to be a problem with quite a few of their 1/16 kits.
AUG 31, 2006 - 07:57 AM

What's Your Opinion?

Click image to enlarge
  • ijn_pilot_box_art
  • complete_sprue
    Complete Sprue
  • face
  • torso_front
    Torso (Front)
  • arms_foot_1
    Arms & Right Boot
  • samurai_sword
    Samurai Sword
  • 36312_l
    Vendor Supplied Image
  • photo1
    Vendor Supplied Image
  • photo2
    Vendor Supplied Image