Type 3 Chi-Nu Medium Tank

Type 3 Chi-Nu Medium Tank

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Type 3 Chi-Nu Medium Tank

The Type 3 Chi-Nu (medium tenth) was the last tank to be developed from the Chi-Ha medium tank, and combined the improved chassis of the Type 1 Chi-He with a large turret carrying a 75mm tank gun. By 1943 it was clear that the Japanese army needed more powerful tanks, and work began on the improved Type 4 Chi-To (medium seventh), while the Chu-Nu was produced to fill the gap.

It was based on the chassis of the Type 1 Chi-He, which used a simplified version of the original Chi-Ha chassis, with thicker armour and a more powerful engine. The Chi-Nu retained the chassis and engine of the Type 1, and combined them with a new turret, containing the 75mm Type 3 tank gun.

This tank gun was based on the 75mm Type 90 field cannon, itself a license-built version of the Schneider cannon. The Type 3 tank gun had a 2.85m long barrel (L/38, or 38 times the calibre of the shell), and fired a 6.6kg armour piercing shell capable of penetrating 90mm of armour at 100 meters or 65mm at 1,000 meters. This gun was carried in a large hexagonal turret.

The low priority given to tank production by 1943 meant that the Type 3 did not enter production until 1944, when 55 were accepted. Another 89 were completed in 1945, bring the total to 144. The Type 3 Chi-Nu is not believed to have entered combat, having been kept on the Japanese home islands to resist the expected invasion.

Names (see article on Japanese tank designations)
Type 3 (1943) Chu-Nu (medium tenth)

Number produced: 144 (or 166)
Produced: 1944-45
Length: 18.5ft/ 5.73m
Hull Width: 7.66ft/ 2.33m
Height: 8.6ft/ 2.61m
Crew: 5
Weight: 18-18.8 tons
Engine: 240 hp Type 100 V-12 diesel
Max Speed: 24 mph/ 39 km/hr
Main Gun: 75mm Type 3 L/38 gun
Machine Guns: One 7.7mm machine gun











History and development [ edit | edit source ]

Type 3 medium tank Chi-Nu was developed to cope with the American M4 Sherman ΐ] after it was clear that the Type 1 Chi-He design was still inadequate. The Army Technical Bureau had been working on the Type 4 Chi-To medium tank as the counter to the M4 Sherman, but there were problems and delays in the program, and as a result a stopgap tank was required. Development on the Type 3 Chi-Nu started in May 1943 and was finished by October, just six months later. The low priority given to tank production by 1943 meant that the Type 3 did not actually enter production until 1944, by which time raw materials were in very short supply, and much of Japan's industrial infrastructure had been destroyed by American strategic bombing.

A total of 144 units were produced (55 units in 1944, 89 units in 1945). The Type 3 Chi-Nu was the last tank that was fielded by the Imperial Japanese armed forces, and was still being produced at the end of the war. Α]

Type 3 Chi-Nu (upcoming tier 5 medium tank)

In 1942, Japan initiated a new medium tank program of 3 projects, each being a different class of medium tank: a 47mm medium tank, a 57mm medium tank, and a 75mm medium tank. These tanks were supposed to be a new breed of anti-tank capable medium tanks. In short time, the 47mm class was seen obsolete and was upgrading to a 57mm tank project. Where as the remaining two projects merged into a single 75mm tank project. This 57mm tank project and 75mm tank project were the Chi-To and Chi-Ri tanks respectively. In 1943, development was being hindered to resource issues, thus the Japanese feared it would take too much time until either the Chi-To or the Chi-Ri could be ready. Thus a quick solution was devised, a stop gap tank which would become the Chi-Nu.

In 1944, The Chi Nu development started and was completed in the same year. The hull of the Chi-He was taking, the turret ring enlarged, and an early Chi-Ri turret design was taking and mounted on the hull. It retained the same engine from the Chi-He, 240 horsepower diesel engine. Top speed was 38.8kph. The Type 90 75mm field gun was modified and became the Type 3 75mm tank gun and mounted onto the tank. And thus production began in Japan in anticipation of an inevitable land invasion of Japan itself. Well over 100 units have been made out of meager resources. None have seen any action.

Turret front: 50
Turret side: 35
Turret rear: 25

Hull front: 50
Side hull: 25
Rear hull: 20

The Japanese had more plans with this tank. One adoption was the Chi Nu Kai which was formed by mounting a Chi-To turret onto the Chi-Nu hull giving it 75mm front turret armor and the powerful Type 5 75mm cannon. However only one was tested but results were successful. A planned production version would replace the Type 3 75mm cannon with the Type 5 75mm cannon in the turret that it already had.

Below, the top tank is the Chi Nu Kai. The bottom tank was the planned production version of the Chi-Nu. Both had the Type 5 75mm cannon.

World War II Database

ww2dbase The Type 3 Chi-Nu medium tanks were designed between May and Oct 1943 specifically to counter the American M4 Sherman medium tanks. They had the same chassis and suspension systems as the Type 97 Chi-Ha medium tanks, but the new hexagonal gun turrets housed Type 3 75-millimeter tank guns. These guns were able to penetrate 90 millimeters of armor at the range of 100 meters and 65 millimeters of armor at 1,000 meters. They entered production in 1944, but lack of raw materials meant only 166 were produced (55 in 1944, 111 in 1945) before the end of the war. They were deployed to at least six tank regiments of 1st Armored Division and 4th Armored Division in Kyushu and Honshu of the Japanese home islands in preparation for the Allied invasion that never came. None of them were ever used in combat.

ww2dbase Source: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Jun 2009

Type 3 Chi-Nu

MachineryOne Mitsubishi Type 100 air-cooled V-12 diesel engine rated at 240hp
SuspensionBell crank
Armament1x75mm Type 3 tank gun, 1x7.7mm Type 97 machine gun
Length5.64 m
Width2.41 m
Height2.68 m
Weight18.2 t
Speed39 km/h
Range210 km

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Type 3 Chi-Nu specifications

Standard Type 3 Chi-Nu with the army camouflage, 4th Armored Division, Kyu-Shu, late 1944.

Up-gunned Type 3 Chi-Nu Kai, testing the Type 5 75 mm (2.95 in) Tank Gun, mid-1945.


Type 3 Chi-Nu at the JGSDF Military Ordnance Training School at Tsuchiura, Ibaraki- Credits: Wikipedia

Weapons similar to or like Type 3 Chi-Nu medium tank

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Compatible Equipment

Compatible Consumables

Player Opinion

Pros and Cons

  • Features Great gun depression like many other Japanese tanks.
  • Impressive firepower with the top 75mm gun.
  • Reasonably small size give the Chi-Nu a good camo factor.
  • Top guns accuracy and aimtime are surprisingly good.
  • Modest agility, despite it's mediocre top speed.
  • Absolutely pathetic armor and no gun mantlet(Howitzers & Autocannons will be your demise)
  • Unimpressive top speed of just 38 KM/H (Most mediums can do at least 40 KM/H)
  • Very fragile modules and crew. You can expect at least 1 crew member to be disabled when hit (assuming you survive).
  • Very light weight (less than 20 tons!) means even light tanks can ram you for a good amount of damage.
  • Bad stock grind. First 75mm gun is bad on Chi-Nu. 57mm is a little better though.


The Chi-Nu is in many ways considered a below average medium tank. However, it makes up for it with the Type 5 75mm gun, arguably one of the best medium tank guns at Tier V. One must keep in mind, however, the disappointing soft stats on the Japanese tanks for example, be sure to aim completely, or you will usually miss horribly.

The armor and mobility are quite bad when compared to the Sherman and Panzer IV H, and trying to get to some of the locations they can may land you in trouble. The Chi-Nu is sluggish for a medium tank, but nimble enough to deal with most heavies. You will easily be penetrated by High-Explosive shells from 105mm/10.5cm howitzers, and module damage is almost guaranteed when hits are taken. A Chi-Nu taking fire from any and all enemies will wither quickly unless it can find cover. Here, the gun-depression is your crucial asset as it allows you to take advantage of most kinds of terrain.

What the Chi-Nu excels at is sniping and support. The Type 5 75mm gun easily delivers on this role with its solid balance of penetration, alpha damage, accuracy, aim-time, and reload-time. Stick to the second line and place accurate fire into the enemies distracted by your heavies, pushing up with them as needed. Alternatively, you can take up well-concealed positions and provide fire from there. The Chi-Nu is graced with decent camo-rating due to its small size. Finding terrain and foliage to blend into is not too difficult. Because its turret turn speed is the slowest for tier V non-premium mediums, it can be safely played like an American TD, albeit much slower. With that said, the Chi-Nu will never fail to reward players who can take advantage of its strengths and mitigate its weaknesses.

Early Research

  • First you should research the tracks (you need the weight support).
  • Then get the turret and gun, because your grind will be very frustrating if you do not have at least the third gun. Turret adds 40HP, which can make the difference from being One-Hit-Killed and surviving to get that final shot in.
  • Engine is a very welcome improvement to acceleration, and you can maintain your top speed easier.
  • The top radio carries over from the Chi-He.

Suggested Equipment


Historical Info

In May 1944, the Chi-Nu development started and was completed in the same year. The hull of the Chi-He was taking, the turret ring enlarged, and the prototype Chi-Ri Plan I's turret was taken and mounted on the hull. It retained the same engine from the Chi-He, a 240 horsepower diesel engine. The top speed was 38.8kph. The Type 90 75mm field gun was modified and became the Type 3 75mm tank gun and mounted onto the tank. And thus production began in Japan in anticipation of an inevitable land invasion of Japan itself. A total of 166 Type 3 Chi-Nu tanks were produced, 55 in 1944 and 111 in 1945. The Type 3 Chi-Nu was the last mass-produced Japanese tank of the Second World War.

Variants included 4 tanks that were up-armored, as the Chi-Nu's 50mm of frontal armor wasn't enough to withstand shells from M4's and T-34's. Another project was the mounting of the much larger Type 5 75mm cannon onto the Chi-Nu. There were two plans to do so - either by mounting the Type 5 directly into the Chi-Nu's turret, or by mounting the Type 4 Chi-To's turret on the Chi-Nu chassis. Ultimately, the latter was chosen due to design flaws in the Chi-Nu's turret, such as insufficient ventilation ports, leading to build-ups of gasses from the main cannon.

In March 19, 1945, a Chi-To prototype turret mounted onto a Chi-Nu chassis, later known as the Chi-Nu Kai, was tested on the Irago Firing Ground’s. Trials were shown to be a success, and the modified Chi-Nu was ordered for production. However, the somewhat smaller production model Chi-To's turret was chosen for this, with its armor reduced from 75mm to 50mm to reduce the stress on the chassis. This model of the Chi-Nu, unofficially known as the Chi-Nu II, only had a few tanks produced before the war ended.

Japanese Type 3 Chi-Nu medium tank

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Requires Assembly

This product is supplied unassembled and unpainted. Glue and paints not included.

Pack contains 1 metal and resin tank and 1 metal crewman.

Note: Models supplied unassembled and unpainted

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IPMS/USA Reviews

I must begin this review by giving a big thank-you to one of my fellow IPMS Wright Field Scale Modelers, Robert Cobb, who at our January 2013 modeling retreat got me hooked on Japanese Anime. "Thanks, Bob!" Specifically, Bob introduced me to the "Girls und Panzer" series. (And yes, it has snowballed from there.) "Girls und Panzer" follows several characters from the Oarai Girls High School in Japan. The Oarai girls participate in the sport of sensha-do (tankery) along with several other all-girls high school teams located worldwide. The schools participate in non-lethal tank battles fought in World War 2-era tanks. The Oarai Girls team runs a very eclectic mix of tanks, including the "Chi-Nu" tank operated by the school's computer nerd team (The Anteater Team).

The Build

The series has become extremely popular with multiple products being released related to this show. Included among the products are many model kits representative of the tanks used in the show. The Fine Molds Type 3 "Chi-Nu" is included in the list. The kit has been out for several years now, but this edition of the model includes a revised decal and instruction sheet which includes the painting and decal details associated with two versions of the "Chi-nu" used in "Girls und Panzer". Overall, the parts in this kit are well molded with just a couple small parts having a tiny bit of flash. The only exception I found in the kit were with the road wheels. The detail on the wheels are very nice, but the two sprues with the road wheels had a bit of more mold seam to sand out than found on the remainder of the parts. It almost appeared as if the upper and lower molds were not perfectly aligned. This issue simply caused me a bit more time sanding the wheels. No harm, no foul.

Assembly is very straightforward and follows a logical build progression. With that said, I want to address some of my thoughts with this kit. The fit for the Chi-nu kit is spot-on and the only filler I used in this build was the result of my error and not the fault of the kit. If I had taken just a bit more time with the sponsons, this build would have been filler-free. If your plans are to display the hatches open, you should know the kit does not include any interior parts. Another positive point with this kit, other than the excellent fit, was the fact very few ejector pins marks were found in locations requiring the builder to fill. I'd like to see more of that with other kits! The kit's suspension parts are keyed to fit the hull based on a level road surface, but with a little effort you could possibly articulate a few of them. Depending on which wheels you articulate, the related spring parts would need to be kitbashed into the appropriate position.


Fine Molds lists the color guide in both Mr. Color and Tamiya paint lines. Basically, you have the choice of painting the Chi-nu as either a gray or deep green, depending on what representation you prefer. I'm personally beginning to use more and more Tamiya paints, so I went that route. I had no problems painting the tank with my trusty H&S airbrush, and soon the model was finished and ready to be wrapped up. I glosscoated the four armor panels that would receive the decals representing the Oarai Girls School, as well as the Anteater Team's turret marking. The decals seemed to both lie down well, and reacted well to my Micro-Sol/Set treatment. My only complaint with the decals was the quality of the printing. There are halftone dots visible in all the decals. This may be more common that I'm aware of, but these are a bit more obvious. I did have a little silvering issue with the Anteater decals, but in all honesty, I may have rushed things a bit at this stage of the build. As far as the kit tracks, they are a one-piece "rubber band" design. They don't appear to be like the typical vinyl found in some other kits, but these were more like a rubbery material. To test them out, I shot a bit of my Tamiya primer on the track sprue and let it dry to make sure the primer would not react with the material. After a week, everything looked good, so I primed the tracks and sprayed them with my Tamiya acrylic paint. I was pleased with the results.

I was very excited for this opportunity to build my first Fine Molds model kit. I would definitely recommend this kit for someone new to armor since the fit and finish is well done without having hundreds of parts to deal with. The "Chi-nu" will make a fine addition to any armor collection, and if you're a fan of the "Girls und Panzer" show (as I am), you will want the "Chi-nu" on your shelf with the other tanks from the show. This kit, as well as the other kits in the series, can be found on the Dragon Models USA website. I would like to pass along my thanks to Dragon models USA, Fine Molds, and IPMS USA for the opportunity to build this fine kit.

IPMS/USA Reviews

Fine Molds continues to add to their great line of WWII Japanese Armor - this time with a variant of the Type 3 "CHI-NU" Tank. This up-gunned long barreled version of the Type 3 was a paper-only project. The variant was expected to go into production in 1946, but as we know the war ended before then. It was thought that the gun on the Type 3 would not be sufficient to knock out US Armor at long ranges, so plans were drawn up to fit the Type 3 tank with a long barrel 75mm gun.

This kit is exactly the same as the other Type 3 "CHI-NU", with the addition of the sprues for the longer barrel, and turret parts. In fact with this boxing, you will end up with some extra parts for your stash, as some of the parts from the earlier release are included, but not used. The kit's 203 parts are molded in tan, with a sprue of clear parts, and nicely done 'rubber band' tracks.

Construction of the kit is simple and straight forward. I encountered some minor injector marks, which my OCD forced me to fill in. It turns out that it wasn't necessary, as they were all hidden during the construction process. My references are lacking when it comes to WWII Japanese Armor, so I built the kit out of the box, and followed the directions as far as painting and assembly. There were no fit issues, and everything literally fell into place. I had the entire projected assembled & ready for paint in a weekend.

The detail of all of the parts is very good. Included in the kit is a small clear sprue which contains the two headlights, the tail light, and vision ports for the commander's hatch.

The only construction issue I encountered was when gluing the tracks - and that was my own error. I used a little too much glue (or the glue was too "hot") and I melted off the thin tab. No worries, as a little careful clamping and a little more glue repaired the break - and you cannot even tell where the seam is. This was my first experience with glue-able track, and I have to say I like it!

Markings are included for three fictional paint schemes for the CHI-NU long barrel. One with camouflage pattern of Earth, Grass Green, and Parched Grass - colors all from the GSU Creos "Mr. Color" line (sold in a set). The second scheme is a solid Parched Grass, and the third Olive Drab. I chose to paint my project in the Parched Grass scheme. Decals are included for some tank regiments, so you can pretty much mix and match to get a look you want. After a little weathering, the project was complete.

I highly recommend this kit to anyone with an interest in WWII Japanese Armor. The fit is great, and I experienced no issues whatsoever with the construction. It was a fun build, and one that someone with a little armor experience under their belt can finish up quickly, and with great results.

For those of you who may want a little more detail, Fine Molds sells separately two detail parts for this kit: Item MG11 is the "IJA Type 3 Medium Tank Extra Detail Set (PE parts) and item MG70 is an aluminum replacement barrel for this long barreled version. I like the looks of the tank as-is, but may look for the PE set for the next one I build.

Watch the video: World of Tanks Type 3 Chi-Nu - 9 Kills 4,2K Damage (June 2022).