T-55 AMV, Russian Medium Tank

Takom, Kit No. 2042, 1/35

Short History:

 

The T-54 and T-55 tanks are a series of Soviet main battle tanks introduced just as the Second World War ended. The first T-54 prototype appeared in March 1945 and entered full production in 1947. It became the main tank for armoured units of the Soviet Army, armies of the Warsaw Pact countries, and many others. T-54s and T-55s were involved in many of the world’s armed conflicts during the late 20th century.

 

What`s In The Box :

 

One of the most produced and upgraded tank from the end of WWII till nowadays. Tank that was a kind of symbol of Cold War and Warsaw Pact. It is still operating around the world and was seen in many conflicts. By all of those characteristics, this is one of most popular tank in modelling world. In 2016 year, I can say that there are many tries to make this tank as a perfect model. We saw it from Esci, which had a lot of issues, than from Trumpeter old kits, a lot of issues too. From Skif, then Italeri repack of Esci and latest Tamiya, which model was the best solution on the market, but with some minor issues. 2016 year and Takom announced and soon after released their models of T-55 and other members of the family. I have before me T-55 AMV version. As you can notice, it is upgraded version with ERA protection armor and laser finder. I found that some of T-55 latest upgrades were ordered by Russian Navy. They could not reinforce their naval needs with later modern tanks like T-72 and T-80, because of their weight and size, so they request upgrade of T-55 which was already in their use. Also, this AMV version is most recognizable from current Syrian civil war. There is no doubt why Takom choose to make box art cover exactly from this conflict. This conflict is popular currently in the modelling world, because of various equipment that is used and their camouflage painting.

 

Kit contains 17 sprues in gray color plastic, transparent sprue, PE parts, cable, lower hull, turret, poly caps, dust cover and decal sheet; over 760 parts. Assembly instruction is printed in black and white and contains 40 steps on 22 pages. It is easy to be followed. There is an option to choose between two different commanders’ hatches, or better say with or without MG, so pay attention in these steps. Assembly guide is provided as CAD illustration and is much easier for following. There is no visible flash on the parts on my sample. There is an extra piece of paper for correction in assembling, so pay attention for this too.

 

Chassis:

 

Assembly starts with the lower chassis. There is extra protection armor in the front part of lower chassis. Torsion bars are not made to be workable, but I guess it will be not problem to make them if you have any diorama in plan. Rubber part on the running wheels is provided separately, so painting of them or improvising damage is much easier. Pay attention that there is a small difference between first running wheel and rest of them running wheels. I am not T-55 expert, but I say that some modellers were complaining about some details on the lower chassis, that they are not correct. Takom didn’t leave it to aftermarket companies to improve that, they made new molding and offered replacement of this part from local hobby shops or dealers. New “correct” packing of this kit has notification on the front of the box picture. This information I found on the net. My sample was sent before this mistake is spotted, and there is no notification on the pox so I guess that I have one of the first samples. Assemble continues on the upper chassis. Because these versions has ERA armor, and have extra holders for that, some holes needs to be drilled on the upper chassis. Era “bricks” are not given as individual “bricks”. Depends on their position on the tank, Takom has provided them for specific part of the model. For me personally, best option for ERA “brick” armor is as PE parts. Much more realistic than plastic parts, but can be complicated for building it. Very nice details on the upper chassis are pipes on fuel tanks on the fenders. This detail we don`t see often on Russian T tank family models. Drivers hatch can be made in opened or closed position. No interior parts are provided for chassis or turret.

 

Turret and Main gun:

 

As I already mentioned, there is a two options for assembling the turret, with and without MG. Steps that need attention for this are marked. Massive “brick” armor is placed on the front part of the turret, on the left and right side of turret and in the front of the gunner and commanders hatch. Both mentioned hatches can be made in open or closed position are detailed very nice from both sides. Main gun is provided to elevate up and down but I am not sure how it will work with provided dust cover. Laser range finder is also included and it should be placed on the dust cover. Main gun barrel is something that I was not happy to see. Old “fashion” way, two half pieces of barrel that needs to be glued. That means a lot of sanding and necessary putty. I am sure that AF option will be provided soon. Top turret MG is detailed very nice, and extra ammo boxes are provided on the rear side of the turret.

Tracks :

Takom has provided 184 individual track links. 92 tracks will be needed to construct link for one side. These are non-working and will need to be glued together and then wrapped around the wheels.

 

Painting & Markings:

Painting and markings are provided for 12 vehicles and color guide is provided on colorful extra printed paper. Color info and profiles are provided by A.Mig. So color guide is provided only for A.Mig colors. They have nice shades for Soviet/Russian and Middle East vehicles. There are two vehicles of Russian army, one Uganda People`s Defence Forces, one African Union Mission in Somalia, two Algerian PNA and rest of the suggestion are from Syrian civil war.

 

Conclusion:

 

Takom has produced a very nice model. From my previous experience, Takom is making models that are easy to assemble, and thus focus on your artistic skills. There is a lot of other T-55/54 members that are released by Takom, so if you are collector of Russian T series, this a lot of pleasant surprise for you. Trumpeter also announced that they will release their models of T-55, so it`s left to wait and see what will they offer.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Review kit provided by:

www.sincerehobby.com

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