T-55 Main Battle Tank

T-55 Main Battle Tank

Manufacturer:Tamiya  – Scale: 1/35 / Markings: Middle Eastern – Model by Laurie Taite

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A brief history...

t55_tankMany of you “tankers” out there have probably built a few T-55’s from many companies, so I won’t go into the pros & cons of the kit I built. Suffice it to say the Tamiya kit is well molded, has great detail and most of all, goes together perfectly…as pretty much ALL Tamiya kits do…!

I started out wanting to depict a dusty, mildly beat up Middle Eastern MBT, with a few add-ons and some scratch building. To that end I used some styrene strip and sewing pins to replicate the fuel tank straps on the rear. One of the major missing links(pun intended…!), on this kit and many other T-55’s, were the fuel supply lines on the fender mounted fuel tanks.

With some small sections of solder and pieces of heat shrink, I made the fuel lines which turned out not too bad. I added a turned aluminium barrel, Friulmodel metal track links, and some Photo Etched screens under the engine grills.

The rubber tires on the road wheels were chunked and scarred with a Dremel and dental burr. Tamiya matt acrylics were used for the camo scheme. Different colours of dry powder pigments were wet-brushed on to dry later leaving a nice dusty build up. The tracks were scuffed on the cleat tops to reveal a bit of polished metal. Numerous chips and scratches were added in places of normal wear & tear, as well as random bits all over.

This was a fun build mainly because of the easy fit and finish of the base kit. The use of the metal tracks is almost a must on a T-55, to achieve the characteristic “droop” of the links. It was also fun to play around with some minor scratch building on the fuel tank stuff, as this adds a bit of realism that is very apparent on the 1/1 tank.