Revell 1/72 T-55A/AM
Revell released a 1/72 kit in 2016 I have wished they would do for a few years. They have done T-80, T-90 and T-72 and now at last they have ventured to the T-55. With two options that can be built from the kit this is really welcome. Up to now there have been resin and short run injection moulded kits which have looked good, just we needed a good one from a mainline manufacturer and Revell have come up trumps.
The first thing you need to do is look at the marking options and decide which one you want to go for. This is because there are a number of points within the 29 build stages where you need to drill out locating holes, appropriate for whichever variant you are building. The build starts with assembly of the lower hull and you have the first point where you might need to drill out a couple of holes. A good example of how useful it is to have a 1mm drill and a handheld Pin Vice in your toolbox. With the roadwheels added, you get to link and length sections for the tracks, and I really like that they have the distinctive sag of the top run of track moulded into the top piece. With the upper hull being fitted, another choice in which section you fit for the rear engine deck. The fuel tanks are to be fitted along the track guards, and interesting that half of the two rear mounted fuel drums are moulded in place with the rear hull plate. You then fit the other half and the four end discs of the drums into place. You then add additional fittings around the hull, and again there are some choices to be made as appropriate. Be careful with the four lifting hooks, as these are very small and could easily be lost when removing them from the sprue if you are not careful.
The rounded shape of the cast turret is nicely done, and there is yet another choice for the top roof section depending on which type you have chosen. It includes different patterns for the hatches. To fit on the commanders cupola is the large 12.7mm Dushka machine gun. As well as the other turret details to be fitted, the other choice comes with the two stowage boxes which are fitted to the left hand side of the turret on the AM.
There are four marking options? The first two are for the T-55A. Option 1 is for and example serving with the 6th Guards Tank Division, 78th Guards Tank Regiment as part of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany (GSFG) at Wittenberg in 1975. Option 2, and the one I'll go for, a T-55A serving as part of 273rd Tank Regiment of the People's Army of Vietnam at Pleiku as recently as 2015. Option 3 is for a tank of the 14th Tank Division, 60th Tank Regiment in the Czechoslovak People's Army, at Kezmarok in 1985. The fourth and final option in the kit is for a T-55AM of the 7th Tank Division, Tank Regiment 15, in the National Perole's Army of East Germany at Cottbus in 1990.
With such widespread use of the T-55 there are a host of colours and marking you might like to go for using aftermarket transfers, so this kit is likely to be popular. Certainly it is one that I will go out and get another half dozen to keep in the 'stash'.