This will be my go at the Takom kit of the iconic T-55 tank. The T-54/55 series is the most-produced tank in military history. Estimated production numbers for the series range from 86,000 to 100,000.
The T-54 and T-55 tanks are a series of Soviet main battle tanks introduced in the years following the Second World War. The T-54 is the main tank for armoured units of the Soviet Army, armies of the Warsaw Pact countries, and many others. T-54s and T-55s have been involved in many of the world's armed conflicts since the later part of the 20th century.
Predecessors: T-34 and T-44
Mass 36 tonnes (39.7 ST)
Length 9.00 m (with gun forward) / Width 3.37 m / Height 2.40 m
205 mm turret front / 130 mm turret sides / 60 mm turret rear / 30 mm turret roof / 120 mm hull front at 60° (100 mm after 1949) / 79 mm hull upper sides / 20 mm hull lower sides
60 mm at 0° hull rear / 20 mm hull bottom / 33-16 mm hull roof
Main armament : D-10T 100 mm rifled gun
Secondary armament: .62 mm SGMT coaxial machine gun, (12.7 mm DShK heavy machine gun)
Engine Model V-55(V-54) V-12 water-cooled. 38.88-l diesel 500 hp (373 kW) up to 800 hp (597 kW) (late versions)
Power/weight 14.6 hp (10.4 kW) / tonne
Transmission Mechanical [synchromesh], 5 forward, 1 reverse gears
Suspension Torsion bar
Ground clearance 0.425 m
Fuel capacity 580 l internal, 320 l external (less on early T54), 400 l jettisonable rear drums
Speed 48 km/h (30 mph)
Ob'yekt 155 entered production at Uralvagonzavod 1 January 1958 as the T-55.
I am going to build t-55A
In 1961, the development of improved NBC protection systems began. The goal was to protect the crew from fast neutrons; adequate protection against gamma radiation was provided by the thick armour and a PAZ basic NBC protection system.
The POV plasticized lead antiradiation lining was developed to provide the needed protection. It was installed in the interior, requiring the driver's hatch and the coamings over the turret hatches to be noticeably enlarged. This liner had the added benefit of protecting the crew from fragments of penetrated armour.
The tank was equipped with a full PAZ/FVU chemical filtration system. The coaxial 7.62 mm SGMT machine gun was replaced by a 7.62 mm PKT machine gun. The hull was lengthened from 6.04 m to 6.2 m. The hull machine gun was removed, making space for six more main gun rounds. These changes increased the weight of the vehicle to 38 tonnes.
Production history: Soviet Union - The T-55 was produced by Uralvagonzavod between 1958 and 1962.
27,500 T-55, T-55A, T-55K1, T-55K2, T-55K3, T-55AK1, T-55AK2 and T-55AK3 tanks were produced between 1955 and 1981. Poland produced 7,000 T-55 (between 1964 and 1968), T-55L, T-55AD-1 and T-55AD-2 tanks (between 1968 and 1979). Czechoslovakia produced 8,300 T-55 and T-55A tanks (between 1964 and 1983; T-55A was probably produced since 1968). Most of them were for export.
The T-55 was the most numerous tank of the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA). It was the mainstay of armoured combat units during the Yugoslav Wars, where it proved vulnerable to infantry equipped with anti-tank rockets and weaponry and to misemployment in urban areas as well as unfriendly terrain. But there were too many of them in service for them to be replaced entirely. During the Battle of Vukovar, where the JNA grouped a large part of its tank force, a number were destroyed, almost exclusively by infantry-carried anti-tank weapons. Serbian T-55s performed well against US M47 Patton tanks used by Croatia. The T-55 tank remained the most common tank in the armies of the various Yugoslavian successor states until recently and it was the most-used tank by all armies during the decades-long wars.
As I am Croatian, I was looking forward building Croatian T-55a "Marina" - Boxart photo
I have been very impressed with the contents of the Takom box but there are some serious issues which I would share with you!
The box top lists an impressive range of features of the kit including the option to build a model with damaged or undamaged wheels - I cannot, however, find any reference in the instructions as to how this is done, or any alternative parts in the kit itself.
The kit provides a huge number of optional parts for the five variants included but instructions are so confusing and not clear.
The biggest issue for sure are the track links and the sprocket wheel. Standard track links have to be OMsh-type instead of RMsh-type delivered with the kit. The second issue for this release is the drive sprocket. It has to be a 13 teeth sprocket wheel instead of the 14 teeth sprocket wheel. 14 teeth sprocket wheels are very rare and hard to find on T-55A tanks. They became standard on modernized T-55 tanks of the AM and AM2B series, also as M5 series. Usually, they are standard for T-72 tanks.
So In my next reply, I will add my photos of progress on this kit which is really good but some things are just wrong.
I almost completed assembly waiting for the reply from Takom customer service so I already f** up some things.
'Marina' for example is a Polish-built T-55 and should have a Polish engine deck, and I put normal one as stated in instructions... but there is another one on different sprue, not mentioned in instructions... there is a 13 teeth sprocket wheel on a different sprue, but not mentioned in instructions.
two things they can't solve:
wrong tracks and wrong decals.
On a box art, Croatian coat of arms is with the first red square and on a decal sheet is white first which is wrong... letters are different etc.