Tamiya's 1/35 scale T-55 is available online from
Some models got it.
A lot of reviews rave about new products.
Sometimes, when you buy the raved-about model, you wish you
had not spent so much money because it does not stand out upon
completion no matter how well you build and paint it. In this
case, though, it appears that in addition to the quality of
the product, there is the enigmatic touch. And Tamiya's T-55A
Upon the first review that I read about
this kit, I think here in HyperScale, I had no doubt that this
is an outstanding kit. The first thing that you would notice
in the kit is the beautifully engraved turret. However, to
make it stand out, you would need to paint it in light
camouflage paints. Therefore, my choice of an Egyptian army
T-55A was obvious.
Soon after I received the kit from Japan,
I visited the armour display centre situated not far from
I took my little daughter with me. Since
she was not impressed with the display (yep, divorced), I had
to do a hasty walk around photo session around the only sample
of what appears to be a Syrian T-55A..
By the shape of headlights, commander's
cupola and other small attachments, it seemed that the
displayed tank was a Soviet Army version like option B in the
assembly instructions. Nonetheless, there was a mount for an
additional machine gun on the top of the turret as well as and
extensive storage area in the back of the turret that made me
suspect that this was actually an Israeli Tiran-5 that was
re-converted to its original form for display purposes.
Naturally, I could not relate to the
camouflage scheme, not to mention that most foreign AFVs at
the display do not retain their original colours. In fact, the
majority were painted quite recently so my quest for a nice
weathering example went down the drain.
Nonetheless, The Egyptian Army colour
scheme is simple. In addition, I had vivid recollections from
the days of my childhood after the Six Days War when I used to
drive past rows and rows of captured tanks and examine them
thoroughly whenever I had the opportunity.
The things that I remember about the
T-55A from those days was the prominent DShK machine gun on
the top, the infra red projectors and the generally barren
outlook of the sides of the turret.
As mentioned in other articles, this kit
is easy to build and the construction can be completed in a
matter of hours.
The fit of the parts is excellent
although care must be exercised not to confuse between the
I was delighted to see that Tamiya
included a mesh and a string to replicate the grill covers and
the towing cables. After examining the photographs, I realised
that Tamiya did not leave much space for the imagination.
From the detail perspective, the model
truly depicts the real tank. It seems that the after market
for this kit will be meagre. Nonetheless, I made some
additions and changes to match with the Egyptian version. I
omitted the Snorkels and the log. I also added wires to
represents the fuel lines to the auxiliary tanks and a rod at
the front hull.
The painting was straight forward. I used
several shades of very light yellow and sand. In all, the
camouflage scheme of the Egyptian Army leans heavily towards
white that simulates the glare of the desert. I took advantage
of the dark plastic colour of the mould and chipped the paint
in the appropriate places. This would be close to the source
because the tanks were probably painted in dark green colours
before their arrival in Egypt.
Some washes were applied to represent the
inevitable oil and fuel stains. Since these tanks operated in
the Sinai Desert that comprises mostly of granite soils, the
amount of dust is relatively small. Yet, because of the quartz
pebbles and stones, I heavily chipped the rubber rims.
In all, it was a small and a delightful
project. Pity though that the colour variations of these tanks
was limited or else, I would purchase many more samples of
this wonderful kit.
Mind you, I said the same about Tamiya's
Swordfish and I ended up building four!
Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:
Model, Images and Text Copyright ©
2003 by Rafi
Page Created 25 March, 2003
25 March, 2004