Kit #03304

Preview by Mark P. Johnson - mark(dot)p(dot)johnson60(at)gmail(dot).com
Billy Roe
Edited by Rob Haelterman

Mark P. Johson:

The kit looks great and has both the radiation shields and the unshielded version.
The wheels don’t have the seams like the Trumpeter version.
It has markings for Soviet Union, East Germany, Vietnam, and Czechoslovakia.



Billy Roe:

First impression: very nicely moulded.
The tracks are basically link and length, only with a minimum of two links per piece rather than the standard individual links.
They are moulded with track sag and consciously designed to be as easy as possible to assemble, in my opinion, with no fiddly stuff. Despite this, they are possibly the best injection moulded tracks I have seen with super levels of detail.
The wheels themselves are also very finely moulded with probably the most delicate rendition of starfish wheels I've seen in plastic (compared to ACE, PST and Trumpeter).
There were some concerns about the grooves in the tires; these are only on the sides.

The small detail parts are all very finely done. The kit is clearly designed to produce several variants and comes with two different engine deck options.
The 12.7 mm gun is beautiful with delicate cooling fins and even muzzle break details. The verdict is out on the 100mm gun; I was initially disappointed until I realised there was a separate muzzle brake to go on the end so I'll have to build it to get a proper sense of it.
There are a few sink marks that I've found but they all seem to be in areas that won’t be visible on a fully assembled tank, such as the tops of the fillets that widen the turret ring at its sides and the backs of the suspension casings that should be hidden by the hull floor. There are injector marks on the inside of the tracks but they are pretty minor and I suspect they will line up with the wheels and be hidden anyway.
Markings for 4 tanks are given, in any colour as long as it’s green: a Czechoslovak tank from 1985, an East German tank from 1990, a Russian vehicle from 1975 and a Vietnam vehicle from 2015.
My one quibble would be the Russian tank. My limited knowledge of T-55s says the kit represents a non Russian built tank. (The shape of the turret MG and gun sight rain guards and the storage locker on the turret side correspond to a Czech built vehicle as far as I am aware.) There might be a reason why the Russians would use a foreign built tank and I would be happy to be educated If I'm wrong, but I'd be sceptical of building this particular kit as a Russian tank. (Modifying it better represent a Soviet build would be simple, though.)

All that is a very minor quibble, though, on what appears to be a lovely kit, and even If you can’t do it as a Russian tank, it’s not like there’s any shortage of real users for a Czech built T-55 to chose, some of whom are not even painted green.
There are a number of Braille scalers whose knowledge of T-55s greatly exceeds mine (which is not very hard) and I look forward to what they have to say about it, but in my extremely humble opinion, it’s a fantastic kit that I am delighted to see. I look forward to whatever variants are on the way from Revell and whatever aftermarket emerges now that we have such a widely available kit of such an iconic tank.

The kit comes with the new style of glossy colour instructions which appear at first glance to be very clear and easy to follow. The decals look very well done with even the tiny East German Roundels and Soviet badges looking perfect.

A last point: I got mine in a local model shop where it was notably cheaper (13 Euros) than previous Revell kits which had crept up to and beyond the 15/16 euro mark so that’s a pleasant little development if it holds.

In short: buy it, until wiser heads find all the faults I missed.


This model can be purchased from Tracks & Troops

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Article Last Updated: 11 November 2016