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Tamiya 1/48 T-55 Russian Medium Tank


Jackhmn
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Hey fellas, 

 

A new project on the horizon for me as I'm about to order the 1/48th scale T-55 Russian Medium Tank from Tamiya. I'll be working on this in parallel to my current Renault R35 project (link to that WIP). This should be a pretty short but sweet build, as I've gotten used to from Tamiya. More details to come once the research phase is complete. 

 

Cheers, 

Jack

 

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Hi John, 

 

Indeed it is, although not widely at all. If you’re interested, scalemates.com has a list of distributors which have it in stock here. Most of them are in Poland or not in Europe. It seems maybe the coronavirus has affected the release of this one. 
 

Jack.

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49 minutes ago, Major Wardaddy said:

Hi John, 

 

Indeed it is, although not widely at all. If you’re interested, scalemates.com has a list of distributors which have it in stock here. Most of them are in Poland or not in Europe. It seems maybe the coronavirus has affected the release of this one. 
 

Jack.

Nice project and looking forward to your update. 

Edited by Soeren
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Thanks Soeren, this one will take a backseat on the modelling bench until I finish the Renault R35. But I’m looking at potentially turning this one into a Soviet War in Afghanistan diorama once I get around to it. 

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5 hours ago, Major Wardaddy said:

Hi John, 

 

Indeed it is, although not widely at all. If you’re interested, scalemates.com has a list of distributors which have it in stock here. Most of them are in Poland or not in Europe. It seems maybe the coronavirus has affected the release of this one. 
 

Jack.

Thanks for the info Jack. I've ordered one from Plastmodel in Poland, and once I get my hands on it, hopefully it will become an Israeli Tiran 5.

 

John.

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While I wait for the kit to arrive I've been cracking on with the research. It turned out to be a lot more complicated than anticipated. 

 

PHASE 1: CONSTRUCTION

Part 1: References

 

As always, my first stop was the Tank Encyclopedia website for a quick but very useful insight on the T-54/55. I have also ordered a book on the T-55 which might be able to help me out during the build. Aside from this, I chose one of many walkarounds available to bookmark and use throughout the project. 

 

This Tamiya kit is slightly unusual in the way it actually only proposes one single set of markings. On top of this, the markings correspond to "an unknown unit" of the Soviet Army according to the instructions. I never like this and I always try to make a point of finding the specific vehicle I'm building and its unit and whereabouts/operations. So I started the investigation. 

 

Said investigation was based on the only two pieces of information I had. That it was a Soviet unit and that the tank had a white dot painted next to the number on the side of the turret. Not much to work with. This hunt for the correct unit led me to Afghanistan and Vietnam by way of Ukraine. Still nothing concrete...until I found this image. 

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A breakthrough...finally. After using the handy Google search function where you put a picture into the search engine instead of words, I found someone on a Hungarian forum mentioning that these tanks were in fact Hungarian and not Soviet. To be precise, they belong the the 8th Tank Regiment of the Hungarian People's Army. I believe these images are part of the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 or the preceding exercises. Anyway, mission complete. I seem to have found my unit and this enabled me to make my plan. 

 

Kit: Tamiya T-55 Russian Medium Tank - No. 32598 - 1/48

Aftermarket: None - OOB

Vehicle: "No. 826", 8th Tank Regiment, 8th Motor Rifle Division, 5th Hungarian 

Location/Time: Forests of the Little Carpathians, Czechoslovakia, mid-September 1968

Decals: Decals in the box

Finish: Produced and delivered in 1967. Has not seen combat. In exercises since its arrival. A few branches about but no other extras of note. Machine-gun removed. Number on the external tanks. No damage of note besides bent fenders. Forests in the area of operations. 18 degrees C, windy and raining heavily. 

 

 Cheers, Jack

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

PHASE 1: CONSTRUCTION

Part 2: Removing parts from the sprue + part preparation

 

I got the T-55 in the mail about 4 or 5 days ago and immediately set about removing all the parts from the sprue as well as any mold marks and lines. The only bits of the kit not included are the AA machine-gun and spare ammo boxes since these were not equipped on Hungarian T-55s of this unit. Same applies to the tubular piece of equipment on the left of the turret, that was found on tanks of the USSR. 

 

Not too much work given how Tamiya are careful to locate these things in places where they a) are easy to remove and/or b) won't be easily seen once the model is built. I'm not one for spending hours on this phase so the work is probably far from perfect but I think I'm content with it. Now where's my glue...

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Edited by Major Wardaddy
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I looks a though our builds will be progressing in parallel, but they'll be different creatures. So far, I've been very pleased with the kit, but Tamiya have left some things off. The small side lights at the front and the wiring conduit for the headlights, which is quite prominent.

Good luck with your build.

 

John.

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Very, very cool.  I'm tagging along for sure.  Neat prototype pictures, Thanks.

 

John, If you go to the 3D48th Facebook page you'll find marker lights and headlight guards on offer so far.  More goodies to come.

 

Dan

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1 hour ago, ScanmanDan said:

John, If you go to the 3D48th Facebook page you'll find marker lights and headlight guards on offer so far.  More goodies to come.

 

Thanks Dan, that's brilliant. I didn't fancy scratch building those!

 

John. 

 

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