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Hello all


Since I got into scale modelling armour under lockdown Ive focused on mainly on WW2 armour and mainly British bar a panzer or two. One thing I love about the hobby is how it prompts me to learn more about the history.


Interest in cold war tanks had been growing at the back of my mind because mainly after ww2 most countries didn't build their own tanks and certain tanks became ubiquitous and none more so than the T-54/55 or Type 59. Ive heard it called the Kalashnikov of tanks which is cool. The number of variants is also huge.


1/72 T-54 and T-55 tanks kept appearing (like magic :shrug:) in my stash so it was about time to forget about ww2 for a bit and build one. 


I choose to start on the Ammo by Mig T-54B kit, as I liked all the non-soviet decal options it comes with, in fact is has multiple options for north Vietnamese tanks which I think is great (the kit is themed for Vietnam).


I took these pics a couple of weeks back and I'm largely finished the build but I thought the pics may be of interest.







Up to now I've mainly been building older kits, this is my first recent mold/manufactured kit and Ive been surprised by some if its features.


There are jigs for the tracks which are great, but what I appreciated even more is the fact there are jigs for the photoetch hopefully we will see more of that in kits that are becoming photoetch heavy.


Actually having a metal thread/wire for the tow cable included is great too.


Decal's have multiple North Vietnamese options as well as Egyptian/Syrian for the Arab/Isreali wars (I feel an Ace IDF Centurion vs a T-54/55 standoff coming on at some point)



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Fast forward almost 2 weeks and one bank holiday weekend. 2 weeks is about my record so far for actually starting a build and calling it done other stuff always gets in the way. This is one of the reasons I like 1/72, 1/35 might take me forever.


The kit is very nice, I wanted to try and do a good job with it and paint some sub assemblies although I've found doing so adds other problems often.


Some of the parts are very fine luckily I invested in some decent snips recently, far better than the army painter ones I was using which to be fair are fine for space marines and the like. Only two extremely small parts ended up with the carpet monster rendering a third pointless as it was a symmetrical detail, otherwise I built it out of the box. 


The photo etch has 3 parts, and in a lot of ways the headlight guard was the easiest of the 3, the jig for this part worked a treat, very nice. However the rectangular engine deck detail with rivets caused some pain, getting this on unbent would be a minor miracle. I did get it on but then ripped it off accidently the next day when trying to fit the rear mudguards, there was a moment of much swearing, however I managed to get it largely back into shape using a vice and two metal rulers.


The rear of the tank was a bit tricky with the suggested build order for the rear mudguards and other parts. The parts for the fuel drum brackets are exceedingly fine and easily broken even by handling. The one thing that bugs me the most is the lack of any detail on the standard issue Russian tank log and it would be tricky to paint this separately and then install it without also painting the fuel drums and fragile brackets separately. However instead of some realistic wood I decided this had been sprayed modern Russian green with the rest of the tank. I've seen several photos of Russian tanks where this is the case.


It has been base coated and highlighted by airbrush, a gloss coat sprayed and decals added, weathering is up next and then a final coat of matt.


When I built it I knew I wanted to do a NVA tank, but which one? The kit is based somewhere between the historical photographs and the museum piece tanks. I was going to go with the famous Tank 843 however I think id rather do it with a roughed up T-54B no front mudguards etc, so for another build. I went with the Quang Trung 729 tank instead. This is where I learned you cant stick a decal of that length on a T-54 frying pan turret too easily, it had to be split into 3.








I'm always surprised by some of the errors I only spot (or stray hairs) when I see the pics on the screen.


Weathering to come.

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28 minutes ago, sardaukar said:

I'm always surprised by some of the errors I only spot (or stray hairs) when I see the pics on the screen.

I have the same problem. It normally occurs after I've posted on Britmodeller for all the world to see. :banghead:

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  • 2 weeks later...

I did some more work on this, to be honest after watching lots of youtube videos I'm still not sure on the whole process, enamel wash on acrylics or on gloss varnish or satin or matt, when to do enamel streaking, pigments chipping etc, oh acrylic chips or oil/enamel. Its a minefield but I imagine I will get into a habit.


Anyway some washes and pigments later. 






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