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Question on 1/35 T-55 Wheel Fit (Tamiya and MiniArt)


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Hey, everyone! I've got a Tamiya T-55 that I've been building, and I was wanting to get some workable tracks for it. I see a lot of metal ones that look a little pricey for pre-assembled tracks, but I've also noticed that MiniArt offers their Workable tracks.

 

What I believe I've pieced together is that the T-55 Tamiya kit has OMSh style sprockets, and I would need the RMSh sprocket to work. So I'm thinking the easiest way to get something that fits, the MiniArt RMSh wheels and workable tracks would be the best idea, I just can't really seem to find anything concrete on whether or not the wheels from MiniArt will fit on the Tamiya body without any major surgery needed.

 

Thanks!

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If it's any help, I've had to use both the miniart wheels and OMsh tracks on the Tamiya T-62 because I found that the Tamiya sprockets have a different pitch to the miniart tracks so cannot be mixed but the road wheels needed nothing more than opening the holes slightly to fit over the axle stubs. I replaced the sprocket and idler axles with copper and aluminium tube so I could alter the tension on the tracks using the miniart idler arms.

Edited by Swiftnbold
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15 hours ago, Swiftnbold said:

If it's any help, I've had to use both the miniart wheels and OMsh tracks on the Tamiya T-62 because I found that the Tamiya sprockets have a different pitch to the miniart tracks so cannot be mixed but the road wheels needed nothing more than opening the holes slightly to fit over the axle stubs. I replaced the sprocket and idler axles with copper and aluminium tube so I could alter the tension on the tracks using the miniart idler arms.

Awesome! I think I'll go ahead and grab them in that case. That doesn't sound like too much work having to just open the holes a bit. The rubber tracks just aren't doing it for me, so this should be a nice little visual upgrade.

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You need the MiniArt wheels anyway because Tamiya got the hubs wrong for for a T-55A.  Only the initial Model 1958 T-55 had the T-54 style small hubs on the first axles.  Later models had a larger diameter hub here.  Tamiya missed this.  MiniArt did not.  the T-62 had the larger hub on the rear axle too, which MiniArt also recognised.

 

The Tamiya kit itself is a bit of a mishmash of T-55 models and doesn't really represent anything OOB.  Blast Models used to do a nice correction set for it at about €25.  You would have been better off with a much better MiniArt T-55, which are only about the same price as the old Tamiya offering.  The Tamiya kit remains stubbornly expensive for something not very good.

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13 minutes ago, Das Abteilung said:

You need the MiniArt wheels anyway because Tamiya got the hubs wrong for for a T-55A.  Only the initial Model 1958 T-55 had the T-54 style small hubs on the first axles.  Later models had a larger diameter hub here.  Tamiya missed this.  MiniArt did not.  the T-62 had the larger hub on the rear axle too, which MiniArt also recognised.

 

The Tamiya kit itself is a bit of a mishmash of T-55 models and doesn't really represent anything OOB.  Blast Models used to do a nice correction set for it at about €25.  You would have been better off with a much better MiniArt T-55, which are only about the same price as the old Tamiya offering.  The Tamiya kit remains stubbornly expensive for something not very good.

 

Sadly, I didn't find out about Miniart until after grabbing the Tamiya kit, figuring it would be fun just to have as a first model (well, first since being an adult with actual tools and skills...not the hand-painted horror shows I made as a kid).

 

I'm not 100% in need of any great real world accuracy, since it's not going to be based on anything real, but my main annoyance was just that the rubber tracks themselves didn't look very good, and I was hoping for something a little nicer when put together. 

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5 minutes ago, aaronwhite1786 said:

 

I'm not 100% in need of any great real world accuracy, since it's not going to be based on anything real, but my main annoyance was just that the rubber tracks themselves didn't look very good, and I was hoping for something a little nicer when put together. 

Same with the Tamiya T-62, I wasn't too bothered about the inaccuracies but I damaged the tracks and found a Miniart set going cheap so I had to buy the wheels too, difference being that the 62 can be bought for peanuts compared to any decent 1/35  T-62 now available.

I don't rate the Trumpeter kit for the money as that also has it's own inaccuracies so not much point buying it, for me the Zvezda kit is most accurate for the money. A bargain in fact.

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The Zvezda T-62 kit is an initial production version, IIRC the first such kit.  There has been some debate over on Missing Lynx about its accuracy.

 

And if the T-55 is a first model then the MiniArt box full of plastic and a zillion parts might have been off-putting.  The Tamiya kit is far simpler to build, as they usually are.  But suffers in detail and accuracy for that.  It really surprises me how much stores still want for it, presumably driven by Tamiya's pricing.

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8 minutes ago, Das Abteilung said:

The Zvezda T-62 kit is an initial production version, IIRC the first such kit.  There has been some debate over on Missing Lynx about its accuracy.

 

And if the T-55 is a first model then the MiniArt box full of plastic and a zillion parts might have been off-putting.  The Tamiya kit is far simpler to build, as they usually are.  But suffers in detail and accuracy for that.  It really surprises me how much stores still want for it, presumably driven by Tamiya's pricing.

The main reason I pulled the trigger on the Tamiya kit was that it had been marked down quite a bit and came with the metal barrel and photoetch parts that I thought would be a fun challenge (I vastly underestimated just how small some of the parts were).

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7 minutes ago, aaronwhite1786 said:

(I vastly underestimated just how small some of the parts were).

Then be thankful you didn't get the MiniArt after all!  By comparison some of their parts are positively minute................  A metal gun barrel is always a better bet than trying to deal with joins in 2-piece split plastic barrels.  Photo etch can be both blessing and curse, often with many fiddly parts.  Voyager are especially prone to fiddliness and over-complication.  Eduard tend to be simpler.

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1 minute ago, Das Abteilung said:

Then be thankful you didn't get the MiniArt after all!  By comparison some of their parts are positively minute................  A metal gun barrel is always a better bet than trying to deal with joins in 2-piece split plastic barrels.  Photo etch can be both blessing and curse, often with many fiddly parts.  Voyager are especially prone to fiddliness and over-complication.  Eduard tend to be simpler.

The Photoetch definitely came in handy when I was holding the latching part of the tow cable hook on the front in some tweezers, only to suddenly have them snap together and hear the sound of plastic hitting one of the 4 walls in my office before dropping to the carpet, never to be seen again. I finally just said "Fine, it's battle damaged!" and put the PE mount on where the plastic one had gone, just missing the handle to lock the cable down.

 

I would love to get some PE parts a try again in the future when I've got some tools to help shape them. Initially I was just using an exacto knife and razor as I didn't even have the model tweezers I finally got, and that was rough. But towards the end, I started trying my luck with a few of the parts, figuring if they messed up I could just use the included plastic details. 

And yeah, I was happy to have the metal barrel and avoid the sanding and lining details up on two plastic halves.

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There are many expensive tools available for dealing with photo etch.  Trumpeter Model Master do a couple of reasonably priced "hold and fold" tools.  Get some diamond files for dealing with the fret cut points: much better than standard files as you can use them more gently.  My most-used tools are some smooth-jawed pliers in several sizes I got from my local Hobbycraft in the jewellery tool section. Or maybe it was the craft section in The Range.

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6 minutes ago, Das Abteilung said:

There are many expensive tools available for dealing with photo etch.  Trumpeter Model Master do a couple of reasonably priced "hold and fold" tools.  Get some diamond files for dealing with the fret cut points: much better than standard files as you can use them more gently.  My most-used tools are some smooth-jawed pliers in several sizes I got from my local Hobbycraft in the jewellery tool section. Or maybe it was the craft section in The Range.

The folding was somewhere that really made me wish for a folding jig. Trying to hand-fold the tiny contact points could be a real headache when it was something that needed multiple folds on one small shape. And nice idea on the files! The metal definitely chewed up some of my softer sanding blocks.

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2 hours ago, Das Abteilung said:

The Zvezda T-62 kit is an initial production version, IIRC the first such kit.  There has been some debate over on Missing Lynx about its accuracy.

I'm not sure what you mean by "initial production"?

I don't think the guys over on Missing lynx will ever be happy with the accuracy of a kit unless it is dimensionally correct to within 3 points of a sub millimetre with the detailed accuracy of an engineering blueprint, something the overwhelming majority of modellers can happily live without, at under £30 for the Zvezda with its minor foibles it's way ahead of the competition, so long as you're happy with a pre-1967 version. 🙂

Edited by Swiftnbold
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1 hour ago, Swiftnbold said:

I'm not sure what you mean by "initial production"?

The very earliest production configuration.  Like the T-54 and T-55 the T-62 went through several production configurations.  Apparently the Zvezda kit is a Model 1960, produced from 1961-67. Followed by M1967, M1972 and M1975.  Then of course later upgrades.

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36 minutes ago, Das Abteilung said:

The very earliest production configuration.  Like the T-54 and T-55 the T-62 went through several production configurations.  Apparently the Zvezda kit is a Model 1960, produced from 1961-67. Followed by M1967, M1972 and M1975.  Then of course later upgrades.

Yes the Zvezda kit is of the early pre-1967 version without the modified loaders cupola and the T-54 engine deck, there is rumour of a post 1967 version being in the pipeline but I've seen nothing confirmed.

Apologies @aaronwhite1786 for the thread drift.

Edited by Swiftnbold
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If I read / understood it correctly, this is your first model after "comeback" to the hobby.

To be honest, I would not worry about "not liking the tracks" & all that aftermarket stuff.

Build it best, you can "OOB", try some tricks in painting, weathering etc, forget all about accuracy.

Tracks? With some smart positioning of superglue, you can achieve that bow of T-55 tracks.

And painting Tamiya rubbery stuff will give you another lesson.

Put some "Girls and Panzers" 😀 decals on it, and enjoy the experience of doing your kit.

Then you buy another kit, checking all "inboxes" on the Net beforehand and apply lessons, you've learned from that first one.

This is my own "memories", as most of us "restarted" some day, or other.

Zig

 

 

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12 hours ago, Swiftnbold said:

Yes the Zvezda kit is of the early pre-1967 version without the modified loaders cupola and the T-54 engine deck, there is rumour of a post 1967 version being in the pipeline but I've seen nothing confirmed.

Apologies @aaronwhite1786 for the thread drift.

Not a problem at all! I'm happy to see discussion from it. I got my main question answered, but I'm always happy to know more about the subject.

And, Zigster, I'm not really worried too much about accuracy or anything like that, the rubber tracks just don't look great, and since I've already glued them into one big loop, they're going to be a pain to weather and paint anyhow, so I figured I may as well try out some of the Miniart kit and kill two birds with one stone. 

I'm vaguely basing it off of some tanks from the old Arma game I used to play that had some camo with striping all over that looked hand-painted, along with some red ID bands on the hull and turret. I figured it would be a fun challenge for painting and weathering without having to feel like I'm not "making it look real". 

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Nice! I'm still debating removing some parts of the fenders, just to give it that proper "I'm a tank that had the misfortune of being taken over by insurgents with no money for repairs" look. 

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2 minutes ago, Swiftnbold said:

Yep, tear one of the track guards off, they were rubber and took plenty of punishment.

I've got those things pretty scuffed up at the moment! I tried to thin them out a bit, since they looked a little thick on the initial one, but I'm thinking I might just chop them both off, since the T-55 looks pretty cool with parts of the fender missing.

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A closeup of the replaced axles.

The beauty of using the concentric arm on the Miniart idler is that you can adjust the slack if you find yourself in a position where 1 link is too many or too short. 

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Edited by Swiftnbold
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