Russian Medium Tank T-55
Tamiya, 1/48 scale
Considering its breadth of service with Eastern Bloc countries and the sheer numbers manufactured, it is surprising that we have not seen a mainstream injection moulded T-55 in 1:48 scale until now.
Tamiya has now addressed this deficit with its brand new 1:48 scale Russian Medium Tank T-55. I was lucky enough to receive an early production boxing of this kit, and I couldn’t wait to build it.
Tamiya's 1:48 scale T-55 comprises 176 parts in dark green coloured plastic, two metal strips, four small polythene caps, plus markings for one vehicle.
The characteristic lines of the T-55 are well portrayed, and the surface textures are just as good as we have seen on Tamiya's recent releases. The cast effect on the turret is especially impressive.
Hatches, hinges and other features, all crisply done.
All the unique attributes of the T-55 are present, including the DShK heavy machine gun, the rear-mounted fuel drums, unditching beam and turret spotlight.
The lower hull is made up from separate panels for the top, bottom and sides.
Two flat metal ingots are included for fitting in the lower hull. This is intended to deliver "scale weight", but it is entirely optional.
Swing arms are moulded to the lower hull sides. The road wheels are simply glued to the swing arm axles, and the centre road wheel is moulded with a tab that locks into a recess in the bottom track run to ensure perfect alignment with the running gear.
The drive sprockets remain workable thanks to polythene caps. This is really helpful when fitting the link and length tracks.
The tracks are injection moulded plastic lengths and links. Detail looks excellent and with the long top and bottom runs, assembly is straightforward.
The sag moulded into the top run looks perfect once the tracks are fitted.
The upper hull is moulded as a single part with track guard and mudguards moulded in place. The engine deck grilles are moulded solid with the upper hull, but they look very impressive.
The turret has a main upper shell and a base. The turret may rotate after assembly. The mantlet cover featuresnice draped fabric effect.
The DShK and its mount are well detailed and made up from seven parts.
The gun barrel is a single piece with a separate muzzle and a two-part fume collector, split into left and right halves.
The Commander’s hatch is a separate part and may be posed open to fit the included (and very nicely sculpted) Commander figure. The Commander has separate arms and will be glued to a mount inside the turret.
Clear parts are not included.
Markings are supplied for a single vehicle.
They are nicely in register and snuggle down pefectly under a coat of setting solution.
Tamiya’s mid-scale T-55 is a well detailed kit and will be easy to build. This is another welcome addition to Tamiya's 1:48 scale military vehicle family.
Text and Images by Brett Green