Praga Spring 1968
Building the Tamiya T-55
by Patricio Delfosse © 2003 Modeler Site
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It's long time since manufacturers have been making attempts to offer us a good T-55. The first one was from Esci which seemed to be a good kit. But as time goes on, modelers demands have been increasing, and that kit was only used as base guide for corrections and superdetailing purposes. At least, it was an improvement considering the earliest attempts Tamiya intended by the end of the 60´s.
Then the T-54/ T-55/ Type 59/ Type 69 from Trumpeter series appeared, and apparently at last, we had got a good model. But it was not so. Differences in the height of the hull, lack of details in some areas, suspicious wheels....and besides that so strange plastic!. In short, in reference to some points, it was better than the Esci's, but when referring to others points it was pretty worse. If we wanted to get a good T-55, we would have to gather both kits.
The kit follows the Tamiya's usual quality of the last subjects: an almost perfect fitting, highly detailed, vinyl tracks and…etc. It's the proper kit for novices. The negative point ( everything has its negative side....) are decals: they're still too thick to my liking, and in reference to the historical accuracy, there's something that astonishes me: Why to provide decals for Czech and Polish versions, when the meshes for the engine of this kit are not common to these versions?.
It has no meaning to spend time explaining how to build the kit, I've already said that its fitting is perfect. Two weak points need to be improved: the pipelines of the external fuel tanks, and the supports for the tow cables.
Praga spring 1968
As I supposed, by the time this kit was being offered, a gallery of models representing different vehicles such as the used in the Middle East, would appear sunburned, rusty, roughly used, weathered and painted over and over in different sand colors.
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