Building the Syrian T-55 based on the Tamiya kit 1/35 scale
by Pablo Raggi © 2005 Modeler Site
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Approaching “a straight from the box” project: During some time I’ve been building standard quality kits (neither so good, nor so bad), until purchasing the Tamiya T-55 introduced in the market around the 2002. As I already knew it was an excellent kit, just to think it would need nearly no modifications made me feel pleased. Here, you’ll see that even an excellent kit may be improved, and why not, I'll show you that in this hobby the obsession for detailing is like an incurable disease.
Some of its history
During the 60s, the Soviet Union gave political support to the middle east Arabian Nations, offering them military material. The most benefited were Syria and Egypt, who definitively broke off relations with the West.
One of the most important armored vehicles both nations received was the T-54/55 series. Not only did it mean an incredible update for their armed forces but also this gave a certain military advantage in Israelis fronts.
Thus, in 1967 Syria already had these T-54/55, painted in the original Green Russian color.
Some vehicles featured legends in Arabic characters painted in the turret mentioning heroes from the 1948 War.
In 1973 their scheme changed to a tricolor camouflage: sand and medium grey over a green base. This scheme was the same used later in 1982.
Of course, the lack of standard camouflages let us see vehicles showing different schemes, colors, with or without identification markings. It was neither rare to see vehicles entirely painted in Russian Green mixed among those which were camouflaged
In my opinion, this kit is simply superb and pure Tamiya class. (Please take a look to the Modeler Site's building report > Here )
When opening the box, we find 5 sprues, the upper and lower hulls come separately, a bag with the meshes for the rear grills, braided cord for the towing cables, decals and the poly caps.
The sheet with instructions, is a booklet, easy to understand and very descriptive. You’ll have the chance to choose among five versions: two Russians, a Czechoslovakian, and two Polish. Pay special attention to the version you choose since each version use different parts and you might get easily confused.
Different T-55 saw services in the Middle East, including the versions offered in this Tamiya kit. You’d rather take the real photos as reference so as not to make mistakes at the time of taking your decision.
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