Trumpeter T-55 Build in 1/72 Scale

T55_01
This is Trumpeter’s T-55 tank, kit number 07284. It was released in 2009, a reboxing of the kit from the previous year to include the BTU-55 mine plow and Finish markings. I’ll be building mine as a machine from the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan so I won’t be needing the plow.
T55_02
The T-55 is a straight-forward design and the kit has relatively few parts. Everything is crisply molded. I was surprised that the 12.7 mm DShK heavy machine gun often seen mounted on the turret is not included.
T55_03
The running gear is as expected. The torsion arms are molded with the lower hull so that will make things easier. The tracks are the single piece rubber type which are resistant to glue. More difficult to work with but not a deal-breaker.
T55_04
The turret is well-molded with sharp detail. The grab bars are too thick, a limitation of what can be molded in this scale. I filled the mounting holes with Evergreen stock and superglue, the advantage this has over putty is it can be sanded right away.
T55_05
Photographs show that the T-55’s in Afghanistan were typically missing the fuel tanks at the back of the hull. I filled and sanded the mounting holes and made the mounting brackets from plastic stock.
T55_06
The driving lights are protected by brush bars, here made from wire stock. Photos show some of these guards mangled but they were always in place. The bottom of the hull is filled with BB’s set in casting resin to give the model heft.
T55_07
The grab bars were replaced with wire which is much closer to scale. This is a simple improvement which really enhances the overall look of the model. The fabric cover for the gun mantlet is made from Perfect Plastic Putty and Mr. Surfacer.
T55_08
The completed assembly prior to painting. The top run of the tracks should ride on the top of the road wheels. I pushed them down and glued them in place with super glue but it was a struggle.
T55_09
The Afghani vehicles sported some rather unusual and puzzling camouflage schemes. This is one of the more tame versions.
T55_10
The model was shot with a coat of Future (Klear) to preserve the paint during weathering and washes. Decals are from Star Decals sheet 72-A 1050. I used Tamiya black wash to bring out the details and oils for weathering.
T55_11
Here is the finished model under a layer of dust and Dullcoat. Markings are for a Northern Alliance T-55 from the “Zabati” unit near Bagram in 2001.

13 thoughts on “Trumpeter T-55 Build in 1/72 Scale

  1. Quote…

    I filled the mounting holes with Evergreen stock and superglue, the advantage this has over putty is it can be sanded right away.

    I could use this trick…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I do things backwards … I assemble the tracks before I paint, I have trouble getting the glue to stick otherwise. On these I used superglue and packed the space between the tracks and fenders until it set.

      Like

  2. Great work Jeff- interesting faction to model. Is it going to be the start of a themed set? There are a great set of photos of Northern Alliance kit in an old Concord book I’ve got….

    Cheers,

    Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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