by Brian Cavet
Tamiya’s kit of the T-55 is a real gem, no surprise there! I can honestly say this is their finest kit yet (till the next release anyway)! The only thing I added was a set of Friul Model metal tracks.
To me the only area that needs extra attention are the external fuel tanks. I added the fuel lines that run from tank to tank and then into the hull. Not a hard job and it really adds to the kit.
One other thing I did was make weld seams on all those extra bits added to the turret. I did this with Tamiya extra thin cement. Brush it on then use a small pointed instrument like a panel-scriber or even a small flat head screwdriver to replicate the welds. Its takes some time to do but the pay-off looks good.
I tried a few different colors for the hull color and finally settled for Tamiya Japanese army green (XF13). It just looked right to me so I used it. I washed and drybrushed it in the usual way, then added a dusty look to the lower half. I did this by using a very thin wash,70-80% thinner, of a light gray and tan mixture sprayed through an airbrush at a low 20-25psi. Done in layers, going heavier on the bottom progressively getting lighter as I neared the top (about 10-12 passes with the airbrush gradually applying only 3-4 passes on the upper surface.)
It only took me about 30 hours to complete the kit including the tracks. There were no tricky parts and I recommend it for all but beginners.