Italeri 1/72 T-55A Kit First Look
|Date of Review
The T-55 medium tank was an evolution of the T-54 with the addition of nuclear-biological-chemical (NBC) warfare protection. As the tank was being designed to facilitate NBC protections for the crew, additional engineering updates were applied for more engine power, increased ammo storage, and the stabilized main gun. Since the T-55 was at least as effective as the Soviet heavy tanks, those were phased out of service making the T-55 the main battle tank.
The T-55 was widely deployed within the Soviet Army and with its client states. The Syrian Army employed T-55s along with T-62s against the Golan Heights in Israel during the 1973 war which left hundreds of destroyed Syrian tanks waiting for recycling into a variety of Israeli combat vehicles. The Iraqi Army also employed the T-55 as well as newer Soviet tanks against the Iranians in the late 1980s with good success and again during the first Gulf War with far less success as all of the Iraqi armor was introduced to Mr. DUR (depleted uranium round).
Italeri has produced this all-new tool T-55A kit in 1/72 scale. At first blush, it looks similar to the 1/35 ESCI T-55 kit, but there is some very nice engineering in this kit. The track consists of two halves that nicely replicate the track sag of the full-scale tank while being very simple to assemble. Even though this kit is 1/72 scale, it has some impressive details that will benefit from good painting and weathering. Among the features and options in this kit:
- Simple construction
- Two-piece track replicates the typical track sag
- Positionable driver's hatch
- Positionable commander's hatch
- Positionable loader's hatch
- DShK gun mount and gun
The kit provides four marking options:
- T-55A, 172, Russian Naval Infantry, 1970
- T-55A, 4133, GDR Army, 1967
- T-55A, 0255, Polish Army, 1968
- T-55A, 12C321, Romanian Army, 2019
I'm quite impressed with this new T-55A offering and would love to see that track technique used to update their former ESCI 1/35 T-55 kit, or simply upscale this gem into 1/35 and retire the ESCI molds.
My sincere thanks to MRC for this review sample!