18 years ago
No. LE 35011; Russian T-55A for Tamiya kit #35257; 131 parts on two frets;
retail price about $16
Advantages: nice, useful set with most major items needed to detail a T-55 well
designed and ready to go
Disadvantages: built-up fuel tanks appear to be a royal pain in the neck to
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for any T-55 kit
Brass or etched metal sets have become step 2 in upgrading or "superdetailing"
most modern model kits, with step 1 being better tracks as a rule of thumb.
Currently the "class leader" has been Eduard, followed closely by Aber and Show
Modeling with smaller companies like Royal Model coming on strong. Based on
their prolific output of materials, the "aiming stake" here has to be Eduard.
Lion Roar is a new company from the Peoples' Republic of China, and as such
is literally another country heard from in this area. This set was offered by
Baseline Hobbies at their stand at AMPS 2004, and as such was a bit of a
surprise as these sets arrived unheralded.
These are brass parts and come on two frets, one of 63 mm x 146 mm and the
other 78 mm by 115 mm. The parts are well rendered and include most of the
basic items people want, such as fender braces, radiator intake/exhaust
grilles, and new hasps and hinges for the various stowage bins. Also included
are a new splash board and mounts, details for the gun mantelet cover and
turret bits, but at least half of the material is devoted to built-up fuel
Now I admit that fuel drums are the bane of many modelers as they are very
difficult to assemble without nearly impossible cracks to fill around the ends
or seams that tend to flatten the object if sanded smooth. But the solution
used by most companies is a cast resin drum, and these are very busy objects.
One fuel tank (these are the 200 liter "drop tanks" not the 95 liter side
panniers) consists of 21 brass parts (plus a length of microrod the modeler
must supply) including a shell that has to be rolled to size.
The results appear a bit odd, as there are no filler caps provided for on the
ends of the tanks and the ridges on the drums are built up from a set of 12
While the rest of the parts seem quite nice and handy, this feature does not.
Still, as inexpensive as the set is, even if they are left on the fret or only
the strapping is used the set is still a good buy.