ARM: Review - Royal Model T-55A detail set

Kit Review: Royal Model Diorama Accessories 1/35 Scale Kit No. 349; T-55A; 395 parts (377 in etched metal, 18 in grey-green resin); price $49.00
Advantages: pretty much covers all small surface detail to be found on a Polish or Czech built T-55 or T-55A tank, and most Soviet ones as well
Disadvantages: small size and built-up nature of some assemblies will not be popular with some modelers
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all fans of the "55"
    There are always people who claim that kits do not come with "enough" detail and want to grouse about it. This part is too thick, that is too bulky, there's no detail on this, and that is out of scale. People like that are one of the reasons aftermarket manufacturers came into being, and stay there today.
    Royal Model is one of the most complete in this area, and its kits provide more than enough detail to keep even the most fussy detail dilettante happy. This kit is no exception, and provides an amazing amount of detail to take the Tamiya T-55/T-55A kit and turn it from super to stunning.
    The resin parts cover the bulky items – machine gun boxes for the 12.7mm "Dushka" gun on the post-1972 model tanks or rebuilds, cleaner viewers and viewing devices, as well as the ones for the inside of the commander's and driver-mechanic's positions. The "Dushka" cans are useful, and there are 8 of them in this kit.
    The rest is all etched metal, used to replace, detail or build up kit details, and includes about every type of hanger, hinge, snap, fastener, grille, grid, shield or bracket one could possibly think of to detail on this kit. As noted, they are more along the lines of the patterns used with the Polish or Czech built tanks (other than the right rear fan exhaust and the fact that they do not use the split hatch covers for the main radiator intakes) but most of them apply to the Soviet tanks as well. (Case in point – no pun intended – is that parts are included to detail the kit-supplied OPVT storage tube container that goes up under the extra fuel tanks as well as the Polish ZIP box that goes on the left side of the turret.)
    The kit does come with three A4 size very detailed directions, citing which parts to keep and which to modify/replace on the kit.
    Overall, this is a very nice set and will result in an amazing model if all of the parts, or even just the main ones are used.
    Thanks to Bill Miley of CMD for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
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we was taught in Vietnam, if the bad guys came down with the T-55, to aim our Zokkas or if we were lucky, LAWs, right at the turent ring and pray it would hit close. The critter was then neck broke and just wait for the crew to surrender...right?? Ha Ha..thank the powers that be it didn't go down. Mike IPMS

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