A heads up concerning this kit:
It is advertised as A/AM and is supposed to contain parts to build a Soviet or Czechoslovak built T-55A tank.
- On a T-55(A), the station 1 road wheels have reinforced wheel hubs. This is not represented in this kit which contains 5 identical wheels each side. It is not an obvious error, but modellers looking for 100% accuracy may want to add aftermarket station 1 wheels.
- It CAN NOT be built OOB as a true Soviet tank, since the coaxial machine gun and vision aperture frames are CzSl (or Polish) style. These can be adapted with a little effort, check references
- It only contains RMSh tracks, which excludes an early T55A. Early T-55(A) versions will all need OMSh tracks. A Yugoslavian tank can not be built OOB as all of these had OMSh tracks.
- The kit contains an early style T-55 turret roof (part A77). This means it MAY be built as a straight T-55. However, this part is wrongly refered to as the turret roof for the Soviet version. If you are building a Soviet T-55A, please use part D78. Only use part A77 if you're building a straight T-55!
- The instructions get really confusing when installing the Loader's hatch. Use part C88 and C90 for a T-55A with MG installed. Use parts C88 and C89 for a T-55 with MG, just part C89 for a T-55 without MG.
- The instructions have you choose between driver's hatch part C52 for CzSl version or C51 for USSR. This is wrong: any T-55A has part C52, any straight T-55 has part C51.
- The kit contains a choice between - very well reproduced - Soviet or CzSl engine decks. But watch out: the instructions have parts A24 and A25 confused!! For a Soviet machine, use 24. For CzSl, use 25 and part A26 and A32. The extra C36, 37 and 39 parts used for the East German version however suggest this particular tank was of Polish production. You may build this or any other Polish built T-55/A if you use these parts and alter the CzSl engine deck covers part A26 and A32, check references!
Summary: this kit will build into a very nice Czechoslovak built late T-55 or late T-55A OOB with RMSh tracks. It will build into similar Soviet tanks if you scratch build the turret apertures both sides of the gun (check references!).
It will build into a Polish built late T-55 or T-55A if you use the East German parts and alter the engine deck.
It will build into any early version of either T-55 or T-55A if you subsitute the kit tracks for OMSh items.
One more thing: the denominator T-55(A)M is open for discussion. Theoretically, M refers to any modernized T-55(A) with any of a large number of upgrades. But in most cases, it is used to refer to a rebuilt and up-armored tank with extra glacis and turret armor. Revell is soon to release a 'true' AM version.