I’m finishing up long outstanding builds… so I have several of these builds running parallel. I’m finishing up the T-55 (and quite a few others) alongside of this build.
This is probably the most iconic tank -ever. (Or it should be.) Meng has come out with a really excellent model of it a couple of years ago, and this February I just gave in and purchased one at my local hobby shop.
I was not disappointed. The manual is excellent (and gives a pretty good history of the model), the instructions are clear, the quality is top-notch. AND it comes with an interior. I have to say I fell in love with Meng.
The assembly is quite straightforward, with a couple of issues, though. (What model is without them, right?)
The suspension actually works; you get little metal springs with the model, which is nice; putting it together, however is a bit fiddly.
The engine is very well detailed; most of it will be hidden, though if you choose to install it. For this reason I decided I’ll display it in front of the model, as I did with a couple of other kits before (T-34, T-44…)
The interior got the usual heavy treatment. I used a black primer (acrylic spray… since then I switched to Vallejo’s German Grey primer), which was followed by an enamel-based varnish, and Tamiya’s flat white. If you use high pressure, it can be sprayed with very little dilution, which will result in a solid cover (always an issue with white and yellow).
I used the windex chipping method to create worn surfaces, with the black showing through. The contrast is quite high; in retrospect I should have used some brown instead.
Once the model was try I used oil paints to create discoloration and streaks on the side-panels. The interior details are quite nice; the painting of the ammunition in the ammo rack is a pain in the neck, though. (There’s a choice of main guns; the machine gun option would leave you without this chore.)
The bottom of the engine compartment was treated with different AK and Vallejo products (engine grime, oil, fuel stains).
I took some artistic licence painting the engine; I tried how it would look like if I installed it, but eventually decided that it will be displayed outside of the tank.
Once the interior was finished I assembled the hull; the tank was ready for painting.