This latest release from Siga is molded in a light gray plastic and comes packaged in a fairly sturdy box. You get a total of four sprues, two of which are identical. There is also a small decal sheet providing markings for no less than seven tanks. There is a fair amount of detail present in the kit, but many of the parts suffer from flash and a general softness around the edges. There’s also a slight oil feel to the parts, so you’ll probably want to wash these in some warm soapy water before starting this kit.
Construction is very straightforward and should hold no surprises. The upper hull is molded as one piece, while the lower hull is made up of four pieces including separate sides and back. There are boxes and other details for the upper hull, but there’s always room for more and a study of reference photos will show placement of cables, spare tracks and such. The suspension is all separate, from the axles to the bogies. The tracks are molded in pieces and while the smaller ones will need some cleanup, the long stretches look decent.
Moving to the top again, the turret has lots of parts going on it, resulting in an accurate-looking assembly. The turret is split into an upper and lower piece, upon which fit pieces for the hatches, antenna mount, lights, and gun barrel. The barrel is solid, so the more ambitious modelers might want to try hollowing it out a bit.
Painting and markings is what really makes this kit interesting, with a total of seven schemes to choose from. You get Soviet, Finnish, East German, Syrian, Peruvian, Croatian and Vietnamese markings, nearly all of which have different coloring. The Soviet, Vietnamese and East German examples are all khaki green, while the Peruvian example is finished in light earth. The rest of the examples are finished in multi-colored camouflages, with the Croatian example featuring a khaki green base covered with dark green spots and the Syrian example having a sand base with khaki green bands. The Finnish example is the most interesting color-wise, featuring a splinter camouflage of three shades of green. The decals are well printed and are in excellent register.
While this kit won’t fall together like a Revell-Germany kit, it should pose no problems for modelers with short-run kit experience. The interesting selection of markings makes this a great subject, and with the wide variety of operators of the T-55 it shouldn’t be too hard to find something that isn’t depicted in the kit.