T-55A Interior Set
1/35th Set #3047

Review by Terry Ashley
Following on from the T-55 Engine Set (#3046) CMK have now released a full interior set also designed for the Tamiya T-55 (kit #35257) that provides parts for the lower hull fighting compartment, front driver’s station and turret interior.

The set consists of 115 parts in light cream resin, a further 10 parts in clear resin for the periscopes and approximately 110 etched parts with 5 pre-coloured etched parts for the instrument panels for a very comprehensive interior.

The quality of the resin parts is excellent without any warping, air holes or other blemishes with the only cleanup required is the removal of the usual casting blocks some of which are quite large and will require care when removing. There are many small and finely cast parts that will also require care during cleanup and assembly and a few of these were slightly damaged during transit but the broken bits were still in the plastic bags so should be able to be reattached fairly easily.

The etched parts are also good quality with the pre-coloured instrument panels a nice bonus and thankfully there is no surgery required to the Tamiya kit to take the new parts with a few resin parts that simply replace the plastic kit parts.

Lower Hull:
For the lower hull you get the central floor and the two side hull panels, the rear compartment bulkhead and driver’s station ‘tub’ plus the large ammo rack to fill the right front side of the compartment.

There are many small etched detail parts for the fittings on the sidewalls and rear bulkhead as well as shell retaining clips on the ammo racks with the driver’s station being particularly well detailed. The seat has an etched base with extendable supports so you can show it down or raised with the driver’s head out of the hatch and also has resin ‘cushions’ and backrest with side arm rests and there are all the driver’s control levels with floor linkages plus the pre-coloured instrument panels along with foot pedals that fit to the undersides of the upper hull.

One thing to note when fitting the floor and side panels to the Tamiya hull is there are gaps between the resin panels where the Tamiya plastic shows through so don’t try and mate the side panels with the floor as they aren’t supposed to mate and I found all the parts fitted well without any trimming needed other than to remove one locating ‘eye’ from the front of the Tamiya hull where the driver’s tub meets the front of the hull but that doesn’t really qualify as surgery.

The Turret:
The lower turret ring (Tamiya part B9) is replaced by a resin part with additional turret ring details and while the fit to the Tamiya upper turret is not spot on any gaps are on the underside of the turret so won’t be noticed.

The turret interior is especially busy with the complete gun breech and co-ax machine gun with etched gun guards and many additional resin and etched parts for the turret motors, junction boxes and fittings with pre-coloured etched radio face plus small fittings for the inside of the upper turret shell.

The Commander’s seat is quite a detailed affair of about ten parts with the base of this assembly fitting to the centre of the lower floor once the turret if fitted in place with the upper supports attaching to the turret ring so you may want to leave this off until the final mating of the turret and hull?

For the outside of the turret are replacement hatch parts for Tamiya parts (B10, B16 and B18) depending on the version you are building and the resin parts have additional details over the plastic parts including the clear resin periscopes and as mentioned simply replace the Tamiya kit parts with just the locating pin on the inside of part B16 needing to be removed to take the replacement resin part for Tamiya part B10 but again nothing to qualify as surgery.

With such a comprehensive set as this good instructions are essential and thankfully those provided by CMK are excellent with a small eight page booklet having a large parts layout diagram that helps identify the parts easily to eight steps with clear exploded view drawings of the assembly sequences that are easy to follow but as with any instructions careful study of the sequences and parts location is essential before any trimming or gluing.

This is a very comprehensive set with well cast and detailed parts that will really fill the lower hull and turret of the Tamiya T-55 very well and used in conjunction with the earlier CMK T-55 engine Set #3046 will really produce an outstanding model but some experience working with resin and etched parts will certainly be of assistance.

Highly recommended

Etched parts
pre-coloured instrument panels
The Resin Parts

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See additional images of the T-55 Interior masters.

Thanks to CMK and Sam Dwyer for the review set.

Page created 22 April 2005

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