Author Topic: FAPLA T-54-1 (or 'what the Hell was I thinking?')  (Read 863 times)

Offline Story

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FAPLA T-54-1 (or 'what the Hell was I thinking?')
« on: March 25, 2020, 06:23:19 AM »
Another Quarantine re-visit, dating back 20 or so years when no one wanted the ESCI/ERTL T55 kits and they were being blown out for cheap.
Where. Was. I. Going. With. This?


That resin T-54-1 turret is unmarked and after years of hiding, incomplete.


So where was I planning to go with it?

Oh yeah, another victim of an obscure war -  Angola.  Seems like an ideal candidate now to duplicate this wreck.


Tangential - stuff to know about the T-54 https://thesovietarmourblog.blogspot.com/2017/01/t-54.html

Footnote - I'd recommend John Stockwell's IN SEARCH OF ENEMIES anyone interested in the origins of the Angolan Civil War.
https://www.amazon.com/Search-Enemies-CIA-Story/dp/0393009262

I also think he was the sartorial inspiration for SNL's Father Guido Sarducci.


Social Distancing with a T-54-1


« Last Edit: March 25, 2020, 06:28:23 AM by Story »

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Re: FAPLA T-54-1 (or 'what the Hell was I thinking?')
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2020, 01:13:39 PM »
Man you are just pumping them out.

go for it :icon_alabanza:

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Re: FAPLA T-54-1 (or 'what the Hell was I thinking?')
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2020, 02:27:41 AM »
Maybe you should post this here:  Informal Lockdown/COVID-19 GB
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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Offline Story

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Re: FAPLA T-54-1 (or 'what the Hell was I thinking?')
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2020, 05:12:55 AM »
Been thinking.

I'd been inclined to waste some time building battered stowage boxes (lead foil from wine bottle necks?) and hole fuel tanks (dremel from the inside, until the plastic bubbles and holes appear?) but after looking at the pics again, anything that could be unbolted from the fenders was swiped.


(I believe this is actually a T-54-2)

Note that the surface finish looks like it could be replicated with a base of flat black, then dark rust and finally medium rust. Sand to taste.

Offline Story

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Re: FAPLA T-54-1 (or 'what the Hell was I thinking?')
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2020, 11:20:57 PM »
Had to remember what I'd read about the accuracy of LINDBERG and ERTL/ESCI T55 kits, which was part of the decision making process on creating weirdo builds (before aftermarket kits were even a bright idea).

Found this -

In 1988 a company called Twentieth Century Industries (TCI) displayed artwork for a new 1/35 scale kit of the T-55 in Nurnberg, but they never made it to market. Apparently Lindberg bought their molds, as they released all of the announced TCI kits the next year. The T-55 was eagerly awaited, and when released did at first glance look like a T-55. Alas, its details were all a bit off (angles, sizes, wheels, fuel tanks, etc.), the turret was symmetrical, and as such it soon became known as a "dog."About two years later ESCI announced three T-55 related kits and once again Soviet armor fans got excited. But when the kits came out they were a bit better than the Lindberg one but still had major errors, albeit new ones. This kit had wrong wheels and even a wrong suspension (the last road wheel station was "leading" link, not "trailing" link as shown in the kit) and many, many more detail errors. Result: 0 for 3.
https://www.cybermodeler.com/hobby/kits/skif/kit_skif_0221.shtml 

So any attempts to chase perfection and count roadwheel nuts is simply an exercise in futility.  We're going for hand grenade range 'close enough' here.

LINDBERG hull (t) compared to the longer ESCI (b)


Pretty sure I was going for a ZSU-57-2 hull at top, but if this lockdown lasts longer it might be a Chinese Type 62-16 (hence the GLENCOE FROG-3 roadwheel non-sequitor).

Offline Story

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Re: FAPLA T-54-1 (or 'what the Hell was I thinking?')
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2020, 08:35:12 PM »
Not quite a mirror of the original inspiration, but typical of the wrecks found in 3rd World Countries.

These tanks weren't made to last, so when they broke down or were knocked out anything that could be removed was usually taken as spare parts. Then the metal salvage guys would pick at the bones.

The torsion bar pins for road wheels were all snapped off on one side and would have been a total time suck to fix, so their disappearance works with this narrative.

EDGE OF EMPIRE



The turret was the earliest M1946 version.


Primed with KONA BROWN gloss and rusted with RED PRIMER.


Production delay due to trying to find the ventilator dome. Had to fashion one from a 1/35th scale Teller mine.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2020, 08:41:21 PM by Story »

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Re: FAPLA T-54-1 (or 'what the Hell was I thinking?')
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2020, 09:09:20 PM »
The resin turret has a very unique shape to it.  First time I have seen that too.  Wish you did have more details on it as it is quite interesting and it would be nice to know a bit more about the T-54/T-55 development history. 

Also, your road wheel issue should not be a problem.  From what I remember in my studies of the Russian Military and their SOP for vehicle life-cycles concerning their armoured fighting vehicles was that all were processed through a vehicle rebuild/refurbishment after a certain amount of use and during the rebuild/refurbishment things such as road wheels would be replaced with newer wheel types.  So it would be possible to have a T-54 with road wheels from a more recent tank series. 

I remember when Lindberg released those tank kits, they were like you said, all the rave until cooler heads stepped forward and made disparaging comments and the kits suddenly lost favour with the armour modeling crowd.  A good friend of mine did a real nice build of the Lindberg T-55 kit that was really impressive but it was a lot of work and patience to get it to the point that it looked like an actual T-54/T-55. 

I think I still have a couple of those Lindberg kits in protective custody as a source for armour parts.  One persons dog of a kit is always useful for the starting point of a great what-if/alternate history project. 
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Offline Story

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Re: FAPLA T-54-1 (or 'what the Hell was I thinking?')
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2020, 09:45:14 PM »
The resin turret has a very unique shape to it.  First time I have seen that too.  Wish you did have more details on it as it is quite interesting and it would be nice to know a bit more about the T-54/T-55 development history. 


Scroll back up to Tangential - stuff to know about the T-54, 1st post

Also, your road wheel issue should not be a problem.  From what I remember in my studies of the Russian Military and their SOP for vehicle life-cycles concerning their armoured fighting vehicles was that all were processed through a vehicle rebuild/refurbishment after a certain amount of use and during the rebuild/refurbishment things such as road wheels would be replaced with newer wheel types.  So it would be possible to have a T-54 with road wheels from a more recent tank series. 


The further one gets from the Kremlin, the less likely there'll be any rebuild capabilities so cannibalization ( a naughty word as far as US Army maintenance protocols goes) becomes the watchword.  Roadwheels are a consumable item - find any Gate Guard/VFW tank rusting away and look at the road wheels hubs, for the presence of weeping lubricant - this indicates that the seals are toast and excessive wear on the ball bearings has probably started. That problem gets bad enough, the roadwheel can seize up and/or contribute to shedding a track. Thankfully, for all my time in tanks I never experienced that sort of fun.

I remember when Lindberg released those tank kits, they were like you said, all the rave until cooler heads stepped forward and made disparaging comments and the kits suddenly lost favour with the armour modeling crowd.  A good friend of mine did a real nice build of the Lindberg T-55 kit that was really impressive but it was a lot of work and patience to get it to the point that it looked like an actual T-54/T-55. 
 
I think I still have a couple of those Lindberg kits in protective custody as a source for armour parts.  One persons dog of a kit is always useful for the starting point of a great what-if/alternate history project.


I'll probably have a box of LINDBERG T55 parts come available when the dust settles. For the rest of the peanut gallery in need, check here -> http://beyondthesprues.com/Forum/index.php?topic=9083.0

BONUS - more wrecks with jacked road wheels, drive sprockets and idlers, purely for inspiration.

https://c4.wallpaperflare.com/wallpaper/596/952/905/tank-wreck-military-vehicle-wallpaper-preview.jpg

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/ea/0f/04/ea0f043f5a27f74b10f9c0922af31bd8.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/QZ7sIz5.jpg?1

https://i.imgur.com/NCURZMA.jpg?1

https://www.tanks.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/t-55-main-battle-tank-abandoned-afghanistan.jpg

T-55 in Ethiopia
« Last Edit: April 14, 2020, 06:30:14 AM by Story »