Wow! That's a nice battery of questions you raised here.
First: thank you for attending my blog - it's a great pleasure to have you as visitor and also thank you for the appreciative comment.
Yes, sometimes I feel the models are quite complicated but I'll recommend caution here: we, as modelers, are constantly in quest for the ultimate detail and companies as ICM, Dragon and now MiniArt are helping us to reach that level. Personally, after this kind of 500+ builds, I always go for a simple, like 100- or so - what they are calling practice builds.
Suspension question: you're right, but: I bought the old Tamiya SdKfz 251/1 Hanomag just to make it as a destroyed vehicle to use it in one of my dioramas. I couldn't - or I have chosen not to - because the suspension wasn't detailed enough to depict an APC which threw a track. In conclusion: I prefer if the kit offers me as many possibilities as it gets, regardless if I'm going to use them or not. For Tamiya I have a very high regard: I always built with pleasure their soft-skins and I also have in my stash aircraft and auto models. For their niche, they are the best.
I'm glad to say MiniArt have done a wonderful job regarding the fitting, which alleviates considerably the big parts count. The only problem (minor) I see here is the amount of cleaning due many injection gates, located most of the time in key positions. They also put the slide molding to very good use and manage a very nice 3D one-part pieces. At times, they can be accused of over-engineering - but I'm inclined to believe we should talk about poor
I'm not familiar with the employment of T54-1 in Vietnam, but the time frame makes it a very good candidate. You gave some fodder to my curiosity now...