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Miniart t-55a 1963+ 1981 interior differences
spongya
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Posted: Friday, November 09, 2018 - 04:29 AM UTC
I was checking the instruction sheets on miniart's Web page, and apart from some minor differences in ammunition loadout I did not find much difference in the interiors. I was expecting modernised sights, gun stabilisers, some crude computers perhaps, or even hoping for some At missiles but even the rádios seem to be similar or the same. Since I'm not an expert it's only a subjective impression.


What do the experts say? If it's largely the same I will get the 1963 version since it's more readily available.
Dinocamo
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Posted: Friday, November 09, 2018 - 06:33 AM UTC
This might help for the interior: https://thesovietarmourblog.blogspot.com/2017/01/t-54.html

I'm no expert, but I will do anyway.

The T-55 1963 is not a T-55A. The commander hatch of the T-55 1963 is still the old T-54-3 series. The T-55A is the 1965 model and onward.

There is no major difference in these T-55A to make the Soviet change the designation to, say, T-55B. In the T-54A and T-54B, the 2 plane stabilizer was a huge deal back then.

The T-55A 1981 has the laser range finder I think, which was the last ditch effort to upgrade the T-54/55 series by the Soviet. I personally like that. It also has the HMG on the roof, while none of the other T-55/A of Miniart have.
Petition2God
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Posted: Friday, November 09, 2018 - 07:00 AM UTC
I am no expert either but according to Wikipedia, sounds like there were some upgrades but maybe Miniart didn't capture them?

T-55A

In 1961, development of improved NBC protection systems began. The goal was to protect the crew from fast neutrons; adequate protection against gamma radiation was provided by the thick armour and a PAZ basic NBC protection system.

The POV plasticized lead antiradiation lining was developed to provide the needed protection. It was installed in the interior, requiring the driver's hatch and the coamings over the turret hatches to be noticeably enlarged. This liner had the added benefit of protecting the crew from fragments of penetrated armour.

The tank was equipped with a full PAZ/FVU chemical filtration system. The coaxial 7.62 mm SGMT machine gun was replaced by a 7.62 mm PKT machine gun. The hull was lengthened from 6.04 m to 6.2 m. The hull machine gun was removed, making space for six more main gun rounds. These changes increased the weight of the vehicle to 38 tonnes.

The design work was done by OKB-520 design bureau of Uralvagonzavod under the leadership of Leonid N. Kartsev. The T-55A served as the basis for the T-55AK command tank.[6]

T-54/T-55 upgrades

In its long service life, the T-55 has been upgraded many times. Early T-55s were fitted with a new TSh-2B-32P sight. In 1959, some tanks received mountings for the PT-55 mine clearing system or the BTU/BTU-55 plough. In 1967, the improved BM8 APDS round, which could penetrate 275 mm thick armour at a range of 2 km, was introduced. In 1970, new and old T-55 tanks had the loader's hatch modified to mount the 12.7 mm DShK machine gun, to deal with the threat of attack helicopters. Starting in 1974, T-55 tanks received the KTD-1 or KTD-2 laser rangefinder in an armoured box over the mantlet of the main gun, as well as the R-123 or R-123M radio set.[10] Simultaneously, efforts were made to modernize and increase the lifespan of the drive train.

During production, the T-55A was frequently modernized. In 1965, a new track was introduced that could be used for between 2,000 km and 3,000 km, which was twice the range of the old track. It required a new drive sprocket, with 14 teeth instead of 13. Since 1974, T-55A tanks were equipped with a KTD-1 "Newa" rangefinder and a TSzS-32PM sight. All T-55A tanks were equipped with the TPN-1-22-11 night sight. The R-113 radio set was replaced by a R-123 radio set. Late production models had rubber side skirts and a driver's windshield for use during longer stints.

T-54 and T-55 tanks continued to be upgraded, refitted, and modernized into the 1990s. Advances in armour-piercing and HEAT ammunition would improve the gun's antitank capabilities in the 1960s and 1980s.

A wide array of upgrades in different price ranges are provided by many manufacturers in different countries, intended to bring the T-54/55 up to the capabilities of newer MBTs, at a lower cost. Upgrades include new engines, explosive reactive armour, new main armament such as 120 mm or 125 mm guns, active protection systems, and fire control systems with range-finders or thermal sights. These improvements make it a potent main battle tank (MBT) for the low-end budget, even to this day.

One of these upgrade packages was produced by Cadillac Gage Textron and a prototype named the Jaguar was produced. The Jaguar looked quite different from its predecessors. A newly designed turret was formed by flat armour plates installed at different angles. The hull top was new. The engine compartment and fuel tanks on the shelves over the tracks were armour-protected. The Soviet-made 100 mm gun was replaced with the American M68 105 mm rifled gun fitted with a thermal sleeve. A Marconi fire control system which was originally developed for the American light tank Stingray was fitted. The vehicle incorporated a Cadillac-Gage weapon stabilizer and gunner's sight equipped with an integral laser rangefinder. The power pack inherited by the Jaguar from the Stinger underwent only minor alterations and comprised the Detroit Diesel 8V-92TA engine and XTG-411 automatic transmission. In 1989, two Jaguar tanks were manufactured. The chassis were provided by PRC, while the hull tops, turrets and powerplants were manufactured by Cadillac Gage Textron.[11]

Another prototype upgrade package was produced by Teledyne Continental Motors (now General Dynamics Land Systems) for the Egyptian Army and was known as the T-54E. After further modifications and trials it was sent into mass production and received the designation Ramses II.

As late as 2013, Ukrainian companies were reportedly developing T-55 main battle tank upgrades targeting the export market.[12] The Type 59 is still in production, in several variants.
system
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Posted: Friday, November 09, 2018 - 10:06 AM UTC
I'm not an expert either, but I have been toying with the idea of getting this one. The only thing that stops me is that I already have more Miniart T-54/55 kits in the stash than I'll ever build.

I have the T-55 Model 1963 and the interior parts for the T-55A are definitely different with the anti-radiation cladding - as you can see on these sprues:

http://miniart-models.com/products/37022-t-55a-late-mod-1965-interior-kit/#lg=1&slide=10

http://miniart-models.com/products/37022-t-55a-late-mod-1965-interior-kit/#lg=1&slide=11

What's more, the Model 1981 does seem to have a few interior parts specific to this version over the T-55A, for example:

http://miniart-models.com/products/37020-t-55a-mod-1981-interior-kit/#lg=1&slide=42

So I'd say that Miniart have probably done their homework.

EDIT: Hmm - sorry: Those links didn't work. If you go to 'Content Box' and navigate to the slide numbers at the end of the URLs you'll see what I mean.
spongya
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Posted: Sunday, November 11, 2018 - 07:05 AM UTC
Yeah I was looking at the instructions and there the parts look identical (they mostly use the same drawings, so even if the parts are different, the drawings will stay the same). I could not figure out how to get to the photos you refer to, though.

The question is: how do the laser's controls look like? I'm not saying MiniArt has not done their homework, but I do not really see much difference in the interior. I would have expected more in a twenty year development time...
system
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Posted: Sunday, November 11, 2018 - 06:57 PM UTC
Well I can't answer for the lack of progress on updating the interior - you'll have the blame the original Soviet designers for that


I'm not sure why, but linking directly to the page with the relevant sprue doesn't seem to work (at least in my browser), but you can find it this way:

1. Go to the page for the Model 1981 T-55 http://miniart-models.com/products/37020-t-55a-mod-1981-interior-kit/

2. Scroll to the 'Content Box' link halfway down the page

3. Double-click/tap (on Windows/Android) one of the images to open it in a new window. When you do you should see that the URL/web address ends with "slide=1" or whatever number.

4.Scroll to slide 42. This seems to be the sprue with the turret interior parts unique to the Model 1981. There are some electronics boxes on there, and I *assume* one of them relates to the laser rangefinder, but that's as far as my knowledge goes...