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135
Aleppo Street Fighter

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This is my recently completed Syrian T-55 AMV main battle tank in 1/35th scale using the Takom offering. The kit comes with a rather extensive instruction book and a nicely done color booklet from MIG Productions outlining the various camo schemes for the vehicles. Construction of the vehicle was fairly complex due to the sheer volume of parts, which come with the kit. The reactive armor bricks on the turret are individual pieces with separate mounting brackets. However, the bow and side skirt sections are provide in groups, which did simplify things there. The tires are provided as individual pieces as well and I applied gouges and pits with a sharp knife since I was going to be depicting a vehicle in a war zone. It should be noted these Syrian T-55ís were very battle weary so I cut some of the ERA brick sections to make them crooked and bent. I also cut and bent the fenders to depict wear and tear as well. Once the model was built I primed it with Testors Model Master enamel Primer to give it a sturdy undercoat for the harsh weathering to follow.

I chose to model a Syrian T-55 AMV from the ongoing conflict there. The camo scheme is composed of a Dark Green base with Dark Brown spots and Dark Yellow stripes. It also features intricate Dark Yellow Lines on the side skirt ERA bricks. I used Model Master Enamel Dark Green, darkened with some Flat Black for the base coat. This was then post shaded with the same Dark Green, which had been lightened with Model Master Enamel Insignia Yellow. I then applied the Dark Brown spots using Gunze Hull Red for that color. I darkened that color with a few drops of Acryl Flat Black. I then added the Dark Yellow Stripes and I used Tamiya Dark Yellow for that shade. I noted that several Syrian T-55ís had field applied paint variations so I painted one fender bright green using Tamiya Green. I also painted some of the ERA bricks different colors using the Tamiya Bright Green and Vallejo USMC Green. The side skirts were painted with Model Master Enamel RLM66 and the tires were painted with Vallejo Dark Rubber. After the painting was complete, I sprayed the model with Pledge Floor Wax. The decals were then applied and went on with no issues.

I then began the weathering process for the vehicle. I applied a diluted wash of mineral spirits and Grumbacher Burnt Umber Oil Paint. Once that had dried I applied filter layer using the dot method composed of various shade from the Grumbacher Oil Paint Line. After that had dried I applied dark pin washes to the recesses, bolts, and rivets of the tank using Burnt Umber Oil Paint, which was mildly diluted with mineral sprits. I then applied some shading to the rivets, recesses and panel lines of the tank using Tamiya Smoke applied at low pressure via my airbrush. Small scratches and chips were applied to the camo using Vallejo Dark Grey paint applied with a fine brush. A graphite pencil was used to apply some worn metal areas around the hatches. The model was then given a flat coat of Testors Dullcote, which had been thinned with Metalizer Thinner. Once the model had dried, I gave the tank a healthy application of weathering pigments since photos and news articles indicated these vehicles were very grimy and dirty. I used CMK Light Earth for the suspension, lower hull and wheels. I also applied this pigment to the upper surfaces where the crew routinely worked. MIG Productions Industrial Dirt was applied to the recesses of the turret and upper hull where dust would settle from heavy street combat. MIG Productions Soot was applied to the exhaust array on the left side of the vehicle. I used Testors CREATE FX wash to simulate fuel overflow around the fuel tank caps on the upper hull. A spare Dragon BTR-70 tire was added to the rear fuel tank ranks and secured there with scale rope. Also, PE chains were added to the other fuel tank rack, hanging down. It appeared a lot of the Syrian soldiers were using surplus American and British equipment and uniform accessories so the stowage came from the Tamiya stowage set. The water cooler was scratch built and the food and water containers came from Trumpeter.

Although the Takom T-55 AMV is a somewhat complex kit, it does build up into a great replica of this veteran main battle tank. The Syrian version was especially challenging due to the wear and battled damage these vehicles sustain. Nonetheless, this was an enjoyable project and I am glad to add this one to my collection.

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About the Author

About Ian (SaxonTheShiba)
FROM: NORTH CAROLINA, UNITED STATES

I have been modeling for about forty years and enjoy building 1/32 scale and 1/48th scale aircraft as well as an occasional piece of 1/35th scale armor. I love building modern USN/USMC subjects as well as RAF/RCAF/RAAF/FAA prop driven and jet subjects.


Comments

colorful beast.
MAR 12, 2017 - 01:11 AM
Nicely done Ian.
MAR 12, 2017 - 05:48 AM
Thanks everybody. Regards, Ian
MAR 12, 2017 - 08:56 AM
The build, colors & painting are all top-notch! But, for a tank rumbling around Aleppo, I think it should have more dust all over it.
MAR 12, 2017 - 12:03 PM
Very nice build ! There is a video on the youtube where you can see one beining hit by a anti tank weapon and the commander being ejected out of his hatch and miraculously gets up with only shreds of of his uniform on his body and runs away (to safety ?)
MAR 13, 2017 - 12:22 AM
Great job indeed.
MAR 14, 2017 - 11:44 AM
Thank you Jack, Maarten and Cesar. Yes, there are some incredible tank videos from Syria on YouTube. There was one video where a TOW missile missed by about a foot right over the commander hatch. Lucky day indeed. Best wishes, Ian
MAR 17, 2017 - 04:48 AM
This is an incredible build, very inspiring, thank you for sharing.
MAR 17, 2017 - 08:43 PM
Thanks for the kind words, Northwing.
MAR 18, 2017 - 07:33 AM
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