Today Mark Nisbet looks at the ArmiesArmy T-55
In my years of playing Flames of War, I’ve used a number of varying manufacturers products. From Battlefront, through Forged in Battle, down to Plastic Soldier Company and Zvezda. I have yet to get my hands on a model from the very reputable, and fairly new to the game; Armies Army. I have finally rectified this situation as Keith Armstrong sent me out a platoon pack of the new T-55 kit. (We have also recently reviewed the T-55AM2 and BTR-60 kits)
Straight out of the box you can tell the kits are different from Battlefront’s, and this thought is reinforced when you get one in your hand. The resin is light, smooth and almost entirely miscast free. The resin itself feels as though there’s a fair amount of plastic in the mixture, giving it a nice clean finish and brings up the details nicely.
The white metal is nice and detailed too. The tracks don’t suffer the same issues as some older Battlefront models, where there would be a huge mould line or thick ‘flash’ block across the tracks, meaning when they were cleaned detail would be lost. There were a few mould-lines and bits of flash to clip off and clean up, but nothing too difficult.
As mentioned previously, this is my first encounter with an Army Armies model, and I’m impressed so far. But, I hit my first snag when I came to assembly. There are no assembly instructions. Naturally, in this world of modern technology it’s easy enough to find reference pictures, or even guides from other companies. But I’m wondering if a little scrap of paper with a simple assembly guide a la old Battlefront blisters wouldn’t go amiss.
Aside from that extremely minor note, the tank went together extremely well. The gun fits the mounting perfectly and the tracks marry into the slots on the hull with no need for filing down as is sometimes necessary with older resin kits. I should also mention that there were zero air-bubble problems with this one too, a common complaint from gamers.
Pricing and final thoughts
So, what will a set of these little beauties set you back? Well, they are available in three quantities, and the more you buy, the cheaper it is, as with every Army Armies purchase.
1 tank – £7.00 [$9.00 approx] – £7.00 per tank (duh)
3 tanks – £20.00 [$25.50 approx] – £6.67 per tank
10 tanks – £62.50 [$80.00 approx] – £6.25 per tank
The obvious comparison would be to Battlefront’s 5-tank T-55AM2 box, which weights in at £42.50 [$72.50], which works out at 8.50 per tank. So, there is a reasonable price difference, without taking into account Unit Cards and decals on the Battlefront models.
The next comparison is where it might hurt this product on a raw cost analysis; The Plastic Soldier Company’s plastic T-55 (reviewed by Lee recently), which may be built as varying marks and models of T-55. The box will cost £21.50 [$28.00 approx.], and only £4.30 per tank.
All in all, I like this model. It’s crisp, clean and easy to put together. For Flames of War or Team Yankee though, this model of T-55 will only really fit into an Arab Tank Company for Fate of a Nation, unless Battlefront include earlier models of tank into Team Yankee.
Most likely, I’ll just paint this one a nice Soviet green, and it can either fill out a T-55AM2 platoon in the Volksarmee (shush, it’s still a tank), or perhaps a sandy yellow and it can drive around the Israeli border.