Kit #: 7081 Preview by Marcin Milczarek - panzerbreslau(at)o2(dot)pl
Edited by Rob Haelterman

In early 2021 Italeri gave us a new model of the T-55 Soviet medium tank. So far the T-55 has been released by ACE, Revell, PST, Trumpeter, so the competition is significant.
It is told that this kit has a new tooling; however the sprue's top with a blurred name of some company gives us reason to doubt that.

It’s worth mentioning, that Esci never released the T-55. If it’s a re-pack, it might come from a lesser known company.
This model represents a Soviet late 60s T-55A (Object 155A). It has a Soviet-type engine deck.
Both commander's, and driver's hatches have sheet metal covers (anti-radiation lining), and also an anti-radiation cover on the turret roof.

The manual is clear and colorful in some parts, which has become a good standard in 2021.

The kit contains five sprues (two of them, with wheels and tracks, are identical).

The parts seem to fit well, however I haven't finish the model yet.
This model has some unique advantage, namely the V-55 12-cylinder engine with transmission, drivetrain, air filter and cooling fan. All cables and minor details (like lubrication system radiator) are to be made by the modeler. I compared the engine compartment of the Italeri tank with the drawings in the Polish Army driver's manual – I think everything is correct.

This model gives you an opportunity to put both D-10T gun, and DshKM in any elevation.
Unfortunately the gun mantlet has no cover – it would be correct for an early T-54s, but it’s wrong for any T-55. Like in most models, Italeri makes the loader’s hatch ring as a separate part, which is good, because on the real tank this element is rotatable.

The rear turret should have a few small handles, side reflector, and handles for the DShKM while it’s dismounted from the copula. This model has none of this, its turret rear is as “empty”, as is Trumpeter's.

All hatches can be modeled as open, or closed, which is an important advantage.
External fuel drums and their handles are made as separate parts, which is an advantage of this kit, over Revell's, where drums and handels are made as one part.
No towing cable is included; the modeler should make one from the copper wire.

The OMSh tracks in this kit are far from perfect. I presume that even the old PST tracks look better.
Italeri already made OMSh tracks for its ex-Esci T-62. It seems that Italeri does not recognize this fact. The T-55's tracks outer side (“waffle”) looks poor, even poorer than in the aforementioned T-62. Each track is made from two separate parts, that are to be bent – this kind of tracks cause some problems (tendency to break, tendency to stay off the wheels, possibility that they won’t link together). The tracks are the worst part of this kit.

Note: The OMSh tracks of Italeri, PST, ACE and Trumpeter T-55 models have the proper width – 8 mm. Only Esci/Italeri’s T-62 OMSh tracks are too wide (8,5 mm), but this model is overscale.

There are two canisters (parts no. 20) in this kit. They are not mentioned in the manual, and they look very IDF-ish. In the future, would there be a Tiran tank from Italeri? They have some Magach experiences, Italeri makes 105 mm L/7 guns...

Decals are well printed and offer four options:

  1. Soviet Naval Infantry, Vladivostok naval base exercises, 1970.
  2. NVA unknown unit, 1967.
  3. Polish Land Forces, unknown unit, 1968.
  4. Romanian Army, “Saber Guardian” exercise, 2019.

Italeri is not consequent in its T-55 design: this model has an extra ZIP tool stowage bin on the left side of the turret, characteristic for the Polish/Czechoslovak made tanks, never present on the Soviet ones, but this model does not have the Polish/Czechoslovak engine deck. Poland and Czechoslovakia did not import any soviet T-55A tanks, because those countries used only locally produced ones. I doubt if the NVA used any soviet T-55. Most likely East German Army used Polish/Czechoslovak T-55s. If you wish to finish this model as a Polish/Czechoslovak made tank, you should rework the engine deck, or use part 29 and 26s, from Revell 03304 T-55 A/AM set.

Decals for the Soviet Naval Infantry tank unit and the Romanian Army are correct. It’s worth mentioning, that For?ele Armate Române still operates a fleet of Soviet and Czechoslovak made T-55s.

If you are looking for 12C321, here it is:

Note: this tank has RMSh tracks, not included in the Italeri kit.

The model’s accuracy is fine, its dimensions seems to be correct for 1/72 scale.
Overall this model is nice; you'll have a decent Soviet cold war tank. The tracks have to be replaced. For non-Soviet produced variants some minor modifications are necessary.


  • Steve Zaloga “T-54 and T-55 Main Battle Tanks 1944–2004"
  • T-55 instrukcja mechanika-kierowcy.

This model can be purchased from Tracks & Troops

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Article Last Updated: 18 June 2021

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