Tuesday, October 12

Preview: We Czech out MiniArt's T-55 Czechoslovak Production W/ KMT-5M Mine Roller

Miniart has combined the Czech-produced T-55 with the beautiful KMT-5M Mine Roller kit with brand new decals to produce this, the T-55 Czechoslovak Production W/ KMT-5M Mine Roller. A mix of old and new features make this new kit from miniart a real "shelf clearer" (­čśť???) Let's take a look at the kit in our preview...

Preview: We Czech out MiniArt's T-55 Czechoslovak Production W/ KMT-5M Mine Roller

T-55 Czechoslovak Production W/ KMT-5M Mine Roller
Kit No #37092
1/35th scale
The subjects: The Czech produced T-55 tank.
The medium tank T-55/54 is a combat track vehicle, originally of the Russian make. The system was developed and produced in series in the former USSR since 1955. From 1964, this tank was produced in Poland under the licence, a year later the production was launched also in Czechoslovakia.
This medium tank T-55/54 was (and in many cases still is) in the equipment of former Warsaw Pact countries. Thanks to a long-term use within armed forces, a huge number of versions and modifications was developed. It was done not only by the original manufacturer, but later also by licence producers. Types of the most popular versions follow: T-54, T-54/55K, OT-54/55, T-54A, T-54B, T-54M, T-55, T-55A, T-55M, T-55AD, and T-55MV. 

Designed to fight tanks, combat vehicles, armoured carriers and other enemy armoured targets. Thanks to gradual modernisations, the use of the tank was being upgraded in terms of its mobility and immediate protection not only of the vehicle itself but also of its crew. The T-55/54 can be equipped with 100mm cannon, two pieces of 7.62mm machine gun of SGMT or PKT (Russian system) type, or an anti-aircraft 12.7mm machine gun of NSV type, all in accordance to the version developed or the grade of modernisation achieved. It crosses water obstacles by fording or an underwater ride.
Czechoslovakia produced 2,700 T-54A, T-54AM, T-54AK, T-54AMK tanks (between 1957 and 1966) and 8,300 T-55 and T-55A tanks (between 1964 and 1983; T-55A was probably produced since 1968). Most of them were for export. In making way in the minefield, the tank can use a hanging demining KMT-6 device and a towed explosive deminer of TRAL type.
The KMT-5M mine roller:
The KMT-5M is a Soviet tank mounted mechanical mine clearing device in the KMT series that is designed to disable anti-tank mines by ploughing up or mechanically breaking them from the lines in front of tank tracks. It was first introduced in the 1960s.

T-55 equipped with mine-clearing device KMT-5M
The device can be mounted to T-54/55, T-62 and T-64 tanks. The plough has nowadays been mostly replaced by the modern version KMT-7 that can be installed to T-72, T-80 and T-90 series of tanks. It was however recently copied by the Romanians in their D-5M mine-clearing system.

This new kit from MiniArt
this kit features the T55 produced in (then) Czechoslovakia in the '60s & '70s. The kit is "sans" interior which means a quick build, and it features individual track links and clear parts. All of the hatches can be posed open or closed, however. This is combined with the KMT-5M Mine Roller kit from MiniArt of last year in a package with new decals
Photos of the KMT-5M Mine Roller completed showing the supplied chain and excellent detail of this rugged device...
New Decals!
There are marking choices for three T55 Czech-produced tanks in the box (of course with Photo etch for the thinner parts of the tanks). These three markings are seen with the real-life counterparts that were used for the kit markings.
An Egyptian Army T-55 with mine roller from the 1967-73 period...
The actual vehicle and mine roller in the kit as shown below

A Lebanese Army T-55 & KMT-5M mine roller from the early 2000s
The actual vehicle and mine roller in the kit as shown below. A reader has kindly pointed out that the gun is turned to the 5 o'clock position and that is why it appears to not have one!

A T-55 with mine roller from the Syrian Army in the 2010s
The actual vehicle and mine roller in the kit as shown below