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In-Box Review
135
T-55 ENIGMA
T-55 ENIGMA conversion set
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by: Olivier Carneau [ BISON126 ]

introduction
The ENIGMA is an Iraqi command version of this worldwide spread MBT. During the first Gulf War, a number of these tanks were encountered by the coalition forces and many of them captured. Some of them are currently displayed in coalition countries facilities.

This set which is designed for the Tamiya T-55 kit, comes in a cardboard box with the resin and photo etched brass parts in resealable bags. The set is completed by an 8-page instruction booklet. No decals are issued by the manufacturer.


General content
The kit comprises of 83 resin parts, 8 PE parts and a bit of metal wire. Most of them are directly related to the ENIGMA but Accurate Armour has included some parts to upgrade the Tamiya kit. The resin parts are nicely cast and offer a high level of detail as is usually expected with Accurate Armour. There is virtually no flash to remove just the casting blocks.


The ENIGMA parts
Of course the set comes with all the parts needed to represent the extra armor on the glacis, the side skirts and the turret front. The glacis armor comes in two large plates with separate hinges and mounts.

The turret front armor blocks are solid parts except for the movable block above the driver hatch. This one can be represented in the lowered or raised position. The mounting brackets are molded with the armor blocks to ease their fit on to the kit. The counterweight frame is one large part on to which one just has to add the rear armor block and the extra stowage box.

The side protection comes in 8 individual blocks that is set on brackets molded on replacement track guards which do require some surgery on the donor kit. Rear alternative mudguards are provided which enable the modeller to represent a precise tank if needed, as some differences existed among the Enigmas.


The upgrading parts
Accurate Armour provides replacement parts to enhance the donor kit parts. These comprise:
  • new fuel tanks with accurate fuel lines plugs.
  • A new resin exhaust cover with a PE top part that replaces the Tamiya part.
  • The tank commander cupola comes with a detailed interior with 4 separate vision blocks and the TC sight.
  • Some PE parts enable you to represent the metal cover typical to the Iraqi variants.
  • New headlights are also provided.


The instructions
Accurate Armour provides an 8-page color booklet. The instructions come in two parts: the first one shows 18 clear pictures of the assembled parts with some explanations and the part numbers. The second part gives much more detailed explanations related to the Tamiya kit instruction stages. Both parts evoke the preparation work needed to adapt the resin parts (glacis and turret holes to fill, parts to cut etc.).

Despite the quality of the pictures, there are not quite enough to understand the right location of all the parts. This is particularly true for the fold-able left turret side armor block. From the pictures it is quite hard, not to say impossible, to determine how the parts # 41, 42, 43 and 44 should be placed.

The last page lists all the resin and PE parts with their quantity in the set. br />
SUMMARY
Highs: Obviously, AA has done a thorough research job to provide us with an accurate rendition of this version. The carving and the cast are top quality. The dry fitting test demonstrates a perfect match for the kit for which it has been designed.
Lows: The instructions should be clearer in some areas. To accompany the detailed fuel tanks, AA could have given a correct fuel lines sketch.Finally, the PE parts miss engine grilles to replace Tamiya vinyl mesh.
Verdict: Among the full range of Abrams kits now available, this conversion is welcome to represent one of their opponents during the first Gulf War. Unlike the Verlinden set previously designed for dimensionally off donor kits.
Percentage Rating
90%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: C084
  Suggested Retail: 34
  PUBLISHED: Apr 26, 2007
  NATIONALITY: Iraq / لعربية
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 82.86%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 88.57%

About Olivier Carneau (bison126)
FROM: CORREZE, FRANCE

I have been in the hobby for years and I'm still learning. As a modeler, I only build 1/35 modern military vehicles, mainly armored ones. I also run a website where I share a lot of walkarounds. Just click on my banner to pay a visit to it.

Copyright 2019 text by Olivier Carneau [ BISON126 ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

Olivier Great review, I wish this would come out in plastic though. Your review has it listed for 94 quid I checked the AA website, this is listed for 29 pounds export and 34 pounds in the EC. Steve
APR 26, 2007 - 06:09 AM
Thanks Steve, You're correct the price I give is the EC one to which you'll have to add the shipping fee. The only plastic one I'm aware of is an ACE 1:72 kit. Olivier
APR 27, 2007 - 12:39 AM
   

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