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T-55LD "Operation Quartz"

by Luke Pitt




Tamiya's 1/35 scale T-55A is available online from Squadron.com




The Model represents a T-55LD operating in the Rhodesian Army one-month before the abortive “Operation Quartz”. Follow this link to read an article about Operation Quartz.

It sports the South African “anti-infra red” scheme of earth and green. The model was weathered lightly as it had only just been re-painted





Hull Modifications

This model started out life as Tamiya's 1/35 scale T-55A. As I wanted my model to represent a Polish –Built LD a number of modifications to the hull were required. These included:

  • engine flaps fabricated from 10 thou plastic card

  • front hub of road wheel enlarged



Other improvements to the hull include

  • New track fender from 10 thou plastic card (scale thickness)

  • Track fender “Stiffeners” added to underneath of fender 2 each side

  • Front track guards thinned to wafer thickness (scale thickness)

  • Scratched mud scraper added to rear of the hull

  • Road wheels filled (indented seems on kit incorrect)

  • Fuel cells on right fender improved (fins filed down to scale thickness and grab handles added from thin wire

  • Fuel cell plumbing added to cells and attachment points added

  • Rear Fuel cells modified and improved att points added and improved (note left hand one has the lid open)

  • Modified and improved Snorkel (many small scratch built and details added to improve detail

  • Log attached by chains as per Polish practice

  • Scratch built headlight guard fitted and light att to it (as opposed to the hull as per ref shots)

  • After market wire rope added

  • WW2 Productions resin after-market tracks added


Turret Modifications and Improvements

  • Turret extractor added to right hand side of turret as per polish built examples

  • Detailed AA machine gun ( many parts improved and added )

  • Detailed and improved search light

  • Fine molds after market barrel added

  • Thinned and improved turret machine gun opening machine gun added



  • Thinned and reconfigured main gun viewing slot

  • Partial turret interior added

  • Commander's turret hatch detailed and improved ( note opened view port

  • Main gun mantlet cover made out of Milliput

  • Turret Grip handles thinned and improved

  • Camouflage cover and belts added to turret as per reef




The model was painted and weathered with Tamyia Acrylics.



It was only weathered a little as it had only been painted again (in real life) some 4 months before I have chosen to depict as it appeared on exercise some weeks before operation Quartz.






Additional Images


Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images:


T-54 and T-55 Main Battle Tanks 1944–2004
New Vanguard 102

US Price: $14.95
UK Price: £8.99
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Publish Date:
 July 25, 2004
Details: 48 pages; ISBN: 1841767921
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Buy it from Osprey Publishing

Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2004 by Luke Pitt
Page Created 17 May, 2004
Last Updated 17 May, 2004

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