Once upon a time there was a guy named Rob Ferreira and he was a TreadHead. Unfortunately, unlike most TreadHeads, Rob just didn’t enjoy building a military vehicle and weathering it. Nope that was too easy. What Rob liked to do was take a military vehicle to it’s final resting place. Be it as a monument on display in the open, an old forgotten wreck sitting in some wooded area all but forgotten about, a vehicle destroyed by some catastrophe, or a vehicle sitting in a vehicle track park in Afghanistan. He created a website to showcase his work. http://www.scratchmod.com/
This last scenario is what actually got the engine compartment started. Rob wanted to create more than one vehicle with this empty engine bay. He chummed up to his friend Steve Reid of Celticwerks and after much back door shenanigans and blacks ops dealings there was some magical agreement that got Rob to do the masters and Steve to create the molds for the rest of us lowly TreadHeads to benefit from this teaming.
I am previewing a pre-release. This means that what you receive might be slightly different. Not in the parts quality but more in line with the instructions and packaging. The package arrived inside a small stout cardboard box. The inside lid shows a picture of the assembled engine bay installed inside the Tamiya T-55A lower hull. This is the recommended kit for this conversion and I have no idea if it is doable with the old ESCI or Trumpeter versions. The five resin parts were in a zip lock bag secured by bubble wrap. The instruction sheet is four pages long (front and back) and have color pictures to add in the installation. The pour lugs are easily removed. The largest one will be the bottom of the engine compartment. These are small and easily handled compared to some resin aftermarket items currently on the market. To install this kit, there is some cutting and sanding that will be required to the Tamiya kits rear area. The work needed is clearly called out with both photographic and written instructions.
Rob’s website has some great pictures of the set, a video showing how the set is installed and a video showing the painting of this compartment to date. The team has set up a first run of 100 sets and will produce more if the demand deems it. To see better pictures of this item, they have set up a page to view and order this item - http://www.celticwerks.net/ . You can place an order by contacting Rob on his webpage or by contacting Steve at the above address.
I want to thank Rob and Steve for collaborating on this project and allowing us to have a great alternative to the standard T-55 tank model and the review sample and IPMS/USA for a posting this review to let fellow TreadHeads know of a new company and product out on the market. Have fun…build a derelict T-55 or variant!