T-54-1 was the first production version of the T-54 and what was to become the one of the most recognizable and most produced tank ever – T-54/55. The dash 1 version was the first of the pre-production series. It was something like a prototype, but built in decent numbers. So pre-production or initial series is more appropriate to be said about that vehicle.
Nowadays, turrets from T-54-1 can be found as a concrete bunkers /some at the Kuril Islands near Japan as well as some on Chinese border/ and probably some abandoned vehicles all around former Soviet Union. The bunkers, or so called “pillboxes” are the most popular, since many color photographs exists. The survivors can be found in the museums too. However, T-54-1 was rather unsuccessful attempt for creating a new medium tank, and it was quickly changed for the second prototype dash 2. Dash 1s were still in use though, although not much information is available.
MiniArt already gave us the kit with the full interior of that tank and now they are giving us a more simplified and clean option – the one without. 37014 is for those, who wish to focus on the outside with weathering and exterior features, skipping the parts with the internals.
They are made from the standard for MiniArt grey plastic material. It is flexible and pleasant to work with. This is the new plastic material that MiniArt are using for almost two years already. No troubles with the tiniest details and no cracks or defects.
Interesting is the fact that even though the material is soft-ish, it is relatively sturdy and overall weight of the built kit is pretty decent. I have no clue what the consistency of the material is exactly, but it is enjoyable one.
The decals, clears and PE:
Decals are not many and they look like Begemot. They are not the best out there but are with decent qualities and if you are careful working with them, no problem should be encountered.
Photo-Etch sheet is very thin – as usual with MiniArt. If you are a fan of photo-etch, MiniArt is your game. They feature the thinnest PE parts on the market, which requires admiration. This sometimes is an issue for those who like to prep-sand the parts but I assure you no such thing is necessary, or at least not in most of the cases. So thin is good here. Very good!
The Paint Options:
We have one tri-tone camo, which was a demo version and two green ones. You cannot find many pictures of this tank of course, so three isn’t bad at all. The summer camo scheme is great, although if you want to attach it to any actual vehicle, you fill find it hard to gather the proper proof of existence.
On the other hand, the green ones are pretty much a standard for the Soviet forces from that era and this will float always. Winter option is also a possibility for those who like the techniques used.
As before, the tracks that MiniArt provides with their kits are purely awesome! They require some attention and devotion to make them look nice but its worth the effort. They are also workable. Not fully, but let’s say adjustable – and this is for the skeptics.
Even though they are not so workable as Friuls for example, they are way more nice in texture and I assume – accuracy. I like this part from the MiniArt T-series a lot.
You’ve probably seen my reviews about T-series from MiniArt and you know my opinion. Recently, I gave you MiniArt 37012 – the other version without interior and I think for many this was the better option. Same goes for 37014. T-54-1 is great looking vehicle, but you can go more easy on the subject if you are not fan of the specific vehicle. Even if you decide to build the bunker station /pillbox/ with the turret of the vehicle only, you will still have enough from 37014 to do it and have a ton of spares from the kit.
So in my opinion, for those subjects that are more obscure and not popular even among devoted fans – simple is better!