In-Box Review
Croatian Tanks '91-95 and Balkan T-55s

by: Mario Matijasic [ MAKI ]

Two recently released 1/35th scale decal sets from Bison Decals (BD-35003 Croatian tanks ‘91-95 and BD-35004 Balkan T-55s) come as a life-saviour here as it would be almost impossible to hand paint the colorful markings of such vehicles.

I received both decal sets for review and was pleasantly surprised with the quality of decal sheets. The decals are silk-screen printed wet transfer decals manufactured by Microscale in the US. Both sets have an additional sheet of OKI printed decals for the very detailed and colorful markings. The quality of decals is excellent with vivid colors and very thin carrier-film.

In each sealed bag you get a decal sheet and set of instructions. The decals look wonderful. Majority of markings are for T-55 tanks, but there are also a couple of other tanks included. The Croatian Tanks ‘91-95 set includes markings for eight models:

T-55A “Alf”
T-55A “Grom”
T-55A “Marina”
T-55A “Cedozder”
T-55A “Plavi Grom”
T-55A “002 / Grom”
T-34/85M “Pas”
M-36B2 “Topovnjaca”

while the set of Balkan T-55s includes markings for 15 models:

T-55A JNA/Serbia (5X)
T-55A Macedonia
T-55/Hellcat Hybrid Armija BiH
T-55A Slovenia (2X)
T-55A Croatia
M-55S1 Slovenia
ZSU-57-2 Slovenia
Type-59 Albania
T-55A Romania
T-55AM Romania

The instruction sheet is quite comprehensive. It includes diagrams of each individual vehicle with the tank nickname, theater of operations, camo scheme, info on modifications done to the vehicle and, of course, placement of the decals. The instructions are in black and white print, so the colorful camo schemes cannot be easily resolved. However, there is a list of reference sources and URLs with images of the featured vehicles used by Bison Decals while researching the markings... a very nice addition to help out the modelers as you can use the very same references when building your model.
As a person who actually whitnesed Balkan conflicts in the nineties and researched some of the featured vehicles all I can say is: well done Bison Decals!! These decals look great; the ammount of research put into these two sets is amazing, details are crisp and colors vivid so the decals really capture the colorful nature of Balkan vehicle markings. Both decal sets have markings for more vehicles in one set which makes them a good value for the money.

More information on Bison Decal website:

Thanks to Johan from Bison Decals for review samples. ([email protected])
Are you planning to make an unusual subject of your T-55 model? I’m sure your best bet would be modeling a vehicle from Balkans conflict; the camo schemes on those vehicles are simply amazing, applied to the tanks by soldiers who obviously had a great sense for “camouflage”.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 35003
  Suggested Retail: $8 each
  Related Link: Bison Decals
  PUBLISHED: Jul 04, 2004

About Mario Matijasic (Maki)

You wonder how did this addiction start? I was a kid when my dad broght home a 1/72 Concord airplane; we built it together as well as couple of other airplanes after that. This phase was just pure fun: glue, paint, decals in no particular order... everything was finished in a day or two. Then I disc...

Copyright ©2021 text by Mario Matijasic [ MAKI ]. All rights reserved.


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