Conversion T-55 Enigma

Ref : Accurate Armour #C084

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 photoetched brass parts in resealable bags. The set is completed by an 8-page instruction booklet. No decals are issued by the manufacturer.

The general content

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

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 moveable 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 settlement.
The counterweight frame is one large part on which one just have to add the rear armor block and the extra stowage box.
The side protections come in 8 individual blocks to set on brackets molded on replacement track guards which require some surgery on the donor kit.
Rear alternative mudguards are provided which enable the modeler to represent a precise tank if needed as some differences existed among the ENIGMAs.

The upgrading parts

AA provides replacement parts to enhance the donor kit parts. Thus, the set comprises new fuel tanks with accurate fuel lines “plug”.
A new resin exhaust cover with a PE top part replaces the Tamiya part.
A tank commander cupola comes with a detailed interior with 4 separate vision blocks and the TC sight. Some PE parts enable to represent the metal cover typical to the Iraqi variants.
New headlights are provided too.

The instructions

AA provides an 8-page color booklet. The instructions per se come in two parts: the first one shows 18 clear pictures (except one see below) of the assembled parts with some explanations and the part numbers.
The second part gives much 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 …).
Despite the quality of the pictures, some are not enough to understand the right location of the parts. This is particularly true for the foldable 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. The pros and cons

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.
For a comprehensive conversion, the price remains affordable.

The “dark” side concerns the instructions that 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.


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, the AA one benefits from a more accurate T-55 kit to give us the best ENIGMA ever done in 1:35 scale.

Highly recommended.