login   |    register
Armor/AFV: Modern - USA
Modern Armor, AFVs, and Support vehicles.
Hosted by Darren Baker
Italeri M1A2 Abrams
GSPatton
Visit this Community
California, United States
Joined: September 04, 2002
KitMaker: 1,396 posts
Armorama: 609 posts
Posted: Tuesday, May 06, 2003 - 05:00 AM UTC
Just picked up this kit last night. When I got home and opened the box - all I can say is WOW!

Crisp (Really crisp) detail, scale or near scale thickness on headlight guards, turret baskets, mesh for the basket bottoms and clear for the vision ports.

The 3 part hull was a breeze (read here someone was concerned about this) Flooded the joints with Tenax and the seams all but disappeared. This kit even has the fire extinguisher handle of the hull side and the bilge outlet pipe on the hull top. The rear of the upper hull is compartmentalized so for all you super detailers the engine areas is ready to rock and roll.

I'll report as this project progresses. Hopefully, even include a photo when I'm done.

One final note. Some have questioned the cost when compared to DML or Trumpeter. I paid $31 USD for mine, cheaper than Tamiya's Pershing or AFV Club's lastest German half-track .

M113
Visit this Community
Istanbul, Turkey / Türkçe
Joined: March 02, 2003
KitMaker: 411 posts
Armorama: 0 posts
Posted: Tuesday, May 06, 2003 - 05:11 AM UTC
Well done !
How'bout the thracks Patton ? Are they continous vinyl or individual ?
GSPatton
Visit this Community
California, United States
Joined: September 04, 2002
KitMaker: 1,396 posts
Armorama: 609 posts
Posted: Tuesday, May 06, 2003 - 05:18 AM UTC
Two major runs and then individual links to go around the drive sprocket and lead wheel. Some sink holes on either side of the inside runs but they came off with a little sanding.

So far so good.
jimbrae
Visit this Community
Provincia de Lugo, Spain / España
Joined: April 23, 2003
KitMaker: 12,925 posts
Armorama: 9,484 posts
Posted: Tuesday, May 06, 2003 - 11:49 PM UTC
George S, Couple of questions, is this a completely new moulding? I've just posted a couple of dumb questions about M1A1s and M1A2s and my interest has been somewhat awakened. I have read so many different opinions about Trumpeter in particular, and having seen the Italeri one advertised, I am looking forward to hearing your comments, Jim
Sabot
Joined: December 18, 2001
KitMaker: 12,563 posts
Armorama: 9,038 posts
Posted: Wednesday, May 07, 2003 - 02:33 AM UTC
I've had reliable sources who are knowledgeable in the various Abrams kits that this is an all new mold and is not a reissue or even based on any current Abrams kit on the market. I also hear it is pretty darn good. I've just got too many unbuilt Abrams on the shelf including 3 Tamiya M1A1s, 2 Tamiya M1s, all of the DML Abrams (1 with plow, 1 USMC, 1 with crew, 2 M1A2s), a Trumpeter M1A2, the Esci M1A1 and 2 Esci M1s. I gave my Academy M1A1 to my 13 year old son the other day. I'll probably end up picking one up though.

FYI, the Academy kit is a direct copy of the Tamiya kit with a couple of detail changes. The Trumpeter kits borrowed heavily from the better features of the DML and Tamiya kits, but missed the turret face. The Esci kits are out of production and should stay there. I still like the DML kits.
GSPatton
Visit this Community
California, United States
Joined: September 04, 2002
KitMaker: 1,396 posts
Armorama: 609 posts
Posted: Wednesday, May 07, 2003 - 04:01 AM UTC
From what I can see this is all Italeri. The model does not have the turret flaw as does the Trumpeter. There are a couple of things though:

Ejection pin marks - The drive sprocket has then on the outter faces. As hard as I tried I could not sand them down without destroying the bolt head detail. So I sanded the surface flat and broke out my Grandt Line NBW castings. (Grandt Line makes a wide range of NBW castings primarily for model railroading market. But they are crisply molded and come in more combinations that you can imagine.)

Front fender spring - The kit has a partial spring cast on top of the fenders. It does not extend down the sides of the fender. I used a curved x-acto blade to scrape the cast sprind off and then added one made from wire with some scrap photoetch hangers.

So far so good -

jimbrae
Visit this Community
Provincia de Lugo, Spain / España
Joined: April 23, 2003
KitMaker: 12,925 posts
Armorama: 9,484 posts
Posted: Wednesday, May 07, 2003 - 04:36 AM UTC
I've just looked at Hannants page in the UK, the M1a2 is only 16 pounds, even though I have to pay european postage on that it still looks like a bargain.......My credit card finger is twitching.............Jim #:-)
Sabot
Joined: December 18, 2001
KitMaker: 12,563 posts
Armorama: 9,038 posts
Posted: Wednesday, May 07, 2003 - 04:55 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Ejection pin marks - The drive sprocket has then on the outter faces. As hard as I tried I could not sand them down without destroying the bolt head detail. So I sanded the surface flat and broke out my Grandt Line NBW castings. (Grandt Line makes a wide range of NBW castings primarily for model railroading market. But they are crisply molded and come in more combinations that you can imagine.)...


If you are talking about the actual sprocket (toothed part), the detail on them should not be bolt heads. The bolts mount from the inner surface of the sprocket carrier and into the sprocket. The part that shows through on the outside is the threaded end of the bolt. This would be easy to replicate by just re-drilling a shallow hole and putting an appropriate sized piece of styrene rod or round sprue into the hole just to give some relief.
Kelley
Visit this Community
Georgia, United States
Joined: November 21, 2002
KitMaker: 1,960 posts
Armorama: 1,630 posts
Posted: Wednesday, May 07, 2003 - 12:59 PM UTC
I just picked up this one also. I saw it at my local hobby shop last week, but like you Rob I decided I didn't need another M1 at this point. I was in there again today picking up some paint for the T-55 I'm trying to finish when...well, you know... the kit was calling my name. So here I sit staring at the sprues right now. (on top of that I just won a DML M1A2 on e-bay!) I am comparing it to my built DML M1A1 and as has already been stated it looks good. I think the DML's detail is a little sharper, but not much. I think I'll do this one OOTB and maybe go all out on the DML, paint one in the NATO scheme and the other in desert sand like the pics of some of the 4th ID M1A2's I have seen. Lastly, below is a link to a comparison review of the Tamiya, DML, and Trumpeter M1's by Takashi Yamane on his site "Tank Guys"

Cheers,
Mike
http://www5b.biglobe.ne.jp/~TANK-GUY/KIT-REVIEW05.html
GSPatton
Visit this Community
California, United States
Joined: September 04, 2002
KitMaker: 1,396 posts
Armorama: 609 posts
Posted: Thursday, May 08, 2003 - 06:06 AM UTC
Sabot - Rob
Thanks for the timely heads up on the drive sprocket - can you say oops! My cool NBW castings were scraped last night and replaced by drilled depressions. The rod in the hole to represent the thread end of the bolt is way too small for my eyes, so I'll live with it.

Thanks Again -
Frank
Plasticbattle
#003
Visit this Community
Donegal, Ireland
Joined: May 14, 2002
KitMaker: 9,762 posts
Armorama: 7,443 posts
Posted: Thursday, May 08, 2003 - 11:52 AM UTC
Just some info for you guys who are gonna build this kit.
I bought the june 2003 issue of Military in scale a few days ago and on the last page they advertise Julys magazine!
An Italien Abrams ...
we built the M1 in 1/72 from an Italeri kit and now we´re at it again in 1/35from another Italeri kit - their rather impressive new M1A2

Might be worth waiting, and get the full run down. They usually give a good description of whats needed and have great text and pictures explaining the build in detail.
Sabot
Joined: December 18, 2001
KitMaker: 12,563 posts
Armorama: 9,038 posts
Posted: Thursday, May 08, 2003 - 12:00 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Sabot - Rob
Thanks for the timely heads up on the drive sprocket - can you say oops! My cool NBW castings were scraped last night and replaced by drilled depressions. The rod in the hole to represent the thread end of the bolt is way too small for my eyes, so I'll live with it.

Thanks Again -
Frank

Glad to help Frank, I think this stems from the fact that on sprockets with retaining rings there are nuts on the end of the sprocket bolts giving the "bolt head" appearance.
Sabot
Joined: December 18, 2001
KitMaker: 12,563 posts
Armorama: 9,038 posts
Posted: Monday, May 12, 2003 - 05:45 AM UTC
Just went ahead and bought one from a guy on HS Tank Talk. Only $20+$5 shipping. Looking at the round bumps on the Trumpeter tracks (both the vinyl and link), I believe Trumpeter put them there on purpose, but I check both of my tanks with T-158 tracks and their are no bumps there. That's a lot of marks to remove.

Figured I'd give Italeri's M1A2 a shot.
GSPatton
Visit this Community
California, United States
Joined: September 04, 2002
KitMaker: 1,396 posts
Armorama: 609 posts
Posted: Monday, May 12, 2003 - 07:35 AM UTC
My M1A2 is about 80% finished. There are a couple of irritations I'd like to share.

1. Directions: Not the best. Some parts are not clear as to there location. Have reference material available for location.
2. Do-Dads: The kit includes the strobe and main gun fire simulator. Again refer to actual combat photos or add them if you are making a training tank.
3. The rear basket. Use caution when installing this. On mine I needed to tweak it upwards to get it level. Otherwise it had a pronounced droop.
4. Turret Railing - The kit rails are pretty close to scale thickness and with some careful clean up they OK. On the top rails, turret sides they are not long enough and there is an 1/8" gap. I fixed this with some stretched sprue.
5. Ma-Duce: The .50 comes with the external triangular shaped thingy. This is SOP for some 50's but most of the in action photos I've seen from Iraq show the standard 50.
6. Smoke Dischargers: Italeri added the conduits to the edge of the turret for the dischargers, you need to add the armored wiring from the conduit to the discharger.
7. Front fender springs: Scrape off the cast on and add your own from wire. Don'y forget the retaining clips and loops.
8. Fire extinguisher handle. In the upper hull side there is a small cutout for the extinguisher handle. Italeri has the cutout but the handle is cast on and has a HUGE pin mark in the middle. I sanded the piece flat, drilled a small hole and added a "T" shaped piece of plastic (painted red) to the opening.

Next come wheels and tracks - side armor and weathering. Overall I am pleased with this kit.

Until Then, I Remain ...
Sabot
Joined: December 18, 2001
KitMaker: 12,563 posts
Armorama: 9,038 posts
Posted: Monday, May 12, 2003 - 08:07 AM UTC

Quoted Text

[snip]1. Directions: Not the best. Some parts are not clear as to there location. Have reference material available for location.

Having spent the better part of 20 years on these things, no problems here.

Quoted Text

2. Do-Dads: The kit includes the strobe and main gun fire simulator.

Call them the whoopie light and Hoffman Device or people will think you're a non-tank riding pogue.

Quoted Text

3. The rear basket.

Bustle Rack, see above.

Quoted Text

4. Turret Railing

Grunt Rails, again, see above.

Quoted Text

5. Ma-Duce: The .50 comes with the external triangular shaped thingy. This is SOP for some 50's but most of the in action photos I've seen from Iraq show the standard 50.

That is the blank firing adapter, call it the "BFA". Only used during exercises when firing blank rounds, that's why they are not on tanks in Iraq.

Thanks for the warnings. I'll teach you guys to talk tank soon enough.
Kelley
Visit this Community
Georgia, United States
Joined: November 21, 2002
KitMaker: 1,960 posts
Armorama: 1,630 posts
Posted: Monday, May 12, 2003 - 09:27 AM UTC
I'll be interested to see what you think of this kit Rob. Do you (or anybody else) know what unit(s) would have the M1A2 painted in the NATO color scheme? "The whoopie light" I like that one

Thanks,
Mike
Sabot
Joined: December 18, 2001
KitMaker: 12,563 posts
Armorama: 9,038 posts
Posted: Monday, May 12, 2003 - 10:11 AM UTC
Someone e-mailed me a copy of the painting guide and decals to see if I could decypher the bumper numbers. Apparently, the NATO markings are for the old 194th Armor Brigade that used to be stationed at Ft. Knox with the US Army Armor School. They never deployed the tanks, the tanks were just given that unit's bumper markings for testing and display purposes. John (user ID CavGuy66) and DJ (210Cav) served in this unit once upon a time and probably have more accurate info on the vehicle.

The M1A2s have been fully fielded to the 4th ID out of Ft. Hood, TX and have started to be fielded to the 1st Cav. Both units only use desert sand. Therefore, no active unit has the M1A2 in NATO camo.

You can always do a what if pattern using a USAREUR (United States Army Europe) based unit from the 1st Armor Division or 1st Infantry Division armor unit.
GSPatton
Visit this Community
California, United States
Joined: September 04, 2002
KitMaker: 1,396 posts
Armorama: 609 posts
Posted: Monday, May 12, 2003 - 10:39 AM UTC
Thanks for the heads up. As I wrote the instructions are not the best and there is no description of what the whoopie light and Hoffman Device or the BFA is. There is a letter next to the sub-assembly but no description.

Also, bustle rack and grunt rails have been added to my vocabulary.

One last point. The Front markings, the Italeri marking are incorrect. I found a photo on the 4ID web site. Facing the M1 the markings on the upper L/H side of the lower hull there was an OD retangle with 4I 3 67AR stenciled in black. On the R/H side the was a smaller retangle with 3-67 stenciled in black. The M1A2 was identified as part of Company B - Barbarians of the 3rd Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment.
Kelley
Visit this Community
Georgia, United States
Joined: November 21, 2002
KitMaker: 1,960 posts
Armorama: 1,630 posts
Posted: Monday, May 12, 2003 - 11:24 AM UTC
One other thing I have noticed concerning this kit for future reference. The pressure release valves (correct term?) on top of the blow-out panels are no where to be found in the instructions, but they are included in the kit, part(s) #1 on the "C" sprues.

Mike
Sabot
Joined: December 18, 2001
KitMaker: 12,563 posts
Armorama: 9,038 posts
Posted: Monday, May 12, 2003 - 12:12 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Thanks for the heads up. As I wrote the instructions are not the best and there is no description of what the whoopie light and Hoffman Device or the BFA is. There is a letter next to the sub-assembly but no description.

Also, bustle rack and grunt rails have been added to my vocabulary.

One last point. The Front markings, the Italeri marking are incorrect. I found a photo on the 4ID web site. Facing the M1 the markings on the upper L/H side of the lower hull there was an OD retangle with 4I 3 67AR stenciled in black. On the R/H side the was a smaller retangle with 3-67 stenciled in black. The M1A2 was identified as part of Company B - Barbarians of the 3rd Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment.

The right hand marking is incorrect. It would have to be B-XX with XX being one of these 2-digit numbers:
11, 12, 13, 14 for a 1st Platoon (Red) tank
21, 22, 23, 24 for a 2nd Platoon (White) tank
31, 32, 33, 34 for a 3rd Platoon (Blue) tank
65 for the company executive officer (Black 5) (50 for a 1st Cav tank company)
66 for the company commander (Black 6) (60 for a 1st Cav tank company)

Notice how the 1st, 2nd and 3rd platoons are labeled red, white & blue? Makes it easy to remember which platoon is what color.

The whoopie light is the kill indicator when using MILES. For a near-miss, it blinks several times. For a kill it blinks until reset by an umpire with a "God Gun". Grunt rails are named so since they originated to give infantry ("grunts") something to hold on to while the tank was in motion. Bustle rack comes from the old hoop skirts that women wore in the olden days. I guess some tanker decided that the rack looked like a ladies' bustle.
GSPatton
Visit this Community
California, United States
Joined: September 04, 2002
KitMaker: 1,396 posts
Armorama: 609 posts
Posted: Tuesday, May 13, 2003 - 03:38 AM UTC
Rob-
Once again you have provided me valuable information. Thanks!

Another look at the picture and the "3" could easily be a "B." So B it is. The Abrams is coming right along and hope to have it done by weeks end. If so I'll try to have a buddy of mine with a digital camera shoot some photos of it and try to post them on this site.
Until then, I remain ...
keenan
Visit this Community
Indiana, United States
Joined: October 16, 2002
KitMaker: 5,270 posts
Armorama: 2,842 posts
Posted: Tuesday, May 13, 2003 - 02:09 PM UTC
I bought mine tonight (see the Birthday post in the Junk Drawer hee hee hee). Ready to hop on the M1A2 bandwagon. Thanks in advance for all the advance info.
SEDimmick
Visit this Community
New Jersey, United States
Joined: March 15, 2002
KitMaker: 1,734 posts
Armorama: 1,472 posts
Posted: Wednesday, May 14, 2003 - 03:04 AM UTC
Well one thing I noticed though i haven't checked pictures yet...is that the large ID numbers for the turret come in a sand color...shouldnt they be black?

keenan
Visit this Community
Indiana, United States
Joined: October 16, 2002
KitMaker: 5,270 posts
Armorama: 2,842 posts
Posted: Wednesday, May 14, 2003 - 03:14 AM UTC
Here is a link to photo gallery on the 4th ID website...

4th ID gallery
jimbrae
Visit this Community
Provincia de Lugo, Spain / España
Joined: April 23, 2003
KitMaker: 12,925 posts
Armorama: 9,484 posts
Posted: Wednesday, May 14, 2003 - 03:25 AM UTC
Thanks for the link most useful. However, I seem to be having some major problem getting on to DOD websites. CENTCOM, no problem. USARMY, No problem, however USMC and now 4th Inf.....muchas problemas, Anyone out there got any suggestions or is it just my role as supreme leader of the universe getting in the way? #:-) Jim