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Armor/AFV
For discussions on tanks, artillery, jeeps, etc.
Australian M1A1 Abrams
airborne1
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Queensland, Australia
Joined: April 15, 2006
KitMaker: 912 posts
Armorama: 794 posts
Posted: Friday, December 21, 2018 - 04:25 PM UTC
Hello ,

To break things up a little with projects on the workbench there was a publication on the Australian M1A1 Abrams which caught my eye at the Brisbane Hobby show and since then it's been full speed ahead to get the ball rolling with the Meng M1A1 being the test bed for the Aussie Abrams .

The donor kit from Meng to convert to the Australian Abrams.



Bigfoot tracks, Orange hobby metal barrel, AFV Club anti reflective coating stickers,Fox models decals and resin accessories from Legends and Black Dog.




This is supposed to be a quick break away from what is on the workbench with a small somewhat quick build and hopefully be portrayed similar to an Abrams in the Tankograd publication.



This is the large number of excess lugs trimmed off the sprues to get 2 workable tracks


Test fitting the workable track will suit the Meng drive sprocket

7 Pieces for 1 track link, are you ready for this .



And, Both sides of each track link drilled out to replicate accuracy.


Work has been slow. The intention was to scratch build the fridge located in the stowage basket.

It was something that made me contemplate the accuracy but fortunately with a stroke of luck Mouse House had 1 available in resin. Happy days.

With ordering the fridge,Mouse House upgrades and Back up supply of Auscam paint bring the tank more into line with an Australian Abrams.




The Mouse house paint is the closest colour to the Auscam colours.


Serving in the Australian Army from 85-89 and seeing the colour up close as a Driver in an Infantry unit I would have to say the Mouse House colours are spot on.

The metal barrel required some modifications with the extra weight of the barrel made the gun drop down.
By cutting out the centre of internal barrel support and inserting a shaft helped counteract the weight of the barrel holding it firm in position at any angle.


The Vision blocks had a combination of Mig Crystal red and a highlight silver colour painted behind the Crystal red to give it depth of the vision block. AFV Club also provided anti glare decals of which I had to cut different size out for the gunners sight on the turret. There is enough material on the sheet to cut your own sizes out.


Simulated track pad wear with a number 11 blade, time consuming but worth the effort in the end.
Track wear before painting


The stowage has been test fitted on the turret to achieve the right look.

Stowage




Stowage ready for priming


Primed Stowage


Each Stowage piece was painted and a light acrylic wash was given to enhance the equipment on the turret.

Painted stowage

Sub assemblies and track ready for priming and painting.

Ready to paint


The Mig Ammo Primer applied.


Then the 3 tone camoflage which was time consuming and still not finished. Some minor touch ups to do.




The Bronco M1A1 Big foot track received a lot of attention.
Gunze metal was hand painted on the guide horns and end connectors.
Vallejo Tan was drybrushed on the track rubber to show the wear and tear.


The inside of the track was drybrushed in Vallejo black grey to show slight wear from the road wheels.


Michael
Blueheeler
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New South Wales, Australia
Joined: March 18, 2008
KitMaker: 347 posts
Armorama: 79 posts
Posted: Saturday, December 22, 2018 - 01:50 PM UTC
Great work on it so far mate. Looking forward to seeing the updates as you go.
GTDeath13
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Attica, Greece / Ελλάδα
Joined: June 12, 2015
KitMaker: 918 posts
Armorama: 916 posts
Posted: Saturday, December 22, 2018 - 01:59 PM UTC
Very impressive build and many thanks for the wonderful presentation.
jasmils
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Queensland, Australia
Joined: December 23, 2003
KitMaker: 1,016 posts
Armorama: 745 posts
Posted: Saturday, December 22, 2018 - 03:50 PM UTC
The stowage is a way overboard, and the Fox decals are pirated prints from Echelon.
But the rest of the build and paint look good.
airborne1
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Queensland, Australia
Joined: April 15, 2006
KitMaker: 912 posts
Armorama: 794 posts
Posted: Sunday, December 23, 2018 - 11:23 AM UTC
Thanks guys for your words.


Michael
airborne1
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Queensland, Australia
Joined: April 15, 2006
KitMaker: 912 posts
Armorama: 794 posts
Posted: Saturday, December 29, 2018 - 08:57 PM UTC
Small update

3 tone Camo pattern done.
May be some more very minor touch ups to do.
Airbrushed freehand, no masking.





Michael
maximus8425
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England - North East, United Kingdom
Joined: May 12, 2006
KitMaker: 324 posts
Armorama: 313 posts
Posted: Sunday, December 30, 2018 - 07:43 AM UTC
Really liking the paint job. The colours look spot on to me, however I am far from being an Australian armour officianado.
Blueheeler
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New South Wales, Australia
Joined: March 18, 2008
KitMaker: 347 posts
Armorama: 79 posts
Posted: Sunday, December 30, 2018 - 12:38 PM UTC
Mate, looking great!
jasmils
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Queensland, Australia
Joined: December 23, 2003
KitMaker: 1,016 posts
Armorama: 745 posts
Posted: Sunday, December 30, 2018 - 04:05 PM UTC
Couple of things Michael, you need to add part L23 to the turret, next to the round blanking plate. Step 4, A20, not used on Australian tanks. On the left hand side rear, there is a square plate with 4 bolts, that needs to be removed. Also, the umbrella mount needs to be added, and the top rear of the turret needs the fridge power adapter. In step 30, add parts S5, S14, S17 and F2.
airborne1
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Queensland, Australia
Joined: April 15, 2006
KitMaker: 912 posts
Armorama: 794 posts
Posted: Sunday, December 30, 2018 - 10:52 PM UTC
Thanks Nick and Max for your words.

Thanks Jason
L23 will be added -good pick up.

Surprised A20 was not used, it's an easy fix not that anyone will see it being behind the side fender.

I see what you mean about the the small square plate on the left rear- will correct and an easy fix.

The umbrella mount has been added. Not shown clear enough in the images.

Not worrying about the fridge power adaptor as the stowage will be covering it.

I have used parts S5, S14, S17 and F2. The parts have been painted separately with the 50 cal and will be added later.


Quoted Text

Couple of things Michael, you need to add part L23 to the turret, next to the round blanking plate. Step 4, A20, not used on Australian tanks. On the left hand side rear, there is a square plate with 4 bolts, that needs to be removed. Also, the umbrella mount needs to be added, and the top rear of the turret needs the fridge power adapter. In step 30, add parts S5, S14, S17 and F2.



Michael
DrChopp
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Victoria, Australia
Joined: August 16, 2016
KitMaker: 116 posts
Armorama: 107 posts
Posted: Monday, December 31, 2018 - 01:15 AM UTC
Awesome build! Really looking forward to this one!
Was the camo freehand, or did you use masks?
airborne1
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Queensland, Australia
Joined: April 15, 2006
KitMaker: 912 posts
Armorama: 794 posts
Posted: Monday, December 31, 2018 - 02:18 PM UTC
Thanks Steven,

The painting was all freehand airbrushing.

Michael
Doubledude
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Hessen, Germany
Joined: December 27, 2018
KitMaker: 15 posts
Armorama: 15 posts
Posted: Monday, December 31, 2018 - 04:43 PM UTC
Hey Micheal. Great work on the Aussi Abrams. Nice paint job and the colors look really great!

Question: Why didn't you use the original Meng T-158 tracks that came with the kit. You used the Bronco tracks, right?
Far as I know the Meng track seems to be even better that the Bronco tracks.

Greetings,

Doubledude
airborne1
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Queensland, Australia
Joined: April 15, 2006
KitMaker: 912 posts
Armorama: 794 posts
Posted: Tuesday, January 01, 2019 - 02:12 AM UTC
Thanks Mirco

The main reason was the Bronco guide horn was attached to the sprue holder at the bottom. You can see with the images that Meng have the guide horn end attached at the top end. They are both good in detail but it fell down to personal preference for the Bronco tracks.



Michael
TopSmith
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Washington, United States
Joined: August 09, 2002
KitMaker: 1,714 posts
Armorama: 1,635 posts
Posted: Tuesday, January 01, 2019 - 03:39 AM UTC
Very nice so far. As a side note, I am very impressed with your paint supplies.
blacksad
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Quebec, Canada
Joined: September 07, 2009
KitMaker: 198 posts
Armorama: 192 posts
Posted: Tuesday, January 01, 2019 - 05:00 PM UTC
Very interesting project, thanks for sharing !
airborne1
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Queensland, Australia
Joined: April 15, 2006
KitMaker: 912 posts
Armorama: 794 posts
Posted: Wednesday, January 02, 2019 - 08:55 AM UTC
Thanks Tom and Greg.

Just finished off applying an Ak filter for 3 tone camoflage with oil paint detailing.

Will provide more images shortly with road wheels and drive sprocket's detailed and in place on the tank.

The big challenge now is with the individual link track.

Michael
airborne1
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Queensland, Australia
Joined: April 15, 2006
KitMaker: 912 posts
Armorama: 794 posts
Posted: Friday, January 04, 2019 - 02:28 PM UTC
Next stage images with the road wheels and side fenders on. Finally

Have ordered an AFV club camo net and some Echlon decals as I am keen to see which would be better to use.
Fox or Echlon

Have painted the loaders MG slide ring in Humbrol 53 Metal and I think it has come close to an identical colour.
Getting closer now. Decals to be applied and work out what stowage will work on the turret.






Michael

blacksad
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Quebec, Canada
Joined: September 07, 2009
KitMaker: 198 posts
Armorama: 192 posts
Posted: Friday, January 04, 2019 - 04:42 PM UTC
Very nice model, I like the work done on the tracks. What technique have you used to do the camouflage scheme ?
airborne1
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Queensland, Australia
Joined: April 15, 2006
KitMaker: 912 posts
Armorama: 794 posts
Posted: Saturday, January 05, 2019 - 08:24 PM UTC
Thanks Tom.

Not too sure what you mean about technique.

The camoflage was all freehand airbrushing.
No masking putty or tape was used.

Started with base colour green, then tan and the final colour black.

An AK filter AK-076 Tan for Nato vehicles was thinned with Mig Ammo's thinner and a number 2 flat Brush applied to the wheels and all surfaces on the tank.

The tan colour looked similar to our soil in Australia.

Michael
MrNeil
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: November 01, 2005
KitMaker: 266 posts
Armorama: 262 posts
Posted: Sunday, January 06, 2019 - 03:08 AM UTC
Nice build!

I've been considering doing an Aussie M1A1 too, ever since I reviewed the Tankograd book for the AMPS website.

My question to those who know the vehicle better than me, is...is the fridge from the Leopard AS1, which Mouse House offers in resin, the same as the one on the M1A1? If so, I'll order one and press ahead.

N
airborne1
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Queensland, Australia
Joined: April 15, 2006
KitMaker: 912 posts
Armorama: 794 posts
Posted: Sunday, January 06, 2019 - 07:48 AM UTC
Thanks Neil.

Yes the fridge for the Leopard AS1 is the same and it is casted in resin.

Michael
jasmils
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Queensland, Australia
Joined: December 23, 2003
KitMaker: 1,016 posts
Armorama: 745 posts
Posted: Sunday, January 06, 2019 - 03:25 PM UTC
In reality the fridge is the same. But, AS1 fridge is mounted differently to the M1. So, the AS1 fridge from Mouse House is not quite the "correct" fridge for the M1.
MrNeil
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: November 01, 2005
KitMaker: 266 posts
Armorama: 262 posts
Posted: Monday, January 07, 2019 - 03:54 AM UTC
Thanks Michael!
MrNeil
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: November 01, 2005
KitMaker: 266 posts
Armorama: 262 posts
Posted: Monday, January 07, 2019 - 04:19 AM UTC

Quoted Text

In reality the fridge is the same. But, AS1 fridge is mounted differently to the M1. So, the AS1 fridge from Mouse House is not quite the "correct" fridge for the M1.



Jason, thanks for the heads up. I've got some pics of the fridge but not enough to scratch build one. That said, I think I can doctor the Mouse House one and modify the mounts.