Italeriís recent release of the M1A1 Abrams kit (6449) was certainly a welcome addition to all modern armour fans. The finished kit produces a respectable replica of the MBT but like most Abrams kits that are currently out in the market, some form of enhancement never hurt. Eduard once again releases a highly detailed PE set to enhance the accuracy of various components of the Italeri M1A1 MBT kit.
The set comes packaged in typical Eduard fashion with the frets lined up between two pieces of cardboard and accompanied by a 6 page instruction sheet. The instructions clearly outline the part numbers from the original Italeri kit and highlight the components that are to be replaced by the PE set.
The instruction begins with replacements to the lower hull starting with the addition of a retainer ring followed by a complete replacement of the driver periscopes. Folding of these small periscopes is aided by fold creases imprinted on each part making the corners more distinct.
The rear hull appears to have gained quite a bit of focus in this detail set with additions and replacementsí ranging from the tail light mounts down to the hinges for each stowage box. Replacements are also provided for the top engine grilles however removing the existing moulded grilles will certainly be somewhat of a challenge. Following that, the side skirts are given some attention with additions of loose chains and bolt straps that runs alongside the top of each skirt segment. Stowage equipment such as the ammo boxes are also given a slight face lift with the ability to replace the secure latches and handles with a more detailed design. The rear turret basket is also complimented by a photo-etched mesh for the lower frame replacing the mesh provided in the original kit. The Commanderís .50 cal MG also has some nice addition with a full replacement of the ammo box coupled with nicely detailed ammo rounds that feeds into the chamber. The cupola hatch also receives slight alterations to the handles to both the interior and exterior allowing for either a closed or open position.
Another neat feature of this set is the option to mould your own bolts using the bolt stencil found along each fret using a heated sprue.
Overall this detail set certainly does a very good job of enhancing the authenticity of the final product however it does not make up for the original kitís short fall of not having any parts that would allow one to convert into a Gulf M1A1. One would therefore expect quite a decent finish with the available options found in this set but is still left with kit-bashing or scratch building as the only options in order to upgrade this kit into a DS or OIF version. Recommended.
M1A1 Abrams by Terry Ashley Perth Military Modelling
M1A1 Abrams Details by Scott Taylor IPMS London
M1A1/2 ABRAMS by The Armor Site
This detail set will certainly improve the quality of the final Italeri product by greatly enhancing several aspects of both the hull, turret and stowage equipment. Sadly, one is still not able to convert this kit into either a DS or IOF version using this detail set and would therefore have to rely on kit-bashing as the easiest way to get the job done.
I first started modelling at the age of 14 years old where i mainly constructed 1/72 scale planes and was exclusively painting them using a paint brush as i couldnt afford anything more than that. After which i took a 12 year break before resuming back to modelling more serious...