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Review
Panda Hobby : M1 Abrams MBT
In_War_and_Peace
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MODELGEEK
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England - South West, United Kingdom
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Posted: Tuesday, December 05, 2017 - 10:49 PM UTC


Adie Roberts takes his first look at the latest new tooled M1 Abrams MBT from Panda Hobby to see how it compares to the others on the market with a feature build to follow.

Read the Review

If you have comments or questions please post them here.

Thanks!
HeavyArty
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Florida, United States
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Posted: Tuesday, December 05, 2017 - 11:07 PM UTC
It does look to be a pretty good kit. I have one in the mail that should be here any day now.

It does have some errors though:

The biggest is the tracks. The outer part has the correct chevron pattern of T156 tracks, however, Panda molded the inner side of the tracks as T158 tracks. It can't be both and should be the T156 tracks. Trumpeter made/makes a set of indi-link T156 tracks to replace them with.

Next, the barrel is too short by about 2mm forward of the bore evacuator. Right now there is no AM replacement barrel for it, but you can take the Def Model late M68 barrel (35015) for an M60A3 and cut it off behind the bore evac and swap those sections. You will also have to add the muzzle reference sensor on the new barrel.

Also, the road wheels are a little off in that they are M1A1 wheels that have thinner rubber parts. Vodnik has done 3D roadwheels of the correct type that are available on Shapeways. This is a minor issue though as most can't tell the difference between them. I don't plan on replacing them on mine.

Lastly, the left rear fuel filler cap is molded 90 degrees off from where it should be. This can be shaved off and repositioned (if done carefully) or replaced by an AM one.

Other than that, it is pretty nice and should build up nicely.
seanmcandrews
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Posted: Wednesday, December 06, 2017 - 12:47 AM UTC
Something that immediately caught my eye, in photo 7 of the review is what looks like a scepter fuel can. Don't think these were in use when the M1 was in service.

Sean
HeavyArty
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Posted: Wednesday, December 06, 2017 - 01:08 AM UTC
Good catch. The Scepter plastic fuel can was adopted in the '80s. The question is, when (how early) in the '80s and how quickly? 1 CAV still had a lot of metal fuel cans bouncing around in the mid '90s ('94-'95) when I got there. We had a mass turn-in of metal cans and exchanged them all for plastic cans. There were all sorts of metal ones stashed in connexes and on vehicles.

With all that said, I will still be swapping it out with a metal fuel can.
In_War_and_Peace
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MODELGEEK
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Posted: Wednesday, December 06, 2017 - 01:54 AM UTC
Hi, Arty and Sean thank you for reading my review I do honestly think the kit is a good looking kit with plenty of detail and a simplistic look for the build which is nice. I did think that a metal barrel would be better, not because it is too short I am not going to lie and say I knew that, just something about it I guess but other than that a genuine nice kit. Thanks again Adie
Vodnik
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Posted: Wednesday, December 06, 2017 - 01:20 PM UTC
Is it just me, or none of the photos show the upper hull? There is another flaw in that part, as the rear left fuel filler cap is molded incorrectly (some of the cap details are molded rotated 90 degrees).
Taeuss
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Posted: Thursday, December 07, 2017 - 02:47 AM UTC
Looks like another great addition to the modern stuff, would be interesting to know how these kits compare with the Dragon kits released several years ago.
Vodnik
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Posted: Friday, December 08, 2017 - 12:37 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Looks like another great addition to the modern stuff, would be interesting to know how these kits compare with the Dragon kits released several years ago.


Dragon kits were released ten years ago. And it is difficult to compare directly as they are very different versions of the tank.
Cantstopbuyingkits
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Posted: Friday, December 08, 2017 - 03:29 AM UTC
How would they compare? This Panda kot is a very differant vesion of the Abrams than any of the version by Dragon.
Blucop
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Posted: Friday, December 08, 2017 - 10:31 PM UTC

Quoted Text

How would they compare? This Panda kot is a very differant vesion of the Abrams than any of the version by Dragon.



A better comparison might be with the old Tamiya Kit. I built a couple of those back in the day.....pretty spartan.

I found the tires/rims and have to pass on them. That is a very steep price point (more than the kit).


LeoCmdr
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Posted: Saturday, December 09, 2017 - 04:27 AM UTC
To summarize the identified issues to date:

1. Road wheels- To be completely accurate the road wheels should be thicker and narrower. Noticeable?

2. Main Gun Barrel- To be accurate the barrel forward of the bore evacuator needs to be 2mm longer. Noticeable?

3. Left Rear Fuel Filler Cap- To be accurate needs to be repositioned 90 degrees.

4. Tracks- To be accurate should be correct T156 tracks.

5. Mantlet Bracket- Use the straight bracket, Part B56, instead of the optional angled bracket, Part B1.

6. Fuel Can- To be accurate replace the Scepter plastic can with a metal can.

Anything else glaring to be corrected/replaced?

Valkryie Miniatures is currently working on a Modern US Army Tank Crew - 1980s era set....how timely.

I sense aftermarket sets in 4, 3, 2, 1...
HeavyArty
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Posted: Saturday, December 09, 2017 - 06:11 AM UTC
Sounds like you captured all the corrections.
sgtreef
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Posted: Saturday, December 09, 2017 - 06:26 AM UTC
Does this version suppose to have anti slip on it?
HeavyArty
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Posted: Saturday, December 09, 2017 - 06:36 AM UTC
No, anti-slip wasn't introduced until the M1A1.
system
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Posted: Saturday, December 09, 2017 - 01:59 PM UTC

Quoted Text

To summarize the identified issues to date:

1. Road wheels- To be completely accurate the road wheels should be thicker and narrower. Noticeable?

2. Main Gun Barrel- To be accurate the barrel forward of the bore evacuator needs to be 2mm longer. Noticeable?

3. Left Rear Fuel Filler Cap- To be accurate needs to be repositioned 90 degrees.

4. Tracks- To be accurate should be correct T156 tracks.

5. Mantlet Bracket- Use the straight bracket, Part B56, instead of the optional angled bracket, Part B1.

6. Fuel Can- To be accurate replace the Scepter plastic can with a metal can.

Anything else glaring to be corrected/replaced?

Valkryie Miniatures is currently working on a Modern US Army Tank Crew - 1980s era set....how timely.

I sense aftermarket sets in 4, 3, 2, 1...



There are a couple more details that don't gel compared to references and the old Tamiya M1 kit:

- The orientation of the front LH fuel filler cap.
- The hinges on the rearmost battery compartment cover.
HeavyArty
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Posted: Saturday, December 09, 2017 - 05:44 PM UTC

Quoted Text

There are a couple more details that don't gel compared to references and the old Tamiya M1 kit:

- The orientation of the front LH fuel filler cap.
- The hinges on the rearmost battery compartment cover.



I'm not following. The front fuel filler covers are separate pieces and can be placed whichever way you want. The battery box hinges look fine to me.
system
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Posted: Saturday, December 09, 2017 - 08:51 PM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

There are a couple more details that don't gel compared to references and the old Tamiya M1 kit:

- The orientation of the front LH fuel filler cap.
- The hinges on the rearmost battery compartment cover.



I'm not following. The front fuel filler covers are separate pieces and can be placed whichever way you want. The battery box hinges look fine to me.



The front fuel filler caps look keyed to both angle outwards, but on the M1 the left hand one angles front-to-back:

https://www.cybermodeler.com/armor/m1/images/hayward_m1_08.jpg

And the hinges to the battery compartment were different on the M1 from the M1A1. I don't have access to my photos at the moment, but this model picture from Vodnik's site shows the pattern.

http://vodnik.republika.pl/pages/m1-comparison/abrams_40.jpg

Pretty minor, but still ones to add to a tweaks list.
Bravo1102
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Posted: Sunday, December 10, 2017 - 02:02 AM UTC

Quoted Text

No, anti-slip wasn't introduced until the M1A1.



And re-manufactured M1 circa 1990 began to get it as part of the refurbishment program. But that's a later beast than this kit. There was also paint on the top being mixed with sand to give it texture so guys with Cocoran jump boots or some varieties of tanker boots (with no tread on the sole) wouldn't fall off the tank.

And one really minor thing, there are no lifting rings on the TC cupola or at least the holes they fit into.
LeoCmdr
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Posted: Sunday, December 10, 2017 - 03:20 AM UTC

Quoted Text


And one really minor thing, there are no lifting rings on the TC cupola or at least the holes they fit into.



It does appear the box art shows the cupola lift rings...at least the thought was there.
2CAVTrooper
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Posted: Friday, December 15, 2017 - 07:55 AM UTC
According to some "Border Legion" guys I have talked to, all M1's sent to Europe we're in overall forest green, so MERDC may be out of the question for an 11ACR track. Although 2ACR had one painted in Dual Tex aka "Dueler Dots" that was quickly painted back to overall green.
JoeJ2130CS
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Posted: Friday, December 15, 2017 - 11:24 PM UTC
I can confirm that scheme B is 3/67 armor. US Battle Tanks Today (Tanks Illustrated No. 8 ) by Steve Zaloga and Michael Green has photos of tanks from both this unit and 1/67 armor taken at Ft. Hood in 1983. Unfortunately the registration numbers are not included on the decal sheet, but shouldn't be too hard to cobble together using decals from other kits or aftermarket.
acebatau
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Posted: Saturday, December 16, 2017 - 04:40 AM UTC
Looks fine to me
MikeBrindos
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Posted: Saturday, December 23, 2017 - 10:25 PM UTC
The first thing I noticed after I opened my instruction book was that the tracks are illustrated on the tank backwards. That may lead more than a few people to actually add them onto the model backwards.
MikeBrindos
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Posted: Saturday, December 23, 2017 - 10:26 PM UTC
There is also a slight sink mark in the wind sensor so make sure you fill that.
warlock109
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Posted: Friday, December 29, 2017 - 02:26 AM UTC
In the 80's there was a nonslip coating available in the field. It was a "brownish" OD enamel paint that came in gal cans. Basically it was paint with about 2 inches of sand in the bottom of the can. In the 90's a forest green color epoxy based coating was available.(it was called flight deck coating) It is very thick and had to be spread on with a trowel about a 1/4 inch thick.