AMPS is all about armor modeling and the preservation of armor and mechanized heritage.

M1A1 Abrams w/Crew

Catalog Number: 6571 Manufacturer: Italeri
Published: Monday, April 27, 2020 Retail Price: $60.00
Scale: 1:35 Reviewed By: GLEN MARTIN

M1A1 Abrams w/Crew

By Italeri

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History of the M1A1 Abrams

Undoubtedly one of the best combat vehicles ever produced, the M1 Abrams is a third-generation American main battle tank designed by Chrysler Defense (now General Dynamics Land Systems).  Conceived for modern armored ground warfare and now one of the heaviest tanks in service at nearly 68 short tons (almost 62 metric tons), it introduced several innovative features, including a multifuel turbine engine, sophisticated Chobham composite armor, a computer fire control system, separate ammunition storage in a blow-out compartment, and NBC protection for crew safety. Initial models of the M1 were armed with a 105 mm Royal Ordnance L7 gun, while later variants feature a licensed Rheinmetall 120 mm L/44.

The M1 Abrams was developed from the failure of the MBT-70 project to replace the obsolescent M60 Patton. There are three main operational Abrams versions, the M1, M1A1, and M1A2, with each new iteration seeing improvements in armament, protection, and electronics. Efforts to develop an M1A3 version were first publicly disclosed in 2009.  Extensive improvements have been implemented to the latest M1A2C and D (formerly designated M1A2 System Enhancement Package version 3 or SEPv3 and M1A2 SEPv4, respectively) versions such as improved composite armor, better optics, digital systems and ammunition. 

The Abrams was due to be replaced by the Future Combat Systems XM1202 but due to its cancellation, the U.S. military has opted to continue maintaining and operating the M1 series for the foreseeable future by upgrading with improved optics, armor and firepower. The planned M1A3 Abrams was in the early design period with the U.S. Army in 2009.  At that time, the service was seeking a lighter tank version with the same protection as current versions. It aimed to build prototypes by 2014 and begin fielding the first combat ready M1A3s by 2017.  In March 2017, it was reported that the new version, the M1A2 SEP v4, is to begin testing in 2021.  Additionally, an all-new version for the U.S. Army has been in planning and development for several years.

The M1 Abrams entered service in 1980 and currently serves as the main battle tank of the United States Army and Marine Corps. The export version is used by the armies of Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Australia, and Iraq. The Abrams was first used in combat in the Persian Gulf War and has seen combat in both the War in Afghanistan and Iraq War under U.S. service, while Iraqi Abrams tanks have seen action in the war against ISIL and have seen use by Saudi Arabia during the Yemeni Civil War.

 

The Kit

Released in 2019, this kit, is the first M1 Abrams kit that Italeri has come out with since their 2006 kit (#6449-M1A1 Abrams).  The kit has a few parts changes as well as the addition of 5 Crew figures that can be used in a diorama scene of the modelers creation.  The kit consists of plastic sprues, , a vynyle screen used for turret bussle grating, a set of waterslide decals and a clear plastic sheet to be used in measuring and cutting out periscopes.  Overall, the parts are nice in details, however there are some knockout marks molded in some of the parts that make clean up a nightmare.  The main gun is a two piece construction type so care must be given to make sure that details are not sanded away.  The tracks are link and length and are not bad, except for knockout marks in each link.  

NEW TOOLING PARTS ADDED  (From the Box lid)

Five (5) crew members.

Decal Options are:

A:  United States Army, 2nd Armored Division, 32th Armored Battalion, B company, BAsra outskirts, Iraq, March 1991

B:  United States Army, 2nd Armored Division, 67th Armored Battalion, A company, Basra outskirts, Iraq, March 1991

C:  Iraqi Army, 9th Division, 34th Brigade, Iraq 2015

D:  United States Marine Corps, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, 1st Battalion, Iraq, 2003

The instructions are in one booklet.  There are a lot of pages but the illustrations do not point to anything difficult.  No surprises noted during construction

 

 

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The Sprues

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All the Sprues come packaged in a solitary single bag, unfortunately, there were some parts that were detached that were free in the bag.  Identifying them was not too hard however.

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Sprue of figures is included with the kit.  The figure components are crisp, made from hard plastic.