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Revell 1/72 M1A2 Abrams Kit First Look

By Ray Mehlberger

Date of Review January 2008 Manufacturer Revell
Subject M1A2 Abrams Scale 1/72
Kit Number 3146 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Very detailed model of a popular modern AFV Cons Although hatches can be posed open, there is no interior detail nor crew figures
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $12.50

First Look

Abrams Parts
Abrams Parts
Abrams Parts
Abrams Parts
Abrams Parts
Abrams Decal

The M1 “Abrams” has been made in various versions for the U.S. Army since 1980. The original M1 produced still had a 105 mm cannon and conventional laminate armor. By 1986, the production was changed over to the A1 type. The A1 was equipped with a modern 120 mm gun that was developed by the German firm of Rheinmetall and was also used by the German Army in the Leopard 2.

It also had improved suspension, NBC (nuclear, biological & chemical) protection for the crew and the armor was considerably improved by the use of layers of uranium inside the armor plating. Some years ago, the older version was upgraded to the A2. All calculations are now processed digitally and the commander has a panoramic periscope with thermal imaging camera. The Abrams is one of the few turbine-driven tanks. To reduce fuel consumption, the A2 was retrofitted with an auxiliary power unit capable of supplying all systems with energy.

The kit comes in an end-opening type box. The box art shows an M1A2 tooling along with what appears to be an explosion in the background and some palm trees. A side panel has photos of two views of the completed model. The back of the box shows the box arts of 5 other AFV kits that Revell of Germany markets, a box art for some military figures and an illustration of their paint products. The kit is rated at level 4, which means that it is a kit of over 150 parts and aimed at advanced modelers.

Inside the box is a sealed cello bag that holds 6 trees of light tan parts. The small decal sheet, with a tissue over its face to stop any scratching…and the instructions complete the kit’s contents.

The instructions consist of an unstapled booklet of 8 pages in a 8 ¼” x 11½ format.

Page 1 begins with a black and white photo of the model made up. This is followed by the history of the Abrams in German and English. The bottom of the page gives the contact addresses, to reach Revell, in various countries.

Page 2 has READ BEFORE YOU START instructions in no less than 21 languages, followed by some little illustrations of how to remove parts from the trees, file the parts, clamp parts together with a wood clothes pin, hold parts with tweezers and paint small details.

Page 3 begins with international assembly symbol explanations, followed by a paint listing of colors to use to decorate the kit. The bottom of the page exclaims how much care was taken to design the kit in multiple languages.

Page 4 is the parts tree drawings. Part trees are not alphabetized. Just the parts on them are numbered.

Pages 5 to 7 give a total of 20 assembly steps. Colors needed to be painted on parts as assembly proceeds are called out in each step. Good move Revell. Most of the hatches on the kit are separate and can be posed open or closed. However there is no interior detail to see and no crew figures. A symbol of a clock face appears at times. This tells the modeler to wait until the glue dries on a step before proceeding further.

Page 8 gives two painting and marking schemes as 4-views. We are not told what unit either of these schemes represents.

The first scheme is in overall matt sandy yellow. It has the black numeral 82 with an upside-down V above it on the front of the side skirts. Immediately in front of that is a illustration of a knight’s helmet. “Bad Attitude” appears on the sides of the main gun barrel and the lettering ICAV3-8 CAV and BII appear on the front and rear.

The scheme is also in overall matt sandy yellow. It has the numeral 20 on the front of the side skirts. The lettering 1 CAV 1-12 CAV and either HQ-34 or HQ-60 as alternates on the front and rear.

It would have been nice, if Revell had told us what units these are.

The first large tree of tan parts holds: the bottom half of the turret, the hull bottom and sides, the main gun barrel, the rear hull panel, some hatches etc. Parts are numbered 1 to 3, 17, 18, 22 to 24, 26, 28, 36 to 38, 43, 44, 49, 52, 53 and 54 (21 parts) Three of the parts on this tree are shaded out on the parts tree drawings as being excess and not needed to complete the kit.

The second large parts tree of tan parts holds: the turret top half, the turret rear basket railings, the hull roof, the side skirts etc. Parts are numbered 19 to 21, 25, 25A, 29 to 32 and 50. (11 parts) One part is shaded out on the part trees illustrations as being excess.

The third, slightly smaller parts tree of tan parts holds: the road wheels, drive sprockets, 50 cal machine gun, tow cables, return rollers, more turret basket railings etc. Parts are numbered 4 to 9, 33 to 35, 40 to 42, 45 to 48 and 51. (52 parts) Two parts are shaded out on the parts tree drawings as being excess.

The fourth parts tree is a little smaller yet, of tan parts, it holds: the link and length type tracks and idler wheels. Parts are numbered 5A, 10 to 15. (34 parts)

The fifth parts tree is in the shape of a long strip. It holds another 50 cal and ammo cases, also two air intake panels. Parts are numbered 64 to 69. (13 parts).

The sixth parts tree is also a long strip. It holds the commander’s copula part etc. Parts are numbered 55 to 63 (10 parts).

The decal sheet and the instructions complete the kits contents. The decal sheet has a tissue to cover its face and protect it from scratching.

This is a neat kit of a popular modern AFV. The detail is very nicely done. I only wish there were some interior parts to see inside the hatches if you posed them open.