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Sticker for Simulating Anti-Reflection Coating Lens (M1A1 AIM, M1A2 SEP)

AFV Club 1/35 Sticker for Simulating Anti-Reflection Coating Lens (M1A1 AIM, M1A2 SEP) First Look

By Cookie Sewell

Date of Review July 2013 Manufacturer AFV Club
Subject Sticker for Simulating Anti-Reflection Coating Lens (M1A1 AIM, M1A2 SEP) Scale 1/35
Kit Number 35017 Primary Media 39 items
Pros Provides the correct 'look' for the post-1990 coatings used on US optics Cons No major items noted
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $8.98

First Look

When the US began fielding second generation night vision devices and laser range finders, many probable opponents began worrying about how to stop their use in a future war. One of the fastest solutions was using laser devices to either burn out or blind the optics and thus remove them as a threat on the battlefield. A few incidents during the late 1980s convinced the US that it needed to protect these optics, and also other systems such as aircraft cockpits and shipboard sensors.

The solution was a simple (if complex to manufacture) reflective coating which would prevent the damaging parts of laser radiation from harming the delicate parts of thermal sights and other devices. (The addition of laser warning devices also made it nearly immediately fatal for anyone attempting to blind them from combat ranges as well...) The coatings, which used gold among other elements, tended to look like a myriad of colors when viewed with the naked eye at short range.

For modelers, replicating these coatings was virtually impossible due to the "chameleon" like color shift they caused when struck by light from different angles. Now AFV Club has created a series of sheets for modern US and NATO vehicles employing these coatings to replicate their use.

This sheet for M1A1 AIM and M1A2 tanks provides 39 items that basically provide for one of each type of vehicle. They are literally stickers that go over the optics or viewers on those tanks to provide the proper look on a finished model. When viewed with the naked eye, they are either red, orange, blue, copper or green depending how the light strikes them and it does a great job of looking like the real thing.

The cost is nominal and since most modelers would find it virtually impossible to replicate on a 1/35 scale kit are worth the cost.

Overall this a great idea for modern modelers and something which should be quite popular.