Cyber-hobby 1/35 M1A1 Abrams
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Orange box with crew figures|
The M1 Abrams is a third-generation main battle tank produced in the United States. It is named after General Creighton Abrams, former Army Chief of Staff and Commander of US military forces in Vietnam from 1968 to 1972. The M1 is a well armed, heavily armored, and highly mobile tank designed for modern armored ground warfare. Notable features of the tank include the use of a powerful gas turbine engine (fueled with JP8 jet fuel), the adoption of sophisticated composite armor, and separate ammunition storage in a blow-out compartment for crew safety. With a weight of close to 68 short tons (almost 62 metric tons), it is one of the heaviest main battle tanks currently in service.
The M1 Abrams entered U.S. service in 1980, replacing the 105 mm gun, full tracked M60 Patton. It did, however, serve for over a decade alongside the improved M60A3, which had entered service in 1978. The M1 remains the principal main battle tank of the United States Army and Marine Corps, and the armies of Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Australia, and in 2010 Iraq. It is anticipated to continue in U.S. service until the 2050s, approximately 70 years after adoption.
Three main versions of the M1 Abrams have been deployed, the M1, M1A1, and M1A2, incorporating improved armament, protection and electronics. These improvements, as well as periodic upgrades to older tanks have allowed this long-serving vehicle to remain in front-line service. The M1A3 is currently under development.
It isn't often we see modern armor in the Orange series and I think this is the first time Cyber-hobby has done so. The kit is molded in the usual grey plastic and the 430 piece parts count is helped by this being a Smart Kit with individual Magic Track track links.
Though a 'curbside', the kit does come with a driver's compartment, which is nice as it also comes with a figure set that includes a sitting driver figure. Another of the figures is 'hanging out the hatch' while the other two are standing. There is little in the way of options with the only one being a fording set with elongated intake and exhaust tubes. Not much to hang on the outside, though I'm sure that armor fans will be able to find something in the aftermarket world to stick on there so it is suitably encumbered.
The inside of the turret also seems to be properly equipped with radio boxes as well as a seat for the gunner and tank commander (I'm guessing). The turret can be built with the vision ports and hatches open if one so wishes. A nicely molded .50 cal machine gun is also included in the kit.
Instructions are the smaller size ones in full color that we've come to see in the orange series kits. There are markings for three tanks in this one. One is from 1-1 Cav in Bosnia during 1996 with IFOR. This is in the complex European camouflage scheme. The other two are desert schemes with the USMC that differ only in serial numbers and tactical markings. Any of the three schemes can be done with the wading kit installed. A small decal sheet is included that looks to be well done.
If you are a fan of modern armor and didn't want to pay $60 for an Abrams, now you don't have to. It looks to be a super kit and well detailed to boot.
Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours today at your favorite retailer.
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