Dragon 1/35 M1A2 SEP V2 Abrams

KIT #: 3556
PRICE: $80.00 SRP
DECALS: Three options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Modern AFV Series


The M1 Abrams is an American third-generation main battle tank produced by the United States. It is named after General Creighton Abrams, former Army Chief of Staff and Commander of U.S. military forces in the Vietnam War from 1968 to 1972. Highly mobile, designed for modern armored ground warfare, the M1 is well armed and heavily armored. Notable features include the use of a powerful gas turbine engine (multifuel), the adoption of sophisticated composite armor, and separate ammunition storage in a blow-out compartment for crew safety. Weighing nearly 68 short tons (almost 62 metric tons), it is one of the heaviest main battle tanks in service.

The M1 Abrams entered U.S. service in 1980, replacing the M60 tank. It served 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 Iraq.

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 was under early development as of 2009

The M1A2 System Enhancement Package (SEP) added digital maps, FBCB2 capabilities, and an improved cooling system to compensate for heat generated by the additional computer systems. The M1A2 SEP also serves as the basis for the M104 Wolverine heavy assault bridge. The M1A2 SEPv2 (version 2) added Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station (CROWS or CROWS II) support, color displays, better interfaces, a new operating system, better front and side armor, and an upgraded transmission for better durability.


With over 600 parts and that is without having individual track links, this kit is no lightweight and puts many of Dragon's parts intensive panzer kits to shame. There is a nicely done photo etch fret that is mostly screens and reinforcement strips, as well as several small bags that include some preformed wire bits. The kit provides you with Dragons DS tracks and there is a mask for the big clear bits

You are probably wondering where all the pieces actually go as modern tanks are not always that parts intensive. Well, it seems that the DS tracks do not have the track guide pins molded in place, so you will be spending quality time attaching these pieces. The CROWS is also relatively parts intensive as this is a complex system. In addition, the tank has side skirts (which is where most of the small strips will be attached), and there are a considerable number of other pieces that attach to the upper hull and to the turret.

The kit's suspension is also quite detailed with seven sets or road wheels per side along with the idler and sprocket. The gun barrel is a seven piece construct and you have options to have the vision port open or closed as well as the ability to have the tow bar either folded up against the hull or unfolded as ifbeing towed (or pulling out another tank). Suffice to say that there is more than enough detail to satisfy all but the pickiest modeler.

Instructions are very nicely done with the usual Gunze paint references. Despite the cover tank being in desert tan, all three markings options are in the three color European scheme with tanks from 9th Infantry Division and 72nd Armor Regiment based in South Korea and with the 5th Cavalry Regiment in Germany. Decals are very nicely done and you get a pair of what look to be stickers to place on the front of the turret. I'll assume this is part of the tank's aiming system as I assume it is some sort of radar.


At $80.00 SRP, this has to be one of the more expensive armor kits done by Dragon, but then you get a ton of parts and detail for your money. If you are really into modern military vehicles, then this one has to be near the top of your want list.



March 2015

Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours today at your local retailer.

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