Tamiya 1/48 M1A2 Abrams

KIT #: 32592
PRICE: 2200 yen SRP
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 2017 release


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 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.


This is one of Tamiya's superb 1/48 armor kits. These kits provide a goodly amount of detail for the modeler without really delving into the fiddly that often affects the kits of other manufacturers. For instance, most of the suspension pieces are already molded into the hull side pieces requiring just the road wheels to be installed. The hull itself is four pieces with a crossmember for stiffness and proper alignment. Tamiya like to have its armor kit have a little heft to them so a good size weight is included. Though the road wheels are glued in place, the drive sprocket is held on with a polycap. This allows it to be ajustable somewhat for the link and length tracks.

With the lower hull basically complete, the rear end is attached before work goes on to the upper hull. This item has separate side shields that will hide most of the upper tracks. It then is attached to the lower hull before attention turns to the turret. This is in several sections and it holds the mount for the main gun, which is attached with polycaps to allow the barrel to elevate.

Once all that is together, the barrel assembly can be built up along with the commander's cupola and other items that are attached to the turret. This includes equipment baskets, smoke dischargers and the machine gun. Tamiya likes to include at least one figure with each of its kits and this one is no exception with a half figure to stick into the cupola.

Instructions are nicely done with Tamiya paint references. There is no separate color and markings guide with the box top and side panels performing that function for the one option. This is a tank that participated in Gulf War II in 2003. Those wanting other markings options will need to check the aftermarket crowd.


Overall, this is a very nice kit. The lack of 'fiddly' makes these kits a real pleasure to build and this one, in overall sand, will be equally easy to paint. A nice addition to their growing line.



January 2021

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