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Armor/AFV: Braille Scale
1/72 and 1/76 Scale Armor and AFVs.
Hosted by Darren Baker
Italeri M1 Abrams
Joined: December 18, 2001
KitMaker: 12,596 posts
AeroScale: 287 posts
Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2002 - 02:24 PM UTC
I bought this little M1 kit at the PX. It's the old Esci M1 A-nothing kit, except the decals include a CAT marked tank, a desert tan and a NATO 3-color scheme (did the straight M1 use this pattern?). It is as good a kit as I remember when I first built it in an Esci box in Germany. Fairly accurate rendering of an M1, but I started detailing it a little bit.

Here's what I've done so far, let me know if I've forgotten anything (for those of you who remember this kit):

1. Split the road wheels. The kit uses a solid road wheel to represent the paired wheels. I used a razor saw down along the seam line to cut the road wheel along the circumference. I then used a needle file to make the gap the proper shape so the part now looks like two road wheels paired together. Care must be taken to ensure you don't cut all the way through or else you'll split the road wheel like an Oreo® cookie! This was not fun, there are 16 road wheels (14 road wheels + 2 idler wheels).

2. Drilled out front & rear tow hooks and lifting eyes on the top slope of the hull.

3. Thinned out rear sand shield skirts. Majority of the side skirts are ¼" steel and not made of Chobham armor. Left and right front #1 and right side #2 armored skirts were thickened with sheet styrene to represent the Chobham armor skirts.

4. Gun tube was replaced by the appropriate sized styrene tubes.

5. Drilled out oval lightening holes in the outer sprockets (4 per sprocket).

6. Fire extinguisher port on left side was drilled in and formed into a squared hole. The hole was then blanked off from behind.

7. GPS ("doghouse") armored housing doors were made with styrene strips.

8. Rear grill opened up and detailed.

9. Front mud flaps are thinned down.

10. Drilled out headlights.

That's it so far,I plan on adding a clear piece over the loader's periscope, detailing the CWS and loader's M240. I had considered adding the center guides to the link & length tracks, but even if I only did the track blocks that'd show, it would be a daunting task.

Any suggestions?
Utah, United States
Joined: January 24, 2002
KitMaker: 835 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Wednesday, October 23, 2002 - 11:14 AM UTC
I got the same kit to work on while I wait for other stuff to dry. I have not done near the stuff you have. The only changes I have made have been to the lights in front, because I broke them. The only other thing I have changed are the vision ports that are solid. I filed them down and rebuilt them out of styrene. That's all I have as far as planed changes (unless I break something again). I am going to finish it in NATO 3.

In the near future I am going to build the trumpeter 1/35 M1A2. I am going to fix that up a lot better. I have the PE for it, the Legend M1detail kit, and will most likely pick up a metal barrel also.

I have a lot of respect for the work your doing on the 1/72 Abrams. I have found it pretty hard to work with such little peices. Keep up the good work and share some pics when its finisned. I will try and get some of mine up. As of now I got the base coat on and may do some more work on the vision ports.
Joined: December 18, 2001
KitMaker: 12,596 posts
AeroScale: 287 posts
Posted: Wednesday, October 23, 2002 - 11:13 PM UTC
I took some photos of the larger detailing, some are just to small to photograph clearly. I put a ruler in the scene so you can appreciate the scale of the corrections. Some of the additional detailing I did last night was to thin out the front mud guards to an almost paper thin thickness and I began detailing the mantlet by drilling the holes in the sides and adding miniscule Grandt Line bolt details.

Anyone figure out how to do the center guides for the track?
Joined: December 18, 2001
KitMaker: 12,596 posts
AeroScale: 287 posts
Posted: Monday, November 11, 2002 - 02:54 AM UTC
I started painting the M1 this weekend (turned my final research paper in on Friday, 15 pages). Hard to paint this thing without an airbrush, the spray cans make the paint too thick. All I have to do is the tiny link & length track.

I picked up the Esci M1-A1 on eBay and except for the portion of the sprue where the turret rails, bustle rack and main gun are, the kits are identical. The grunt rail/bustle rack are incorrectly done, but that's OK. If I wanted an accurate M1A1 I would have grabbed the Revell of Germany one. I also picked up the Italeri T-62. It too is a rebox of the old Esci kit. The kit's upper hull looks like it was the Tamiya kit shrunk down. Some strange mount points on the hull underside lead me to believe this.

I've started on this one while the paint dries on the M1. I've had to thin out the fenders. The kit's fenders are much too thick, a problem with 1/72 scale kits that is quite common, but easily fixed. I see Armo makes an aluminum tube and NKR sells them.