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REVIEW
PSM A'stan USMC M1A1 conversion
bill_c
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Posted: Monday, October 03, 2011 - 04:02 AM UTC
Leatherneck tankers rejoice: Bill Cross reviews Perfect Scale Modellbau's resin conversion for the USMC version of the M1A1 Abrams in Afghanistan.



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If you have comments or questions please post them here.

Thanks!
HeavyArty
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Posted: Monday, October 03, 2011 - 09:45 AM UTC
Great review of what looks to be a great set. Thanks Bill. A couple nots on it though.

First part 13 is not necessarily the "correct USMC rear right tail light & cover". It is simply one you would find on an older tank that had the mounting attachments for a rear hull APU. These can be found on US Army tanks as well.

Part 31, the loader's hatch armor should not be used. They are not used on Marine Abrams since they block the view of the loader when he just pops his head out of the hatch.

The set looks to be really nice. I especially like the DWFK intake adapter with the mesh inside them.
JoeBev
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Posted: Monday, October 03, 2011 - 10:07 AM UTC
The conversion looks very good. I like the edition of the older style EAPU mounting ligs and respective tailight guard. I had fun scratching those for my conversion. The MCD looked good. I could not tell if PSM had molded on the cooling fins on the side of the heat sink. Those were so much fun to add to mine, which was the Tamiya part from their M1A2 kit.The MCD mount on top of the ManHole cover was good. The one thing I did not see was a mounting frame for the SGL's. There should be a frame made of L shaped strip(one on each side) and a 2 more flat pieces on the back side. Otherwise this will give us Poor Souls wanting to do USMC m1A1 HC's a big help.The DWFK, BRE w/pe and other goodiesis another big help.Oh well i have a new excuse to buy some more goodies and a couple more Dragon m1A1 AIM kits.
Joe Bevans
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Posted: Monday, October 03, 2011 - 08:58 PM UTC
Joe,
you had fun adding those little fins???? that was painstaking work for me!!!
well, here's a pic of what's in the basic conversion set:


...an here's a closeup of the MCD and the SD base plates, as you can see the fins and the two L-profiles are there, as well as all the screws ect. (btw. the handle atop the MCD is the most accurate one I've seen to date)

regarding the loaders hatch armor, despite it's not currently used in A-stan it's been used in Iraq, that's why it's in the set, there also is an old style mounting frame for the duke antennas so the modeller can build a late iraq version as well. here are some examples:



Cheers, Max
HeavyArty
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Posted: Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - 12:31 AM UTC
Guess I should have clarified, that they are not used in A'stan, but were used in Iraq. Since this is an A-stan set though, there should be a note in the instructions not all the prts in the set are used on A'stan tanks, like the loader's armor and the MCD.
bill_c
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Posted: Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - 06:10 AM UTC
Thanks, Max & Gino, for clarifying things. I have emended the review to include your corrections.
MikeMummey
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Posted: Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - 08:54 AM UTC
Gino, the Loaders' turret roof top armor blocks his vision when he is buttoned up.
Outta here, Mike sends . . .
HeavyArty
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Posted: Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - 09:03 AM UTC
I guess that would make more sense. Thanks for the correction.
chnoone
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Posted: Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - 09:07 PM UTC
Heh Guys

with this set you can build every typ of USMC M1A1 from any period of time
.... of course one will have to do some research depending on Time, Place, Mission ..... but it's all there.
What else would I want, compared to all the past years we have be waiting on a set that covers almost all possible options ?

Cheers
Christopher
JoeBev
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Posted: Wednesday, October 05, 2011 - 10:34 AM UTC
Max- Thanks for sharing those pictures. Yes I had soooooo much fun adding the fins. I also made the handle on the MCD from lead foil and wire.The SGL frames also looking good. Your stuff looks great. I will get myself a set for the next USMC Abrams on my list. Just for the other modelers out there this conversionkit comes with alot of extras.It allows you to make an USMC M1A1 HC for different deployments. I myself have been waitng for something like this for a few years. So don't be shy go and get one.I know it is a good excuse to use my surplus amount of Echelon's great sets of USMC markings.
Thnaks
Joe Bevans
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Posted: Monday, April 23, 2012 - 11:33 AM UTC
I just received my set, directly from Germany. It took almost exactly 2 weeks to get here, and it appears to be in fine shape, no issues with any parts that I can tell from a cursory look through the plastic bag. It came VERY well wrapped in bubble wrap inside the exterior package which was completely encased in paper and tape, and a nice receipt, too. Styrofoam popcorn cushioned the parts in the box, so you could not ask for better packaging!

I have the first of 3 Dragon 3535 M1A1 AIM kits in hand (2 resales from Armorama acquaintances, and one new one purchased from a NJ hobby store by my new best buddy, Bill Cross, for me), and want to start the tank with this conversion ASAP, but gotta finish my Dragon Tiger I first. Darn!
tanknick22
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Posted: Friday, April 27, 2012 - 03:39 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Joe,
you had fun adding those little fins???? that was painstaking work for me!!!
well, here's a pic of what's in the basic conversion set:


...an here's a closeup of the MCD and the SD base plates, as you can see the fins and the two L-profiles are there, as well as all the screws ect. (btw. the handle atop the MCD is the most accurate one I've seen to date)

regarding the loaders hatch armor, despite it's not currently used in A-stan it's been used in Iraq, that's why it's in the set, there also is an old style mounting frame for the duke antennas so the modeller can build a late iraq version as well. here are some examples:



Cheers, Max


If you get tamiyas M1A2 abrams there are extra parts in there to build a m1A1 in Marine markings
Augster
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Posted: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 - 06:29 AM UTC
As a recently retired Marine Corps tanker of 23 years and Master Gunner that started on the dinosaur M60A1 RISE/Passive then NETT'd to the M1A1, with deployments in Desert Storm and Iraq, to include being an embarked tanker on amphibious ships (discontinued after Desert Storm but restarted several years ago), I can tell you all you ever wanted to know about Marine Corps tanks, and a little on the M88A1 and M88A2 HERCULES. I have a close friend in 'stan now working on repairing the Abrams and Hercules in country, a retired 2146 (tank mechanic) Gunny.

I noticed some mention "old" APU (Army hull mounted) mounts but these were never present on any Marine Corps depleted uranium armored M1A1's. In the mid 1990's the Marine Corps did acquire some Army surplus non-Heavy Armor M1A1's but I don't recall seeing these with hull mounts for APU's. These "plain jane" M1A1's were only used in training as the original allotment of factory built USMC DU M1A1's were reserved for war stocks and on pre-positioned ships. Eventually the Marine Corps purchased additional Army surplus M1A1's due to Iraq but these were the depleted uranium armored (or Heavy Armor) versions then rebuilt by GD to Marine Corps specifications. All plain jane M1's have since been withdrawn from all units and a few completely remanufactured as the Marine Corps Assault Breacher Vehicle (ABV).

Also, the MCD was discontinued and removed from the Marine Corp's M1A1 SL-3 long before Afghanistan, though GD continued to put the MCD mounting rails on the turret ITV cover on complete rebuilds, but it appears they finally deleted them as they are no longer present on any USMC tanks in Afghanistan.

Regarding Marine "markings" on USMC tanks, the only "factory" markings are the "USMC serial number" on the upper rear corners of the hull, and "LIFT HERE" next to various lifting eyes plus a couple of small instructional markings such as on the EAPU. All other markings are unit and crew added, such as company chevron and platoon hashes, which is at the discretion of the company. Since Marine combat deployments are typically 7 month rotations and tanks are very expensive to transport, the equipment is RIP'ed to the next unit which in turn may simply paint over previous unit markings. Due to the rigors of constant, long combat patrols, tanks get worn relatively quickly on deployment, so newly rebuilt tanks are rotated in typically every other RIP. BTW, there are several extra M1A1's on hand in country that serve as replacements in the event of combat losses.

Anyways, I'm happy to provide technical and historical assistance to anyone if needed!
jwest21
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Posted: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 - 06:50 AM UTC
I have the set as well. My only issue was the rear bustle rack extension was crushed. It was all packed fine, but those parts are really fragile. Luckily I have a spare one from one of the Dragon SEP kits.
bill_c
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Posted: Thursday, November 22, 2012 - 07:41 AM UTC
Jason, PSM will replace any broken parts.

Ken, that's great, thanks for the offer.