1/35 Academy M1A1 Abrams “IRAQI 2003”
I’ve built a good amount of armor over the past few years but never an Abrams. Don’t know why, maybe to common for my tastes. I’m more of a fan of Cold War machines like the M48, M60, and T-55 series of tanks, or very unique subjects like some of the IDF armor, i.e. Merkava, Tiran. I received this particular tank model as a gift so it presented the perfect opportunity to finally build an M1.
I’ve read some negative reviews about this Academy version related to shape and some details. Not being a rivet counter, or a die-hard perfectionist, I did not let these reviews deter my enjoyment and motivation to build it. I really loved the box art drawing and used it as a building reference.
I built this M1A “out-of-the-box” and it assembled well with little to know issues. Basically it was an easy build an appropriate for most new builders with a few kits under their belts. The one thing I wanted to capture, which to me was a relevant detail, was the large amount of anti-skid deck surfaces. This was my 1st attempt at doing this. I read a few articles on how to mimic this surface. I choose to use “baking powder” as the primary ingredient but it was the one item I knew I had on-hand in the house. Basically I masked off the surface areas that required the anti-slip, laid down some thin CA glue on the bare plastic, and sprinkled the powder onto the glue. Voila…instant anti-skid. It is not perfect but I was happy with this 1st attempt. I think it is slightly out of scale being a little to rough and bumpy, but presents well once the whole tank is painted and complete. Since then I have had the opposite effect using some of the pre-packaged anti-slip products. That is it was so “to-scale” that at 1/35 it was hardly noticeable and not even worth the effort. It disappears even more if you use a lot of paint layers. The best result I have had with anti-slip is using fine sandpaper cut to size, and glued to a deck, or plastic kit parts with the anti-slip texture already molded into the plastic like on my 1/35 AFV M109A6.
I built this some time ago so I do need to apologize on my lack of build details to share. I just recall I enjoyed the build, had no real complaints, satisfied with the level of detail, and the overall outcome. I have been ready to build another Abrams but unfortunately have not had the chance to build one.
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Academy M1A1-ABRAMS "Iraq 2003"