M1 Abrams Tweaks List
tweaks list
VEHICLE
M1, M1A1, M1A2
Abrams Main Battle Tank
MANUFACTURERS
Tamiya kit numbers 35124 and 35158
Shanghai Dragon kit numbers 3516
and 3531
Trumpeter kit number 00337
SCALE
1/35
AUTHORS
Pete Beccera, Major John Charvat,
Matthew Malagorski
and Stephen Tyliszczak
VERSION
1.0 March 14, 2002
Each MISSING LINKS Tweaks List is designed
to assist the modeller enhance and refine
the kit detail. We welcome comments that
would help make each Tweaks List a more
accurate reference tool.
Design and illustration by Dan Oldfield.
MISSING LINKS copyright 2002.
All rights reserved.
MISSING LINKS M1 Abrams Tweaks List 1.0
i
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Tamiya M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank (#35124) .....................................................................................1
Tamiya M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank with Mine Rake (#35158).....................................................3
Shanghai Dragon M1A1 Heavy Armor with Mine Plow (#3516) and
Shanghai Dragon USMC M1A1 Heavy Armor (#3531) ..........................................................................5
Kits Available in 1/35th Scale ................................................................................................................10
Trumpeter M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank (#00337).........................................................................11
Further Reading .....................................................................................................................................16
Selected Detail Sets................................................................................................................................16
Review for Eduard’s M1-A1 Abrams Detail Set (#35 057) for the Academy M1 Kit (#1345)
by Pete Beccera ......................................................................................................................................17
Review for Verlinden Productions’ M1 Abrams Update & Interior Set (#621)
by Matthew Malagorski ........................................................................................................................17
Review for Eduard’s M1-A1 Abrams Detail Set (#35333) for the Tamiya kit
by Stephen Tyliszczak ............................................................................................................................18
Review for Eduard’s M1-A1 Abrams Detail Set (#35259) for the
Shanghai Dragon M1A2Abrams kit
by Stephen Tyliszczak ............................................................................................................................18
MISSING LINKS M1 Abrams Tweaks List 1.0
1
by Matthew Malagorski
Tamiya M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank (#35124)
HULL
• Front driving lights drilled out and replaced with M.V.
Products lenses
• Windshield wipers added to Driver’s hatch periscope
from plastic strip
• Crowbar brackets on front side skirts made from K&S
square brass tubing cut in a miter box
• Front fender spring rods made from copper wire
• Front fender spring rod mounts made from lead foil
and two bolt heads from a Waldron Sub Miniature
Punch & Die Set
• Weather stripping added to tops of side skirts from
plastic strip
• Bolt head detail added to side skirt weather strips from
Waldron Sub Miniature Punch & Die Set
• All side skirt hinge pin detail added from a Waldron
Sub Miniature Punch & Die Set
• Triangle shaped side skirt mounts made from plastic
strip
• Crew mounting cables on front side skirts replaced
with picture hanging wire
• Rear Side skirt locking pins made from sprue
• Rear Side skirt locking pin mounts made from lead foil
• Locking pin retaining chains made from Campbell
Scale Chain
• Weld seams added to all hull lifting rings from Green
Stuff putty
• Weld seams added behind drive sprockets where rear
hull plate and hull sides meet from Green Stuff putty
• External fire extinguisher opening cutout
• External fire extinguisher handle made from plastic strip
• Crew heater drain drilled out
• Lightening holes drilled into drive sprockets (4 each)
• All hull stowage bin handles removed, and replaced
with plastic strip
• Non Skid Texture needs added
• Add vertical weld seems to the upper hull where the air
intakes top angle meet the engine deck, area looks like
this form the side almost
Engine Deck
• Kit exhaust sawed off
• Engine exhaust outlets rebuilt from plastic sheet
(Templates made before removing kit part)
• Engine exhaust door louvers scratch built with plastic
strip cut in a Northwest Shortlines Chopper
• Kit engine exhaust grates cut from kit part, sanded,
drilled open, & remounted to the exhaust doors with
plastic strip
• Hinge pin detail added to engine exhaust door hinges
from Waldron Sub Miniature Punch & Die Set
• Upper engine deck lift rings made from plastic strip
punched with a Waldron Sub Miniature Punch & Die Set
• Rear tail light guards made from aluminum tubing cut in a
K&S tube cutter, Notches cut into guards with a razor saw
• Rear tail lights replaced with red M.V. Products Lenses
cut in half
• Rear tail light electrical cables made from sprue
• Locking pin detail added to tow hook from Waldron
Sub Miniature Punch & Die Set
TURRET
• Non Skid texture needs added
• Muzzle reference sensor mount made from plastic strip
• Muzzle reference sensor made from sprue
• Muzzle reference sensor protective cover made from
lead foil
• Muzzle reference sensor glass made from 5 minute epoxy
• Coax machine gun flash suppressor made from
aluminum tubing & sprue
• Searchlight mounting bracket holes drilled out with a
pin vise
• Turret mantlet upper debris door made from plastic
strip, hinges made from sprue
• Gunner’s primary sight made from plastic strip &
aluminum tubing, Sight Glass made from clear epoxy
• Gunner’s thermal sight made from plastic strip &
aluminum tubing, Sight Glass made from clear epoxy
• Laser range finder made from plastic strip & filled with
clear epoxy
• Thermal Sight Glass made from 35mm Purple negative
film
• Gunner’s sight box lifting brackets drilled out with pin vise
• Bolt detail added to top of Gunner’s sight box from
Waldron Sub Miniature Punch & Die Set
• Smoke grenade discharger mounts scratch built from
plastic strips
• Bolt detail added to tops of smoke grenade dischargers
& discharger mounts from Waldron Sub Miniature
Punch & Die Set
• All turret stowage bin handles removed, and replaced
with plastic strip
• All stowage bin rails replaced with brass wire bent to
shape around a home made jig (.030 evergreen rod also
works well)
MISSING LINKS M1 Abrams Tweaks List 1.0
2
by Matthew Malagorski
• Eyebolts added to back of turret from Grandt Line O
Scale Metal Eyebolts
• Rear turret webbing needs made
• Wind sensor needs new top
• Tow cables replaced with picture hanging wire
annealed with a candle
• Tow cable brackets made from lead foil
• Tow cable debris deflectors made from plastic strips
filed and sanded to shape
• .50 ammo box bins made from plastic strip (what are
you referring to here, the ammo box holder on the left
side?*
• Antennae mounts detailed with bolt heads from a
Waldron Sub Miniature Punch & Die Set
• Antennae springs made from copper wire wound
around a straight pin
• Antennas made from sprue
Commander’s Cupola
• All periscopes made from 1/8” tinted Plexiglas
• Commander’s .50 primary sight drilled out & filled
with clear gloss
• Eyebolts made from copper wire wrapped around steel
wire
• Bolt detail added to base of machine gun cradle
support arm from a Waldron Sub Miniature Punch &
Die Set
• Hinge detail added to hatch from a Waldron Sub
Miniature Punch & Die Set
• MG cradle made from plastic strip, locking pins made
from Waldron Sub Miniature Punch & Die Set &
Campbell Scale Chains
• Bolt detail added to machine gun mount elevation
motor from Waldron Sub Miniature Punch & Die Set
• Ammo box cradle made from plastic strip
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
12.7mm Ammo belt-Tamiya
MG Feed cover added from plastic strip
MG Barrel lock added from plastic strip
MG Barrel drilled out with a pin vise
MG Charging cable made from sprue
MG manual triggers made from plastic strip
MG electrical trigger detailed with small copper wire
& plastic strip
Loader’s Hatch
• Hatch lifting handle made from copper wire
• Periscope replaced with tinted Plexiglas (Optional)
• MG cradle made from plastic strip, locking pins added
from a Waldron Sub Miniature Punch & Die Set &
Campbell Scale Chains
• Ammo box cradle made from plastic strip
• 7.62mm Ammo belt-Tamiya
• Barrel drilled out with pin vise
• Charging cable made from sprue
• Triggers made from plastic strip
• Elevation locking handle made from sprue
• Traverse locking handle made from plastic strip
TRACKS
• Replace with Armor Track T-156 individual link tracks
(AFV club does not make T-156 tracks, only armor track)
REFERENCES
M1A1 Operator’s Manual US Army
The M1 & M1A1 Museum Ordnance Special, Darlington
Productions
Warmachines #5-M1,IPM1, M1A1 Verlinden Productions
M1 Abrams In Action Squadron/Signal
M1 Abrams Motorbuch International
MISSING LINKS M1 Abrams Tweaks List 1.0
3
by Matthew Malagorski
Tamiya M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank with
Mine Rake (#35158)
HULL
• Front driving lights drilled out and replaced with M.V.
Products lenses
• Windshield wipers added to Driver’s hatch periscope
from plastic strip
• Crowbar brackets on front side skirts made from K&S
square brass tubing cut in a miter box
• Front fender spring rods made from copper wire
• Front fender spring rod mounts made from lead foil
and two bolt heads from a Waldron Sub Miniature
Punch & Die Set
• Weather stripping added to tops of side skirts from
plastic strip
• Bolt head detail added to side skirt weather strips from
Waldron Sub Miniature Punch & Die Set
• All side skirt hinge pin detail added from a Waldron
Sub Miniature Punch & Die Set
• Triangle shaped side skirt mounts made from plastic strip
• Crew mounting cables on front side skirts replaced
with picture hanging wire
• Rear Side skirt locking pins made from sprue
• Rear Side skirt locking pin mounts made from lead foil
• Locking pin retaining chains made from Campbell
Scale Chain
• Weld seams added to all hull lifting rings from Green
Stuff putty
• Weld seams added behind drive sprockets where rear
hull plate and hull sides meet from Green Stuff putty
• External fire extinguisher opening cutout (Behind
NBC Unit)
• External fire extinguisher handle made from plastic
strip (Behind NBC Unit)
• Crew heater drain drilled out (In front of NBC Unit)
• Lightening holes drilled into drive sprockets (4 each)
• Right hull stowage bin handles removed, and replaced
with plastic strip
• Non Skid Texture needs added
Mine Rake
• Retaining clips need added to all mounting bolts from
wire or sprue
Engine Deck
• Kit exhaust sawed off
• Engine exhaust outlets rebuilt from plastic sheet
(Templates made before removing kit part)
• Engine exhaust door louvers scratch built with plastic
strip cut in a Northwest Shortlines Chopper
• Kit engine exhaust grates cut from kit part, sanded,
drilled open, & remounted to the exhaust doors with
plastic strip
• Hinge pin detail added to engine exhaust door hinges
from Waldron Sub Miniature Punch & Die Set
• Upper engine deck lift rings made from plastic strip
punched with a Waldron Sub Miniature Punch & Die Set
• Rear tail light guards made from aluminum tubing cut in a
K&S tube cutter, Notches cut into guards with a razor saw
• Rear tail lights replaced with red M.V. Products Lenses
cut in half (Tamiya clear red acrylic paint works just as
good and is a lot easier to do)
• Rear tail light electrical cables made from sprue
• Locking pin detail added to tow hook from Waldron
Sub Miniature Punch & Die Set
TURRET
• Non Skid texture needs added
• Muzzle reference sensor mount made from plastic strip
• Muzzle reference sensor made from sprue
• Muzzle reference sensor protective cover made from
lead foil
• Muzzle reference sensor glass made from 5 minute epoxy
• Coax machine gun flash suppressor made from
aluminum tubing & sprue
• Searchlight mounting bracket holes drilled out with a
pin vise
• Turret mantlet upper debris door made from plastic
strip, hinges made from sprue
• Gunner’s primary sight made from plastic strip &
aluminum tubing, Sight Glass made from clear epoxy
• Gunner’s thermal sight made from plastic strip &
aluminum tubing, Sight Glass made from clear epoxy
• Laser range finder made from plastic strip & filled with
clear epoxy
• Thermal Sight Glass made from 35mm Purple negative
film
• Metal lip added to front of the Gunner’s sight box from
plastic strip
• Gunner’s sight box lifting brackets drilled out with pin vise
• Bolt detail added to top of Gunner’s sight box from
Waldron Sub Miniature Punch & Die Set
• Smoke grenade discharger mounts scratch built from
plastic strips
• Bolt detail added to tops of smoke grenade dischargers
& discharger mounts from Waldron Sub Miniature
Punch & Die Set
MISSING LINKS M1 Abrams Tweaks List 1.0
4
by Matthew Malagorski
• All turret stowage bin handles removed, and replaced
with plastic strip
• All stowage bin rails replaced with brass wire or .030
plastic rod bent to shape around a home made jig
• On The Mark steel mesh added to rear stowage basket
• 20mm ammo can holders on back of stowage basket
made from sheet plastic (Field modification)
• Tie down cleats added to back of turret from Waldron
Sub Miniature Punch & Die Set and sprue
• Wind sensor made from aluminum tubing, plastic strip
& sprue, hole cut out with Dremel Motor tool
• Grandt Line eyebolts added to bottom of stowage basket
• Tow cables replaced with picture hanging wire
annealed with a candle
• Tow cable brackets made from lead foil
• Tow cable debris deflectors made from plastic strips
filed and sanded to shape
• .50 ammo box shelves made from plastic strip
• Antennae mounts detailed with bolt heads from a
Waldron Sub Miniature Punch & Die Set
• Antennae springs made from copper wire wound
around a straight pin
• Antennas made from sprue, tied down with stiffened
string, lead foil used for end clamps
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Commander’s Cupola
• All periscopes made from 1/8” tinted Plexiglas
• Commander’s.50 primary sight drilled out & filled with
clear gloss
• Eyebolts made from copper wire wrapped around steel
wire
• Bolt detail added to base of machine gun cradle support
arm from a Waldron Sub Miniature Punch & Die Set
• Hinge detail added to hatch from a Waldron Sub
Miniature Punch & Die Set
• MG cradle made from plastic strip, locking pins made
from Waldron Sub Miniature Punch & Die Set &
Campbell Scale Chains
• Bolt detail added to machine gun mount elevation
motor from Waldron Sub Miniature Punch & Die Set
TRACKS
• Replace with Armour Track Models T-156 individual
link tracks or AFV Club T-158 “Big Foot” or Armor
Track T-158 single link workable tracks
Ammo box cradle made from plastic strip
12.7mm Ammo belt-Tamiya
MG Feed cover added from plastic strip
MG Barrel lock added from plastic strip
MG Barrel drilled out with a pin vise
MG Charging cable made from sprue
MG manual triggers made from plastic strip
MG electrical trigger detailed with small copper wire
& plastic strip
Loader’s Hatch
• Hatch lifting handle made from copper wire
• Periscope replaced with tinted Plexiglas
• MG cradle made from plastic strip, locking pins added
from a Waldron Sub Miniature Punch & Die Set &
Campbell Scale Chains
• Ammo box cradle made from plastic strip
• 7.62mm Ammo belt-Tamiya
• Barrel drilled out with pin vise
• Charging cable made from sprue
• Triggers made from plastic strip
• Elevation locking handle made from sprue
• Traverse locking handle made from plastic strip
REFERENCES
M1A1 Operator’s Manual US Army
The M1 & M1A1 Museum Ordnance Special, Darlington
Productions
Warmachines #5-M1,IPM1, M1A1 Verlinden Productions
M1 Abrams In Action Squadron/Signal
M1 Abrams Motorbuch International
MISSING LINKS M1 Abrams Tweaks List 1.0
5
by Major John Charvat
Shanghai Dragon M1A1 Heavy Armor with
Mine Plow (#3516) and Shanghai Dragon
USMC M1A1 Heavy Armor (#3531)
HULL
Suspension
• Support Rollers Mounts: At the locating holes for the
support/return rollers add a plate of .010 styrene 7 mm
x 7mm with bolts heads in each corner and drill new
hole to mount the rollers.
• Drill out three lightning holes in the four support
rollers Parts C11 & 12. Insert kit support roller into
new mounting plates
• Sprockets: drill four lightning/mud relief holes in the
outer hub approximately at the 2, 4, 8 and 10 o’clock
positions. The holes are slightly oval shaped. Consult
references for exact shape. The Legends M1
Accessory kit has a resin outer hub for the DML/SD
M1A1 sprocket that has the correct mud relief holes
incorporated and is meant to be added to Parts C-5.
Track
• Clean and fill the ejection marks in the kit strip and
link track. If the model uses all the skirts, a shortcut is
to delete the upper run of track.
• An option is to replace the kit track with AFV Club T158 Bigfoot working individual link track. Tedious,
fiddly work but worth the effort after the raised
ejection marks are removed.
Skirts
• Add plastic strip to the bottom and sides of parts A23 &
29 (#1 Left and Right Skirt) and Part A19 (#2 Right
Skirt) These skirts have additional armor and are thicker
than the rest of the skirt panels. Replace the plastic the
mounting stirrups on the bottom of the # 1 skirts with
fine twisted wire. Replace the square “blobs” on the top
of Parts 23 & 29 with square brass tubing.
• Thin the edges of the rest of the skirt panels. In
actuality, the skirts are about ? inch thick.
• Open skirt hinge points with a drill & sharp knife.
Deepen the skirt joints with the back of a #11 blade.
• Add upper skirt supports with plastic strip or epoxy
putty. The supports are angled from the skirt to the
raised tabs on the upper hull plate. Consult references
for correct shapes. Add retaining pin details with slices
of .035 and .047 rod. Add PE retaining chains.
• Add the rubber weatherstrips and their metal hold
down strips from styrene strips and scratched bolt
details or use the Eduard PE Skirt fittings to the tops of
the skirts
• On most tanks, the #7 skirt is removed. Cut the skirt
off, leaving the piano hinge intact. Drill five holes in a
.010 X .030 strip of plastic. Then glue the strip to the
hinge. Add two 2mm long pieces of .020 diameter rod
to the rear mud flaps.
• Detail Note: If the #7 skirt is deleted, add styrene part
under the sponson, above the sprocket, as DML
produced the model with open sponson bottoms.
• If desired, add skirt supports between the hull and skirts.
There are two per side, located between the number 2
and 3 road wheel stations and number 4 and 5 road
wheel stations. Add a small triangle about 3-4 mm
wide and 2-3 mm deep with a 3mm diameter and insert
a 24-25mm (or however long to make contact with the
side skirt insides) length or brass or styrene rod.
Missing Hull Details
• Add the hull fire extinguisher handle by cutting a
rounded square hole approximately 4mm long by 2mm
in the side of the hull. The location for the hole is1
mm above the lower edge of the hull and 60mm
forward of the end of the upper hull. Add a 2mm long
T-shaped handle made from plastic strip or sprue.
• Drill a hole in the hull for the heater exhaust pipe in
the round opening in Part A6. Insert an appropriately
drilled out piece of .047 rod for the pipe itself.
• Replace part A8 with a slightly bent piece of .047 rod.
Bevel the edges so it forms a vertical wedge. Point the
wedge to the outside of the tank, in the locating hole
and glue.
• Add missing details to fuel filler caps (four.) Each cap
should have a retaining pin block between the tabs
opposite of the hinges. Drill a hole through both tabs
and the retaining block for an angled retaining pin
(stretched sprue, plastic rod or copper wire), with a
retaining chain (PE.)
• The hull back deck (Part A30) requires careful dry
fitting, possible sanding and /or shimming to achieve a
tight fit. The hinges for the screened access panels on
the back deck will have to be either cut off with a sharp
blade and relocated or add strips to bridge the gap
between the doors and the ends of the hinges.
• Replace part A11 with copper wire or .020 rod bent to
form a grab handle
• When the lower hull and upper hull are joined add a
weld seem across the glacis plate, right where the seam
from joining the hulls is about the correct place
Rear Hull Plate
• Discard kit taillight guards (Parts C10) and replace with
new ones fabricated from ? inch aluminum (K&S) or
6
MISSING LINKS M1 Abrams Tweaks List 1.0
by Major John Charvat
•
•
•
•
•
plastic tubing (Evergreen, bore the tubing out to achieve a
scale appearance), cutting a 3mm deep X 3mm long
square out of the tube, on the inside right for the left side
of the tank and the inside left for the right side of the tank.
Add the Auxiliary Power Unit mounting points on the
left rear hull made from .060 strip or scavenged from
Part C-25.
Replace the tow pintle with suitably detailed one from
another modern US vehicle kit (Tamiya)
Drill out the two lifting eyes on the upper part of the
hull rear plate as well as the two tow points on the
lower part of the rear plate.
Thin or replace the rear mud flaps on both sides. Add
a plastic square of .005 or .010 for the delineator plate,
Decal #4. This marking is to identify that tank is an
oversized vehicle to civilian traffic. It is a reflective
sticker mounted on a removable plastic plate and found
on tanks in Germany and Korea
Detail Point: The whole rear plate can be scratchbuilt
relatively easily for added detail. Use the DML/SD
original plate for measurements. When reproducing the
grill doors, the two outside sections (oil and
transmission exhaust grills) have seven louvers. These
are made by stacking sections of plastic, with spacers of
strip styrene to maintain a uniform distance between
each plate of the louver. The center engine exhaust grill
has three louver panels that can also be fabricated by
using strips to achieve the uniform spacing. Cover the
grills with grates scavenged from the original kit part
and sanded to reduce the thickness. If desired, omit one
or two of the grates to shoe off your work as tanks
occasionally lose the gratings while maneuvering.
Drivers Hatch
• Add a raised ring of .010 x.060 starting about 1mm in
front of the raised portion of the hatch on one side to
the opposite side of the hatch . Sand and file the strips
to match the contours of the hatch edges, leaving a
1mm overlap on the edge of the hatch.
• Cut a notch in the styrene with a razor saw to match up
with the notch in the front slope in front of the hatch
• Add square reinforcing plate behind center vision
block mount. Add the hatch lock on the back of the
drivers hatch, using .030 square strip. Add a small
hook on the lock using copper wire (consult reference
photos)
• Add vision blocks made from strip styrene. Using
stretched sprue, add wiper blades to the center vision block.
Front Fenders
• Add hinges to the inside and outside of the fenders.
The inside arm consists of a 5mm X 1mm of .010 strip
FIGURE 1
fender spring hold downs
fender springs
fill
fender spring
rests
locations for scribed X
fender spring (side view)
slight vertical rise to the spring
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
location for end
connector storage
with a slice of .035 rod to represent the hinge pin. The
outside hinge is a 2mm X 1mm of .010 strip also with
the slice of .035 rod.
Fill the depression that runs across the width at the top
of the fender.
Make “L” shaped fender spring rests and mount on the
inside of the fender, 12mm forward from the rear of the
fender
Fabricate fender retaining springs from thin wire or
.020 rod. The shape is shown below:
Locate the spring in the slight break in the non-skid
surface.
Secure to the hull with “j” hooks made from the same
material, with the hook in the “J” being of the same
diameter as the fender spring rod. Drill the holes for the
spring retainers 4mm from the outside edge of the hull and
2mm from the inside edge. Use CA to secure the hooks.
Ensure that the inside arms of the spring rods are
laying on the fender spring rests (figure 1).
Detail Point: tank crews will store their extra track end
connectors by inserting them on the inside arms of the
spring rods. This keeps them handy as well as
provides a device to keep the fender (when rotated 180
degrees, under the raised fender) when conducting
track maintenance.
If desired, an “X” shaped depression can be scored into
the fender to replicate the reinforcing detail seen on
some M1 series fenders
Headlights
• Remove the two angled cylinders vicinity of the
headlight mounts and replace with a 2mm long piece
of.080 rod. Glue to the rod to the hull and add triangular
reinforcements at the 12, 3 and 9 o’clock positions. Drill
out headlights and replace them with MV lenses (LS 29).
Add strip to the rear of the headlight assemblies to allow
it to make contact with the cylinder.
7
MISSING LINKS M1 Abrams Tweaks List 1.0
by Major John Charvat
Headlight Brush guards
• Delete parts C6 on both sides. Replace the vertical
part with a .030 X .050 strip, angled forward. Use a
piece of .030 X .050 strip to run form the vertical post
to the step on the forward part of Part C9. Add bolt
detail on the top of the guard on the vertical post and
add a half circle with a bolt under the guard on the
inside of Part C9.
• Replace lower tow points (with the oversized holes to
mount the Mine Plow) with ones fabricated from .060
strip or scavenged from the unused hull Auxiliary
Power Unit Part A25
TURRET
Smoke Grenade Launchers
• Replace the kit’s M-250 Smoke grenade launchers with
the set found in a Tamiya modern US Armor Kit (M1,
M1A1, M60A3 or M60A1.) The kit units can be used
with filling and sanding to blend the launcher tubes
into the base.
• Attach the launchers to the mounts found in the Eduard
M1A1 PE set. Ensure that the assembly is pointing
away from the tank at an angle.
• Add the electrical connection using thin copper wire,
attaching one end to the rear of the launcher and the
other to the Smoke Grenade Launcher conduits
extensions.
Smoke Grenade Launcher conduits
• Make a triangular extension to the conduits, extending
over the side of the turret by 2mm.
• Add bolt down detail with .020 rod, .010x.020 strip
and Grandt Line bolt details.
APU Connector & Conduits
• If modeling a vehicle with a bustle mounted Auxiliary
Power Unit, then add additional conduits, consisting of
angle iron on the real vehicle to the turret.
• First, remove the molded angle from the bulged cover,
behind the TC’s & Loader’s hatches to the corner where
the conduit angles towards the front of the turret.
• Add a 2mm x 4mm junction box at the end that angles
forward.
• Make a new flat conduit that is 2mm wide and 21mm
long, with a bend to allow it to attach the bulged cover
behind the TC’s hatch.
• Make an angled cutout 5mm long, 4mm from the
junction box end of the conduit (figure 2).
• Add a 25mm angled conduit, parallel to the left side
blow out panel, attaching to the junction box and to the
APU connector on the rear of the turret.
FIGURE 2
junction
box
4mm
bulged
cover
5mm
APU conduit
21mm
conduit from APU connection
• Make the connector from styrene strip, consulting
references, or “liberate” the connector box it from
Trumpeter M1 series kit.
Sponson Boxes
• Ensure the boxes mount square and flush on the turret.
Add .50 caliber ammunition can mount and strap as
well as the turret box mounting point, both are found in
the Eduard PE set.
• Add a wire loop for the upper attachment point for the
ammunition can strap
• The sponson box lid handles can be replaced with the
parts found in the Eduard PE set, the only drawback is
that they are flat. The kit handles can be carefully cut
off and repositioned as the real ones have a habit of
coming unlatched if they are not locked with a
padlock.
• Add padlocks if desired
Turret Rails
• Make all 6 turret rails from brass or styrene rod (.030.035 diameter). Make a rounded 90 degree angle in
them and insert them into pre-drilled holes in the turret
and in the cutout notches in the turret boxes. Some dry
fitting might be needed here as well as filling of some
notches and making new notches with a file.
• Cap the ends with Part F38/F39 or a similar scratch
built end support made from .020 styrene.
Tow Cable Attachments.
• Remove the ill shaped bulges on the front of the turret.
Replace with an angled /triangular shaped slice of
styrene tubing.
• Use .040 styrene rod to make “T” shaped forward
attachment point.
• Make five cup shaped mounting clips per side from
aluminum or plastic, 1mm wide, mounting the first one
15mm from the front attachment, below the turret box,
and then 10mm apart there after. Another option is to
use the clips that come with the Eduard PE set
• The rear cable retainer is a “C” shaped sleeve, 3mm
long, to allow the tow cable end to slide into it to
secure the cable on the turret.
MISSING LINKS M1 Abrams Tweaks List 1.0
8
by Major John Charvat
Smoke Grenade Boxes
• Add mounting points behind the mounting tabs that
raise the box .5 to 1mm above the side of turret.
• Add the missing hinge detail to the top of the box with
strip, 2mm from the ends of the box.
Loader’s Hatch
• Add a 1.5mm circular strip of .010 styrene to the edge
of the Loader’s hatch to make the reinforced lip, found
on M1A1s &M1A2s in the late 1990’s. Leave a slight
overlap of the strip on the outside of the hatch.
• Add the handle, made from copper wire, to the hatch at
the 2 o’clock position.
• Make the hatch latch post from a 1mm x 1mm piece of
styrene with a wire or styrene rod post. Mount it at the
8:30 position on the new rim on the hatch.
• Add the two hasps to the hatch. The first is the
security hasp made from styrene strip located next to
the hatch handle. The second is a shipping latch,
consisting of an angled metal tab on the front of the
hatch at the 12:00 position and a swiveling rod/latch,
similar to an eye bolt (pivot) with a wing nut on the
end to secure the hatch (figure 3). Consult references.
Loader’s M240 & Mount.
• Add a locking lever to the base of the MG Mount, Part
F2. Add a second handle, consisting of a rod with a
circular grip added to the MG (Part F58) at the post on
the bottom of MG base (consult references).
• Add a charging cable made from thin wire to the right
side of the MG.
• Add a latch on the back of the spent brass catcher
below the MG. Drill out the flash suppressor on the
end of the barrel.
Commander’s Weapon Station
• Hatch: Assemble per instructions. Add a strap handle
to top of the inner hatch plate. Use .035 rod or a
similar sized disk for the attachment points and a strip
of foil for the nylon strap. Add securing bolt detail.
• Drain Holes: Drill through the drain holes found at the
3 & 9 o’clock positions on the CWS
• Lifting Eyes: Drill out the raised areas at the 4 & 8
o’clock positions and insert Grandt Line eyebolts. The
eyebolts can be omitted if desired.
• Vision Blocks: Improvements can be added by carving
out the molded vision block and replacing them with
Plexiglas or clear styrene about .060-.080 in thickness.
An easier fix is to replicate the glass using exposed
35mm film or paint, especially if the TC’s hatch is
closed. The front vision block needs to get the Plexiglas
FIGURE 3 LOADER’S HATCH
shipping hasp
shipping latch
location
security
hasp
hatch latch
post
begin reinforcing
lip here
end
reinforcing
lip here
treatment regardless as it has a clear portion to allow the
TC to see forward and use the manual .50 caliber sight
when his hatch is in the open protected position.
• .50 Caliber MG: DML/SD did a good job on the .50
but it could use some details. Add a “J” shaped
charging handle to the strip on the L/H side of the MG.
If desired, drill a 7mm long slot, 2mm wide along the
bottom of the MG Mount.
• Add pin detail and retaining chains (PE) to the CWS
MG Mount
• Replace the ammunition can mount and ammunition
tray with Eduard PE. Replace the.50 Caliber
ammunition can with a resin or detailed plastic version
Gunner’s Primary Sight & Armored Cover
• Add a 1mm long section of .025 rod to the rear of the
armored sight cover, 7mm from each side. Add another
1mm rod on each side of the armored sight cover, 5mm
from the rear to replicate the lifting eye mounts.
• The sight itself is normally painted NATO green, even
if the tank is sand colored.
• Detail Note: The top rear of the armored sight cover is
normally chipped and slightly rusted from spent brass
from the .50 caliber machine gun.
Main Gun
• Assemble gun per instructions, make sure the seam line
is filled or replace with an aftermarket aluminum barrel.
• Detail can be added by adding bolt heads and drill out
the bottom of the front clamps and deepening the slots
on the bore evacuator retaining ring.
• The bore evacuator, which is made from Kevlar, can
have a smooth or rough finish to it.
• Wrap a strip of .010 x 7mm strip around the rear of the
barrel to make a tighter fit in the mantlet thus
improving the appearance.
• Cut off the tab on the top of the muzzle and add a strip
of aluminum foil inside of the muzzle to replicate the
chrome barrel lining.
MISSING LINKS M1 Abrams Tweaks List 1.0
9
by Major John Charvat
• The kit Muzzle Reference Sensor (MRS), Part F-40, is
acceptable with minimal work. File the rear to a 45
degree angle and drill out the tube (if desired.) Make
sure the tube is aligned with the Gunners Sight.
Gun Mantlet
• Assemble per instructions.
• Replace the molded bolt detail on the sides with new
ones from Grandt Line, punched from styrene with a
hex punch & die set, or salami sliced from hex rod.
• Add the mantlet side guards from either .005 styrene or
aluminum from a soda can. Add three bolts on the top
per side from the techniques described above.
• Drill holes in the two tabs above the gun receptacle as
well as in Part B-11. These tabs allow the mounting of
gunnery training devices above the main gun.
• Make the channel for the gunner’s auxiliary sight from
half a section of styrene tube, sliced lengthwise. Use
drills and a round needle file to ensure the channel
maintains the rounded interior shape.
• Drill out the co-axial machine gun blast tube, Part B-4 and
mount. Add Part B-5 after the mantlet is glued to the turret.
Turret Rear/Wind Sensor
• The kit wind sensor accurately represents one of the several
styles of wind sensors found on the M1 series tanks.
• Replace the stowed wind sensor mount with the one
found ion the Eduard PE set.
• Replace the four fittings on the rear of the turret with
the ones found in the Eduard set.
Radio Antennas & Mounts
• Add coils springs made from thin wire to the kit
antenna bases, Part C16.
• Antennas come in two varieties. Both have a tear-drop
shaped antenna safety ball on the end. Antenna tie
downs consist of as metal clip and a rope, normally
tied to the turret rails on the front of the turret
- the fiberglass antenna is about 7 foot long and can be
easily replicated with .030 styrene rod, sanded to a taper.
- the metal version is about four feet long and quite
flexible.
- both antennas types are normally tied down forward
during maneuvers.
Bustle Rack
• Perhaps the worst part on the tank, this can be
completely rebuilt or just replace the rails with brass or
plastic rod to a marked improvement For the gluttons
for punishment, refer to the following…
• Measure the distance between the turret rails discussed
above. Take Part F53, cut it along the horizontal base
and add a styrene strip to allow the holes in the vertical
supports for the basket rail to meet the measurements
made above. The extended back brace for the basket
can be used as modified or for a template to make a
new one from sheet styrene.
• Make four basket rails from brass or plastic rod (.030.035), each having a rounded 90 degree corner (make a
jig to ensure four uniform rails with the proper rounded
corners.)
• Add the two reinforcing rods and the jerry can holders
to the bottom rail. Add expanded or PE diamond mesh
on the base rail.
• Use the kit’s vertical supports, after filling and sanding
to remove the ejection marks. Fit them to the new or
modified base, adjusting spacing once all five of the
supports are fitted and the mounting points are the
correct distance to mount the basket on the turret (Lots
of dry fitting here…)
• Insert the rails, starting with the bottom then the top
rail. Use slow curing CA or plastic cement to allow
time to square up the supports and rails. Add the
middle two rails and glue.
• Add a strip of .010 styrene or aluminum between the
bottom and second rail to complete the bustle rack.
Auxiliary Power Unit
• Replace all of the bolt detail on the outside of the APU
with Grandt Line bolts.
• Fabricate new top and flush access doors for the APU
from .010 styrene. Add piano hinges made from .010
strip and .020 rod. The two smaller doors are raised
above the surface and also made from .010 styrene
• Make new “D” shaped handles from styrene rod and
stretched sprue for the access doors on the top of the APU.
• Add cabling to attach to APU connector box on the turret
• Place unit in the bustle rack
• See the pictures on the Full Metal Jacket website
(http://www.kithobbyist.com/AFVInteriors/fullmetal/fu
llmet.html) for more details
DETAILS
ID Panels
• Tactical Signs. Signs used to identify/differentiate
friendly tanks. They are normally geometrically
shaped: square, rectangular or octagons. The markings
contain numbers that identify the battalion and
company (sometimes the vehicle bumper number) of
the vehicle. Colors depend on units, consult
references.
10
MISSING LINKS M1 Abrams Tweaks List 1.0
by Major John Charvat
• Thermal ID Panels. Two of these corrugated panels
come with the SD USMC M1A1 HA kit, however,
three are usually found on a tank to prevent fratricide
through the use of thermal tape on the angled surfaces.
These are easily fabricated using Evergreen .100
Clapboard Siding cut into panels 21mm wide x 15mm
high (6 “strips” high). Frame the sides and bottom
with .010 strip. Paint NATO green with khaki strips on
the angled surfaces to replicate the thermal tape.
• 20mm Storage Cans
• Two or four 20mm Ammunition Cans are normally
fixed to the bustle rack for additional storage, with one
outside of the first vertical support and the second
between the first and second vertical support, repeat on
the other side.
Spare Road Wheels
• Storage locations vary by units. The most common is
to mount the wheel either on the top of the turret on
the CITV mount or forward of the CITV, using the
bolts found there.
• Another option is to mount it on the turret or bustle
rack rails using a M-88 track center guide.
available kits in 1/35 scale
ACADEMY
#1345
M1A1
SHANGHAI DRAGON
#3516
M1A1-HA with mine plow
#3524
M1A2
#3531
USMC M1A1-HA
ESCI
#5021
M1A1 Abrams Staballoy Armor,
actually an M1E1
TAMIYA
#35124
M1 Abrams
#4054
M1 Abrams (wired remote, 3 engines,
one turns turret, same basic kit as original M1)
#35156
M1A1 Abrams 120mm
#35158
M1A1 Abrams w/Mine Plow
TRUMPETER
#00336
M1A1HA w/Mine Roller Set
#00334
M1A1HA Abrams
#00337
M1A2 Abrams
MISSING LINKS M1 Abrams Tweaks List 1.0
11
by Stephen Tyliszczak
Trumpeter M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank
(#00337)
HULL
Lower Hull
• At the locating holes for the return rollers (parts C40
and C45) add a plate of .010 styrene 7 mm X 7mm
with bolts heads in each corner and add 4mm diameter
styrene or brass tube and insert kit return roller
• Drill out the holes in the return rollers
• In between the number 2 and 3 road wheel stations add
a small triangle about 3-4 mm wide and 2-3 mm deep
with a 3mm diameter and insert a 24-25mm (or
however long to make contact with the side skirt
insides) length or brass or styrene rod do the same
above the number 4 and 6 road wheel stations
• Replace all roadwheels with Tamiya or DML items.
The Trumpeter wheels have the poly caps molded as
the center of the roadwheels and have a gap when
constructed that is a major pain to fill to fill. Tamiya
wheels can be ordered by the sprue number for around
10 dollars or less from Hobbylink Japan, while half the
price of the kit it adds immense detail to your model.
• When the lower hull and upper hull are joined add a
weld seem across the glacis plate, right where the seem
from joining the hulls is about the correct place
• Add a Mud scraper. It’s a simple rectangle bolted to the
hull directly in front of the drive sprocket and fits
above the inside teeth
Rear Hull Plate
• Discard kit taillights and replace with separate
taillights, (these lights cannot be cut out of the kit piece
unfortunately, but they are available as separate pieces
in Academy Humvee kits as well as DML Abrams kits
and most softskins, these lights are standard issue
through the US Military and are used on almost every
vehicle in inventory)
• Add an .040 styrene spacer behind the taillight then
add a 7mm diameter styrene or brass tube as the
taillight guard
• Cut 3mm deep X 3mm long square out of the tube, on
the inside right for the left side of the tank and the
inside left for the right side of the tank
• DO NOT add APU (pieces D9, 10,11,12,13,14 and
C38) to the hull
• DO NOT add pieces C26 and C30 and fill locator holes
• Remove the round rod on the right side next to the
taillight and replace it with a hollow styrene or brass
tube or just a drilled rod
• Add a conduit from the end of the rod mentioned above
•
•
•
•
•
to the taillight through the cut out in the taillight guard
Add a .010 strip of styrene the length of the engine
grilles ( about 59mm) that has a angle starting at 3mm
at the ends on each side moving to 26mm inwards and
then being straight at about 4-5mm for 8mm before
angling back to 3mm at the opposite end
Glue the above piece into place at a slight downward
angle
Under the center engine grille add a piece that runs the
length of the center grille inwards to the edge of the
piece you just added and add spacers on the ends to
make it the proper height to meet up with the other piece
Replace the tow pintle with suitably detailed one from
another modern US vehicle kit (Tamiya)
Drill two holes and replace the molded lumps with thin
strip to make lifting rings
Drivers Hatch
• Add a raised ring of .010 x.060 starting about 1mm in
front of the raised portion of the hatch on one side to
the opposite side of the hatch. Sand and file the strips
to match the contours of the hatch edges, leaving a
1mm overlap on the edge of the hatch.
• Cut a notch in the styrene with a razor saw to match up
with the notch in the front slope in front of the hatch
• Add square reinforcing plate behind center vision block
mount. Add the hatch lock on the back of the drivers
hatch, using .030 square strip. Add a small hook on the
lock using copper wire (consult reference photos)
• Add vision blocks made from strip styrene. Using
stretched sprue, add wiper blades to the center vision block.
Upper Hull
• Replace kit pieces C2 with .020 rod or brass
• Add weld seams to the front plate, right where the
upper hull and lower hull are joined, It is a thick but
fairly neat weld seem.
• Add vertical weld seams along the rear length of the
hull where the air intake angle stops and the flat engine
deck begins
• Box in fire extinguisher with .030 styrene to replace
kit part
• Manipulate the torsion bars so they have a forward
lean, *common with M1A1 HA and M1A2 tank as a
result of heavier armor in the front hull and turret*
• Replace the kit wheels with Tamiya offerings, the way
the Trumpeter wheels are designed is terrible, the poly
cap center while with acceptable detail leaves large
gaps and poor fit. *Note, the Tamiya Wheels will only
fit without the poly caps inside of them*
MISSING LINKS M1 Abrams Tweaks List 1.0
12
by Stephen Tyliszczak
• Crew heater drain drilled out *round opening directly
in front of NBC system*
• Use styrene strip or sheet to box in the sponson
stowage box, it is very simple and easy and adds a lot
to the model
•
•
•
Front Fenders
• Sand off the molded on fender torsion bar springs
• Add hinges to the inside and outside of the fenders.
The inside arm consists of a 5mm X 1mm of .010 strip
with a slice of .035 rod to represent the hinge pin. The
outside hinge is a 2mm X 1mm of .010 strip also with
the slice of .035 rod.
• Make “L” shaped fender spring rests and mount on the
inside of the fender, 12mm forward from the rear of the
fender
• Fabricate fender retaining springs from thin wire or
.020 rod
• Secure to the hull with “j” hooks made from the same
material, with the hook in the “J” being of the same
diameter as the fender spring rod. Drill the holes for
the spring retainers 4mm from the outside edge of the
hull and 2mm from the inside edge. Use CA to secure
the hooks.
• Detail Point: tank crews will store their extra track end
connectors by inserting them on the inside arms of the
spring rods. This keeps them handy as well as provides a
device to keep the fender (when rotated 180 degrees, under
the raised fender) when conducting track maintenance.
• If desired, the “X” shaped depression can be filled to
add a bit of variety to your model, one fender with the
“X” and one without
Headlights
• Drill out headlights and replace them with MV lenses
(LS 29). Add strip to the rear of the headlight
assemblies to allow it to make contact with the cylinder.
Headlight Brush Guards
• The kit brush guards are terribly lacking detail and are
of the older type, make new ones with .030x.060 strip
in a simple “L” shape with a bolt on top of the “L”
Tracks
• Replace the kit tracks with either AFC Club “Bigfoot”
tracks of ArmorTrack T-158 track. DO NOT use T-156
track also from ArmorTrack, that is the older version
and is not appropriate for an M1A2
Side Skirts
• Assemble per instructions but add .005 strip along length
•
•
•
•
of each panel with appropriate number of bolts for weather
stripping or you can use Eduard’s armor fitting sets.
Cable foot loops on front side skirt replaced with wire
Cut off and replaced crow bar brackets with square
tubing or PE
Add plastic strip to the bottom and sides of parts the #1
Left and Right Skirt and #2 Right Skirt. These skirts
have additional armor and are thicker than the rest of
the skirt panels. Replace the plastic the mounting
stirrups on the bottom of the # 1 skirts with fine
twisted wire. Replace the square “blobs” on the top of
the first side skirt with square brass tubing.
Thin the edges of the rest of the skirt panels. In
actuality, the skirts are about ? inch thick.
Open skirt hinge points with a drill & sharp knife.
Deepen the skirt joints with the back of a #11 blade.
Add upper skirt supports with plastic strip or epoxy
putty. The supports are angled from the skirt to the
raised tabs on the upper hull plate. Consult references
for correct shapes. Add retaining pin details with slices
of .035 and .047 rod. Add PE retaining chains.
On most tanks, the #7 skirt is removed. Cut the skirt
off, leaving the piano hinge intact. Drill five holes in a
.010 X .030 strip of plastic. Then glue the strip to the
hinge. Add two 2mm long pieces of .020 diameter rod
to the rear mud flaps.
TURRET
Turret Face
• The turret face on the left side is the worst part of this
kit; there is a 4mm deficiency with the turret face. The
turret face is short 4mm’s and needs to be fixed; it is
inherently hard to explain this so refer to the drawing
for the easiest explanation (figure 4)
• The left outside side of the turret face is the incorrect
one, the inside (mantlet side) is correct
• The easiest way to fix this is take the turret face and
pay it face down on a sheet of .030 sheet, Mark the
existing bottom edge of the turret face, then measure
4mm down along the angle of the turret side (align
your ruler to the turret edge) and mark 4mm down.
After you mark that and the inside edge of the turret
(the mantle side) then connect the dots and you will be
left with an isosceles triangle and cut it out and you
have the new piece to correct the front plate.
• The left side of the turret now needs to be fixed so it
matches up with the new 4mm turret face. The way to
do this is identical to the way you made the triangle for
the front plate.
• On the side of the turret there is a slight curve upwards
about 3mm before the face of the turret, it is very slight
but noticeable, the Tamiya and DML kits have this
MISSING LINKS M1 Abrams Tweaks List 1.0
13
by Stephen Tyliszczak
shown so you can refer to them if you have them or
refer to the drawings in the list
• After you have fixed the front and the sides you have
to make a piece to fit the bottom so that the underside
is not hollow, this requires a lot of guesswork and
sanding so cut a piece to the basic size and shape and
then fill and sand until you get it to fit, remember that
it is on the bottom of the turret and will rarely if ever
be seen so it does not need to be perfect but should be
done well on the front and side bottom edges.
EPLARS Mast
• On the right hand rear of the turret directly behind the turret
stowage box on the SIDE of the turret there is a new mast
on the M1A2. To replicate it take a piece of ? tube and the
easiest solution is to take a piece from an Academy M113
kit (piece B22) and fill the hole in the center with .020 rod
Turret Boxes
• Ensure the boxes mount square and flush on the turret.
Add .50-caliber ammunition can mount and straps as
well as the turret box mounting point, both are found in
the Eduard PE set.
• Add a wire loop for the upper attachment point for the
ammunition can strap
• The sponson box lid handles can be replaced with the
parts found in the Eduard PE set, the only drawback is
that they are flat. The kit handles can be carefully cut
off and repositioned as the real ones have a habit of
coming unlatched if they are not locked with a padlock.
• Add padlocks if desired
Turret Rails
• Make all 6 turret rails from brass or styrene rod (.030.035 diameter). Make a rounded 90 degree angle in
them and insert them into pre-drilled holes in the turret
and in the cutout notches in the turret boxes. Some dry
fitting might be needed here as well as filling of some
notches and making new notches with a file.
• Cap the ends with .010x.080 strip with the edged
sanded to be rounded
Tow Cable Attachments
• Remove the ill shaped bulges on the front of the turret.
Replace with an angled /triangular shaped slice of
styrene tubing.
• Use.040 styrene rod to make “T” shaped forward
attachment point.
• Make five cup shaped mounting clips per side from
aluminum or plastic, 1mm wide, mounting the first one
15mm from the front attachment, below the turret box,
and then 10mm apart there after. Another option is to
use the clips that come with the Eduard PE set
• The rear cable retainer is a “C” shaped sleeve, 3mm
long, to allow the tow cable end to slide into it to
secure the cable on the turret.
Smoke Grenade Boxes
• Add mounting points behind the mounting tabs that
raise the box .5 to 1mm above the side of turret.
• Add the missing hinge detail to the top of the box with
strip, 2mm from the ends of the box.
Loader’s Hatch
• Add a 1.5mm circular strip of .010 styrene to the edge
of the Loader’s hatch to make the reinforced lip, found
on M1A1s &M1A2s in the late 1990’s. Leave a slight
overlap of the strip on the outside of the hatch.
• Add the handle, made from copper wire, to the hatch at
the 2 o’clock position.
• Make the hatch latch post from a 1mm x 1mm piece of
styrene with a wire or styrene rod post. Mount it at the
8:30 position on the new rim on the hatch.
FIGURE 4
TURRET DETAILS
EPLARS mast
loader’s
hatch stop
headlight
guards
add 4mm to the outside
edge of the turret
MISSING LINKS M1 Abrams Tweaks List 1.0
14
by Stephen Tyliszczak
• Add the two hasps to the hatch. The first is the
security hasp made from styrene strip located next to
the hatch handle. The second is a shipping latch,
consisting of an angled metal tab on the front of the
hatch at the 12:00 position and a swiveling rod/latch,
similar to an eye bolt (pivot) with a wing nut on the
end to secure the hatch (consult references).
Loader’s M240 & Mount
• Add a locking lever to the base of the MG Mount,.
Add a second handle, consisting of a rod with a
circular grip added to the MG at the post on the bottom
of MG base (consult references).
• Add a charging cable made from thin wire to the right
side of the MG.
• Add a latch on the back of the spent brass catcher
below the MG. Drill out the flash suppressor on the
end of the barrel.
Improved Commander’s Weapon Station
• Hatch: Assemble per instructions. Add a strap handle
to top of the inner hatch plate. Use .035 rod or a
similar sized disk for the attachment points and a strip
of foil for the nylon strap. Add securing bolt detail.
• Replace part F14 with a new vision block made to
match the rest of the ICWS vision blocks
• Fill all indentations in the tops of the vision blocks,
they are way oversize and can be replaced if desired
with a very small drill
• Vision Blocks: Improvements can be added by carving
out the molded vision block and replacing them with
Plexiglas or clear styrene about .060-.080 in thickness.
An easier fix is to replicate the glass using exposed
35mm film or paint, especially if the TC’s hatch is
closed.
• Replace the ammunition can mount and ammunition
tray with Eduard PE.
• Replace the.50 Caliber ammunition can with a resin or
detailed plastic version
Gunner’s Primary Sight & Armored Cover
• Add a 1mm long section of .025 rod to the rear of the
armored sight cover, 7mm from each side. Add
another 1mm rod on each side of the armored sight
cover, 5mm from the rear to replicate the lifting eye
mounts.
• The sight itself is normally painted NATO green, even
if the tank is sand colored.
• Detail Note: The top rear of the armored sight cover is
normally chipped and slightly rusted from spent brass
from the .50 caliber machine gun.
Main Gun
• Assemble gun per instructions, make sure the seam line
is filled or replace with an aftermarket aluminum barrel
or replace forward part of the barrel with rod, if you
choose the latter follow these instructions:
• Detail can be added by adding bolt heads and drill out
the bottom of the front clamps and deepening the slots
on the bore evacuator retaining ring.
• The bore evacuator, which is made from Kevlar, can
have a smooth or rough finish to it.
• Replace the muzzle piece C62 with appropriately sized
styrene or brass/aluminum rod
• Laminate two pieces of .030 or a piece of .060 sheet
and cut a rectangle and using a round file, file a round
channel into one side so it will fit the new muzzle, this
is the mount for the Muzzle Reference sensor
• Add a strip of aluminum foil inside of the muzzle to
replicate the chrome barrel lining.
• The kit Muzzle Reference Sensor (MRS), Part C60, is
acceptable with minimal work. File the rear to a 45
degree angle and drill out the tube (if desired.) Make
sure the tube is aligned with the Gunners Sight or using
the drawings made in this list scratchbuild a new one
Gun Mantlet
• Assemble per instructions.
• Replace the molded bolt detail on the sides with new
ones from Grandt Line, punched from styrene with a
hex punch & die set, or salami sliced from hex rod.
• Add the mantlet side guards from either .005 styrene or
aluminum from a soda can. Add three bolts on the top
per side from the techniques described above.
• Replace part D1 with a piece of .020x.060
• Drill two holes into the above mentioned part and single
holes into parts C25. These tabs allow the mounting of
gunnery training devices above the main gun.
• Make the channel for the gunner’s auxiliary sight from
half a section of styrene tube, sliced lengthwise. Use
drills and a round needle file to ensure the channel
maintains the rounded interior shape.
• Drill out the co-axial machine gun blast tube, Part C21
and mount.
• Cut off the debris cover from part C19 and replace with a
piece of .005 styrene or brass, it is possible to salvage the
existing hinged by careful slicing with a razor blade
Turret Rear/Wind Sensor
• The kit wind sensor accurately represents one of the
several styles of wind sensors found on the M1 series
tanks.
MISSING LINKS M1 Abrams Tweaks List 1.0
15
by Stephen Tyliszczak
• Replace the stowed wind sensor mount with the one
found ion the Eduard PE set.
Radio Antennas & Mounts
• Add coils springs made from thin wire to the kit
antenna bases, Part C24.
• Antennas come in two varieties. Both have a tear-drop
shaped antenna safety ball on the end. Antenna tie
downs consist of as metal clip and a rope, normally
tied to the turret rails on the front of the turret
- the fiberglass antenna is about 7 foot long and can
be easily replicated with .030 styrene rod,
sanded to a taper.
- the metal version is about four feet long and quite
flexible.
- both antennas types are normally tied down forward
during maneuvers.
Bustle Rack
• Make four basket rails from brass or plastic rod (.030.035), each having a rounded 90 degree corner (make a
jig to ensure four uniform rails with the proper rounded
corners.)
• Add expanded or PE diamond mesh on the base rail.
• Make sure that there is no visible gap between parts
D30 and D21/33
• Use strip to fill in the gap made when you glue the top
two rails to part D17/35
Blowout panels
• The blowout panels on the M1A2, Piece C43, have
three disks on them in a V Pattern, the tops of these
disks have protrusions on them which need to be
sanded off and the disks sanded smooth
• Add weld seems around the disks, this is best done by
letting solvent cement such as Tenax flow around them
and then add the welds with a knife blade, pointed file
end, etc..
• On the left blowout panel take a piece of .060 strip
about 4mm tall and file/sand an angle to one end
leaving 4mm along the top
• Drill a hole into the piece and insert a piece of .030 rod
about 5-6mm long with the sides even on both sides
• Attach the piece to a small square about 3-4mm and
attach directly to the right of the disk closest to the
loaders hatch
Auxiliary Power Unit
• Auxiliary Power Unit: the Trumpeter APU (called
Toolbox A) is under scale and has crude detail
• Replace the Trumpeter APU (pieces F20 through F26)
with either a DML APU or a resin Legends replacement.
The following lists will improve any of them
• Replace all of the bolt detail on the outside of the APU
with Grandt Line bolts.
• Fabricate new top and flush access doors for the APU
from .010 styrene. Add piano hinges made from .010
strip and .020 rod. The two smaller doors are raised
above the surface and also made from .010 styrene
• Make new “D” shaped handles from styrene rod and
stretched sprue for the access doors on the top of the APU.
• Add cabling to attach to APU connector box on the turret
• Place unit in the bustle rack
• See the pictures on the Full Metal Jacket website
(http://www.kithobbyist.com/AFVInteriors/fullmetal/fu
llmet.html) for more details
DETAILS
ID Panels
• Tactical Signs. Signs used to identify/differentiate
friendly tanks. They are normally geometrically
shaped: square, rectangular or octagons. The markings
contain numbers that identify the battalion and
company (sometimes the vehicle bumper number) of
the vehicle. Colors depend on units, consult
references.
• Thermal ID Panels. Two of these corrugated panels
come with the SD USMC M1A1 HA kit, however,
three are usually found on a tank to prevent fratricide
through the use of thermal tape on the angled surfaces.
These are easily fabricated using Evergreen .100
Clapboard Siding cut into panels 21mm wide x 15mm
high (6 “strips” high). Frame the sides and bottom
with .010 strip. Paint NATO green with khaki strips on
the angled surfaces to replicate the thermal tape.
20mm Storage Cans
• Two or four 20mm Ammunition Cans are normally
fixed to the bustle rack for additional storage, with one
outside of the first vertical support and the second
between the first and second vertical support, repeat on
the other side.
Spare Road Wheels
• Storage locations vary by units. The most common is to
mount the wheel either forward of the CITV, using the
bolts found there or on the turret rails using a guide horn
• Another option is to mount it on the turret or bustle
rack rails using a M-88 track center guide.
• A red jerry can or two is usually carried to the left of the
APU, these have diesel fuel and are strictly for the APU.
16
MISSING LINKS M1 Abrams Tweaks List 1.0
by Stephen Tyliszczak
further reading
selected detail sets
BOOKS
AFV CLUB
TM 9-2350-264-10-1. Operator’s Manual, Operator
Controls, PMCS, and Operation Under Usual Conditions for
Tank, Combat, Full-Tracked: 120-mm Gun, M1A1 General
Abrams. 25 September 1990.
#AF3512
ARMOR TRACK MODELS
#TK- 02
T-156 Rubber Cheveron Track, Workable
with resin Idler wheels and Drive Sprockets
and Retainer Ring (these are for K1/K1A1)
#TK-03
T-158 Rubber Block Track, workable with
resin Idlers and Drive Sprockets and
Retainer Ring for M1
M1 Abrams in Action, Armor #26, Squadron Signal
Publications, Jim Mesko, 1989
M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank, 1982-92, Osprey New
Vanguard, Steve Zaloga/Peter Sarson, 1997
Tank War-Central Front NATO vs Warsaw Pact, Osprey
Elite Series, Steve Zaloga, 1989
M1A1 & A2 Track Workable
DRAGON
War Machines No.6: M1-M1IP-M1A1 Abrams Main Battle
Tank, Verlinden Productions, 1991
#3804
Warmachines No 8: A Gulf War Eyewitness Report,
Verlinden Productions 1991
EDUARD
#35259
M1A2 Abrams Detail Set
Tanks Illustrated No. 8: US Battle Tanks Today
#35346
M1A1 Abrams Armor Fittings
Mini Color Series M1A1/A2 Abrams, Concord Publications
Company, Walter Bohm, 1999
#35057
M1A1 Abrams Detail Set
#35333
M1A1 Abrams (TA)
3rd Brave Rifles In The Storm, Concord Publications
Company, Chris Mrosko, 1992
Blitzkrieg In The Gulf, Armor of the 100 Hour War,
Concord Publications Company, Yves Debay, 1991
Track Width Mine Plow
LEGEND PRODUCTIONS
#LF1029
M1 Accessory Set
100 Days, 100 Hours “Phantom Brigade In the Gulf
War”, Concord Publications Company, Edgar A. Stitt, 1991
MODEL POINT
Operation Desert Shield prelude to “Desert Storm”,
Concord Publications Company, Yves Debay and Michael
Green, 1991
MODEL VALLEY/LEGEND PRODUCTIONS
USAEUR, The United States Army In Europe, Concord
Publications Company, Michael Jerchel, 1992
Armor of The West, NATO’s AFNORTH & NORTHAG,
Concord Publications Company, Yves Debay, 1992
#MP3559-1 120mm M256 Turned Aluminum Barrel
MV #001
M1 Tank Engine Set
LP #LF1028
ON THE MARK MODELS
#AR-3555
Modern US Handles
National Training Center, Ultimate In Land Warfare
Training, Concord Publications Company, Greg Stewart,
1992
ROYAL MODELS
Peace By Force, Elite Forces of the IFOR, Concord
Publications Company, Yves Debay & James Hill, 1997
VERLINDEN PRODUCTIONS
Special Ops, Journal of the Elite Forces, Volume 7,
Kosovo Special, Concord Publications Company, Yves
Debay & Carl Schulze, 1999
M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank, The Combat and
Development History of the General Dynamics M1 and
M1A1 Tanks, Motorbooks International, Mil Tech Series,
Michael Green, 1992
Museum Ordnance special #9, Abrams Main Battle Tank
M1A1 and M1A2, Darlington Productions, Inc., Glen
Broman, 1996
Hunnicut M1 Book, Vol. 1 & 2.
Ground War Desert Storm, #6122, Squadron Productions,
Jim Mesko, 1991
USAREUR, Landpower #3003, Presidio Press, Skinner,1989
US Marine Corps, Presidio Press, Hans Halberstadt,1993
The Armored Fist Time Life Books
#022
US M1A1 Abrams Micro Detail Set
#621
M1 Abrams Update & Interior Set
Sheet #508
M-1 Abrams Tank Markings
MISSING LINKS M1 Abrams Tweaks List 1.0
17
Review for Eduard’s M1-A1 Abrams Detail Set (#35057) for the Academy M1 Kit (#1345)
by Pete Beccera
The PE set includes 46 pieces, not including duplicated
parts like the sprocket retainers or various handles. Hull
details include driver’s vision block wipers, fuel cap
handles, access plate handles, and other various hull
handles and back deck bolt-down details. Also included
are NBC over pressurization system details, taillight
guards and the fire suppression T-pull handle.
Turret details for the loader’s hatch include the latch,
skate ring, M240 mount, ammo mount, periscope detail
and the handle. Cupola detail includes the latch,
periscope guards, lifting rings, ammo mount, .50 cal
sleeve and hot barrel handle. Gunner’s primary sight
details include the doghouse doors and hinges. Additional
turret details are tow cable mounts, sponson box handles,
smoke grenade launcher mount, and spare .50 cal ammo
racks.
Review for Verlinden Productions’ M1 Abrams Update & Interior Set (#621)
by Matthew Malagorski
This is a very comprehensive, well detailed and cast set
that can be used to detail the poor Minicraft/Academy
M1A1 kit, as well as, either the original Tamiya M1, or
M1A1 kits.
The set can be used to convert Tamiya’s original M1
kit to make an IPM1, or to detail the kit’s listed above.
Highly recommended if you can find one.
Kit Components
40 cast resin, 52 photo etch, 1 length copper wire, 2
pieces plastic tubing, 3 page instruction sheet with
assembly diagrams and painting instructions
Recommended Kit
Academy, also possibly Tamiya M1 or M1A1
Status
Currently out of production.
Resin Parts breakdown
• 10 Resin parts for the turret interior that includes all
equipment visible through the open hatches
• 9 Resin parts for the Driver’s compartment
• 9 Resin parts for the Batteries and Replacement
Battery Covers
• 9 Resin parts for highly detailed complete replacement
M2HB and M240 machine guns
• 3 Resin parts to make up a CLAMS Unit and External
APU
Photo Etch Parts breakdown
• 2 Photo etch parts for the turret interior
• 10 Photo etch parts for the machine gun mounts
• 22 Photo etch parts for the turret basket
• 2 Photo Etch parts for the smoke grenade launcher
mounts
• 2 Photo Etch parts for the Commander’s hatch
• 2 Photo Etch parts for the Loader’s machine gun ring
• 6 Photo Etch parts for the CLAMS mounting brackets
• 6 Photo Etch parts for the upper oil cooler doors
MISSING LINKS M1 Abrams Tweaks List 1.0
18
Review for Eduard’s M1-A1 Abrams Detail Set (#35333) for the Tamiya kit
by Stephen Tyliszczak
The PE set includes 144 pieces, including duplicated parts
like the sprocket retainers and various handles. Hull
details include driver’s vision block wipers, fuel cap
handles, access plate handles, and other various hull
handles and back deck bolt-down details. Also included
are Turret basket mesh that will fit the Tamiya kit
exclusively, as well as air intake mesh, which is
duplicated to give the proper spaced appearance. There
are interior pieces for the drivers compartment which
include two pieces of PE which has various dials and
gauges and a piece of film to go behind one of the PE
pieces in Eduard’s usual style. These pieces are fairly
accurate but are only good for a façade of an interior if
you add a Driver figure. Pieces to detail the external APU
are also included and will add a lot to the kit piece, these
can be used on any make of APU as all current M1 kits
include them despite the fact they were rarely used.
Chains for the retainer pins for all side skirt pins are
included as well as crow bar brackets for the front side
skirt. For the rear hull plate they include two bits of PE to
replicate the field expedient holders for concertina wire.
Turret details for the loader’s hatch include the latch,
skate ring, M240 ammo box holder, 7.62mm ammo belt,
handle for the 7.62 ammo box, interior periscope detail
and the handle. Cupola detail includes the latch, lifting
rings, ammo box holder and an ammo belt for the 50 and
handle for the ammo box and a piece for the M2 HMG
sight. Gunner’s primary sight details include the
doghouse doors and hinges. Additional turret details are
tow cable mounts, turret box handles, smoke grenade
launcher mount, and spare .50 cal ammo racks, IFF
panels, parts to detail the 20mm ammo cans included
with the Tamiya kit, an reel for wire which is seen often
on USMC M1A1 HC tanks. They also include an
octagonal plate for unit markings. PE bits for the smoke
discharger reload boxes are also included. A coax shroud
is also included, as is a debris door for the mantlet. The
set is very comprehensive but lacks some of the simple
but necessary items which are included in earlier sets
such as the fire extinguisher hull handle.
Review for Eduard’s M1-A1 Abrams Detail Set (#35259) for the Shanghai Dragon M1A2Abrams kit
by Stephen Tyliszczak
The PE set includes 148 pieces, including duplicated
parts like the sprocket retainers and various handles. Hull
details include, fuel cap handles, access plate handles,
and other various hull handles and back deck bolt-down
details. Also included are Turret basket mesh that will fit
the DML kit exclusively, as well as air intake mesh.
There are interior pieces for the drivers compartment
which include two pieces of PE which has various dials
and gauges and a piece of film to go behind one of the
PE pieces in Eduard’s usual style. These pieces are fairly
accurate but are only good for a façade of an interior if
you add a Driver figure. Pieces to detail the external APU
are also included and will add a lot to the kit piece, these
can be used on any make of APU as all current M1 kits
include them despite the fact they were rarely used. Crow
bar brackets for the front side skirt are also included. For
the rear hull plate they include PE replacements for the
engine grilles, which should not be used as they are flat
while the real grilles are just like on the kit. The engine
deck is thoroughly worked over with replacements for all
engine grilles and air intakes, which are not necessary but
look good. Interestingly enough they also include parts to
make the mud flaps on the rear hull behind the sprocket
though it should be noted these are used ONLY on Saudi
Arabian M1A2 Abrams tanks, not on U.S. Army tanks.
Turret details for the loader’s hatch include the latch,
skate ring, M240 ammo box holder, 7.62mm ammo belt,
handle for the 7.62 ammo box, and the handle. Cupola
detail is limited to the Machine gun and includes, ammo
box holder and an ammo belt for the 50 and handle for
the ammo box and a rear flip up sight for the 50. Cal and
front sight and barrel jacket.. Additional turret details are
tow cable mounts, turret box handles, and spare .50 cal
ammo racks. A coax shroud is also included for the
mantlet. The set still lacks some of the simple but
necessary items, which are included in earlier sets such as
the fire extinguisher hull handle. And many of the needed
fixes for an M1A2 tank especially around the cupola.
Was this manual useful for you? yes no
Thank you for your participation!

* Your assessment is very important for improving the work of artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project

Download PDF

advertisement