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Echelon Fine Details US Army’s Operation Iraqi Freedom M1A1HA (Heavy Common) Abrams (Part 4) (T35016)

by Cookie Sewell

Decal subjects for marking up to eight vehicles; price US $14 (http: pachome1.pacific.net.sg/~kriegsketten/)

Advantages: captures current vehicles markings in use in Iraq
Disadvantages: relatively high cost
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for Abrams fans as well as OIF 1/OIF 2 followers

Echelon is rapidly turning out to be the best armored vehicle waterslide decal manufacturer around, and I am amazed with each succeeding sheet they release. This latest one covers vehicles currently serving in Iraq as part of OIF 2.

The sheet covers vehicles from the 3rd Infantry Division and 1st Armored Division, both in sand and NATO tricolor schemes. Complete markings, down to shipping labels, bar codes and handling/stowage stencils are included for each of the seven primary subjects.

First up are two sand colored vehicles from 3-7 Cavalry which is an armor battalion with the 3rd ID. These vehicles are B-24 and B-44 (BUSHPIG BANDITS) both of which wear a "death's head in a CVC" insignia.

Next are two vehicles from 1-37 Armor of the 1st Armored Division in NATO paint. These vehicles still carry their USAREUR convoy reflectors (yellow/red flashes on the rear of the hull) as well as another "death's head" shield on a diamond. Both are unnamed.

There are two tanks from 2-70 Armor from the 1st Armored, B-32 (BANG BUS) and B-34 (BIG HITCH). They have sand CIP panels to break up the NATO scheme.

Lastly is a tank from 2-69 Armor from the 1st Armored, B-14 (BAGHDAD'S NIGHTMARE). This tank is also in sand.

Specifics are called out (e.g. which tanks have the turret mounted APU and which do not) for markings and differences among the units.

Lastly the sheet provides the name for the Panther II mine clearer as presented in the DML kit – "MY PRECIOUS" – which is dual colored.

Overall, these sheets are the best way for using waterslide transfers to either correct or replace the kit markings (most of the ones I have seen and reviewed come with either training unit markings from the former 194th Armor Brigade at Fort Knox or incorrect/incomplete markings from OIF1.)

Thanks to Lawrence Goh of Echelon for the review sample.