Home > Reviews > Modern > Echelon Fine Details US Army’s 3rd Infantry Division Operation Iraqi Freedom M1A1HA (Heavy Common) Abrams (Part 2) (T35014)


Echelon Fine Details US Army’s 3rd Infantry Division Operation Iraqi Freedom M1A1HA (Heavy Common) Abrams (Part 2) (T35014)

by Frank De Sisto

Featuring 2nd Platoon Gun Tanks: “A Tribute to September 11, 2001”. Water-slide decals in 1/35th-scale. Price: $16.00 USD, including shipping.

As I continue to inspect these products in preparation for reviewing them, I am more and more impressed both with this manufacturer’s concept of what is an appealing item, as well as his actual presentation. In another review of this manufacturer’s products, I commented that for years, aircraft modelers had an opportunity to build collections of a particular aircraft that were all made unique by their markings. Now, modelers of tanks and other AFVs, can do the same thing, if they so desire.

This sheet allows the modeler to mark all four Abrams MBTs from 2nd Platoon, “A” Company, 1st Battalion, 64th Armored Regiment, from the 3rd Infantry Division, as seen in use during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

These four tanks are marked on their 120mm gun tubes with the flight numbers of the four aircraft hijacked by Terrorists on September 11, 2001. They are:
• “American Airlines Flight 11”.
• “American Airlines Flight 77”.
• “United Airlines Flight 93”.
• “United Airlines Flight 175”.

There are also bonus markings to depict three more tanks from that particular company. They are:
• “Answer To This”, from 1st Platoon, with mine plow.
• “All About Da Bones”, from 3rd Platoon.
• “Attitude Adjustment”, from 3rd Platoon.

The markings are all for tanks painted in desert sand and are mostly in black, with some white stripes and a red stripe for designating the platoons within “A” Company. All feature tactical numbers, chevrons of various styles, and other stenciling for identification purposes. Only one tank features art-work, “United Airlines Flight 175”; it features none other than the currently en-vogue cartoon character, “Sponge Bob Square Pants”. The designer has also supplied the modeler with a small sheet of US flag decals for use where applicable. Finally, there is a small sheet of divisional patches (1st Cavalry and 3rd Infantry Divisions) and name tapes, so that the modeler who wishes to, can add a crew to his tank with the proper insignia. These last two items are very tiny, yet in perfect register and beautifully detailed. Well done, Echelon!

The final parts of this sheet are the data, warning, inspection and shipping labels seen on the Abrams tank. These include complete information for the EAPU (External Auxiliary Power Unit) and the CIP panels. These are tiny, yet crisp, while there are more than enough of them to mark several tanks completely.

The decals are printed by Microscale in the US. This means that they have crisp edges, excellent color saturation and extremely thin carrier film. This latter feature means that the modeler must be careful when applying them. The excellent instructions feature color profiles of each tank, with some thumbnail drawings for the smaller segments of the tanks. Each marking is called out by a number which is next to the marking on the decal sheet. This simplifies matters, but the modeler still needs to pay close attention to what’s going on. There are also some color photos of the actual tanks, in service, for reference on such things as stowage, etc.

The sheet is a bit more expensive than some others in this series, but it contains enough extra material to make it excellent value for money, especially when one considers that the asking price includes air-mail shipping world-wide. There’s not much more to say, except that this an excellent offering and sure to please fans of the Abrams MBT.

Highly recommended.

Echelon Fine Details are available from retail and mail-order shops. Or direct through their web-site at: pachome1.pacific.net.sg/kriegsketten/, e-mail: kreigsketten@pacific.net.sg.