Eduard US M-1A1/A2 Abrams, photo-etched
brass in 1/72nd–scale for DML kit (22055)
by Frank De Sisto
Contains two frets and four pages of instructions. Price: $19.95 USD.
Photo-etch had its beginnings with railroad modelers, especially those
who worked in the smaller scales. It did not take a giant leap of imagination
to see that this process would benefit AFV modelers. This is especially
true while we witness what is, for want of a better expression, a “renaissance”
among the smaller scales within the world of AFV modeling. Newly tooled
small scale kits are in many cases quite detailed. Adding photo-etched
parts to them will bring them up to an unprecedented level of detail.
To fill this need, Eduard is slowly releasing more and more sets for the
current crop of kits.
For the hull, his set features grills for the rear engine exhaust and
intake louvers, rear mud flaps, tow clevis mounts and vehicle lifting
hooks. There are inverted “U”-shaped periscope guards/covers
for the driver’s hatch, new front fender mud flaps, as well as various
brackets and weather stripping for the fenders and side skirts. There
are also parts for a completely new APU of the type sometimes seen fitted
during 1991’s Operation Desert Storm.
The turret is detailed with a completely new APU as seen on the current
Abrams MBT, as well as tow cable storage brackets, smoke grenade launcher
mounting brackets, parts to detail the external smoke grenade storage
boxes, optional “Dog House” sight box doors (for the ‘A1
or ‘A2), hatch details and screening for the bustle stowage rack.
The 7.62mm and 12.7mm machine guns receive new grips, ammo boxes, trays
and ammo belts (for both the ‘A1 and ‘A2 mounts). However,
there are no pintle mounts provided for the machine guns, or circular
“skate” railing for the loader’s machine gun, which
is a shame. There are also the flat CIP panels provided for the front
faces of the turret, but none of the louvered style for the sides and
rear. Some extra stowage is provided in the form of four 40mm grenade
ammo boxes, commonly seen on current US tanks. Also included is a communications
wire reel, an eight-sided Tac number plate for the rear of the turret’s
bustle rack, a drive sprocket rim/tooth section and an extra 12.7mm machine
gun ammo box.
The few oversights, whose inclusion would have lifted this set to the
level of “excellent” make this set merely “extremely
handy”. I would also imagine that this set could be used on the
Revell offering of the Abrams, as very few parts would need to be designed
as a “custom fit”. All of this will go a long way towards
easing the task of the small-scale modeler who wishes to add that certain
level of finesse, which always lifts any model out of the ordinary.
Eduard products are available at retail and mail order shops and directly
from the manufacturer at: www.eduard.cz.
Visit their web site for images of reviewed items.