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M1A2 Abrams SEP V2 TUSK II Blog
CMOT
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ARMORAMA
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Posted: Thursday, March 08, 2018 - 11:36 PM UTC
This is a build of the M1A2 Abrams SEP V2 TUSK II from Academy in 1/35th scale.

Lower Hull

Right at the start you will need to decide which version you are building as there are two closed holes on the floor that will need to be opened if you are going to use the underside mine armour. The lower hull of the model has been moulded as a flat pack which has enabled Academy to provide a good level of moulded on detail on all faces. Assembly is managed via the use of two differently sized spacers that are attached to the floor of the hull and sides. These are quite a tight fit and so do require that you ensure they are fully home before applying glue. The middle and rear sides of the hull fit very well at this point, but the lower hull had lost its shape a little, this was easily corrected and the glue held everything firmly in the correct position.









Kharkov
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Posted: Thursday, March 08, 2018 - 11:40 PM UTC

I'm intrigued by the work surface?

Nice start,

Matt
CMOT
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ARMORAMA
#406
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Posted: Friday, March 09, 2018 - 01:46 AM UTC
Bamboo chopping board Matt.
GTDeath13
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Posted: Friday, March 09, 2018 - 03:23 AM UTC
I will be following this with great interest. I think that the quality of the newest Academy Abrams kits is really nice and might deserve some more attention from modellers.
Epi
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Posted: Friday, March 09, 2018 - 03:28 AM UTC
Darren, what color are you going for on this one, NATO or Desert? Also, I think it would be a good idea to compare it to my review/build of the first production of this kit.
U-mark
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Posted: Friday, March 09, 2018 - 04:05 AM UTC
Darren, I'll be following too. I built the kit when it was first released and built the Rye Field M1A2 afterwards. Overall, I feel the Academy kit is the way to go. It's cheaper, goes together easier, has lot's of optional parts, the only weak point was the tracks. I can't vouch for which one is more accurate but looking at both built up kits side by side, I just like the look of the Academy M1 over Rye Fields M1. I think I see a K2 in the near future. Happy Modeling, Mark
Jack_Turmoil
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Posted: Friday, March 09, 2018 - 06:16 AM UTC
I look forward to your build. I bought a set of DEF Model tracks for mine, as I have the #13298 kit. They are inexpensive and beat out the kit ones. They are included in the new version of this kit (#13504).
CMOT
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ARMORAMA
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Posted: Friday, March 09, 2018 - 07:55 AM UTC
Stage 2 and 5 Road Wheels and Suspension
The road wheels require three points to be cleaned once removed from the sprue, but this is just part of the build. The wheels go together easily and look the part. The oil level window on each wheel station has been provided and there are two types provided in this boxing; I have not added these to the wheels just yet due to the need to paint the model. From memory I recall seeing these painted on the inside with X19 Tamiya Smoke to great effect on the look of the finished model. The wheels are attached to the swing arms by what I think of as an old fashioned peg and there are three types of peg so make sure you use the right ones where needed. I really like this method as it means I can secure the wheels on the model with ease and also remove them later for painting after. The wheels are designed to rotate but the suspension is fixed and so unless you play with your models I do recommend the wheels are cemented in place when ready. The drive wheel is also designed to rotate via the use of a T shaped peg trapped inside. I have no issue with this method, but I have found that it is very easy for the two halves to be poorly aligned, so take a little time to get this right.










CMOT
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ARMORAMA
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Posted: Friday, March 09, 2018 - 08:09 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Darren, what color are you going for on this one, NATO or Desert? Also, I think it would be a good idea to compare it to my review/build of the first production of this kit.



I keep looking at the images you sent me, but I have the Legend stowage set for the Abrams and so I think it will end up as a desert finish. That Said bud I am thinking I like the idea of a tan tank with 3 colour cam net in the snow running around in Poland.
CMOT
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ARMORAMA
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Posted: Friday, March 09, 2018 - 08:11 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Darren, I'll be following too. I built the kit when it was first released and built the Rye Field M1A2 afterwards. Overall, I feel the Academy kit is the way to go. It's cheaper, goes together easier, has lot's of optional parts, the only weak point was the tracks. I can't vouch for which one is more accurate but looking at both built up kits side by side, I just like the look of the Academy M1 over Rye Fields M1. I think I see a K2 in the near future. Happy Modeling, Mark



So far I like what I am seeing and have not encountered any major issues except one, I will be covering this issue soon.
CMOT
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ARMORAMA
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Posted: Friday, March 09, 2018 - 08:12 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I look forward to your build. I bought a set of DEF Model tracks for mine, as I have the #13298 kit. They are inexpensive and beat out the kit ones. They are included in the new version of this kit (#13504).



This one has those tracks in the box and I like them a lot other than assembly is a little tedious.
CMOT
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ARMORAMA
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Posted: Friday, March 09, 2018 - 08:12 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I will be following this with great interest. I think that the quality of the newest Academy Abrams kits is really nice and might deserve some more attention from modellers.



Glad to have you along for the ride Nikos.
Epi
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Posted: Friday, March 09, 2018 - 10:30 AM UTC
Darren, if I'm not mistaken and the kit has 99% of the same parts as the first addition, there are drive sprockets with the "lighting holes" in the box. Parts G3, G2, and G1 should be used for the sprockets.

As for painting, I was asking because if you were going to do a NATO 3 color tank, I would send you the AK paints that Jim sent me since I can't get to them just yet.

CMOT
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ARMORAMA
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Posted: Friday, March 09, 2018 - 05:26 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Darren, if I'm not mistaken and the kit has 99% of the same parts as the first addition, there are drive sprockets with the "lighting holes" in the box. Parts G3, G2, and G1 should be used for the sprockets.

As for painting, I was asking because if you were going to do a NATO 3 color tank, I would send you the AK paints that Jim sent me since I can't get to them just yet.




I did think the wheels with the mud clearing holes were the way to go, but I could not find good reference to clarify the situation on this particular tank. I will make the change as you have suggested though.
CMOT
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ARMORAMA
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Posted: Friday, March 09, 2018 - 07:53 PM UTC
How many track links are there supposed to be on the Abrams. From what I am seeing it is 79 to 80 but an exact number would be nice.
Thank you in advance for any help you can provide.
HeavyArty
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Posted: Friday, March 09, 2018 - 08:30 PM UTC

Quoted Text

How many track links are there supposed to be on the Abrams. From what I am seeing it is 79 to 80 but an exact number would be nice.
Thank you in advance for any help you can provide.



Probably not the answer you want, but it depends, somewhere between 79-80. It depends on track wear; as the tracks loosen up, a link or two can be removed to tighten them. There is also a track adjustment that tightens them up using grease being inserted to move the idler wheel forward slightly.

As to the model, as many as it takes. The tracks usually are not that close to actual size and the number can vary as well.
CMOT
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ARMORAMA
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Posted: Friday, March 09, 2018 - 08:43 PM UTC
Thank you for the quick reply Gino
In this case then the model is impressive as 79 is tight and 80 is a little looser but still a good fit.
Epi
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Posted: Friday, March 09, 2018 - 10:05 PM UTC
I take it then Darren that Academy didn't fix the error about not showing the drive sprocket with lightning holes in the instructions?
CMOT
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ARMORAMA
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Posted: Friday, March 09, 2018 - 10:27 PM UTC
That is correct Pete they still show the solid version as the required one. I am curious as I thought they were to help prevent mud build up and to make removal of any build up easier. I note you refer to them as lightning holes as it to reduce weight.
CMOT
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ARMORAMA
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Posted: Friday, March 09, 2018 - 11:28 PM UTC
Stages 3, 4, 6 and 7 Attaching the Wheels to the Hull
The suspension arms look ok to me, but I am not an expert on the subject when it comes to areas that are not easily seen. The suspension arms fit via a circular peg with a further small lug for securing the angle the arms are set at, there is a very small amount of movement still possible and so I would decide if you want it up or down and stick to it on both sides. I opted for down as the two front wheels are secured via a single arm that locks the wheels in place and this looks to me to have resulted in all of the wheels being in contact with the floor. The return rollers are well represented on the model. The various parts that support the side skirts look to be accurate representations of what is present on the real vehicle and they also all look to be accurately placed. The bracket behind the idler wheel was the only one that gave me any issues due to getting it in the right plane all round.





Kharkov
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Posted: Saturday, March 10, 2018 - 04:30 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Bamboo chopping board Matt.



Ahh, I did wonder

You're flying along with this.

Matt
Epi
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Posted: Saturday, March 10, 2018 - 09:49 AM UTC
You Darren, I'm not sure why they call them "lightning holes?" But they do help with the mud, so you are right on that.
CMOT
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ARMORAMA
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Posted: Saturday, March 10, 2018 - 04:29 PM UTC
Stage 8 Belly Armour
The Belly Amour package is an option rather than a must, but regardless of if you want it or not the fit is very good and easy provided you opened up the holes in the lower hull for the locators. The towing or hitching rings are also added at this point and they fit very well. I have glued mine in place as I am fed up of losing details like this on a model, but they will stay put without glue it is just that you could knock them off.




CMOT
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ARMORAMA
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Posted: Saturday, March 10, 2018 - 04:31 PM UTC
The corrected drive wheel.
CMOT
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ARMORAMA
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Posted: Sunday, March 11, 2018 - 01:05 PM UTC
Today I am cover the rubber band track offering in the kit.

These tracks are the best rubber band tracks I have seen as regards how they go together. These have two slits at both ends into which locks a plastic track made of two halves; this holds the track together very well. The fit to the model is on the tight side with a very small amount of the track being pulled in between the drive wheel when fitted, but it is not excessive as to cause an eye sore. Detail wise they are good with the exception of the guide horns which are solid rather than hollow. The track side that touches the ground is very good as regards detail; the side that the wheels touch is also good but does require that three moulding stubs are cleaned up on each run.