by: Jared Sargent [ ]
An excellent kit from Legend Productions, with many nice accesories for the M1 Abrams. Just as a starter, to give you a little background information, I am a U.S. Tanker who enjoys modeling for the thrill of it, not necessarily for itís accuracy. Primarily I use the models I build to show my soldiers what you can hunt and what is out of season. And, this is my first review, so bear with me.
The kit is resin and one piece of PE, 110 parts on 62 sprues(I believe that is what they are called with resin). The kit came in a small black box, with a decent photo showing what was available. No instructions came with the kit, but a nice color pamphlet advertising other kits was inserted in.
That having been said, the kit is all resin except for one piece of photo etch. Clean molds, with only a little warpage on some pieces, such as the sprockets, or the manpack radio kits. Parts are nicely detailed, and generally are rather accurate. I purchased this kit in Korea, at a hobby shop down in Seoul for about 25,000 won, roughly $22 dollars U.S.
Without instructions, on a few of the parts, the only way to identify what they were by type was to go hunt down some of my more experienced compatriots. This kit covers a pretty broad range, including some very modern equipment, but also having a few strange but old type of items.
First group I will cover, my favorite of the whole kit, is a working tow bar. Most kits, such as AFV clubís M88 series, or any others that have come out with the U.S. Modern heavy tow bar make the unit one solid mold, unable to be used in nice diorama possibilities. This portion of the kit is 9 pieces, consisting of 5 pins, two feet, the long arm and the short arm. A little ingenuity, and one can keep this item removeable for multiple models, or positions up on the shelf. VERY nice addition for me, as I was surprised by it.
Second group is the POL portion. It consists of 4 buckets, and 4 5 gallon oil cans. The 5 gallon can model the current cans quite nicely. Each M1 usually carries one can of 30wt oil in such a can for itís transmission.
There is a complete manpack radio, with frame. An old AN/PRC-75, I believe, but it comes with handmike, frame, straps, radio, and KYK-13 pouch. Most tanks wonít have one, and the radio is definitely old, but still, an ingenuous tanker always has something else hidden down in that sponson box. And, on the communication side, it comes with two nice CVC helmets that just need to have boom mikes attached to them, as well as two kevlars for tossing around the antenna base.
Comes with the standard L8 grenade launchers, both the left and right side, along with the two 2Ē square stock tubes that get welded on the #1 skirts. Most models come with that hard molded in, and either need to be replaced with PE, resin, or scratchbuilt for accuracy of the tank. There are also the outside portion of the sprocket carriers for the sprocket in the rear that are fairly accurate, along with two old style sprockets(still issued out though). On a kit, you would have to use the inside sprocket and carrier. Adds a nice bit of detail to a Tamiya or Academy M1 series, but Trumpeterís sprocket is accurate enough. However, as part of the loadplan, the sprockets come in handy attached to the bustle rack. Also included is an EAPU(External Auxiliary Power Unit), to be mounted in the bustle rack, rather correctly detailed for the earlier version with a battery(later version has a slave receptacle, not battery, and is an easy mod), but does not include the hatch to access the EAPU controls. Not a biggie, and can be added pretty easily with a scribe tool and some small rivets. Nice addition for those kits that come with the older style APU mounted on the right rear corner of the hull, or that come without one at all(like Academy).
The one oddball device that I couldnít figure out, and it took me a little bit to find out what it was, and itís accuracy to history, was the piece of photo-etch. Once I identified it though, it fell into place. The piece of photo-etch is the mount for the Hoffman device, the 9 tubed launcher for Hoffmans, little tubes packed with a quarter stick of dynamite used to simulate the main gun going off on the MILES system. The mount would bolt to the lifting eye mount on the left side of the turret, in front of the CITV, or cover for it, depending on type of tank, and that mounting system hasnít been used in years. But, itís there, and I am certain could be used to good effect on an earlier M1, or M1IP.
For ammunition/stowage, the kit comes with 7 different types of round containers, used by tankers to hold maps, or antennas(use your imagination, thatís what we do). Nice range, and accurately reflects the use of various types of containers even in the same unit. There are 4 7.62 mm ammunition cans, 4 cal .50 ammunition cans(two with open lids, excellent lids included), and 4 25MM ammunition cans(two with open lids, lids and handles provided), along with two strips of cal. 50 ammunition to lay in the open containers(fits nicely). 3 105mm crates, 2 small rucksacks, 2 duffle bags, two buttpacks, two cots, three 5 gallon water jugs, and two camouflage netting pole bags, to be strapped on the side of the turret sponson boxes. Last, but definitely not least, the kit comes with 3 CIP(Combat Identification Panels), which are now standard on all M1 series tanks, and most kits fail to include, and Legends actually have the right number of ridges in the These, and a little card stock are the complete kit issued to tanks to prevent fratricide in a thermal environment.
Over all, even though the price is more than the cost of most kits, I believe this kit is a good deal. Combining it with other add-ons, it would be successful for adding items to several tanks, excluding the CIP panels(would need to buy more of them). I was highly surprised by Legends, since for a while I have learned not to put much faith in the accuracy of M1 tank models or accessories. These seem to have been built with quite a bit of research and attention to detail.
Copyright ©2020 text by Jared Sargent [ ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Historicus Forma or Silver Star Enterprises. All rights reserved.
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