Backdating HL Abrams M1A2 to A1

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Postby SimonCornes » Tue May 04, 2021 10:29 am

Just acquired one of these and I'm waiting for it to arrive.

I don't know much about the Abrams so I was wondering if you can point me in the right direction for references to convert back to an A1?

Secondly, I have just purchased the 'Detail Up' M1A1 waterslide decals available from ebay from xyzmall-china.
Now these look very comprehensive to me but I have no idea how much information they will include on decal placement or camouflage colours - are these all desert yellow Abrams from the Gulf War campaign I wonder? Tamiya suggest that TS-45 is a good match for the dessert colours or the 3 colour NATO scheme for a European tank but I suspect the decals - being mainly black based - wont be right for a European Abrams?
Any info gratefully accepted!
Thank you

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Postby BarryC » Tue May 04, 2021 12:01 pm

Greetings Sir,

I've been back dating the HL A2 to A1 here.

viewtopic.php?f=201&t=18880

Though there a number of differences but the most noticeable is the Commanders Hatch and 50 Cal mount. It is completely different from the A2 and there it is not available as a replacement part anywhere that I know of. I used the pieces from the Trumpeter 1/16 M1A1 kit.

As for good references there are several but I've found these to be most useful.

https://spruebrothers.com/sab006-sabot- ... me-1-iraq/

They also publish a 2 Vol set for the M1A2 that are chock full of good quality detail photos that are common to both the A1 and A2.

Looking forward to watching you build progress. :thumbup:

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Postby SimonCornes » Tue May 04, 2021 12:44 pm

Thank you Barry. I thought Tamiya’s was an A2 as well? In 1/16 that is. I’ll do some more digging!
Sorry, read your message again - Trumpeter!!

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Postby BarryC » Tue May 04, 2021 2:49 pm

I have used several pieces out of the Trumpeter kit along with the Commanders Hatch and 50 Cal mount. I also used a number of others because the detail on them is better or more accurate than the HL part.

If you look through my build, any part you see that is gray is from the Trumpeter kit.

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Postby tankme » Tue May 04, 2021 10:22 pm

Trumpeter actually as a sprue replacement program where you can order any sprue from any kit. You just Email them with the kit number and the sprue designation at joanna@trumpeter-china.com. They will send a Paypal invoice. They are slow as hell responding and shipping though. I have the Trumpeter M1A1 AIM kit in 1/16 scale (kit #0926). I ordered parts from the M1A2 kit (kit #0927) for my Heng Long build and they were fairly cheap for the sprue. At the time a large sprue was $13.00 US shipped.

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Postby SimonCornes » Wed May 05, 2021 10:42 am

Thank you guys!

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Postby SimonCornes » Wed May 05, 2021 11:13 am

Barry, I've started to read your 'epic' tale! I started at the beginning and went through the first 5 or 6 pages then moved to the end and looked at the last 5 or so pages but couldn't fond any of the imagery you mentioned but I was bowled over by the shear engineering and attention to detail! I think I may have a look at the Trumpeter kit to get an idea of whats different and take out from there because I don't have the love for the tank that you clearly have! Mine was bought 'spares or repair' with an RX-18 MFU which I am replacing with a TK6.1 so that its sounds better and moves more smoothly. I could cheat and pretend that its an A1 and just slap on the decals but that goes against the grain of my modelling instinct so I'll have to try harder but I may resort to scratch building the different bits with card! I must admit that I'm also taken with the European camouflage but maybe I should allow myself just one Desert Storm machine! I wonder if those decals include placement info though? I certainly hope so otherwise I'm lost!

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Postby BarryC » Wed May 05, 2021 1:18 pm

Simon,

Here are a couple pics, brass and white styrene are details I've added or modified.

Commander Hatch and Gun Station: You can see how different it is from the A2 hatch and 50 cal. mount
Image

Here are a couple of pics of the main pieces I used from the Trumpeter kit:

Image

Image

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Postby SimonCornes » Wed May 05, 2021 4:55 pm

Thanks Barry, that is really some wonderful model engineering - gold medal stuff for sure! I have just ordered a copy of the Haynes Manual on the Abrams because I find that there are so many reference books available on subjects, I spend more time reading than building! Hopefully that book will give me a baseline so that I know what I am looking at and i can take it from there. Damned pity the decals I have aren't for an A2 !!

Simon

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Postby jarndice » Wed May 05, 2021 6:24 pm

Instead of decals have you thought of "Stencils"?
Our own Rad Schuhart made me a full set for my Abrams and painted on detail using stencils almost always looks more "Real" and it will almost certainly be a lot cheaper and best of all Rad does bespoke stencils,
Tell him what you want and he will give you a first class job :thumbup:
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Postby SimonCornes » Wed May 05, 2021 6:47 pm

Thanks Shaun but I already have water slide decals on order!!
My opinions of stencils are a bit mixed at the moment!

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Postby tankme » Wed May 05, 2021 7:14 pm

There are many times where you see black markings on tan and then the NATO camo painted around it. So let's say the Abrams was tan when the markings were applied. Then they paint it NATO 3-color. They will mask the markings so they don't have to reapply them. You end up with a tan rectangle with black markings. You can see an example of this below on this Bradley rear storage bin:

Image

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Postby SimonCornes » Thu May 06, 2021 12:15 am

Grief - almost anything goes!!
And I was going to ask about track colour to. I'm used to a gunmetally colour for WWII tracks but what colour are modern tracks? These seem to much closer to silver but with black rubber pads. What is the best compromise?

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Postby Meter rat » Thu May 06, 2021 5:53 pm

Some of the photos in the Haynes manual show the tracks to be painted in the same sand colour as the rest of the tank. I think colour depends on deployment, type of terrain etc. There are some very rusty looking ones, presumably from amphibious landings or storage? And some just look like overspray from painting, especially the spare tracks on the side.

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Postby abramsky » Thu May 06, 2021 6:58 pm

SimonCornes wrote:Grief - almost anything goes!!
And I was going to ask about track colour to. I'm used to a gunmetally colour for WWII tracks but what colour are modern tracks? These seem to much closer to silver but with black rubber pads. What is the best compromise?


Hello Simon
It all depends on the terrain and the time of use in the field. New caterpillars (or not used for a long time) looks different - they are usually rusty. Otherwise, those used intensively. If they don't get rusty (which happens very quickly), they can sparkle with pure metal, and only the nooks and crannies holds some soil. mud or dust. The rubber pads rubs off and is almost never flawlessly black.

Take a look here ( skip to 29:38 ):
https://ok.ru/video/229657742010
phpBB [video]

You will find here not only the color of the new caterpillars - quite rusty as you can see :). But it's worth watching the entire movie and looking at many details. Unfortunately, the original version of the youtube video was blocked at NG's request.

Also check out the primeportal - you'll find tons of photos with lots of details.

And, of course, use Google - you'll find photos that interest you in the blink of an eye. Eg.
https://www.google.com/search?q=m1a1+abrams+primeportal.net&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjGvfi30LXwAhWBhf0HHWHSCLYQ_AUoAXoECAIQAw&biw=1536&bih=775

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.alamy.com%2Fstock-photo-detail-of-an-m-1a1-abrams-tank-track-51926538.html&psig=AOvVaw2rsvE-wi9zAP0_ATSyFE2o&ust=1620407223945000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=2ahUKEwiL2Yi5xbXwAhUVHuwKHVQvDnUQjRx6BAgAEAc
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Postby tankme » Thu May 06, 2021 11:45 pm

Track will vary in color. I would say most of us will paint the track black or use a bluing agent. From there you can let the tracks weather on their own or weather them yourself. A well used track will take on more of a grayish color and a less used track will have more rust. A tan track has taken on a lot of dust as it has never been painted tan. The sand in Afghanistan is like talcum powder. It's very fine and sticks to everything. I'll probably never get all of it out of my lungs... :) Personally I make them black and let the earth do the rest for me, but that is me.

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Postby SimonCornes » Fri May 07, 2021 11:19 am

This is all great info, thank you. I intend to watch that National Geographic film when I have an hour to spare as it seems really good after the first 8 minutes!
Thanks for the track colour suggestions. Up to now I have been spraying all my tracks with Nissan automotive 'Gunmetal' which asa you would imagine is a fairly dark grey metallic and I think I'll do the same with the Abrams, maybe with a black wash and a rust wash and then, as tandem says, run it and accept whatever natural colour gets added! I'll paint the rubber pads in dark grey and let them weather in use.
Thanks again.

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Postby SimonCornes » Fri May 07, 2021 12:55 pm

Its just turned up -its Hobby Engine, not Heng Long!! I checked the eBay sale and it just said 1/16 Abrams so, like a prune, I didn't recognise it as HE, especially as it was sold ex transmitter, which would have give it away! I have PM'd Tankbear to ask for his opinion but I must admit to be feeling somewhat hacked off! But at least I have an A1 cupola!!
Ah well, I have a brand new TK6.1 for it and some Chinese decals on the way. I really am in two minds about whether to do anything with it our put it in a box and forget it!

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Postby abramsky » Fri May 07, 2021 2:01 pm

Well Simon.
I can only say that you have a lot of work to do ... It so happened that I also bought my son a fake M1A2 but I knew about it and the price was just a bargain. In fact, Hobby Engine's Abrams is a hybrid of several Abrams versions with two APUs (on the right end of the hull as in the early M1 and second on the bustle rack like in A2 ) :). With the commander's panoramic sight (as in A2) and with blow off panels as in M1. I am not sure about the engine deck, but I found that it is just a toy for my son and he has to ride for the rest, he will not pay attention anyway haha ​​...

You can find some interesting reports from the conversion of this tank (but be careful - nothing fits it right away - plug and play from the parts available on the market). One of the most interesting works is the Australian version of the M1:
https://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/rc-tanks-369/10006114-hobby-engine-m1-a1-modified-aussie-max.html

and this:
https://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/rc-tanks-369/10001322-hobby-engine-m1a1-modifications.html
I'm not sure if it's not the same (I paste without reading the whole report )

You can also take a look at my report from the rebuilt my sons HE Abrams (I have not supplemented it with a few added elements yet):
http://rctank.pl/forum/viewtopic.php?f= ... ead#unread

You can also just take a look on my videos:
Driving before and after the first modification:
phpBB [video]


from the first ride with TK 6.1 on board:
phpBB [video]

and
phpBB [video]


And also my last mod added to the TK 6.1;)
phpBB [video]


Good luck :) :thumbup:
Last edited by abramsky on Fri May 07, 2021 2:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby abramsky » Fri May 07, 2021 2:11 pm

And one more think...
Considering the number of elements from the early version of M1 - I would suggest you go this way. Maybe even with an APU early version at the rear of the lower hull. I have not seen this version of RC in 1/16 scale anywhere.
Btw. This HE holds the scale pretty well. Of course, the dimensions of the hull differ a few mm from Trumpetere, HL or Tamiya (I have Tamiya and Trupetere lower hulls) but for a modeller it is not a problem (unfortunately for me it is, because I'm not a typical modeller haha)
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