Eduard M-1A1 Abrams Mine Plow (35736)
by Frank De Sisto
Contains: three frets, one piece of film and five pages of instructions.
Price: $29.95 USD.
The Tamiya M1A1 kit with mine plough has been around for more than a
dozen years, so I have often wondered why Eduard never came out with a
dedicated set for it. My personal wait is over; now let’s see if
it was worth it.
Right off the bat, I noted that the parts given do not include the more
current OIF fixtures, such as CIP panels. But, there is the weather stripping
as seen on the side skirts included, so the modeler will not need to purchase
the separately available “Zoom” set that contains them. Other
items include front fender “rubber” flaps, the small brackets
and fittings for the fender’s torsion bar (for which there is a
diagram provided; the modeler will need to source the needed wire elsewhere),
and details for the driver’s hatch, fuel filler caps and hull rear
panel. There are also two instrument panels, with film dial faces, for
the area just inside of the driver’s hatch.
The engine deck receives new grills and screens, as well as various handles
and hinges. There are also handles that replace the kit’s molded-on
lumps on the tool box. Detail parts are given for the earlier hull rear-mounted
APU, which curiously do not include new tail-lamp armored shrouds. The
drive sprockets receive the sometimes-seen reinforcing rings, which were
fitted to help prevent the tracks from being thrown during maneuvers.
The plough receives some hinge and chain details, as well as a few small
plates and fittings.
The turret receives a large portion of the detail parts in this set,
including mesh for the bustle storage rack, tie-down loops, straps, brackets,
Tac number plate, wire reel and ammo box details. There is a small plate
for the turret roof rear edge as well as the storage bracket for the folded-down
wind sensor. There are a pair of smoke grenade launcher mounts as well
as a pair of new smoke grenade storage boxes. The storage lockers get
new handles as well as ammo box storage racks and straps, while the mantlet
receives new details such as flap and machine gun flash shroud. The gunner’s
“dog house” sight box receives new doors and sight aperture
frames, including clear acetate panels. The loader’s hatch receives
inner and outer details as well as a new machine gun ring. Both the 12.7mm
and 7.62mm machine guns receive new pintle mounts, trays, ammo boxes,
sights and belted ammo.
So, while this set can be used on the newer Tamiya M1A1/A2 kit (until
Eduard gets around to issuing a tailored set for it), it will be much
more suited to the earlier kit. The set will be usable to a larger proportion
of modelers, since it does not contain any very complex parts.
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.