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Voiio M1A2 SEP V2 Abrams

Build review of the 1/35 scale armor kit with good marking choices
For a freshman effort, Voiio’s M1A2 is a hit. Beautifully molded parts are complemented by detailed vinyl tracks, detailed CROWS (common remotely operated weapon station), posable hatches, optional tow bar, and a bunch of stowage including ammo boxes, jerry cans, and clear water bottles. Decals for at least nine tanks round out the box’s contents — some of the options include multiple variations for ID markings.

After installing the suspension arms, tiedowns, and rear panel, I painted the lower hull and separate road wheels with Tamiya buff. Optional clear or smoky hubs are provided; I fitted the latter to match current vehicles.  

Before installing the vinyl tracks, I painted them with Tamiya flat earth; the rubber blocks were dusted with Star Dust black soot pastel. The running gear went on without problems.

Next, I fitted the upper hull and separated side skirts. Aligning the skirts with the supports underneath and the hinges above proved fiddly. I filled a small gap on the left rear top with Vallejo putty. 

I painted the vision blocks silver on the back side and Tamiya clear red on the front. This looked closer to the color of the real things compared to the suggested clear red fronts with clear green backs which looked too dark purple. The coatings on the lenses will show a bright purple, orange, or red depending on the angle.

After gluing the turret halves, I assembled the main gun; its many slide-molded parts fit together well. I had trouble fitting the gun mount, as two ribs interfered with it and I had to sand both to get the gun in place. 

The commander’s cupola was painted separately and installed later. 

The turret baskets went together fine. But, if I were to do it again, I would build the inner basket first and glue it in place, then add the outer one to ensure alignment.

The CROWS and loader’s weapons station are made up of many parts and care must be taken to get everything lined up.

All the stowage and personal equipment makes it easy to load up the tank with extra detail. I especially appreciated the decal labels for the clear water bottles. 

I painted the model in buff for desert sand camouflage, then applied decals for one of the 4th Infantry Division tank. The decals laid down with help from decal solvent on some of the stubborn markings.

My reference M1A2 SEP Abrams Main Battle Tank in Detail (Sabot, ISBN 978-0-9973774-8-4).

I spent 39 hours building Voiio’s M1A2. If you want an up-to-date Abrams, with plenty of stowage and marking options, this is the kit for you.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the February 2020 issue.


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