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Dragon Abrams...

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  • Member since
    May, 2004
  • From: Somewhere in Lima, Perú
Posted by Zero Enna on Wednesday, September 26, 2012 12:49 PM

That APU at the rear hull... It looks like the older M1A1, the kit #3535 has the APU on the basket at the turret's rear. BTW recent boxings of kits 3535 and 3536 come with flexible DS tracks, not "Magic Tracks" like older production batches. Fortunately, I bought my M1A2 only 2 weeks after it came out ^^ Best regards.

José.

"Vivir venciendo o morir matando"
  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Wednesday, September 26, 2012 9:32 AM

I never finished my first Dragon Abrams I bought when it first came out (M1A2). Wasn't used to the fiddly bits and loose fit. I've since built their Abrams kits several times, but I will say it isn't an enjoyable build. I even liked building the Trumpeter kit better.

If you just want the mine plow, post that you're looking for one on forums that allow those posts. There are guys out there with mine plows that they'll never use.

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Tuesday, September 25, 2012 11:56 AM

Funny, I picked up that same kit just after the '91 Gulf War and she's still lying the box half-built twenty years later Dunce

Thanks for the comparison article Phil, never would have guessed the Italeri kit as the second best out there. Of course the article is dated 2004 - I wonder how the newer kits measure up.  Going to have to web-search some reviews for the  M1A1AIM or M1A2SEP kits Rob listed there. 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Tuesday, September 25, 2012 12:03 AM

The Dragon mine plow is the most notorious to assemble of the three available brands (Tamiya, Trumpeter & Dragon). I don't recall problems with turret accuracy, but the bustle rack is a bear to assemble.

The separate back deck (to access the engine compartment) was molded incorrectly; the grills that should be part of the removeable portion are instead molded to the upper hull. this is only a problem if you want to add an engine.

  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, September 24, 2012 10:01 PM

I think I'm gonna pop on this one...the mine-plow is just too tempting...

  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: Sydney, Australia
Posted by Phil_H on Monday, September 24, 2012 5:34 PM

Manstein's revenge
What's are the issues with the turret that keep popping up?  And something about an incorrect bustle rack?

Not really anything much wrong with the turret itself. The only real issue I can recall is that you have to be careful fitting and glueing the underplate. Make sure it fits flush to the opening all the way around, otherwise a lopsided turret may result.

As far as the bustle rack goes, the parts breakdown is almost prototypical, made up of separate bars and brackets, with multiple parts which must be glued together in the correct alignment and position at the same time. Take your time and remember to breathe, and grow another pair of hands.

This is the standard bustle rack, which is an integral part of every M1A1/A2 - perhaps you are referring to the demountable bustle rack extension, (often abbreviated to BRE) which is a later add-on and of which two types existed. One is specific to Army M1A1's and the other was at one point specific to USMC M1A1's, but has since become universal and is used by both services. Either way, this is outside the scope of this particular kit, as no BRE of any description is included.

  • Member since
    October, 2008
  • From: England
Posted by P mitch on Monday, September 24, 2012 2:05 PM

Its only a problem putting the bustle together, from memory the connection points aren't great, I just took my time and let everything set. I don't know about the turret problem as it looks like an Abrams one to me.

"If anybody ever tells you anything about an aeroplane which is so bloody complicated you can't understand it, take it from me: it's all balls." R J Mitchell


  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, September 24, 2012 1:22 PM

What's are the issues with the turret that keep popping up?  And something about an incorrect bustle rack?

The only reason I'd pop on this is to get the tank and plow (which IMO makes the tank way cooler) in one boxing...

  • Member since
    October, 2008
  • From: England
Posted by P mitch on Monday, September 24, 2012 1:10 PM

I've pulled the kit I have from the shelf and taken a couple of shots to show the inside of 3516. it has link and length tracks which I wont be using, have a look for ones by AFV which are workable and look good

Phil

"If anybody ever tells you anything about an aeroplane which is so bloody complicated you can't understand it, take it from me: it's all balls." R J Mitchell


  • Member since
    April, 2005
  • From: Piscataway, NJ!
Posted by wing_nut on Monday, September 24, 2012 11:47 AM

Can't say about the tank but the bouns figs are pretty nice.  That's the set I used with the T-55 Engima.

Marc  

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Monday, September 24, 2012 11:22 AM

Phil_H

Actually, the Revell kit was a rebox of this one. As stated, it's an older kit, from Dragon's original Abrams series. Fairly decent kit, but lacks in a few areas. It pre-dates the turret bustle rack APU and the exhaust outlet flange.

It is the original Dragon M1A1 kit released after Desert Storm. It was (past tense) considered the best M1A1 Abrams tank kit for much of the 90s. When Trumpeter released their M1A1/A2, they copied the better parts of the Tamiya and Dragon kits to come up with a marginally better Abrams kit (except for the chunk missing from the turret).

It is still a decent kit. Dragon & Shanghai Dragon released it so many times in minor variations that you can buy an older version for chump change. From memory, they did with mine plow, with USMC deep water fording kit, with interior and crew and an M1A2 that was a sprue swap but basically the same kit. This kit looks to be the mine plow version (which was once sold separately for around $5).

Revell also reboxed the Italeri M1A2, which is a different tank model inside and not a Dragon Abrams.

I'd skip this orange box kit and look for the all new tooled Dragon M1A1AIM or M1A2SEP. The AIM is hard to find because it is a popular vehicle used by all. The SEP is a less common tank used by only a few units in the US Army so you have less options on how to model it accurately.

The Dragon Panther II mentioned above used the M1IP hull and differs from the hull used by the M1A1 or the M1A2 or M1A2SEP. The IP hull did not have the NBC overpressurization system in it. On a turretless vehicle, its inclusion or ommission would be a glaring error. This is the reason why the Panther II IP hull hasn't surfaced as another version (like the M1IP) since Dragon doesn't have the earlier 105mm turret.

Dragon is big on including CAD parts posters on their announcements, and this one is missing that. It leads me to believe they are just releasing the mine plow version and tossing in a set of troops. A quick look on eBay and you can get these old Abrams kits for anywhere between $10 and $50, depending on what the seller is smoking and how bad they need their next fix.

  • Member since
    May, 2005
  • From: Dublin Rep Of Ireland
Posted by terry35 on Monday, September 24, 2012 11:09 AM
Sorry the iPhone did not push through the euro symbol, that was meant to be the kugleblitz is 50 euro here.

  • Member since
    May, 2005
  • From: Dublin Rep Of Ireland
Posted by terry35 on Monday, September 24, 2012 11:08 AM
Seems like good value, now I'm not sure but I think the most accurate hull is the one dragon provide in their Panther II mine roller vehicle but this hull never appeared anywhere else as far as I know, Gino or Rob would know much more than I would. As for the turret I have absolutely no idea.
I was looking on evil bay and these orange box seem good value but certainly not here in Dublin where the kugleblitz Pz. IV will set you back €50.

Terry.

  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: Sydney, Australia
Posted by Phil_H on Monday, September 24, 2012 8:29 AM

Actually, the Revell kit was a rebox of this one. As stated, it's an older kit, from Dragon's original Abrams series. Fairly decent kit, but lacks in a few areas. It pre-dates the turret bustle rack APU and the exhaust outlet flange.

If all the original parts from #3516 are in this box, it will have a partial interior (driver's station and partial turret interior).

The turret bustle rack and side rails are a little diabolical to build, but patience will be rewarded. Side rails may be a little short and are best replaced with styrene rod (easier than trying to clean up the kit parts anyway).

There are some parts where the ejector pins have long departed from the tooling and resulted in solid columns of plastic on the said parts (inside the dished area of the spare roadwheels comes to mind).

With a  bit of skill and patience, it comes out nicely.

This is the USMC version from the same tooling.

You can find a detailed rundown on the kit here: http://vodnik.republika.pl/pages/m1-comparison/m1comp1.htm

  • Member since
    October, 2008
  • From: England
Posted by P mitch on Monday, September 24, 2012 7:50 AM

It looks like an older kit no 3516 I have which I think could be a reboxed Revell one. I built the non mine plough one already and it looked fine to me. It would benefit from a few photo etch additions and a better barrel but for the price I got mine for (about $15) it is fine

Phil

"If anybody ever tells you anything about an aeroplane which is so bloody complicated you can't understand it, take it from me: it's all balls." R J Mitchell


  • Member since
    November, 2005
Dragon Abrams...
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, September 24, 2012 7:25 AM

Anyone have the skinny on the Dragon M1?  Good kit?  Bad kit?  If its a good one its gonna be real cheap soon in this Orange Box at around $30...with a plow...

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