I`ve been wanting to build a more modern tank for a long time and with their relatively recent involvement in the battle for Mosul Iraqi M1A1M tanks have peaked my interest. Having said that the many details of Abrams versions are not my strong suit.
With all those experts here in this community I am hoping for the pointers as to the best base kit in 1/35 scale for my build.
As far as I am aware RFM with their newest Ukraine/Poland M1A1 version seems to have pretty much all modifications and details in the box. The only thing it seems to be missing is a small box on the turret roof to the left of the gunner sight. Am I right in this conclusion?
Furthermore it seems to be a good and very detailed model whose previous entries reviewed pretty well, nonetheless the abrams „Pros“ seem to debate about turret shapes, specific details etc. with every new release. Are there any mayor fixes necessary to build a accurate model from this kit?
I am aware of Sabot Publications book on the matter and I plan to purchase it along with the model as a reference guide.
Lastly regarding the matter of tank crew: As far as I can see they seem to be wearing quite a mismatch of uniforms with primarily US tank helmets and some soviet stile (albeit flatter) tanker helmets. Any pointers regarding the correct headwear?
The Iraqi Army M1 Abrams are M1A1 SA (Situational Awareness) tanks. They are standard M1A1s without Depleted Uranium (DU) turret armor. Externally, they look like any other modern M1A1 tank. Any of the latest batch of M1A1 model kits will work as an Iraqi M1A1 SA though.
As for the missing part, I believe you are talking about the Blue Force Tracker (BFT) antenna on the side of the GPS (circles below) missing. I think it is in the RFM kit as an unused part.
Yes, the Sabot book is a must. Lots of detail on the beating these vehicles took as well as decals. As far as uniforms and headgear go , it looks like t-shirts , 3 color BDU pants and standard tanker helmets without the outer shell.