Looking to buy an M1A2. Advice?

I am looking for an M1A2 maybe a SEP.
For those that have built one is there a preferred kit?
I like accuracy and good engineering and ease of build. I don’t like 1200 parts.
Do not want an interior.
Asking so as to avoid disappointment with fit, accuracy and complexity.

I have built the Tamiya, Italeri, Dragon and Academy kits. Stay away from the Tamiya and Italeri offerings.

The Dragon kits (M1A2 SEP and M1A2 SEP V2) are nice but some tweaks are required depending on the version you want to build. DS tracks are included. The engine deck needs attention and dry fitting to avoid misalignment of parts. The CROWS is the SEP V2 kit is not up to the standards of the rest of the kit.

You might find the latest Academy offerings nice and worth the money, time and effort.

You get 3 versions from the first one if I recall correctly you can get all three from the second one as well. You just need the instructions of the first kit to work with.

I have not built the RFM and Meng offerings, so I cannot comment on them. I woud be interested to read other people’s comments on them.(stocked up Dragon M1A2 SEP V2 kits and Academy ones).


Greg, I haven’t built it yet, its still sealed in its bags but I have RFM M1A2 SEP V2, I’m no MQ expert but if needed I can break open the box to show you the sprues/instructions etc.

I recommend either the Dragon, Meng, or Rye Field kits, depending on which version you want to build.

Personally, I really like Rye Field’s kits, mainly because they allow for many versions and options. They come with a bit of extra gear too. Both Meng and Rye Field are about the same quality, followed closely by Dragon’s newer M1A2 SEP or SEP v2. Dragon’s older M1A2 is not up to current standards.


If you are doing a Tusk tank, I still like Tamiya’s latest They did an upgrade of their turret and typical Tamiya engineering. Rubber one piece tracks are stress free, although you trade off some detail. . I’ve built the Meng M1A1 and that was nice save for the million part tracks. I used DEF Models tracks instead. They were more pleasant to build. I too have the Rye Field M1A2 SEP V2, but haven’t built it yet. It looks good in the box, but a lot of parts. One thing with RFM M1 kits is that some have the link to link multi parts tracks and others have the link and length, so do a little research if those bother you like me. I picked up the RFM SEP V2 because it had link and length.

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I built the Meng Tusk Abrams and it was an enjoyable build; except for the tracks. I went with metal tracks and it came out amazing IMO. I will be tackling the RFM one next.

I’ll be building the RFM SEP V2.


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Here’s the Dragon A2 SEPV2 I did 6-7 years ago.
Typical Dragon impossible instructions but a nice result. I recall I used the ammo chute from the Bronco CROWS because the Dragon one wouldn’t stay put.

I’ve since built the Academy, Meng and RFM kits.
My opinion? RFM hands down, although Meng’s Abrams kits are pretty close second.

Speaking of spares, from the Meng kits, you’ll end up with lots of extras.

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Has anyone bought/built the VOIIO M1A2 kits?

If 1/72 is your speed, then the Flyhawk kit is excellent:

If you want a SEP Abrams then T-Models is the one to buy. It’s only slightly less good than Flyhawk.
:smiley: :canada:

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I purchased a VOIIO kit but have not built it yet, it looks pretty nice but not sure how it stacks up against the others mentioned.

I think the RFM M1A2 SEP V2 is the direction I am heading. I really would like a SEP V3 but that is not on the market that I am aware of. It would be great if someone made a 2 in 1 kit, version 2 and version 3.

Nope, none available yet. Hopefully someone will come out with one soon. I would bet it will be either Meng, Rye Filed, or Dragon. We shall see.

I don’t think you’d be disappointed with Academy M1A2 TUSK II, RFM SEP V2, or Meng M1A2. Not sure if you have seen this article by Vodnik but he did a comprehensive comparison of the newest Abrams kits some years ago:
It may come down to availability and part counts.
Tamiya’s shows a bit of age and Dragon’s M1A2 SEP V2 kit suffers some underscale CROWS parts. VOIIO M1A2s are OOP, and they have some errors on drive sprockets and road wheels.


There are no errors on the VOIIO road wheels AFAIK - this came from a review where the reviewer didn’t realise there are different patterns.

The Modelling News: In-Boxed: 1/35th scale M1A2 SEP V2 Abrams US Main Battle Tank from VOIIO

Drive sprockets yes, wrong number of bolts, but not very noticeable.

Aside from that, the VOIIO kits are beautiful, possibly the best M1A2 out there. Such a shame they seem to be defunct.

As to the road wheel hub cap error you may be referring to, it depends on who you ask. To me, it is a bit off:
Reference photos:

  • From Vodnik’s review page:
    Here’s a photo of the real thing sold on eBay:

The real thing has more “fins” going around and the hole has more pronounced hexagonal shape instead of rounder outer shape like in VOIIO kit (they attempted more subtle hexagonal shape inside):

On the same modelling site, this builder posted a side by side photo, and you can see the difference:

If you look at the newest Academy or RFM offering, they did a better job - from Vodnik’s review page:

That brings me another annoyance in VOIIO’s. The rubber track included in that kit is the older T158 type with solid guide horns rather than the newer T158LL tracks seen on SEP V2s. From Vodnik’s, they should look like the below:
Not like:

There are other things I did not like about VOIIO kit such as the M2 50 cal. not looking as nice as other brands’ and limited options to SEP V2 only when other kits provided more versions for the price, etc., etc. I must disagree that it’s the best M1A2 on the market, and IMHO, it was expected to go defunct in light of competition.

I suspect that there are more than one version of the road wheel hub cap. So correct one would depend on the time frame / version you make.

My mistake - I’d wrongly assumed you were referring to the Modelling News review. You’re right that the hub parts aren’t quite right. The track teeth I’m guessing were just a detail compromise from using one-piece tracks - Academy did the same.

I still maintain the VOIIO M1 is a great kit. None of the kits are perfect. Academy made some detail compromises for ease of build; Rye Field copied some errors from Dragon. I personally liked VOIIO the best, but rate all three high.

Sure, however, Academy remedied/improved the situation by including the excellent DEF model indi tracks with a later release #13504. M1A2 Abrams SEP v2 TUSK II, Academy 13504 (2017).
I am not saying VOIIO is a bad kit. It’s OK with its own shortcomings. I simply think the available latest Abrams kits are better. Each to its own.