Wanted to share a few pictures of my refurbished & repaired 18 year old Tamiya M1A1 Abrams.
Background- The kit was purchased in the early 1990’s for like $13 at one of those mall toy stores like K·B Toys that have all but disappeared. I was delighted with the purchase as several friends had bought the same Tamiya
kit #35156 for like $35 at the local hobby shop.
The kit was finally build, painted and weathered in early 2003 after a four year break from the hobby. A friend provided the “Loreli’s Gem” decals from a DML M1A1HA kit.
Contest travels & tight rubber band tracks took their toll on the model. Basically the suspension imploded one day at a contest with commander side drive sprocket snapping. I guess the sudden release of tension on just one side caused both idlers to split and shear of the shared plastic axle. In anycase half of one idler was lost.
Eventually replacement parts and tracks were located but I lost focus on repairing the model. I was active about two years before taking another extended break.
So finally after waiting patiently in a copy paper box for eighteen years and enduring several moves, the old M1A1 spent the last two weeks on and off the hobby desk.
Half dozen or so loose broken parts were reattached or replaced. Road wheels that sheared off of their axle spindles were super glued back. Replaced missing barrel on MG 240. Rear sprocket was repaired. Idlers repaired and glued flush as the axle had disintegrated. New rubber band tracks painted and weathered. The new rubber bands are loose and tacked in place so as not to over tension the very very fragile idlers.
A new base was used as my base finishing improved over the years. The original name plate “Loreli’s Gem” was retained.
The antennas have lost their tension over the years but I’ve decided to leave them well enough alone.
Oops. I misspelled it, but still contend it is probably named after a girlfriend or the TC’s last name. Based on what I know of soldiers, I doubt it is named after a German legend about a maiden and a big rock. We may never know though.