M1A1/2 Abrams Wading Kit Question

Hey All,
I know there have a limited number of discussions about the part of the ‘wading kit’ that connects directly to the exhaust panel on the rear of the tank, and there was even a pdf post of the design criteria some years ago from Gino (HeavyArty), but my question is about color and composition of this component. The few pictures I’ve seen of this appear to be a very uniform dark grey color, and no weathering. Does anyone know if this component was painted, or are they bare metal of some type? Do they rust, chip, or dent? Sorry for the detail of the question, but I’m curious.

Oops…I have to amend my statements above. Looking at the photos of the widely published, hugely dirty and rusted USMC M1A1 tank, which is what I’m starting to model with the Meng 1/35 kit, it is clear that the wading kit diverter is seriously ‘folded in’ and creased near the bottom of the curved part of the component, looking like an impact with something had occurred. I just wanted to point out the obvious error in my above post before someone else does. However, I still don’t see chips or rust even where these ‘metal folds’ exist, though the top of the ‘interface ring’ appears to have a shine, like the (assumed metal) had been worn away.

That’s because paint wont stick to it. the exhaust temperature is to high and paint just burns off. It is actually a turbine (jet) engine in this tank. So the deflectors are just rusty exhaust & sooted metal covers that deflect the exhaust up. They were originally painted black. Sometimes the side don’t burn away as fast and you can see traces of black paint.

Here is a link of a factory fresh one:

Used hanging on the bustle rack:

Area without the deflector on:

I think he’s talking about the ‘toilet seat’ piece the Marines use to go wading, not the deflector pan. I would guess the same things as far as paint still apply tho.

Correct, sir, it is the Marine-used wading attachment I was asking about.

Which kit are you using/intending to use for this project ? The reason I ask is that an Abrams fitted with the flange to mount the exhaust stack adapter will also have a split air intake screen and tabs around the intake frame to mount the two intake stacks , I’m unsure if all kits include this option.

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Wow, thanks for asking! I’m using the 1/35 Meng USMC M1A1 AIM kit, which others have used to make this same tank.

Thank you for posting photos to clarify the component that is the subject of this thread. It looks to me like the deflector in these photos are all undamaged, not dented, but on ‘my’ tank, the bottom part of the deflector is clearly ‘squished’.

Found another photo showing the upper part fitted as well, notice the shiny lip of the lower part

And another one showing the intake stacks

Used the Perfect Scale set on one …


I think pretty much all the above has answered your questions.

To recap: The lower deflector is made out of steel and originally painted flat black. The paint quickly gets burned off by the 1500-degree exhaust of the Abrams and they stay a constant dark/blackened bare metal color. The metal is not that thick and can become damaged / crushed easily, as your example is.

One point though, the USMC did not use any M1A2 tanks, so you will not see any operational M1A2s fitted with snorkels. I am sure they can be fitted and have been tested, but the US Army (only U.S. user of M1A2s) has not done it operationally.


That shiny lip is a clamp, that holds the upper and lower parts together. I believe it is made of stainless steel for heat resistance.


Thanks, guys, for even more information. This is extremely helpful, and is giving me the direction I need to go to try to duplicate this in my build.

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