Tamiya M1 Abrams (35124). M1/M1IP conversion

I have been playing with the idea of a quick, “Shake N’ Bake” build of the early Tamiya M1 Abrams tank kit.

Now, while doing research on the development of the tank and looking at old images from West Germany in the 1980s; I saw an old picture of the M1IP fielded by the 24th Infantry Division back in the 90s…

(from Tank Encyclopedia)

Then I started reading up on what the M1IP upgrades included. And I was wondering… How hard would it be to convert the Tamiya kit into an M1IP? I know he armor around the turret was extended (Short/LongTurret); added the extended bustle rack, along with improved suspension to account for the increased turret weight.

(From Tank Encyclopedia).

I did order the Tankograd books on all the MBT variants of the Abrams, so they’ll be plenty of reference material for me to pour over. But honestly, i am curious to see if i can kitbash parts from the M1A1 kit into the M1 kit to create the M1IP. Parts like the “extended” gun mantlet, rear bustle rack, side racks, etc…

AM I just blowing hot air or is this something worth looking into? @HeavyArty; help me out here.

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PM me iv done that twice by kitbashing Tamiyas M1A2 and the early M1 to make a IPM1


Thanks Nick. I’m scouring eBay for the separate parts trees from both Tamiya and Academy right now.

I was going to tell you how i did it

PM sent. :slight_smile:

i responded

You seem to be on the right track. To me though, it isn’t worth the effort to convert the old dog Tamiya M1 kit. I would just get the Panda M1IP kit and fix the couple issues it has and go with it.


Just got the kit in the mail last night.

As I expected; it was New Old Stock, so it was still sealed and in all original packaging.

I also bought the extra parts to do the “Long Turret” conversion. However, i realized that i ordered the turret from an M1A2 and not an M1A1 :man_facepalming: . No worries, already ordered the M1A1 turret halves, so they’re in transit.

You can clearly see the modernization of the Abrams turret.

Aside from the obvious differences, there’s the armored cover for the left side smoke discharger. The Loaders hatch’s vision block cover sits above this cover on the M1A2.

On the real deal.

You can clearly see the difference between the early M1 “short Turret” and the “Long Turret” upgrade from the M1IP that carried on to this day on all the A1 and A2 variants, EXCEPT for the M1A2 SEP v3, which has even thicker frontal turret armor.

Luckily for me, the lower turret half of the A2 turret fits on the upper hull of the M1 kit.

Stock M1 lower turret.

A2 lower turret half.

I also noticed that the turrets don’t fit perfectly centered, which i find strtange. Is this by design or is that an issue with the Tamiya kits?


Yes, the turret is slightly off center to the right side (TC’s side). Not sure why, but it is.


Slightly more scientific:

Gunline remains centered, however.


Hey! You’re right. The gun is offset to the left while the turret is offset to the right. And everything falls in place.

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Which just proves that sometimes two wrongs do make it right.


Yes, to accomodate gunner and most of his equipment. It’s slight, but it has been so for many tanks dating back to WWII. But let’s not drag those German Tiger geeks back into it. :roll_eyes:

as many Abrams as i built over the years i never noticed

Animated Meme: Jack Nicholson Gifs

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How can one have soo many models of both the tiger I and king tiger?
there were 3 variants of the Tiger I and 2 variants of the King Tiger and both were operiated by maybe what 2 heavy tank battalions and maybe a heavy waffen SS tank battalion
at least with the Abrams the possibles are endless I have built 7 and have more planned

I have three Tigers built (Early, Mid and Sturmtiger), plus a King Tiger in the stash. I think I have four Panzer IV variants (a PzIV Ausf. E, a PzIV Ausf. H mid, a StuG IV mid, and a Mobelwagen). Plus a loose assortment of other vehicles (a Panther A, a Jagdpanther G2, two 251/1s, a 250 Neu, a Kettenkrafttrad, a Kubelwagen, a Schimmwagen and a Type 82E). The Tiger snobs are something else.

I did a run on Shermans once I built started out with M4 thru M4A4 then did every major variant and sub variant in markings of every country that operated the Sherman during WW2 Shermans
M4 US 75mm
M4 US 105mm howitzer
M4A1 US early with M3 Lee suspension
M4A1 early with M3 Lee suspension British
M4A1 with 76mm
M4A2 French 75mm
M4A2 British 75mm
M4A2 Russian 75mm
M4A2 Russian 76mm
M4A3 US early with 56 deg hull
M4A3 US late 75mm wet stowage
M4A3 US 105mm howitzer
M4A3 US 76mm wet stowage
M4A3E8 76mm
M4A3E8 76mm Abrams’ Thunderbolt VII
M4A3E8 105mm howitzer
M4A4 British
M4A4 Firefly Canadian
as far as post war goes heres that list
M4A3E4 was a export Sherman with 76mm but retained the original 75mm turret for the Mutual defense assistance program if you watched Kelly’s heros you seen a M3A3E4
IDF first sherman which was essentually a M4A4 with a M4A2 diesel
IDF M1 Super Sherman ( M4A1 with 76mm)
IDF M50 with VVS suspension
IDF M50 long welded hull (M4A4) model ended up on display in the 1st Armored Div museum in Germany
IDF M51 cast hull
Egyptian M4A4 with AMX turret
Korean war USMC M4A3E8 with 75mm and flame thrower gun combo

also but not part of that list was the M4A2E4 tested with torsion bar suspension and the T6 Michael Sherman prototype see attached pics


Ah! So you’re a Shermanholic. Kindred Spirit.

M4 Early
M4A3E8 “Fury”
M4A3E8 “European”
IDF M51 Sherman
M10 Wolverine
Sherman VC Firefly


I wanted to do a Trinity Sherman. Not enought photos out there.