Trumpeter M1A1HA Abrams to become a M1A2, possibly

Summer has been way to hot and dry for me to even contemplate painting ongoing projects and I am waiting for a number of parts and goodies to come in for other projects to continue… So while twidling thumbs I could not help but start another kit; the notorious Trumpeter Abrams. I knwo the turret is bad, but it is what I have and I have some ideas on how to “handle” that issue.

The follwing pictures were the inspiration for daring to even open the box:

These belong to 3 ID during exercises in Poland, according to the captions and the turretsolution is hinted at in the pictures too… The cloth and netting + additional gear nicely break that odd yellow.
It means I’ll have to hunt for some additional parts…

Fit isn’t really good, pollycaps on the wheels and the plastic is weird, soft…

It would be best just to build the Trumpeter kit as an M1A1.

The tank pictured above is not an M1A2, but an M1A1 SA. It has a new commander’s cupola that has a stabilized .50 cal., no CITV, an APU in the rear turret basket, shields on the loader’s M240D, and an additional turret basket extension. The new Rye Field USMC kit represents this type of Abrams w/a Pearson dozer blade (only used by USMC) as opposed to mine rollers.

There are actually quite a bit of differences externally between an M1A1 and an M1A2. The straight M1A2 just added the CITV and new commander’s cupola. The SEP has a totally different left rear deck to accommodate either the UAAPU (Under Armor APU) or Hawker Battery storage system, lack of left side rear fuel tank filler cap (tank replaced by UAAPU or battery system), UAAPU air intake on left side of hull (covered over when using battery system), UAAPU exhaust cover on left rear of tank, T/I phone box and external slave cable box on right rear of hull, and VCU (Vapor Compression Unit, A/C system) in the turret basket, along with armored hose coverings for the VCU under the turret. The M1A2 SEP v2 added the RWS (Remote Weapons Station) and removed the .50cal on the Commander’s cupola. The latest version M1A2 SEP v3 is a totally different animal.

If you want an M1A2, it would be easier to get a kit of one.

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Thanks for the quick reply! That saves me a lot of trouble!
That way I can focus on making the camouflage netting (found a site that shows that step by step) and how to make a single light coloured tank interesting to look at with regards to washes, filters and weathering. Some new techniques for me to try out (on a $15 kit).

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I have been looking into that strange “new” yellow paint that the US army is using these days and found 2 Tamiya mixes that look interesting:

  • Straight up XF-78 Wodden Deck Tan
  • Tamiya XF-78 Wooden Deck Tan, with Tamiya XF-2, Flat White, in a 1:1 ratio
  • Tamiya Buff (XF-57) to White Mix, also 1:1
  • 28 parts Flat White XF-2
    12 parts Buff XF-57
    1 part Desert Yellow XF-59
    1 part Flat Yellow XF-3
    1 part Medium Grey XF-20
    (which seems quite elaborate)

Tamiya paint US armor

Anyone have any thoughts on this?

It looks like standard CARC Tan/Sand to me. As far as I know, the sand color has not changed. I think it just looks more yellow due to lighting conditions and/or camera/computer screen settings.


In northern winter conditions if/when the light gets filtered through lighter clouds we get a
yellowish tint to the light. It may not be obvious to the naked eye (we tend to adjust the “white balance”) but a camera will pick it up.

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Ak has CARC 683 sand in their real colors line


What product number would that be? I can only find 686A, which looks quite dark, in their range?

Found some interesting mix suggestions here: CARC-mix

That’s straight 686A CARC Tan - You can either use Tamiya XF59 or AK Interactive Real Color RC079



If it’s any help; I used Tamiya TS46 Light Sand rattle Can spray on my 1993 SOmalia M2A2 Bradley build. I think it came out well for a worn CARC Tan Paint color.





I found this pic in my copy of Sabot Publications M1A2 Abrams in Europe that you all might find interesting it appears to be a M1A2 SEP V.2 with the the base line A2 commanders weapons mount
as you see there is the A/C unit and that other box in the bustle rack and the shield on the loaders M240

Referencing Gino’s post above it appears to be just a standard A2 SEP.

edit: also have seen it referred to as SEP V1 once the V2 was fielded.

Correct, it is an M1A2 SEP. The M1A2 SEP v2 has the RWS in place of the .50 cal on the TCs cupola. The VCU and shields are not ID features of an M1A2 SEP v2. They were already present/added to the M1A2 SEP.