Ukraine M1s

What is the latest on the M1s going to Ukraine? Last I heard they were planning on reworked A1s. Then State Dept or NRC nixed the idea because of the uranium armor. Then they were going to get new production. A2 standard? Or are they going to get “new” A1s? What bells & whistles are included , or not. Also, do the tanks come with crew helmets or are they gonna use those old Soviet style cloth helmet?.

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Last I heard they were going to be M1A1 SA (no DP armor) that would come out of recently rebuilt stocks. They will most likely use US CVC helmets since the tanks come with US VIC intercom systems. The Ukranian Bradley crews are wearing US CVC helmets as well. We won’t know anything for sure until they start showing up in Ukraine and pics start coming out.

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I thought I read somewhere not long ago that another nation would be getting newer tanks either M1A2 or Leopards and their existing M1A1 SA would be sent to UA.

Safe to say that the whole thing is very fluid and no news reports on the final details have been announced.

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I know Aussies and Saudis have standard armor tanks. What I understand is we will not export the ones with DU armor per State or NRC or someone that has say over radioactive stuff. Have a M1A2 kit I’m thinking of doing as Ukranian. Trying to figure out what I need todo to “back date” it, besides drop the Independent Commanders sight. (Or would they possibly retro fit that. Kinda nice to have.)

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Backdating an M1A2 to an M1A1 is more than just the CITV being removed, and the hole capped. The entire Commander’s cupola and gun mount is different between the two. Also, the left rear corner of the hull top is completely different between them. There are other small differences as well.

It would be better to start with an M1A1 kit.


Except no one makes a 1/48 A1 … that I know of . And that goes for $25.

Ah, you didn’t specify 1/48. I guess you need to start cutting plastic then.

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On further investigation, check eBay:
1/48 M1A1 Abrams | eBay

No clue on accuracy or quality. It looks pretty good. It looks to be a scaled down Tamiya 1/35 M1A1 (35156 most likely) from the parts layout. It is an older model though with what appears to be T156 chevron block tracks and the old-style angled rear part of the Gunner’s Primary Sight (GPS) box, both pretty easily fixable w/parts from the Tamiya M1A2 kit. Looks like it goes for about the same price too.

Peddinghaus has decals for it too.

Aussie decals for a conversion as well.

The Tamiya kit would be a good start for a conversion. The hull is correct for an M1A1, with just the fuel filler caps at the rear corners. The suspension is nice, and it has good link and length tracks. You would have to cap off the CITV and replace the TCs cupola. Using another kit, is a good option for this, but there are a couple problems to consider.
First, the other brand kits: Academy, Aoshima, ARII, and Zhengdefu tend to be slightly off in size compared to the Tamiya, with softer detail. This is OK if you just use some part from them.
The other problem is that they are all made to be motorized. The suspension, road wheels, and sprockets are crap. The tracks are literally black rubber bands.
If you have never built and old kit with these original rubber band tracks, then you cannot understand just how advanced modern vinyl tracks truly are.
Having said that, you will need the Tamiya kit for the lower hull, suspension, and tracks, regardless of what you do.
This is a photo of the Zhengdefu kit from an eBay listing:


P.S. As for the photo on the box, it’s fake. I think they used a photo of the Tamiya or Academy 1/35 scale kit.

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Here is someone’s conversion of the Gasoline A2 to Marine A1 for some ideas.

Amazed the tracks are still in one piece! Had a couple from back when and they disintegrated over time. Latest longer than some Dragon tracks though! (Armor modeler’s humor.)

Or in British - Armour modeller’s humour! :slight_smile:


Australia had the option of buying the M1’s with “special armor” but it was politically expedient (i.e. don’t p155 off the greenies), so we opted for the basic option, steel and ceramic… We also opted not to buy M829 rounds, because they make the enemies killed get a few extra rads, so we bought the the Tungsten version (KE-WA1 I think).