M1A2 Abrams – 1:48 / Tamiya

This is a short build report of the Tamiya 1/48 scale M1A2 Abrams.

I bought this kit on a scale model show, went back to our booth and went to work. And what should I say: This is one of the new 1/48 Tamiya kits and an absolute pleasure to build. The fit is perfect and details excellent. You really can assemble those kits in one long day or at least one weekend and after painting they will look great.

This is the kit fully assembled.

After assembly was completed I put on a coat of gray primer, which brings out more of the details. I really like how Tamiya did the fan grills on the motor deck. They are finely molded and will look perfect after some wash without the need for PE parts.

The fine detail on the fan grills on the motor deck.

Now it was time for some color. I airbrushed the model with AK122 (OIF & OEF US Vehicles Base Color).  After a light post shading the model looked like this:

Base coat of AK122 and some post shading applied.

With this kit Tamiya supplies the optics as black decals which made this step very easy and as I like to paint my optics black in this scale – it worked very well for me.

Optics are supplied as black decals which makes for a very precise and clean look. Like!

After application of the decals it was time for some washes. Mainly a pin wash followed by some stains on the horizontal surfaces and the motor deck. The tracks received a dust wash. A light streaking was applied to the vertical surfaces. Everything was sealed with a coat of flat varnish and a very light dusting was applied with the airbrush to the lower part of the model.

In the process of pin washing.

Here you already can note the look of the fan grills. But I’m so satisfied with this detail that I’ll show you a close up:

Close up of the fan grills on the finished model. I think Tamiya did a great job there. Absolutely no need for PE in my opinion.

Only thing not out of box on this kit are the antennas which were made out of 0.2 mm spring wire with small dots of wood glue on top to form the balls on the end.

For presentation I also build a small base. It’s based on an IKEA picture frame, a thin layer of clay, covered with very fine gravel and some stones. Base paint in Iraqi Sand, Wash with „Wash for OIF & OEF Vehicles“ from AK. Highlights were added by drybrushing with white and buff oil paint. Some tufts of grass and done.

As I already wrote in the beginning. This is a great kit. It was a joy to build and I’m very happy with the result. Enjoy the pictures of the finished model:

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