M1A2SEP kit information page

Dragon Models Ltd.    3536
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    Unfortunately in M1A2SEP kits that started appearing in hobby shops worldwide small design error slipped through all quality checks... This error does not make it impossible to build a correct model from the kit, but it makes it a bit more difficult. The problem is that there are no locating pins and holes on some of Commander's Weapon Station (CWS or just cupola) parts and this means that proper aligning of these parts is tricky and it has to be done with only Mk.1 Eyeball as a guide...   I decided to post some photos here that show proper alignment of these parts, suggest the best assembly sequence plus some other tips and also show some features of the kit not shown well on any of reviews published so far.  You can click on any photo to see a large version.

 

IF YOU WISH YOU CAN REMOVE THREE "RIBS" MARKED IN RED FROM PART X33
THREE REARMOST PERISCOPE COVERS SHOULD ONLY HAVE TWO RIBS
 
THIS IS HOW PART X33 SHOULD LOOK LIKE
 
THERE ARE NO LOCATING PINS OR TABS BETWEEN PARTS X33 AND X32
ALIGN THEM CAREFULLY AS SHOWN ON THE ABOVE PHOTOS.
 
KIT INSTRUCTIONS SUGGEST GLUING PARTS X33 AND X3 BEFORE MOUNTING
PERISCOPE PARTS S11, BUT WHILE SUCH SEQUENCE IS POSSIBLE I ADVISE
ATTACHING PERISCOPES TO PART X33 BEFORE PART X3 IS ATTACHED,
AS IT MAKES THE TASK EASIER.
POSITION OF THE PERISCOPE INSIDE PART X33 IS NOT WELL DEFINED, SO IT
HAS TO BE CAREFULLY GLUED IN THE RIGHT WAY - NOTE ON THE PHOTO ABOVE THAT
THE FACE OF THE PERISCOPE SHOULD BE SLIGHTLY TILTED FORWARD - NOT VERTICAL!
 
THE FIT OF PARTS X33 AND X12 IS EXTREMELY TIGHT.
IN THE REAL M1A2 TANK THE CWS DOES NOT ROTATE - IT IS PERMANENTLY ATTACHED TO THE TURRET TOP IN ONE
POSITION. ONLY THE MACHINE GUN SUPPORT RING (PART X12) ROTATES AROUND THE CWS. TO ALLOW FOR SUCH ROTATION THE OUTER EDGE
OF PART X33 AND INNER EDGE OF PART X12 SHOULD BE SANDED OR FILED UNTIL BETTER FIT IS ACHIEVED
AND PART X12 CAN BE SET AT VARIOUS POSITIONS WITH LESS EFFORT.
PLEASE NOTE THAT IT IS ADVISABLE TO GLUE THE X12 RING IN PLACE ON THE FINISHED MODEL ONCE YOU DECIDE ON THE POSITION THAT SUITS
YOU MOST, AS OTHERWISE ONLY FRICTION BETWEEN PARTS WOULD HOLD IT ATTACHED TO THE MODEL.
 
THERE ARE NO LOCATING PINS OR TABS BETWEEN PARTS X33 AND X3.
 
PARTS X33 AND X3 HAVE TO BE CAREFULLY ALIGNED AS SHOWN ON ABOVE PHOTOS.
(note that photos don't show periscopes S11 attached, but I suggest gluing them in place
before part X3 is attached to X33)

 
AS MENTIONED ABOVE THERE IS ONLY ONE CORRECT WAY TO ATTACH THE CWS
TO THE TURRET - SEE IMAGES ABOVE. THE HATCH HINGE MUST BE AT THE REAR
OF THE TURRET. AGAIN THERE IS NO TAB ON THE BOTTOM OF PART X3
TO POSITIVELY LOCK IT IN PLACE ON TOP OF THE TURRET PART,
SO THE CWS MUST BE ALIGNED CAREFULLY BY EYE.
 
THERE ARE NO PINS ON PARTS X7 AND X11 THAT WOULD ALLOW FOR EASY POSITIONING THEM
ON TOP OF PART X12. THERE IS A HOLE ON PART X12, BUT CORRESPONDING PIN ON PART X7 IS MISSING.
ON ABOVE IMAGE I MARKED THE "VIRTUAL" PIN WITH A RED DOT - ATTACH PART X7 TO X12 SO THAT
THIS RED DOT IS ABOVE THE HOLE (SEE BELOW)
 
ONCE PART X7 IS IN PLACE YOU CAN SLIDE ONE END OF PART X11 UNDERNEATH IT AND GLUE IT TO X12.
 
CORRECTLY GLUED PARTS X12, X7 AND X11.
 
CORRECT WAY OF ATTACHING PARTS X9 AND X10 IS NOT CLEAR AT ALL ON KIT INSTRUCTIONS DIAGRAMS.
ABOVE PHOTOS SHOW HOW IT SHOULD BE DONE.
 
PART X8 SHOULD BE ATTACHED AS SHOWN ABOVE.
 
NOTE HOW RING X12 WITH MACHINE GUN SUPPORT FRAME ATTACHED CAN BE SET AT DIFFERENT ANGLES AROUND CWS.
 

 

Photos below show some of the features of new kit.

THE NUMBER OF THE TURRET HAS BEEN CHANGED FROM M1A1AIM KIT.
THE NEW NUMBER WAS COPIED FROM ACTUAL M1A2SEP TURRET
(INCLUDING A COMA!), SO IT IS FULLY CORRECT FOR SUCH TANK
 
ROUGH RECTANGLE ON THE HULL SIDE IS NOT A MANUFACTURING FLAW!
IT IS MEANT TO REPRESENT THE WELDED OVER UAAPU INTAKE ON TANKS
MODIFIED TO CARRY HAWKER BATTERIES. IF YOU BUILD A MORE COMMON
TANK WITH UAAPU PANELS (ALL TANKS FEATURED ON KIT DECAL SHEET
HAVE THEM) YOU CAN FILL THIS AREA WITH PUTTY AND SAND IT SMOOTH,
AS UAAPU INTAKE COVER PART W17 DOES NOT COVER THE ROUGH AREA FULLY.
 
SOME MODELERS WERE COMPLAINING ABOUT THE LACK OF HULL NUMBER PLATES ON M1A1AIM KIT
SIDE SKIRTS. ACTUALLY THE KIT WAS CORRECT IN THIS RESPECT, AS MOST (IF NOT ALL) AIM TANKS HAD
THESE PLATES REMOVED, AS IN THE RESULT OF REMANUFACTURING PROCESS REFURBISHED SIDE SKIRTS WERE
NOT RETURNED TO THE SAME HULL FROM WHICH THEY WERE REMOVED. INSTEAD OF
REPLACING THESE MISMATCHED PLATES WITH NEW ONES WITH DIFFERENT NUMBER, THEY WERE JUST REMOVED COMPLETELY
(see M1A1AIM photos on tanxheaven.com website to see examples of it).

AS M1A2SEP TANKS ARE MADE ON REFURBISHED (BUT NOT REMANUFACTURED) M1IP HULLS,
THE NUMBER PLATES AGAIN APPEAR ON THEM
AND IN THE KIT ARE INCLUDED AS TINY PE PARTS WITH A HULL NUMBER ETCHED ON THEM.
 
SOME REVIEWERS COMPLAIN ABOUT GUIDE HORNS BEING SEPARATE IN THE KIT.
THIS WAS THE ONLY WAY TO CORRECTLY REPRESENT OPEN GUIDE HORNS OF T158LL TRACKS USED ON M1A2SEP.
THESE PARTS FIT PERFECTLY TO DS TRACKS AND CAN BE GLUED WITH REGULAR PLASTIC CEMENT.
THEY DON'T REQUIRE MUCH CLEANUP AND CAN BE ATTACHED QUICKLY AND EASILY.
DON'T MISS MAGIC TRACKS FROM M1A1AIM KITS - THEY HAD EJECTOR PIN MARKS ON THEM,
DIDN'T FIT WELL, END CONNECTORS LOOKED FUNNY AROUND SPROCKETS AND IDLERS
AND GUIDE HORNS WERE NOTICEABLY TOO SMALL. BY THE WAY, THESE MAGIC TRACKS
WERE THE ONLY COMMON PARTS BETWEEN M1A1AIM AND M1 PANTHER II KITS.
 
GPS ANTENNA ON THE BACK OF CITV IS CORRECTLY REPRODUCED, INCLUDING
A CABLE CONDUIT ON TURRET TOP.
 
VAPOR COMPRESSION SYSTEM UNIT (VCSU) IS OF COURSE INCLUDED.
 
THIS IS HOW VCSU CONDUITS SHOULD LOOK LIKE AFTER ASSEMBLY.
 
NEW BLOW-OFF PANELS.
PLEASE NOTE THAT ON THE REAL TANK THESE ARE COMPLETELY NEW PANELS, NOT
OLDER PANELS WITH RECTANGULAR COVERS REMOVED
. IF YOU COMPARE PANELS FROM M1A1 TANK
WITH THESE FROM M1A2SEP YOU CAN SEE THAT FLAT CIRCULAR WELDED PLUGS ON SEP PANEL
ARE IN DIFFERENT PLACES FROM THICK CYLINDRICAL COVERS OF M1A1 PANEL. ON THE PHOTOS BELOW NOTE
THAT THE DISTANCE BETWEEN THE FRONT EDGE OF THE PANEL AND THE NEAREST
WELDED PLUG ON SEP PANEL IS MUCH SMALLER THAN THAT DISTANCE FOR CYLINDRICAL COVER
ON M1A1 PANEL.  TWO REAR PLUGS ON SEP PANEL ARE FURTHER BACK THAN COVERS ON M1A1 PANELS.
THIS DIFFERENCE WAS CORRECTLY SHOWN ON KIT PARTS.

M1A1                                                                                                M1A2SEP

 

 

ASSEMBLED BUSTLE RACK EXTENSION (MINUS PE MESHES).
DURING OIF1 SUCH BRE WERE USED BY US MARINES, BUT CURRENTLY
ARE STANDARD ALSO ON ARMY TANKS. I BELIEVE HOWEVER THAT
NONE OF THE TANKS FEATURED ON THE KIT DECALS CARRIED IT.
 
M1IP STYLE HEADLIGHT GUARDS AND FRONT FENDERS - TYPICAL TO SEP TANKS.
 
UNDER ARMOR AUXILIARY POWER UNIT (UAAPU) PARTS IN PLACE.
 
ELECTRICAL SLAVE CONNECTOR BOX AND TANK-INFANTRY TELEPHONE (TIP) BOX.
NOT ALL SEP TANKS CARRY THEM.
 
CONNECTOR FOR MCB (MINE CLEARING BLADE, ALSO KNOWN AS
TRACK WIDTH MINE PLOW).
 

   

Copyright 2007 Pawel "VODNIK" Krupowicz,    mailto:pawel@vodnik.net