As the plastic model of the aircraft I am currently making is not progressing well, I am thinking of making a Meng tank kit for a change. When I ordered this M1A2 Abrams, I thought it included a former President Trump figure, but when I pulled it out of the closet, it was a standard kit. A little disappointing. I’ll pick some modern U.S. tank soldier figures and try them on instead.
The Abrams kit uses an elastic suspension that moves up and down the wheels. It wasn’t easy to straighten the roller, but I might be able to do something about it when I glue the tracks. I prefer the parts to be firmly fixed without moving.
Processing of the upper surface of the body and good parts has started. It was necessary to do a bit of fine processing to attach the additional battery cover at the rear of the tank. I grind the pieces to be glued together to fit as closely as possible. But I think there will be a gap.
I attached some etched parts to the upper part of the tank body. I don’t know if I should glue the hatch of the driver’s seat, so I temporarily fasten it with tape. Leaving the support of the side armor without knowing whether it will fit properly in this position gives me a feeling of fluffiness.
The tank’s rear part has many complicated parts, and it takes time to assemble. I wasn’t sure if some parts were correctly installed. It’s a large tank, so it’s good to have a sense of density when seen from a specific direction because it’s sharp.
I think I will start assembling the track. The number of parts is quite a bit more than I expected, so I need to build about six parts instead of just cutting out one frame. If you make it carefully, it seems movable, but if the adhesive sticks out, it will stick right away.
I usually ignore the assembly instructions and put the track in my way together. I was building it this time as I liked, but I failed after a few frames. It seems more efficient to assemble a set of 6 frames as instructed. It looks like it will be as hard to make as the MENG German Gepart I built.
The two bars in the middle were sandwiched together to stretch the length of the track little by little. The adhesive is required to be attached to the two center holes only. But don’t worry too much. I used it a lot to strengthen it.
I managed to wrap one of the tracks. In the end, it wasn’t easy to connect the tracks, and when I tried to do so, I found that the tracks were too long and left over. Since many parts cannot be seen with the side armor, I glued them from the bottom, then fixed the front and back and left them in the upper middle. When I thought about it, I was too stubborn to connect the belt, but I should have omitted it at the upper hidden part. I remember that the MENG Gepart was rounded up in the middle, and only the parts that could be seen were combined. But I’m getting used to assembling Abrams-connected tracks, so maybe I should roll it up the other side.
I think the mold part of the track is a considerable burden on the manufacturing cost. In conclusion, the track jigs included in the MENG kit were not very useful for me. This doesn’t work, and I think I’ll go crazy or throw it away.
It wasn’t easy to attach the side armor. The part where the side armor base and the explosive reaction armor are connected, and when the armor is attached to the tank, the pieces don’t fit perfectly. Was it a little misaligned when I put it together? I tried to fill the gap with putty, so it didn’t look too funny. It’s a lot of work to repeat from the track assembly to here on the other side.
Yes, I’m doing the same thing again. This time it’s on the right. But I also have a MENG M1A1 so it might be the same track parts. As there was no trial and error, the work went smoothly. But I don’t want to do this work anymore.
The turret has now been assembled. It’s a pretty big turret. The position of the hole seems to be slightly different depending on the type you make. The gun barrel is bonded to the left and right, so if we bond it early, we can erase the seam soon, but it will take a long time to finish assembling.
I have assembled as much as I can. I removed the parts that are too close to the clear parts and are difficult to mask and the machine gun-related parts. By the way, modern tanks have many clear parts, so isn’t it hard to mask them?
One of each of the enemy/friend identification panels is attached to the left, right, and rear. In that case, I can’t attach things to the side. Maybe I should hang up a spare caterpillar or a spare wheel.
Masking work is difficult because many clear parts, like aircraft plastic models, are used. Moreover, if it is a bulletproof glass panel, it has to be masked from both sides. I always think that the quality of the clear parts of the MENG plastic kits is excellent. The transparency seems relatively high compared to other manufacturers.
I will add the modern U.S. Army tank crew of Assault Models, which I have kept for a long time. When I looked recently to see if there were any other good figures, I was surprised to see that injection figures of Miniart were expensive because they might be in short supply, depending on the item. It seems that there are not many U.S. soldiers in stock now. The uniform with the U.S. Army’s bulletproof vest is pretty stiff. I’m playing a game called” Mass Effect,” which is based on the Space Force of the near future, and the U.S. uniform doesn’t look much different from the Space Force one.
It uses the dark yellow of Cleos. I thought it might be dark, so I mixed it with white.
For the first time in a while, maybe years, I tried a weathering technique using alcohol thinner. Before the weathering, it was dark yellow, so I thought it might look like a German tank, but with the effect of covering the surface thinly with a buff, it became a vehicle like the Iraq war. As for the painting, it depends on the modeler’s preference, so I can’t say for sure, but it was good that there was a slight change in the body color. Tamiya’s water-based acrylic has a high matte effect, so the color became more uneven than I thought.
I’m in the middle of camouflage painting a tank crew. Drawing a digital camouflage pattern with a brush is a little too tricky. Or maybe it’s just a matter of perseverance. I used the back of the Miniart package as a reference.
The M1A2 Abrams tank is finally completed. This tank is an improved model based on M1A1 and equipped with a 120 mm M256 tank gun, depleted uranium armor, and a 1500 hp gas turbine engine. The turret has been modified with high performance, including the addition of a hot wire video system for the commander, the digitization of shooting and communications, and the addition of GPS to share high-density information between vehicles.
The increased opportunities for urban combat in Iraq and Afghanistan made short-range ambushes a threat. The Tank Urban Survival Kit (TUSK) was developed to address this. Explosion-proof glass is often used around the hatch, which is one of the characteristics. In addition, it is equipped with many machine guns, which may be to strengthen the offensive power against infantry.
Technological progress is really like a spear and a shield. Side armor is equipped with explosive reactive armor. It is equipped with armor that has the mechanism to reduce the power of the molded explosive. However, in contrast to the explosive reactive armor, a shell that explodes in two stages has been developed and is said to penetrate.
It occurred to me while I was making this MENG kit. Even if I don’t buy such an expensive kit, I don’t think the Tamiya M1A2 Tusk II will make much difference. Tamiya’s track is a belt type, but after tasting the time and effort of assembled track this time, I thought a belt would be fine. Tamiya’s kit is Tusk II, and the side armor can only be selected in one shape, but I think it is very luxurious that we can choose different shapes for Tusk I and II in the MENG kit. By chance, I decided on Tusk I because the marking is superb, but it might be good to choose a shape I can’t make with Tamiya’s kit.
Various manufacturers release Abrams, but the MENG kit is one of the final products. When I finished making it, I was surprised at how many parts I had since I started assembling the turret. Also, it was hard because the difficulty level of the track was relatively high. I think it’s a perfect kit.
I am interested in models of tanks, airplanes, ships, military figures, I build them little by little when I feel like it. I am also interested in the history of war. My starting is Tamiya’s Military Miniature series in elementary school.
From elementary school through university students repeatedly suspend and restart my modeling, it’s about 25 years of this hobby’s history.
From February 2007 I was quietly doing a site called “Miniature-Arcadia”. It is being transferred to this blog with the same name from December 2016. My update pace is uneven, but please come to see me here occasionally.