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Monday, 4 April 2011

Zhengdefu/ Kitech M1A1 Abrams

I picked this kit up on eBay for around £5 delivered, but even new and delivered (to the UK) from China they can be had for around £6 (about the same as a packet of 4 28mm figures in International Wargaming Currency!)

The good news is that it's cheap, it's about the right scale and it does a passable imitation of an M1 Abrams for wargaming purposes.

The bad news is that the box art is from the far superior 1/35 Tamiya kit, and the kit is a complete pig to put together, with a lot of flash; mould lines, misalignments where the mould didn't join up right and divets in the plastic pieces.

The ugly are the wheels and tracks. This is because the kit is supposed to be motorised (I didn't bother- whoever had it before me had snipped half the axles off with the sprue and it was going to be hard enough getting a static model out of it, let alone have it trundle across the table...) and the manufacturers use the same chassis for ALL their tank kits and even for their Bradley AFV's, leading to complete departures from nominal scale and resemblance to the actual vehicle.

The M1A1 should have seven main road wheels per side- the kit has six. I think it looks more like a Challenger which DOES have six wheels per side. Zhengdefu also make a Challenger, so that might be worth considering. The Bradley would be horrendously out of scale and WAY too big for use with 28mm figures.

It's a shame that Zhengdefu have done this, as they also do a LAV- 25 which uses the same 8 wheel chassis as their BTR 70, and apparently their M2 and M3's are identical, despite using the (differing) box art from the accurate Tamiya kits. The Propaganda Kompany do a resin wheel and track 'upgrade' kit for 25 Euros, but at that price why would you bother when you could get a complete (and more accurate) resin model?

Still- I do have a passable M1A1 for peanuts, and it did provide a few challenging evenings in front of the TV!

:O)




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