Review: 1/35 M1A2 SEP Abrams TUSK II (Tamiya 35326)
For years if you wanted to build a more up to date M1 Abrams tank, you had to buy aftermarket sets. Now Tamiya has offered us a much easier and cheaper solution, a plastic kit that will build into a M1A2 SEP with TUSK I or TUSK II armor.
This Abrams comes in a firm box, but that’s no surprise when you buy a Tamiya kit! On the boxart and three sides there are nice visualizations of the Abrams TUSK battle tank, on the last side of the box there’s a front, rear and a side view of the Tusk II option. It gives you a great idea of how cool and full this kit will look once you are finished.
Upon opening the box you’ll see the light brown plastic that’s common on desert-scheme kits from Tamiya. What do you get?
- Instruction sheet
- Background information
- Lower hull
- 9 light brown sprues
- 1 clear parts sprue
- A bag with mesh netting, polycaps and a transparent plate
- Rubber tracks
- Decal sheet
Instruction sheet: As usual from Tamiya, black and white instruction sheet. Understandable and easy to read!
Background information: Some extra info about the M1 and about TUSK in four different languages (Japanese, English, German and French).
Sprue A: Mainly about roadwheels, Idler, sprocket and runningwheels.
Sprue H: The upper hull and the side armour are the main items on this sprue. Looking crisp and fine. Only disadvantage noted is the lack of anti-slip coating on the hull.
Sprue J: Is mostly about the turret and turret basket. Here also a lack of the anti-slip coating. But the basket looks very nice! Easy to cut and no flash.
Sprue K: Hull armor, some armor tiles and the figures. These figures look very nice. Most of the times I don’t use the figures because they don’t look good enough but this time I think I will actually use them!
Sprue L: Some different pieces on here. The loading part of the main gun and some Tusk parts for the loader and commander.
Sprue M: Glass parts, also looking very nice and clear.
Sprue N: Different parts, with as the biggest eye-catchers the main gun and the rear of the tank.
Sprue P: Mainly about the hatches and the CIP’s.
Sprue W: Jerrycan’s, ammoboxes and CIP’s.
Rubber tracks: Looks good and most people will keep with them but for some modellers it won’t suffice and they would want track links or metal tracks. Personally I think these look good with a fairly high level of detail.
Decal sheet: Looks good, Three different versions can be created:
- Option 1: 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Baghdad, July 2008 (TUSK II)
- Option 2: 68th Armored Regiment, 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Iraq (TUSK I)
- Option 3: 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Iraq (TUSK I)
this Abrams is a very welcome addition for us modern armor modellers with just a few minor notes and the biggest of that is the non-skid coating. But other then that this probably will be another great ‘Shake and Bake’ build by Tamiya!