1/72 Dragon M1A1 Abrams

Gallery Article by Charles Kalina on Dec 28 2011

Dragon Models cashed in on Operation Iraqi Freedom by quickly releasing a 1/72 M1A1 Abrams kit with a set of OIF markings for a tank of the 3rd Infantry Division in 2003.  It's apparently a rebox of the plastic for their 1/72 remote control Abrams kit, because it's got holes and brackets for antennae and motors.  These aren't too obtrusive but on a static model they do need to be filled.  Otherwise it's quite a good quality kit at a fair price.

 

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The sand yellow scheme struck me as boring.  Besides, almost all the vehicles I saw in Iraq (and all of the tanks) are still in woodland camouflage, albeit with a heavy coating of local sand dust.  So I got the Army camouflage technical manual and painted the model in the three-tone woodland scheme.  For weathering I used natural materials -- the same fine sand you see on the real thing.  I applied a coat of flat clear acrylic, dusted the sand onto the model, let it dry, then brushed off the excess.

Also I printed my own custom markings.  The crew names were members of the Baghdad Hobby Club.  Task Force 3/68 Armor is a national unit that I "served in" during staff exercises at my officer basic course, but which in reality has been inactive.  (The only battalion of the 68th Armor regiment active at the time I made this model was 1/68, based at Fort Carson under the 4th Infantry Division.)

Charles Kalina

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Photos and text by Charles Kalina