ARM: Reveiw - AFV Club 1/35 scale Reflective Optic Coatings - M1A1/M1A2

Accessory Review: AFV Club 1/35 scale Item No. AC35017; Sticker for Simulat
ing Anti-Reflection Coating Lens (M1A1 AIM, M1A2 SEP); 39 items; price US$8
Advantages: provides the correct ?look? for the post-1990 coatings used
on US optics
Disadvantages: no major items noted
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all late model Abrams modelers
When the US began fielding second generation night vision devices and lase
r range finders, many probable opponents began worrying about how to stop t
heir use in a future war. One of the fastest solutions was using laser devi
ces to either burn out or blind the optics and thus remove them as a threat
on the battlefield. A few incidents during the late 1980s convinced the US
that it needed to protect these optics, and also other systems such as air
craft cockpits and shipboard sensors.
The solution was a simple (if complex to manufacture) reflective coating w
hich would prevent the damaging parts of laser radiation from harming the d
elicate parts of thermal sights and other devices. (The addition of laser w
arning devices also made it nearly immediately fatal for anyone attempting
to blind them from combat ranges as well...) The coatings, which used gold
among other elements, tended to look like a myriad of colors when viewed wi
th the naked eye at short range.
For modelers, replicating these coatings was virtually impossible due to t
he ?chameleon? like color shift they caused when struck by light from d
ifferent angles. Now AFV Club has created a series of sheets for modern US
and NATO vehicles employing these coatings to replicate their use.
This sheet for M1A1 AIM and M1A2 tanks provides 39 items that basically pr
ovide for one of each type of vehicle. They are literally stickers that go
over the optics or viewers on those tanks to provide the proper look on a f
inished model. When viewed with the naked eye, they are either red, orange,
blue, copper or green depending how the light strikes them and it does a g
reat job of looking like the real thing.
The cost is nominal and since most modelers would find it virtually imposs
ible to replicate on a 1/35 scale kit are worth the cost.
Overall this a great idea for modern modelers and something which should b
e quite popular.
Thanks to Tony Chin of Merit for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
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