That's what I'm talking about - thanks Rob and Ron, et al.
The MUTT is Academy No CA030-3000. Soft top, trailer, driver and three figures. As small as the "jeep" vehicles build in 1/35 I'm not real worried about this one. It should build up OK enough for my purposes.
About the AMT M1A1 - is it correct enough to warrant retroverting it back to an E1 or any other early or developmental versions of the Abrams? That could be interesting.
The Jeep (we called the M151-series "Jeeps") is a copy of the original Tamiya kit with the figures from the 4.2" mortar set added in. It will build all right.
The Esci/Ertl/AMT M1 and M1A1 kits were not as good as the initial Tamiya M1. Way back when those three kits were the ONLY Abrams kits on the market, I used to use the AMT M1A1 to build cosmetically looking tanks for other lieutenants in the battalion. They appreciated having a tank made in their markings and were not worried about accuracy.
Today, it is not worth the effort to try to accurize the kit when you can pick up one of the older Tamiya or older DML M1A1 for next to nothing on eBay. I'd build it OOB and paint it up pretty.
Decent, easy build. Earleist batch had incorrect turret shell based on the M1, but this was quickly corrected by Tamiya. New Dragon kit is much better. Old Dragon kit is comparable, but Tamiya's is the easier build.
Decent, easy build. Showing its age a bit, but will benefit from a basic photoetch set for the lights guards and such. Lots af aftermarket resin doodads to improve it if you wish. For amazing Shermans, see the new Dragon M4A3E8 Thunderbolt III, M4A2 and Sherman III kits, and the forthcoming Tasca Firefly.
Dog. 1975 kit misproportioned to fit Tamiya motorization pack. Unnecessary errors include over-wide tracks, too-skinny wheels and drive sprocket spokes that do not taper correctly. Also cloned by Academy MRC. Italeri kit is better, but has early style wheels. The Dragon early or late StuG IV kit is best choice.
Decent, easy build. Only original M48A3 on the market (there are a couple of old clones out there from Academy MRC and Seminar). Sits too high--suspension needs to be lowered, and track centerguides are mispositioned, centered on the track blocks instead of in between. AFV Club has decent replacment tracks. Will benefit from a photoetch set. Much better than 1957-vintage Monogram M48A2.
Dog. Kit dates from around 1969, and the molds have not aged well. Tracks are vinyl, detailed on the outer face only. AFV Club or Skybow kits are much better.
Old kit is a knockoff of the Tamiya item. Academy recently revisited this subject with a much improved version, featuring clear headlights and wheel rims with open lightening holes. Worth the few extra bucks to get the revised version.
Excellent, recently re-released by Italeri and Revell Germany. Best M60 kits ever, though they depict the early variants with the aluminum wheels (M48-style steel wheels were phased in beginning in 1980).
Based on the rather inadequate T-55 kit (which couldn't decide if it wanted to be a T-55 or a T-59). The T-55 is now sold by Italeri. Tamiya T-55 is a much better starting point. There are resin conversions for an Israeli rebuild.
Not perfect, but no worse than the equally flawed Dragon kit (now available from Zvezda). The two kits were unrelated, having different errors.
Dog. Extremely misproportioned, and wheels are poor. Italeri's kit is a different mold, but is slightly better than Esci's. Trumpeter's kit is around $20 USD, and a much better choice than either of the above. >
No exhaust detail and turret shell is too short to depict an A1.