I have just bought the 1/35 scale Abrams M1A2 as Made by Revell on the
side of the box it gives three varations all are coloured sand but they
are all based at Fort Hood as they are with the 4ID.
What I really want to know is if there are decals for this tank in
Operation Iraq Freedom.
Not sure which kit it is (I suspect Italeri's) in the box but there are
a bunch of good decals out there for M1A1/M1A2 in Iraq. Check for
Echelon on line for a full listing of waterslide decals or with Archer
Fine Transfers for dry transfers.
One of the Echelon reviews is posted below.
Echelon Fine Decals 1/35 Scale Sheet No. T35013; US Army=92s 3rd Infantry
Division Operation Iraqi Freedom M1A1HA (Heavy Common) Abrams:
Spearhead of the 3-69 Armored Regiment; complete markings for six
tanks; price $14.95 via Stevens International or one of their customer
Fox Military Models 1/35 Scale Sheet No, D 035009; M1A2 Tanks in
Operation Iraqi Freedom 2003; markings for seven tanks; price 1000 Yen
(US distributor unknown)
It=92s rare to get two sheets of decals at the same time covering the
same subjects, but such is the case here. I=92ve been waiting for this
sort of set for a long time, and here=92s why.
Right after the 9-11 attack on the USA, when many celebrities were not
sure what to do or how to react and before some of them decided to
become human shields, the American country music performers certainly
did, and dug right in with either reflective or aggressive songs that
captured the mood of most of the nation. Among the most aggressive ones
was one by singer Toby Keith that he wrote while making USO tours of
bases in Europe, and later, after Operation Enduring Freedom in
Afghanistan, released as a single.
Initially the song, which he was not sure about due to its really
pugnacious content, was only played for military audiences, who of
course loved it and cheered wildly. The song, titled =93The Angry
American=94, was later subtitled =93Courtesy of the Red White and Blue.=94 =
became a huge hit with the military and the so-called =93Red=94 states and
counties in the US, but horrified many of the =93Blue=94 state types and
triggered the feud between Keith and the Dixie Chicks, who were still a
nominal country music act at the time.
When it was recommended that Keith sing the song at a 4th of July 2002
show, it was nixed by ABC anchor Peter Jennings, who thought it in bad
taste. Jennings never heard the end of the howls over his dismissive
comments, and Toby did not get to sing it on national TV that day.
Nevertheless, the song was wildly popular with the troops. It has a
stanza which goes =93...you=92ll be sorry that you messed with the US of
A/for we=92ll put a boot in your ass, it=92s the American way...=94 that was
the catchphrase for the military and the line not to be crossed by
Jennings and company.
When Operation Iraqi Freedom came around eight months later, when the
3rd Infantry Division rolled into the gigantic Saddam stadium, one of
the lead elements was Charlie Company, 3-69 Armor. The 2nd Platoon of
that company had four tanks, as do all current US tank platoons: they
were CAMEL TOW (C21), COURTESY OF THE RED WHITE AND BLUE (C22),
CATALYST (C23), and CAN TANK R US (C24). They also had two mine plow
tanks =96 C-13 (C-1ORDER II) and C-33 (CHINCON), from 1st and 3rd
C22 gained its moment of fame when it turned towards the gigantic
statue of Saddam on horseback, arms outstretched, and blew it to bits
with a single round. This for many folks was the second defining moment
of Operation Iraqi Freedom after the Marine Corps M88A2 and the statue
in the center of town.
While the M88A2 was always a bit nondescript, C22 was not, and I
wanted to do one up (I have four different M1A1 kits downstairs, only
awaiting markings.) When Peter Brown (who I thank for passing these
sheets along to me) gave me a heads up they were both available, he
offered to send them along and I cheerfully accepted.
The two sheets are, unfortunately, light years apart. The Fox sheet,
from a new company in Japan, is all in Japanese and only has two
foolscap drawings of the tanks with it that provide any sense of where
the markings go. Someone on the Internet recently stated that the Fox
decals use a special =93disappearing=94 decal film that comes off when the
decal is totally dry, thus approximating dry transfers, but there is
nothing on this sheet to indicate it in English. It provides names,
bumper codes, tac markings, and some other trim for two of the 3/C/3-69
CAN TANK R US and COURTESY, but little else and does not really show
how to place them. They do provide the barrel bands used for quick
reference, but the information is all in Japanese as well so one can
only guess at the meanings.
They also claim to provide markings for 2-3 Cav, which I assume should
be an M1A2, as well as TF 3-5, TF 1-64, and T-4-64, but no information
at all on those tanks.
Overall I rate this as marginal at best, requiring the modeler to have
a lot of photos and a good idea of US markings. For the cost it will
probably ask on import, I can only rate it =93Recommended with
Reservations.=94 To their credit, Fox do offer sheets in 1/72 and 1/144
scale as well as the 1/35 one.
The Echelon sheet, on the other hand, is incredible and one of the
best examples of a complete waterslide sheet going today. The sheet
covers six tanks with complete markings, including the APU, shipping
data, CIP panel data blocks, shipping bar code plates, as well as
generic number and alphabet markings for modern US armor. The sheet has
a large spread sheet in the middle of the protective cover inside the
package showing which markings go on which tank, and where. It also
covers stenciling and component decal placement as well, and is nearly
perfect (I am a stickler, and C-13 and C-33 are 1st and 3rd platoon
tanks, not 2nd Platoon, even if attached for the moment! It=92s also 3-69
Armor Battalion, not regiment; 69th is the regiment of affiliation, but
it is the 3rd battalion which is the unit with 3rd Infantry Division.
But then again, I quibble.)
Overall I rate this as =93Highly Recommended=94 and the best OIF
waterslide sheet going, and must comment Lawrence Goh and his team, as
well as modelers Donald Busack and Rob Gronovius for their input to get
the sheet out.
Now all I gotta do is figure out which kit to start with =96 DML,
Tamiya, Trumpeter, or Italeri...