Know Your Abrams

Know Your Abrams
with Chris Townley

Earlier this week I found myself building some Abrams so I could figure out and test my paint scheme. It has been a while since I built one and they were the original M1 Abrams versions for my “Bannon’s Team Yankee” force, straight out the novel.

Fast forward a few years and I was staring at the Abrams frame and thinking to myself, “there are some bits here I have never used….”. Between the assembly guide in the box and the very useful step-by-step guide on the website I managed to get my test models built and ready for a visit to the spray booth. But I thought it may be worth a quick primer for those of you that are about to embark on the assembly journey

The M1 Abrams and IPM1 Abrams
Personally, I feel that these two versions have the most obvious differences that you can see at a glance, thanks to the change in the stowage bins.

I elected to bring a Soviet Motorized Rifle list.  I’ve been shooting my mouth off since forever about how good I think the Soviets are when used according to their doctrine. I felt this would be a fine time to demonstrate the point.  I built what was as close to a Soviet Advance Guard Main Body as I could given the points level. A HQ, two companies of BMP-2 mounted motorized rifles, A BTR Company attachment with maximum AT-4 Spigots, Air Defense, 2-3 templates of artillery, minimal recon and a T-64 Tank Company as points allowed. This is the formation that I would expect to hit my company’s position in the Main Line of Resistance had this game ever become a historical fact. This is how he Soviets planned to operate and they had a good plan, so I went with it. 
The M1 Abrams (below left) has:
• 105mm gun
• Short stowage bins on turret side
• Full length bazooka skirts
• Three part blow-out panel on the top of the turret
The IPM1 Abrams (below right) has:
• 105mm gun
• Long stowage bin on turret side
• Large stowage bustle on back of turret
• Bazooka skirt cut-out in front of rear drive wheel
• Smoke Discharger reload boxes below the dischargers
• Three part blow-out panel on the top of the turret
Know Your Abrams

The M1A1 Abrams and M1A1HC Abrams
These two tend to look a lot like the IPM1 at glance, especially if you are staring across the table at them, however there are a few key differences that once you know, will stand out.

The M1A1 Abrams (below left) has:
• 120mm gun
• Long stowage bin on turret side
• Large stowage bustle on back of turret
• Bazooka skirt cut-out in front of rear drive wheel
• Smoke Discharger reload boxes below the dischargers
• Two part blow-out panel on the top of the turret
• Circular cover (for where the Commanders CTIV would be installed on later models) on the top of the turret

The M1A1HC Abrams (below right) has:
 120mm gun
• Long stowage bin on turret side
• Large stowage bustle on back of turret
• Bazooka skirt cut-out in front of rear drive wheel
• Smoke Discharger reload boxes below the dischargers
• Two part blow-out panel on the top of the turret
• Circular cover (for where the Commanders CTIV would be install on later models) on the top of the turret
• APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) box on back right hand corner of hull

Know Your Abrams

Hopefully this will help you spot the differences on the battlefield, but if you are looking for a little more help you can check out this handy guide that comes with the new Abrams box.
~Chris