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Franklin Mint 1:24 Abrams M1A1 Tank- Desert Storm

Reviewed by:   Tony Perrone
     
  Franklin Mint 1:24  Abrams M1A1 Tank- Desert Storm diecast car
 
 
 

You might not expect this model to be as large as it is. In 1:24th scale, as most of Franklin Mint's auto replicas are, the diecast reveals the true size of America's most awesome fighting machine. Sixteen inches long, including the main gun, the model spans the length of two modern day Corvette models. You won't expect its weight and heft either.

What can you expect for $195? The detail, overall, is really good. First, the paint is remarkably well done. In flat sand Desert Storm coloration, the paint is non-reflective and looks as if it had a darker 'wash' incorporated into the various seems of the body paneling making this color pattern very realistic. The various markings and stripe line around the turret are in flat black. The tracks and road wheels turn freely. The turret transverses 360° and the main cannon moves up and down with audible clicks. The manually operated machine gun moves up and down and can be rotated 360°. The commander's machine gun does not pivot but elevates and descends as the 1:1 does. This gun can be fully automated from within the tank on the real Abrams. Both turret hatches open. Unlike the FM's Sherman tank, the turret is not removable. Too bad, as that is one of the nicer features of that diecast, affording a nice view of the tank's interior quarters. Only a sparse view of the turret quarters is available through the Abrams' two operational hatches.

Good detail is offered with miniature chains on the automated machine gun, rear panels of the tank body, separately fashioned cables on either side of the turret and twin wire antennae. Additionally, wire grab handles are found on the tank and it does have a removable engine hatch cover. While some parts in the engine bay are plastic and not too lifelike, good wiring exists there and also on the commander's machine gun. The hatch is cleverly held in place by tiny magnets. The fender flaps, on the leading edge of the front fenders, are flexible, just like the genuine tank, a nice touch. I rate this at 4 stars. The issue price is $195.

Additional comments on the real thing from Tom Pine: Desert Storm was the Abrams (named for General Creighton W. Abrams, former Army Chief of Staff) M1A1 Main Battle Tank’s trial-by-fire. Developed in 1978 by General Dynamic’s Land Systems (GDLS), the M1A1 hit the field in 1985, and the M1A2 in 1986. The army ordered 3, 273 M1s, 4, 796 M1A1s, and 77 M1A2s. [How’s this for irony: 555 M1A1s were co-produced with Egypt, and a further 200 were also ordered. 315 were built for Saudi Arabia and 218 for Kuwait.] Once thought to be relatively outmoded, the Abrams has shown that tanks are still a viable weapon. Let’s look at what the military (and the taxpayers) got for their bucks, shall we?

The M1/A1 is powered by a Honeywell AGT 1500 (1500 hp) gas turbine – that’s right, a turbine. This engine earned the Abrams the nickname “Silent Death” by the Iraqis. An Allison X-1100-3B, 4 forward, 2 reverse geared transmission puts the power to the treads. A new Honeywell/General Electric LV100-5 turbine, which is smaller, lighter, quieter, has more rapid acceleration, and no visible exhaust, is being proposed for the M1A2. Defensively, the Abrams incorporates steel encased, depleted uranium armor. Armor bulkheads protect the crew compartment from the fuel tanks. The top panels will blow outwards if a HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank) projectile manages to penetrate the armor. The crew inside is protected against nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) warfare by the Abrams. Smoke can be produced by an engine-operated system, or by two L8A1 six-barreled smoke grenade dischargers.

The “big stick” is the 120mm M256 smoothbore, turret-mounted gun, developed by Rheinmetall GmbH of Germany. It fires the M865 TPCSDS-T and M831 TP-T training rounds, the M8300 HEAT-MP-T and the M829 APFSDS-T, which includes a depleted uranium penetrator round. All this is controlled by a Textron Systems, Cadillac Gage, gun turret drive stabilization system. The commander has available to him a 12.7mm Browning M2 machine gun and the loader a 7.62mm M240 machine gun. A co-axially mounted 7.62mm M240 machine gun is mounted on the right hand side of the main armament. All this combines in a weapons system that’s nearly 28 feet long and 12 feet wide, goes 42 mph (road governed)/30 mph off-road (I’ve heard of flat-out speeds of up to 70 mph under the right conditions), for 310 miles on one fueling. Though its not perfect, being somewhat vulnerable on the top, sides and in the rear (a common problem with all tanks – they’re made to go head-to-head), the Abrams M1/A1/A2 Main Battle Tank is definitely the “big dog” on the block – and one heck of a sexy tank.

(10/11/2003)
 
 
  Franklin Mint 1:24  Abrams M1A1 Tank- Desert Storm diecast car

 
 
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Franklin Mint | 1:24
Franklin Mint 1:24  Abrams M1A1 Tank- Desert Storm

Franklin Mint 1:24 Abrams M1A1 Tank- Desert Storm

 
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