M1A2SEP Main Battle Tank

Kit : # FH3300

Preview by F. Giovagnorio

With this kit, Flyhawk enters the era of modern tanks, after having very successfully tried both the WWI and WWII eras.

The term M1A2 System Enhancement Package (SEP) refers both to a successor to the M1A2 Abrams and to an upgrade package for the older Abrams tanks. It has improved armor protection, improved system components, improved computer components, and some other improvements. First upgraded tank was delivered in 1999. Two versions of SEP have been released and another one (v.3) is scheduled for release during the current year. The latest two differ from the first, among other things, because they have a remotely operated weapon station for the commander. M1A2 SEPs may mount the Tank Urban Survival Kit (TUSK), developed to improve survivability in urban environment. The TUSK can be applied by the units in field conditions.

Judging from the shape of the commander's weapon station, the one proposed by Flyhawk is an M1A2 SEP v.1 tank.


Everything is inside a very strong double box, with the parts protected in plastic bags.
There are 19 plastic sprues (one being in trasparent plastic), 1 PE set, 1 decal sheet and one instruction booklet.


The parts

Everything is really nice, very sharp casted, no sinkholes or flash, as Flyhawk got us used to.


Some preliminary observations

Roadwheels look extremely complete, possibly the best Abrams wheels in this scale. The tracks represent the T-158 style (also called "bigfoot") tracks, which is correct for an M1A2. They are made using slide-mold technology and come in 2 halves, an internal one with teeth and an external one. This is a very modern approach, saving the modeller from the usual hassle of assembling decent tracks. While the outer detail is very acceptable, the same can not be said with inner detail, which is rather crude. However, since this is the less visible part of the track, you can either leave them as they are (hoping that people will not look closely at sections of track between wheels), or buy the T-158 OKB Grigorov tracks if you are really looking for perfection.

Instruction manual

Flyhawk instructions are among the best on the market, with clear schemes and clever use of colors, and these are no exception. You can see how much detail goes into critical areas such as the commander's hatch with the 12.7 MG, and the intelligent use of PE parts. About PE parts, you can argue from the last page the real meaning of the large PE part with a hole in the middle: it is a mask to be used when painting wheels, so that it will not be necessary to hand-paint the rubber ring. Clever, but how much practical ?





The decal sheet offers many options, but due to time limitations I had no time to check them all. The back of the box contains all the info about different versions which can be made with the supplied decals.


Flyhawk has surprised us one more time. After producing excellent WWI and WW2 tanks, this time it demonstrates that they can be as successful with modern tanks, producing what it may well be the best Abrams in 1/72nd scale to date, though not the cheapest (but you get a complete PE set for it, something you should buy separately for Revell and Dragon kits). At first glance, the only minor point of concern would be the tracks, which are a small step back from perfection.

Review sample provided by Flyhawk

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Article Last Updated: 11 June 2017