login   |    register

In-Box Review
Modern USMC M1A1 TUSK1 Abrams Basic Set (For Dragon 3535)
  • move

by: Gino P. Quintiliani [ HEAVYARTY ]

Box contents

The set is packed in a sturdy cardboard box that protects the parts well. It includes resin and PE parts that allow you to upgrade the Dragon M1A1 AIM to a current USMC M1A1 HC that is currently in Afghanistan. The set includes one large PE sheet for the belly armor, four medium-sized PE sheets for the USMC M1A1 specific items, four smaller PE sheets for M1A1 common pieces such as screens and parts for the machine guns. It also includes resin and metal parts for the smoke grenade launchers, 16 resin smoke grenades, thermal viewer for the TC's .50 cal, a scope for the Loader's M240 MG, and parts for 2 duke antennas. There are also metal springs and bases for the antennas, wire tow rope, and a couple lengths of plastic rod included. The set is rounded out with 4 double-sided A4 sheets of well-detailed instructions that look easy to follow.


The set will give you everything you need to make a current USMC M1A1 HC in Afghanistan. It includes all the key parts for a USMC tank. These include 8-shot smoke grenade launchers, T/I phone box and Slave Cable Receptacle box for the right rear, and duke antennas. You also get TUSK (Tank Urban Survival Kit) parts that are used by the USMC; which are the belly armor, loader's gun shields, thermal viewer on the .50 cal, and scope on the loader's M240 MG. The USMC does not use all parts of the TUSK since they are not needed for operations in Afghanistan. The set also includes an exhaust deflector, but not the type commonly used by the USMC, which is part of the Deep Water Fording Kit (DWFK). The DWFK exhaust deflector actually seals the exhaust for water operations. The one in this set is the same as the one that comes in the Dragon kit which just sits on top of the exhaust vents. You will still need to source or scratch-build a DWFK exhaust deflector to build it correctly.

Additionally, the set is missing the folding Bustle Rack Extension (BRE) found on current USMC, and most Army, tanks now. This is the same BRE in the Dragon M1A2 SEP kit. Voyager does this BRE as a separate set, as does Eduard. You will need to source one for a current USMC HC as well.

Also in the set, you get most of the same common M1A1 parts from Voyager's M1A1 basic set as well (35415) which gives you many of the common upgrade parts for hatch interiors, smoke grenade storage boxes, rear exhaust vents, etc. Many of these items are already in the Dragon AIM kit though and will not necessarily be useful. The set could be used on any M1A1 to make it into a USMC HC though.

Lastly, the box-art is very deceptive. It shows a USMC M1A1 HC with a lot of other PE parts on it that are not included in this set. This seams to be an issue with Voyager. They like to show all their sets on one tank. The rear of the boxart does show what is in the set though, but you have to know to look there for it.
Highs: A great set to make a current USMC M1A1 HC. The resin and PE together look really nice to bring out a lot of details.
Lows: Some of the parts are redundant to those in the Dragon M1A1 kit. The set does not have the correct DWFK exhaust deflector in it for a USMC tank.
Verdict: Overall a great set to get a pretty complete, current USMC M1A1 HC used in Afghanistan. A great set if you are looking to build a USMC Hog.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: PE 35417
  Suggested Retail: 28.99
  PUBLISHED: Aug 31, 2011
  NATIONALITY: United States

Our Thanks to Voyager Model!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

View Vendor Homepage  |  More Reviews  

Click image to enlarge
  • move
  • move
  • move
About Gino P. Quintiliani (HeavyArty)

Retired US Army Artillery Officer, currently a contractor at MacDill AFB in the Tampa, FL area. I have been modelling for the past 40+ years, really seriously on armor and large scale helos (1/32, 1/35) for the last 35 or so.

Copyright 2020 text by Gino P. Quintiliani [ HEAVYARTY ]. All rights reserved.


Nice review, Gino!
AUG 31, 2011 - 02:55 AM
Good and detailed info, but for such a comprehensive set I wish there were more pictures of the kit contents. Mario
AUG 31, 2011 - 03:28 AM

What's Your Opinion?

Click image to enlarge
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move