Photetch Detail Set for Tamiya M1A2 Abrams

Published: July 24th, 2018     
Product Image
Reviewed by: Scott Hollingshead - IPMS# 34786
Scale: 1/48
Company: Hauler
Price: $15.61
Product / Stock #: HLX48385
Product provided by: Hauler

For those of us who attended the IPMS Nationals in 2017, we were able to see the 1/48 scale M1A2 that Tamiya would soon be releasing. I built the original 1/35 Tamiya offering in the 1980's as the tank was just entering service, and I knew that I would need this new release in a smaller scale. The folks at Hauler have released a photoetch set to improve detail on some items and add more/missing details in other areas. I would highly recommend this set to modelers building this Abrams tank, but also recommend that you have experience with some rather small detail parts.

This set comes with two frets of thin brass holding 75 numbered parts, and there are over three dozen additional parts for instances when multiple parts share the same number (such as the tow cable supports). There are only a few items that have spares included, which is why I recommend that a person have some PE experience before taking on this set. The instructions are covered on two sheets of paper with black and white drawings on both sides of each sheet.

My biggest hit for this set was the customer service that I received from Jan at Hauler. Not far into this review, I realized that I had a lot more parts than what I had directions for installing. An e-mail sent to Hauler through their website was quickly responded to and I soon had a pdf file with all of the instructions. Aside from that, the set is a thin brass that is easily worked for bends with some items, such as the hooks for the tow cables, thinned slightly to aid in forming their curves. There are two options for the ring around the commander's hatch included, and the details for the M2 are really fantastic in my opinion.

I cannot call out any real misses for this set, but I do caution watching which way parts need to bend for the 90-degree angles. I could have personally used a couple of extra parts, specifically for the pull-down line on the inside of the commander's hatch, as I had to replace this item with a piece of copper wire. Although not a miss, I personally prefer the kit mudguards as compared to the Hauler replacements, and I left these in place, but I did photograph a built-up guard next to the kit for comparison.

In conclusion, I would highly recommend this detail set for folks who own the Tamiya 1/48 scale M1A2 kit (32592). The realism and detail of the Hauler parts make a great addition to an already well-made Tamiya kit.

My thanks go out to the folks at Hauler-Brengun for supplying this item to the IPMS-USA for review, to John Noack for allowing me to perform this assessment, and to you for taking the time to read my comments.

  • ammo holders and stowage bin
    ammo holders and stowage bin
  • commander's hatch interior
    commander's hatch interior
  • grill details
    grill details
  • left side of turret
    left side of turret
  • M2 details
    M2 details
  • mud guard
    mud guard
  • right turret details
    right turret details
  • side skirts
    side skirts
  • top of turret looking aft
    top of turret looking aft
  • turret stowage baskets looking  aft
    turret stowage baskets looking aft
  • wipers on drivers window
    wipers on drivers window
  • wiring left side forward hull
    wiring left side forward hull

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