US Army's 3rd Infantry Division
M1A1HA (Heavy Common) ABRAMS
(Part 2)
Featuring 2nd Platoon Gun Tanks
"Spearhead of the 1-64 Armor"

Echelon Fine Details T35014


    This is the second release of markings for 3rd Infantry Division M1A1HC tanks from Echelon - this time for 1-64 Armor Regiment. Once again these are markings for tanks used during Operation Iraqi Freedom. The set T35014 contains markings for 7 tanks, all from A Company, 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment of 3rd Infantry Division. We get markings for all four tanks from 2nd Platoon, plus markings for two tanks from 3rd Platoon and one mine plow equipped Abrams from 1st Platoon. All seven tanks were painted in overall desert tan. Tanks from 2nd Platoon are marked in a tribute to September 11, 2001 with numbers of United and American airlines ill-fated flights painted on main gun barrels.

Click on picture to enlarge it.

Click on picture to enlarge it.

    Decals are packed in plastic zip-bag - inside we get one larger (approx. 120mm x 190mm) and one smaller (~65mm x 120mm) decal sheets with all tank markings, plus two tiny sheets (22mm x 25mm and 15mm x 24mm) with uniform markings and flags. Two-sided A4 size instruction sheet folded in half is also in the bag. Instructions are printed in full color and include several photos of featured tanks and also photos of all four crews of 2nd Platoon tanks. Decal placement diagrams in standard Echelon's style are very clear and detailed.

Decals are flawlessly printed by Microscale Industries. Most of very fine stencils and all uniform name tapes are legible. On main decal sheets are just a few white elements, plus one red stripe - all the other markings are black, so no color register problems could even appear here, but more colorful markings on extra sheets (including three color US flags) are also immaculately printed.

On one side of the instructions sheet
are photos of featured tanks.
Click on picture to enlarge it.
Instructions are very clear and precise.
Click on picture to enlarge it.

Seven tanks featured on decal sheet are:

1. "United Airlines Flight 93"
        - 1st gun tank, 2nd Platoon, A Company
        - this is the only tank of those features, that could have EAPU attached, although it is not confirmed. Others didn't carry it.

2. "American Airlines Flight 11"
        - 2nd gun tank, 2nd Platoon, A Company

3. "United Airlines Flight 175"
        - 3rd gun tank, 2nd Platoon, A Company

4. "American Airlines Flight 77"
        - 4th gun tank, 2nd Platoon, A Company

        - 1st gun tank, 1st Platoon, A Company
        - this tank can be build with or without a mine plow, as it only received this device when another tank carrying it was knocked-out.

        - 2nd gun tank, 3rd Platoon, A Company

        - 3rd gun tank, 3rd Platoon, A Company

    As is always a case with Echelon decals, we get markings for seven complete models.  All common markings are repeated at least seven times on the sheet. 8 uniform badges of 3rd ID are provided and we also get four US Army tapes and four tapes with names of A24 tank crew. Also included are four unit badges of 1st Cavalry Division - I'm not sure what is the reason for this, but regardless of whether they are needed for the uniforms of 1-64 crews or not, they are very nice addition.

    Similarly to all other Echelon's decal sets for Abrams tanks, here we also get a lot of generic stencils and labels. Included are two sets of stencils External Auxiliary Power Units (EAPU), although it is likely that none was actually used with tanks featured on the sheet. We get Combat Identification Panel frames stencils for all tanks and a set of ten "THIS SIDE OFF" markings and stencils for deactivated CIPs. There is a number of shipping labels provided, plus barrel exercised date stencils and "lift here" markers. Included are also two sets of stencils for mine plow blade - this time contain correct text (there was an error in similar decal on T35013 sheet, but it was corrected here).

    On the main decal sheet we get 16 small black stars - a representation of US national symbol usually carried on US Army vehicles. The 1-64 tanks however either didn't have them painted on or their location is not shown in instructions. The former seems to be more likely, as indeed such stars can't be seen on the photos I have.

Well printed markings - uniform badges above, tank markings below.
Click on picture to enlarge it.

    Just as their previous sets, also these Echelon decals were printed by Microscale, so I don't expect any problems with applying them. The decal film is very thin and applied sparingly around actual markings. I strongly suggest using Microscale's own Set and Sol decal setting solutions with these decals for best results.

    I studied all photos of 3rd ID tanks in my collection (not many of them unfortunately) and couldn't find any discrepancies between them and Echelon markings, so accuracy-wise they seem to be very good (as usual!).

    This is yet another excellent decal set from Echelon. Some extra value is added to this set in the form of uniform badges for the tank crew, with actual names of crew members of one of featured tanks on name tapes. This and also inclusion of another two additional small sheets to the set caused the increase of price to $16.00 from usual $14.50, but it is well worth it.

Highly recommended!


Many thanks to Lawrence Goh of Echelon Fine Details for the review sample.


Copyright © 2005 VODNIK,