After building the 1:16 scale M1A1 AIM(SA) ABRAMS for GDLS-A's presentation to the 1st Armoured Regiment on the handover of the first of 59 Main Battle Tanks, I decided to use the molds and other parts we had made to produce another model for us to display. The model would be radio controlled and decided to use some ready made parts available from a manufacturer in Germany. They had been able to supply us with spare parts for our LEOPARD 1 AS1 and they had available parts for the lower hull, road wheels and drive system for an M1.
These were purchased and arrived several weeks later. They were great pieces with the road wheels cast in alloy with bearings and torsion arms ready to fit to the hull sides. It went together beautifully and it wasn't long before we had the lower hull and drive train ready to run.
I then cut the parts with the laser cutter which we had drawn up for the first static model and assembled these ready to fit. It all went together quickly and was ready to fit the resin castings we had done to the upper hull and turret. Detailing was quickly completed and the model primed and ready to paint. I decided to paint the model in the original US sand colour that they were delivered in rather than the camouflage scheme that has been adopted for the Australian ABRAMS. I did this so that it was easily distinguishable between the LEOPARD 1 AS1 and the ABRAMS at displays. Many people with an untrained eye seem to believe the camo'd ABRAMS was simply another LEOPARD. If they see it in sand colour they seem to know that it is an ABRAMS.
The model was fitted with turning gear for the turret however I did not fit an elevating system for the gun. The real one, I've been told, very rarely raises above horizontal anyway so the mechanism seemed pointless.
The model runs well and looks great and is now on display in the window of our DMG shop.