This is part of the Dragon Boxart of their latest Abrams version
Even though with the wonderful Dragon Abrams kits that we have on the market, and cheaper Italeri and Tamiya substitutes for DML, the modelers still have demands for new additions to the line. The modelers…they always want more and better! So last months of 2015, Meng announced that they will release M1A2 version, in collaboration with T-Rex design studio and it will go with two options: TUSK I and TUSK II.
Knowing their usual delays in releasing the kits, it is expected that thing to go for sale sometime in 2016, but it is still not clear when exactly. Their marketing department released several pictures and a video, unveiling some of the engineering decisions that TRex applied on that kit, and I must admit, it looks great!
There aren’t many pictures of TUSK II side round-armor plates, and it might be difficult to say how accurate the kit is in that matter, but on the other hand same goes for Tamiya, and their kit is already on the market, so supposedly Meng learned from them if any mistakes were found.
And then in the first days of 2016, yet another company announced the same project. It is Rye Field Models. And they even got further, giving us 3 in 1 kit, with two versions of M1A2 – TUSK I and TUSK II and one for M1A1 – TUSK. The model will feature workable tracks, highly detailed sprockets, more than enough Photo-Etch, and great looking decal options. I really hope the decals will be easy to work with, because they are mandatory for an Abrams tank.
Both kits aim at the same customer target range, and even though Meng seem to have a slight advantage in terms of their established name in the business, Rye Field Models made their announcement with their second kit of Tiger I /with full inetrior/, showing that their aim is high in the sky. If their fit and quality of materials is similar to Trumpeter, Meng and other players, they definitely shoot to kill, and with such detail that they offer, RFM promise to ask for the King’s crown pretty soon.
The prices that they are showing are not high at all, and even though if the Meng and their kit are similar in quality, they are not equally available all around the World so I assume, that we will see many of those build and finished in very competitive manner, with a lot options exposed from the master modelers.
On the other side, Italeri kit features an engine in it, and I am pretty sure, that 2016 releases won’t leave that door open just like that, and very soon we will see versions with interior. Meng have done it with Achzarit and Bradley, showing two kits with and without Interior, and RFM offered Tiger I at first plain and simple, and then stunned the Tiger fans with Full Interior vehicle, which I might say brings only joy in the modeling world.
picture is taken from Armored Warfare site
I won’t be surprised to see another market key player to join Abrams race in 2016, because we already have seen this battle more than once. Not only, the tank is one of the best options in Armored Warfare online game, and I trust that gaming and modeling are now interconnected, so guess what will happen if the best tank in the game is opted as a scale model kit…