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Rye Field M1 Asault Breacher Vehicle

FineScale Modeler reviews the 1/35 scale plastic model vehicle kit
Kit:No. RM-5011 // Scale:1/35 // Price:$82
Rye Field Models
Excellent plow and LMS details; MICLIC can be positioned in launch position or stowed
Nonskid texture missing on turret; plow assembly difficult to follow
Injection-molded, 1,083 parts (47 PE), decals
An obstacle-clearing machine, the M1 Assault Breacher Vehicle (ABV) has served with the U.S. Army and Marines since 2009. If something is in the way, such as mines, the ABV will clear a path with a bang using its mine plow or M58 Mine Clearing Line Charge (MICLIC).

The plastic parts in Rye Field’s M1 are flash-free and crisply molded. A small photo-etched fret is included, and a tiny Cartograf decal sheet provides markings for three vehicles. The 28-page instruction book comprises 23 steps, a parts-tree breakdown, and references for Ammo of Mig Jimenez colors. I found one error in the instructions: Part 34 should be Part 43. The directions are clear except for assembly of the mine plow in steps 17-21, which are busy and difficult to follow.

While assembling the turret, you must decide whether to pose the MICLIC in launch position or stowed. I opted for launch position to show off the detail; the coiled C4 charges appear to be a touch small in scale compared the photos, but still look convincing. The turret lacks the nonskid texture molded on the hull, and no interior is provided, so I glued the separate hatch closed. I left the radio and Duke ECM antennas off until after painting to avoid breakage.

Like Rye Field’s Abrams kits, the hull and suspension went together easily. The suspension includes torsion bars that can be omitted because the road-wheel arms are glued into position. In Step 13, the Lane Marker System (LMS) is posable.

The link-and-length tracks differ from the individual-link assemblies in the previous Rye Field Abrams. Constructing tracks around the road wheels was a bit tricky; the key was giving the glue time to dry. The mine plow proved to be the most complicated part of the build. Pay attention to the instructions to ensure parts go in the correct place. The color CAD illustrations provided were a big help.

The few decals went on nicely over Testors Model Master Army/Marine Corps armor sand (No. 2136) camouflage. Washes and pastels highlighted details.

I spent 95 hours building Rye Field’s ABV, about what I expected given the number of parts.

Good references are essential; photos in M1 ABV Assault Breacher Vehicle by Chris Mrosko and Brett Avants (Sabot, ISBN 978-0-9973774-6-0) helped in assembling the plow.

I would have liked some interior details and nonskid coating on the turret, but neither is a deal breaker. Rye Field’s ABV is an excellent kit and should appeal to any fan of modern armor.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the October 2017 issue.


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