Monday, July 11

Read’n Reviewed: Sabot Publication’s new book M1A2 SEP Abrams Main Battle Tank in Detail.

Pete is back, and after he got the chance to read the first book in a new series produced by SABOT Publications (with the second book already not far away as we write this review.) So let’s see what SABOT’s “M1A2 SEP Abrams Main Battle Tank In Detail” is like.

M1A2 SEP Abrams Main Battle Tank “In Detail”
Published by SABOT Publications
By Chris Mrosko and Brett Avants
Colour plates and line diagrams provided by MENG Models
Number of Pages: 104
Number of Photos: 300
Colour Artworks: 3
Format: Softcover Portrait 210mmx280mm
ISBN: 978-0-9973774-0-8
Price: £24.47/US $32.50/ HKD $25.00/ AUD $44.60 from Hobbyeasy

This is the first book from a new company SABOT Publication, this release has also been done in partnership with known model manufacturer MENG models. this book has been compiled by subject matter experts, current serving and former serving defence personnel who have worked closely with the real M1A2 SEP Abrams MBT.

Geared towards the modeller, and focussing on the small details of the M1A2 SEP Abrams MBT, this new book published by SABOT Publications and written by the team of Chris Mrosko and Brett Avants includes in-action shots, walk around details with most photos never before seen or published.

This book will help you make any of these Abrams...
Anyone looking for a comprehensive history lesson on this vehicle then this book will not fulfil this, you do, however get a brief history in the introduction that will satisfy the majority of modellers. The book contains approximately 40 pages of in-action shots and 60 pages of walk around details.

The Model world is full of new tooling M1A2 Abram kits at the moment, all focusing on the SEP version, some of these can be seen in the below image. This book is aimed at the modeller and will be a useful tool for those that are looking to add that little bit of extra detail or make areas more accurate. The book is clearly broken into three areas with clear headings, introduction, in-action and walk around. It has been written clearly and in easy to follow in American English, each image has good explanations explaining what is occurring in the image with some of the most detailed images even going as far to explain what angle the photo was taken, so the modeller knows what angle they are looking at the image from. 
There are three colour plates that people who own the new MENG model kit will instantly recognise, also included are line drawings of the left-hand side, front and rear of the vehicle.
The first couple of pages we see a page thanking everyone involved who assisted in producing the book and the introduction, as I mentioned before this is brief only two pages in length but it gives an outline of what the M1 Abram is, the outlines the various upgrades up until the SEP (System Enhancement Package) was introduced, they cover this area in more detail then go on to explain what weapon systems are fitted to the vehicle and the various TUSK (Tank Urban Survival Kit) packages available for the Tank when required, most of these being a bolt on and off option, that’s why you will see some tanks fitted with items and some not such as when you look at images of the Abrams in Iraq.

Moving onto the next section of the book we get around 40 pages of in-action shots, these are a good range of photos from tanks operating in conflict zones like Iraq, deployed with NATO in Europe and back home on military exercises. Some interesting photos have been included in this part of the book, like this image showing the mess the crew manned medium machine gun M240 and the heavy machine gun M2 can make to the top of the turret. This would look interesting on a model and there are now various brands offering the correct spent cartridges to achieve this effect, such as Live Resin and Mission Models.

There are some great pictures of the tank operating in various environments from the desert, woodlands and snow. Another series of pictures that interested me in this section of the book when I came across them was the images showing a vehicle that slipped off its transport trailer in Iraq. There is also pictures of tanks fitted with the SEPV2 upgrade that includes the remote weapon station and tanks fitted with mine plough and rollers.

The last section of the book covers 60 pages of walk around shots, these include hard to find interior shots and photos of nearly every angle of the exterior of the tank. Other than the interior shots, some stand out pictures I thought where the shots showing how the side skirts swing open to allow for servicing, the close up shots showing how the exhaust weathers over time, multiple close-up shots of the new CROWS (Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station) starting to be fitted to all Army M1A2 tanks and close shots of various details like blue for tracks and antennas mounts.

This book is the start of a new series of book from SABOT Publications with the goal of producing books to solely focus on assisting the model builder. This is made evident in the way they have taken the photos and the comments with the photos. A point I found confusing with the walk around section though was that they looked to have used two or maybe three different tanks when compiling this, to assist the modeller tackling this subject that might not be that familiar it might pay to separate these more distinctively in future books. This in no way detracts from a great book or should discourage anyone from buying it.
Being a modern armour builder, one item I would also like to see in Sabot’s books in the future that is absent from nearly all books is the inclusion of a line drawing or a series of pictures that clearly show the anti-slip coating, this will assist the modeller greatly in adding a very prominent detail. Chris and Brett have started a great thing for modellers and have openly asked for feedback and I give them credit for this, they are very approachable and want to improve their future publications, they will take the feedback on so ideas like this can be included in future additions. So please get in touch with SABOT Publications via email if you would like to see something amended or added in future releases.
I think this is a great book for assisting in building the large range of new M1A2 SEP kits we have seen released over the past months and will assist greatly in adding detail to your model I recommend this book for anyone wanting to build an M1A2 SEP. These publications are apparently a limited print, so get in quick if you like what you see here.

I look forward to future release from SABOT publication as what they have produced in their first book is very promising. (some of the coming books can be seen below).

Peter Davis

This book is now available from Sabot Books Distributors Worldwide. Check out their Facebook page for more...