Well finally finished this beast. I am not quite sure how to weathering such a new vehicle. So I just did some very basic filtering, washing, and dusting. Not very satisfied with the final look but I will leave it as it is as I have been exhausted by this model. I will explain further below.
There is no doubt that RFM has done a great job for this kit. The building process is quite straight forward, even though some steps in the instructions are not quite clear. It can tell that RFM reused most of its M1 full interior series for the vehicle main body. Given the fact that this ABV is based on M1 chassis this is a logical and cost-effecitve decision.
However there are a few areas I found confusing and not very user-friendly. For example it's very difficult to tell the correct side (inside/outside) for the road wheels as the instructions are not clear. I had to test fit the tracks onto the wheels to find the right side.
There is no fitting holes for the turret. The turret just sits on the vehicle body and can easily fall off when handling the model. Presumably this is a feature in the full interior M1 version which can be used to showoff the inside. But given the huge turret of the ABV, it's very inconvenient to adopt the same design, which makes accidents quite possible to happen.
The breaching charge boxes are one of the main features of this model. If you want to show off the boxes with the side panels movable to open/close, the hinges are too small and must be modified to reinforce. Same for both covers, the hinges are easy to fall off so better modify them as well.
You will spent huge amount of time building the mine claws. They are designed to be movable. But again some modifications are needed to make it happen as two fixed parts will stop the whole movement (except the middle one, which is still movable.
This is a big model so unavoidably a lot of handling is needed when working on it. But unfortunately many parts are very delicate and will easily fall off if you are not careful enough. It's a bit frustrated when accidents happen after most of the work is done and some big parts get loose and fall off on the ground....
22. April, 13:47