In-Box Review
MCD enhancement set (for USMC M1A1HC models)

by: Pawel Krupowicz [ VODNIK ]


I received this new product for review from Echelon Fine Details, and it's the first of its kind for this Singapore based decal maker. That’s because it is not a decal set, although it does include a few small waterslide decals. This product is quite unusual not just for Echelon, but in general, as it is meant to improve the looks of one relatively small device carried on US Marine Corps M1A1HC tanks: Missile Countermeasure Device (MCD), or to use its proper military designation: Countermeasures Set AN/VLQ-6. This may seem odd that anyone would be interested in making an enhancement set for one small device, but this device’s big rectangular gold-colored mirror front surface makes it really stand out on a real tank and on a model. Of course if you managed to find a suitable material to use to represent this golden shine… Echelon solved this problem as their new product includes three sets of parts to enhance three MCDs plus we get some spares too.


In the set we get four rectangular pieces of plastic material with highly reflective gold-colored surface that imitates the surface of the real MCD ‘face’ really well. These parts are pre-cut to the size of the MCD part in the Tamiya M1A2 kit and fit perfectly with no need for trimming. I don’t know if these parts fit to MCD parts in other manufacturers’ kits, as I don’t have any of them.

Instructions tell us to use white glue to attach these parts and also suggests adding them at the very end of model construction, which is undoubtedly a wise idea, as it is very easy to ruin the reflective surface with fingerprints.
We also get a single larger rectangular piece of highly reflective silver-colored plastic with six identical data placards printed on it. This part is not pre-cut, so it must be cut along the lines printed on it, before placards can be glued to model part. Only one placard per MCD is needed.

Finally we get three sets of decals with warning labels – two decals per MCD, one for each side. These nicely printed decals should be familiar to anyone who bought any of Echelon’s decals sets with USMC M1A1HC markings, as they were included there.
There are no spare decals included............ just enough for three MCDs. That’s why one gold reflective surface and three silver placards are marked as spares. However if you already have any Echelon USMC M1A1HC decal set, you’ll be able to use decals included in it to assemble one more complete set of enhancement parts for one additional MCD.


Fine print on both data placards and warning labels is very accurate. The golden color of the reflective surface is very close to this on the real MCD. The real part has a little more orange tint, but the difference is negligible and this part should look excellent on the model. Highly reflective silver colored surface of data placard is probably a bit too reflective – on the real part this is typical metal placard and is rather matt in appearance. A light coat of flat varnish should easily correct this problem. One other small issue is that the plate on which thr data placards are printed is a little too thick to be truly in scale, but this may not be noticeable.


I highly recommend this simple enhancement set for all modelers building Marine M1A1HC tank model from Tamiya M1A2 kit.

Many thanks to Echelon Fine Details for the review sample
I highly recommend this simple enhancement set for all modelers building Marine M1A1HC tank model from Tamiya M1A2 kit.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: D356001
  Related Link: Echelon Fine Details website
  PUBLISHED: May 16, 2006
  NATIONALITY: United States

About Pawel Krupowicz (Vodnik)

As first lines of this bio appear under all my reviews, I feel it is important that I start with this information: In March 2005 I ventured into the other side of modeling "industry" - I was not only building model kits, but also helping design them as a consultant for Dragon Models Ltd.. These days...

Copyright ©2021 text by Pawel Krupowicz [ VODNIK ]. All rights reserved.


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