In-Box Review
In-Box Review Of Dragons New M1A2 SEP 3536
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by: Jeremy Coyle [ HERCHEALER ]


In efforts to keep up with the information revolution, the US Army decided to improve upon the already powerful M1A2 with the development of the M1A2 SEP (System Enhancement Package). The new M1A2 SEP would have improved SMI, such as voice synthesis and a loader’s remote display (HTU), improved displays, which included terrain maps, flat color display panels and a video distribution system. The SEP also included an embedded GPS system, Task Force Xxi CC software and an Integrated Power/Cooling/Environmental System.

The Kit

As with many of the new Dragon offerings once you open the box you are amazed at the number of crisply molded, highly detail parts included in the kit. This kit is no exception as it includes 18 light Grey sprues, one clear parts sprue, small photo etch fret, metal barrel, and a small amount of wire for the tow cables. Also included in this kit are the relatively new DS tracks, a sheet of MRE boxes, and two decal sheets with markings for 6 different tanks.

Assembly and Detail

The Assembly begins with you assembling the Wheels and sprockets. Details on the wheels are crisp and clean and as with the M1A1 AIM it includes clear center caps. All of the Suspension and lower hull parts appear to be the same as with the AIM and are likewise superbly detailed.

After completing the suspension and lower hull they have you attach the upper hull, which has a very nice rendition of the Anti-skid, and also the tracks, the only tracks that come with the kits are the new DS Tracks, they look finely detailed with a few raised pin marks, but the should be easily removed with a few swipes with the sanding stick. An interesting addition is that all of the track horns are molded separately and must be attached to the tracks; this appears that it might be a little tedious but in the long run I believe it will be worth the extra effort.

The next 4 steps have you adding details to the upper hull. Step 8 is the first step in which you have 2 choices, you can either build it with an UAAPU or with the Hawker Battery. The next step has you installing the Side skirts with are cleanly molded, and with the exception of T11 and T12, they are individually sectioned., which will give the modeller many options for a possible DIO Scene.

Step 10 is the assembly of the main gun, giving you the option of a plastic or metal barrel, only the Barrel itself is Metal and the rest of the parts are molded in Plastic. It also has a spring mechanism to recreate the recoil, We will see how useful this is during the future Build review.

Step 11 goes into building the new commanders copula which consists of 18 pieces and is superbly detailed. Steps 12-17 are the assembly of the turret and normal bustle rack. Step 18 is the assembly of the new bustle rack extension, which consists of 6 plastic parts and 2 photo etch parts, this is also another welcome addition. Steps 19 and 20 are the finishing touches. Overall the detail throughout is top notch and should assemble with very minor cleanup. Dragon has once again continued to raise the bar on their latest M1.


Decals are printed by Cartograph paper and have very good detail Markings are provided for 6 different M1A2’s and they are as follows:

1. “Heavens No, Hell Yeah” 1st Bn., 8th Cavalry Rgt., 1st Cavalry Div., Iraq 2004 (Overall Sand)
2. “Absolute Death” 3rd Bn., 67th Armored Rgt., 4th Infantry Div., Iraq 2003 (Overall Sand)
3. “Cowboys From Hell” 1st Bn., 8th Cavalry Rgt., 2nd BCT “BLACK JACK”, 1st Cavalry Div., Iraq 2004 (Overall Sand)
4. “Armor Ghetto” 3rd Bn., 67th Armored Rgt., 4th Infantry Div., Iraq 2003 (Overall Sand)
5. “The Hunter” 3rd Bn., 8th Cavalry Rgt., 3rd BCT “GREY WOLF”, 1st Cavalry Div., Iraq 2004 (Overall Sand)
6. “Unnamed” 1st Bn., 16th Cavalry Rgt., Fort Knox, Kentucky, USA 2002 (NATO)

followup info

Editors Note: Pawel Krupowicz has published a handy guide to fixing a minor production flaw with the Commander's Weapon Station (CWS or just cupola) and other assembly tips. http://vodnik.primeportal.net/pages/SEP/SEP.htm
Highs: Superb detail throughout, with lots of added details left out on previous M1's. Anti-Skid and New Bustle Rack extension are another great plus, as with many the New Tracks will be as well.
Lows: Could only find a few vices with this kit, one being the indy track horns, and for some the lack of indy track links.
Verdict: Overall this will build into one Impressive M1A2. Highly recommended!
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 3536
  Suggested Retail: $50 USD
  Related Link: Pawel's Assembly Guide
  PUBLISHED: Jul 25, 2007
  NATIONALITY: United States

Our Thanks to Dragon Models!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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  • Instruction-Cover
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  • Instruction-Sample
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About Jeremy Coyle (Herchealer)

I have been modeling on and off for about 20 years now. I started building more heavily about 12 years ago when I was stationed in Japan. I primarily build armor, but I would like to start building some of my Aircraft I have in my stash.

Copyright ©2021 text by Jeremy Coyle [ HERCHEALER ]. All rights reserved.


Brent, Thanks for the breakdown of the extras in the kit.
JUL 26, 2007 - 12:20 PM
Sure is tempting to not get one now at Great Models. But what to do with the AIM can't have three of the same model or close to same not enough room in cases for all of them. Any ideas on that build a new larger showcase? But glass is big $$$ now.
JUL 26, 2007 - 01:02 PM
Got mine waiting at the LHS and will get it on Saturday. From the looks of the pics it seems that this is another stunner of a kit. However I am not happy with the choice of DS tracks instead of individual links. If the links were wrong in the other kit than Dragon could have corrected them. I guess that someone in the aftermarket world will make some and I'll buy them. Sorry but the DS tracks on the Late Tiger are not as detailed as the tracks on the box art. The box art looks like separate pieces of metal, the DS tracks don't. There is a limit to the detail that DS tracks can have and looking like individual links is not going to happen with rubber bands. Compared to the Intial Tiger that I built with the individual links the DS tracks just don't cut it. Sorry but IMHO. In the meantime dreams of sytrene will dance through my head until I hit the doors of the LHS.
JUL 27, 2007 - 02:57 PM
Thank you all for your comments. This was my first review so I apologize if i might have missed some things. A special thanks to all of you who have added to the review in this post. I will be doing a build review, but being as I am Currently Deployed, I will not be able to paint it, But i should Have Excellent reference material, if you catch my drift. Glad you guys found it helpful. Jeremy
JUL 28, 2007 - 09:58 AM
Thanks for the review.
JUL 29, 2007 - 12:51 AM
Not sure if it has been mentioned yet but I got mine on Thursday and they already have corrected the instructions by including an addendum.
AUG 04, 2007 - 05:14 AM
Well I finally got my SEP last weekend. I traded the DS tracks in exchange for the Magic Tracks from the AIM kit. As has been stated the SEP did use those tracks on some units. I was impressed with the DS tracks but a little surprised by the separate track horns considering that the Late Tiger tracks were slide molded. Still I like the look of the individual track links. And at the rate things are going I probably will start on this kit way in the future and with any luck somebody will do some aftermarket individual tracks. As I've said before, if Dragon were to do DS and individual tracks in the same kit I would gladly pay a couple of extra dollars for it. It can be done. Or if they had a reasonably priced aftermarket sets I would even go that route. Pass it on Pawel.
AUG 14, 2007 - 04:09 PM
Really? With too small guide horns and end connectors sticking at weird angles around sprocket and idler?... Not to mention those ejector pin marks on each link. Oh, well - it's your choice. But I'm not going to apologize for telling DML to throw these Magic Track molds to the trash (OK, just kidding - they are still needed for new production runs of AIM kit) I agree with you that in general individual link tracks look great (e.g. those from Armour Track Models), but certainly not these Magic Tracks! If DML will ever release new M1 family kit that would need T158 tracks, these would be the same DS tracks as in SEP kit, but with new "solid" styrene guide horns. Sure, but that would mean the need to tool new Magic Tracks, as I will not agree ever again to have both my name and old T158 Magic Tracks in one box together I respect your opinion, but in my opinion old Magic Tracks suck big time! By the way, even if DML had decided to include individual link T158LL tracks in the kit, they would still have separate guide horns. It is simply impossible to make these links in one piece with correctly shaped hole in the guide horn (Tiger tracks are VERY different - guide horns are very simple in comparison). Pawel
AUG 15, 2007 - 07:32 AM
Guys, does anyone know when the kit is going to be available in Europe? I am anxious to get my hands on it and so far I haven't seen it in any internet or hobby shops in Poland. Thanks for the info if you have it.
AUG 17, 2007 - 09:46 PM

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