Today Lee takes a look at building a slightly more accurate Improved Performance M1 (or IPM1)
“Gee Lee, this seems like a fairly redundant article given there is an excellent step by step on the Battlefront website.” At first glance you’d be right. Simply sticking the longer bustle on the turret gives you something that is close enough to an IPM1 for 90% of the people reading this. I even did it this way on the majority of my IPM1 (which I built that way way back when Team Yankee came out to future proof against an IPM1 appearing later!).
However, I later found a photo of the IPM1 and I noticed something. It only had one stowage bin like an M1, not two like an M1A1.
A quick check of the Osprey book on the M1 also mentioned it (blown up for emphasis).
Okay, earth shattering revelations this isn’t.. But, with the IPM1 finally appearing in a book, I thought I would have a go at trying to make a more accurate version.
For the most part we will be build the tanks per the assembly instructions for the IPM1 over at the Team Yankee website, following steps 1 to 6. This gets us the hull built up with the L shaped rear sideskirt as well as the main bulk of the turret. We diverge at step 7.
Firstly, we are going to trim off the protrusions highlighted in red. the two on the cheeks (one each side) are used to locate the smoke grenade stowage bins but I have yet to see a picture of a pre-M1A1 that has them. The protrusion on the turret roof is used to locate the cover plate for the CITV aperture on the M1A1 model – it does not appear on the M1 or IPM1 so shave it off. A sharp model knife will make quick work of it.
There are two alternative side racks for the M1. A short one with a single stowage bin (top) and a long one with two stowage bins I(bottom). What we want to do is take the short one and use the long one to make it longer whilst keeping a single bin. We need to remove the bits in red (save the smoke launchers from the long one – British players may be after them…)
As always, check twice, cut once (then still screw it up somehow). Then glue the bit we kept from the long bins to the short bins
I’d do these one at the time and cut the extensions from the long bin a bit long. filing a little off until it matches the untouched long bin. Then use the modified one to check the length on the next one. The closer we match the original length of the long bin the better.
It’s little wonky in the photo so I went back and straightened it a little more.
Now we can glue the bins to the side of the turret. Once its dry we then glue the rear of the bustle rack into place.
There we go!
We can now add the cross wind mast (step 8) and then continue on with steps 10 onwards to add the 105mm main barrel, and cupola to complete.
I used a bit of track to hide the join on one side. The track came from the Leopard 2 kit and was simply cut from 3 links:
To 2 links:
Then glued into place.
The spare roadwheel also works well for this. Camouflage netting and tarp rolls will also help.
I do regret not thinking of it sooner – the change is noticeable and helps to make for a unique looking tank.
I hope that inspires you and I look forward to seeing someone with a bit more skill with a knife doing an even better job of it.
In the next instalment we’ll look at adding stowage to the bustles (as can be seen on the completed turrets).