Bravo Team / Forces of Valor (FOV) US M1A1 Abrams 1:32 Review

Saturday, February 27, 2010

When you're sick of fantasy vehicles from GI Joes and want something more realistic.

The M1A1 Abrams currently serves the United States as their main battle tank.  It performed superbly on its many missions in Iraq and all over the world.  The M1A1 variant of the M1 Abrams, featured in this review, is fitted with a 120mm smooth bore Rheinmetall gun.  The M1 is protected by Chobham armour which effectively dissipates weapon impacts to protect the tank crew.

Unimax currently sells two lines of their military models. Their Forces of Valor (FoV) line is designed for adult collectors and include die cast components and lots of accessories. They also sell a subset of the Forces of Valor line as the Bravo Team (BT) line but all cast in plastic, simplified paint scheme, with less accessories, and at a much lower price targeted for children.

Bravo Team M1A1 with Iraq flat color camouflage box front

Being all plastic makes the BT M1A1 Abrams very light.

Forces of Valor M1A1 with NATO 3 color camouflage box front:

Similar looking box but the diecast gives the FoV a really nice weight to it.

Bravo Team top of box:

Forces of Valor box top:

The FoV also includes a plastic base with a metal plaque.

Bravo Team Box back (click image for larger version):

Various scales from 1/72 to 1/18 tanks fill the Bravo Team line

Forces of Valor Box back (click image for larger version):

There are more tank varieties for 1/32 scale in the FoV line

Bravo Team Front

The driver's hatch is nicely included

Bravo Team Right side

The cannon is nicely painted to look like it's been fired.  The side arrows are called combat chevrons and used to denote the platoon the vehicle belongs to. If it points up, ^, it is a 1st platoon vehicle; right, >, it is 2nd platoon ; down, v, 3rd platoon ; and left, <, 4th platoon. In this case the upward arrow matches the enclosed plaque of 1st platoon.

Bravo Team Left side:

Bravo Team Rear:

Bravo Team Top:

Bravo Team Bottom:

Bravo Team M2HB heavy machine gun (top) and M240 machine guns (bottom):

The commander's weapons station does not include clear plastic to represent the periscope

Bravo Team Commander and loader hatches open:

Both allow you to fit a small figurine but show no interior details.  Sadly it's too small for GI Joe figures.

Bravo Team gunner's primary sight and smoke grenade launchers:

Both FoV and BT are similarily detailed for the primary sight which doesn't open and has no clear plastic.

Forces of Valor smoke grenade launcher:

Bravo Team light

Painted lights. Some over painting at the bottom left.

Forces of Valor:

Lights on the FoV are also painted. Notice the little hole near the light for towing the Abrams.

Bravo Team tread detail:

Only the rear wheel properly grips the rubbery treads.  The wheels on the BT Abrams are nicely weathered.

Forces of Valor tread detail:

The opening panels on the FoV Abrams is a neat detail but they don't line up properly.  The tank trends on FoV are painted.

Bravo Team Cannon angles:

Forces of Valor Cannon:

The angles between BT and FoV cannon are the same.  Note the figurine, water can, 20mm ammo cans, and tank trend accessories attached to the back of the box.

Turret rotates a full 360 degrees:

The BT uses a single piece of plastic for the bustle rack with a meshing detail etched in

Forces of Valor bustle rack:

FoV accurately uses a mesh for the bustle rack and includes holes for the radio antennas that stick high up from the Abrams.

Unimax has created a reasonably detailed 1:32 scale mold of the M1A1 Abrams and has done a good job tooling it to meet the more detail oriented adult buyer with the Forces of Valor line and created a durable cheap toy for children with the Bravo Team version.  The Forces of Valor version adds 2 opening panels on each side of the tank, 1 figurine, 4 20mm ammo cans, 1 spare road wheel, 4 water cans, 2 radio antennas, 2 tent rolls, 1 bed roll, 1 tank tread, 1 wooden crate, and better details and better paint job.  If you're into tanks it's worth picking up.  If you need to choose between the two, I'd recommend the Forces of Valor version over the Bravo Team because of better detailing and accessories. If you're looking for a M1A1 for your G.I. Joe collection then I recommend the Bravo Team 1:18 scale ($29.99) which fits the figures and is just an upsized 1:32 scale Bravo Team M1A1.

Eric Toy Score: 3 out of 5

Publisher: Unimax
Year: 2009 (Bravo Team) / 2007 (Forces of Valor)
Price: $19.99 (Bravo Team) / $49.99 (Forces of Valor)


Thanks for the very detailed review. I've been trying to determine the difference between the Bravo Team line and the Forces of Valor items and you have helped me tremendously. Again, thanks!

Author says,"If you're looking for a M1A1 for your G.I. Joe...then I recommend the Bravo Team 1:18 scale...and is just an upsized 1:32 scale Bravo Team M1A1."
On the contrary, it is NOT just an upsized 1:32, as the side skirt differences(as even the author pictures)are more accurate towards the 1:18, as well as the roadwheel hubs. I think the "detail oriented adult buyer" would lean towards the accurate Bravo Team, and the children can beat up a durable metal 1:32 FoV.

I like the BT M1 Abrams Tank

Love it :)


BT M1 Abrams Tank is my favorite

The BT M1 Abrams is more fantastic than the FOV

I think the 1/18 M1A1 is a better choice. You can still find these at Target for around $32.00
dollars. It can be detailed way beyond the store bought look. I have done mine in a Marine
Corps version. It really looks great when you weather everything and start cutting and adding.
Of course, if you simply want a decent sized model of a M1A1, the 1/18 version is a great buy
and should satisfy even the most picky person. The only criticism I have is lack of extra gear
and a tank commander. These can be easily obtained by ordering on line or trying various
hobby/ toy stores. There really is no limit to what you can add to these model tanks in terms of detail. I added antenna, working lights, several crew members, all kinds of gear from duffle bags to ammo boxes as well as extra full
cans. I created a desert scene based on a picture of a Marine Corp tank from Iraq. It looks very realistic and again I believe the size of the tank model made the difference. I added a Humvee and the whole diarama is awesome.
1/32 is okay, but I prefer the 1/18 for depth and ease of detailing. The company which makes this M1A1 also makes the M4 Sherman, Tiger I and Stryker as well as other armor and support vehicles. Prices range from $21.00 to $50.00 for
the tanks. My Tiger I was only $39.00 plus shipping/handling, but it was really worth the wait. It looks great right out of the box with one feature very few if any 1/18 scale Tigers come with. "Zimmerate", The anti mining surface applied to later versions of the Tiger I. It looks great. Anyway, the M1A1 is a great buy and
chalk full of details. Semper Fi.....

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