Three years after their arrival in Australia – the American built Abrams tanks are getting an extreme makeover .. Australian Army style.
“We do like a Leonardo De Vinci style thing, we have a picture in one hand and a spray gun in the other” – says Peter Boscato, owner of Boscato Panel Works who won the million dollar plus contact to paint the 41 Abrams tanks based at Darwin’s Robertson Barracks.
Only eight Aussie Abrams tanks have been painted in the Australian bush camoflauge design so far, covering over the original American sandy desert colour. If there was any doubt, ‘Tankies’ at the First Armoured Regiment agree it finally makes the Abrams’ – our tank.
“It’s fantastic that they are getting painted in the Australian camouflage” according to Captain Bec Marlow. She says “The guys definitely feel they’re their tanks now.”
Peter Boscato – estimates it takes 120 hours or three days hard ‘yacca’ to rub back, wash and then spray an Abrams in a high tech infra red reflective paint. First two grey undercoats are applied – then a bush green, followed by a sprayed free-hand uniquely designed Australian camoflage. Painting Australian Army tank’s has become a family tradition for the Boscato’s. Peter’s father spray painted the former frontline Leopard tanks when they arrived in Darwin back in the 1980’s.
“The soldier’s are all very happy. It makes them stand out in the crowd, they don’t look like American’s anymore. You can tell the tanks are Australian” said Mr Boscato.