I made the Academy’s Merkava in March 2015, additional work such as surface anti-slip.
I watched “American Sniper” with my wife today in the cinema complex near my house. Combat scene was extremely real, and armored cars are running around Iraqi city corners lively. Maybe I was inspired by this movie, I would like to make modern tank and picked up this Academy’s Merkava Mk.IV from my stockpile. Probably this kit is already out of stock now.
Oh, I decide to put the making in process kits aside today. I have also Hobby Boss Merkava Mk.III and if there’s time in the future, I’ll make it, too.
Regarding suspensions, almost covered under the wheels and side armor, I think it’s no need to filing parting lines and filling the dent of plastic injection marks so nervously.
Partial connection of the caterpillar tread seems very nice. I like better than belt caterpillar personally.
Compare to German Ausf. IV type tank, Merkava is a very large tank.
I glanced at the instruction 1st page and there’s something about photo-etched parts that I have already attached the plastic parts!!
It seems no problem at all but the etching is more detailed, so I tried to change them.
Ummm, maybe this etching is better. I needed to be careful that this etching part are the very fragile thin plates.
Like pop up from an SF movie form, it’s one of the characteristic of Merkava tank. I have a feeling the chain curtain photo-etched parts is hard handling.
There are more parts of gun turret than the body and takes much time. 120mm smoothbore, 12.7mm machine gun, 7.62mm machine gun turned to the front.
The instruction manual indicates the caterpillar attachment in the last stage, but I suppose it’s better before side armor onto the upper body.
So there will be few troubles which I attached body armor, wire ropes and rubber fenders at the same time for whole adjustment each other.
I scraped off the hemisphere parts from runner one by one and making the round ball of the chain curtain. At first it’s difficult, but after a couple of trials I’m used to doing this work. Please be careful, don’t hurt yourself.
It is the chain skirt which I attached neatly with much effort, but the rear body top surface interferes it when I attach a gun turret to a chassis and turn round. I bend the chain diagonally for a while and keep it off and should be adjusted for the last time after the painting completed. These chains are easily broken when I bent them many times. I should be so careful.
There had been a gap to fill the putty. Probably these backside was almost covered by the huge turret and not in my eyesight.
There’s no mold of antislip surface on the body and turret uppers. I used this Tamiya Diorama Texture Paint of powder snow. It’s fixed on the body after dried and not moved the dust even I blew breathing strongly over them. It’s moderate textured surface, I’m still not sure after painting. The whole impression was drastically changed so I can say it’s risky work.
Academy’s instruction advised to make the canvas sheet from tissue paper but I used the lead sheet for fishing. It’s easier to stick decals.
I attached plastic mesh of grenade guard, which was covered on exhaust opening on the side. I used black marker to locate the position, after using glue and dirty mesh net.
Merkava turret has many antenna connectors. All poled is too noisy so I attached 4 antenna rods. Both sides of the front, there are 2 connectors and I attached two short rods.
Chain curtain and side armor was a little hitting if rotating so the turret angle was still keep like this photo.
I’m worried because it’s my first Academy’s kit but the instruction was easy to understand, all the parts joint is quite good. Assembly was very smooth and enjoyable. It’s like the finish up comment, but the next step is painting.
Blowing surfacer, and shadow along the panel lines.
The Merkava seems to be greenish a little than the Super Sherman which I made before as I look at real vehicle photographs. The Super Sherman was painted similar to dark yellow, not mixed green colors. There’s Academy’s recipe that 70% of Mr.Color #60 RLM02 gray and 30% of #340 field green FS34097. Furthermore, I mixed orange by some adjustment. I’m thinking after brownish washing makes more natural and complex color gradation. It’s becoming cool.
I attached decals, these quality was not so bad. But the white gun barrel markings are pale, so the tone is changed the crossing point and the other area. I need to re-touch by brush later.
Now I’m reading a book on Naval General Staff interviews of Imperial Japanese Navy, I’m eager to make battle ships again.
Painting of the periscope and glass area, after coating mat black I used Mr.Crystal Color Turquoise Green but this one is too glitzy. I coated clear green on them, but it’s not good finish, as aquarium with algae bloom and can’t see inside.
Hahaha, it’s drastic remedy. I don’t have hologram film in my hand now so I peeled off the CD disc recording part cut out for them. It’s gleaming catch the light in some angles. At least better than the above scheme. I thought to try coating with clear blue for a moment, though this time I left the film without concealment.
Merkava series is the high-profile tank of the current Israeli army. Starting from Merkava Mk.I that started the operation since 1979, they have been developed continuously research.
In the development of Mk.I, it has been developed based on the number of combat experience of up to the fourth Middle East War, and they are also experienced in a number of operations such as Beirut military invasion until the development of Mk.IV.
Turret was larger than former Mk.III, and attached removable modular armor from the Merkava Mark IIID which can be performed in a short period of time to recover after damaged.
When I made this kit l I felt this vehicle height is very tall. The height of the Merkava is 2.6m and Japanese main battle tank Type 10 is 2.3m.
Decals on the canvas, because the canvas width are too narrow to attach decals, I cut the part of the decal and changed the vehicle number. Adhesion was perfect because before pasted I blew clear on the canvas.
It is a chain and ball hanging from the edge of the turret, it’s so-called chain curtain that protects from mobile anti-tank weapons such as an RPG. I painted in black and blew the dust, occasional rust washing.
The characteristic of Merkava, the engine is disposed at the front of the vehicle, and has achieved an occupant survival rate when struck from the front. It is important excellent tank soldiers to survive. Soldiers quality and experiences effect drastically change in combat skills of troops.
120mm Smoothbore has been adopted in many current main battle tanks. Penetration is various by shells, I wonder it’s around 1000mm.
Windows, such as periscopes look good they shine. Someone thinks too glaring, it’s one of the effect of modeling.
This chain curtain grides on the body, I can’t round the turret frequently.
I drew contrasts to the basic color Sinai gray that was mixed myself, I had dry brush for highlight on the rivets and antislip patterns.
In the Academy’s instruction, three white bands is from the front from the right side, but these white bands are from the stump in the graphic from the left. I wonder which is the correct, in the end as the photo I choose.
Because Israel is a dry climate, rather than put a lot of mud, more of dusty paint would be feeling better. I mixed the pastel dust in the enamel thinner and clear and flat base, or mixed pastel in water-based paint thinner, for avoiding peeling off the dust easily when I touched this model.
I thought whether short antenna are attached to the front, it seems pole for the vehicle width confirmation. These poles were broken many times in my work, I should have attached them the very end process.
You can recognize the turret shape and vehicle largeness from above.
My wife who has no knowledge of the military said it’s like a crab shell. I think so, too.
In some photographs, the antenna was leaned by other wire, my using 0.3mm metal line is too hard, maybe 0.2mm brass wire can be shaped that position.
Now there are many companies released Merkava various kits and I cannot compare cause I have only one completed.
I did not feel the stress from making, easy understandable instruction. And it’s also important factor the price is friendly and reasonable.
There are exaggerated expressions in this work, but really I like it.