by: Darren Baker [ ]
Legend Production is not a company to sit back and let the grass grow under their feet. They have taken the AVDS-1790 Engine and made it suitable for the AFV Club Shot-Kal series of tanks, and so this broadens its appeal to the modeller especially so with Israeli Defence Force vehicles having an ever growing following. I suspect many like me are aware that the Centurion tank had the Meteor engine fitted and some Shotís did have the Meteor engine present; however as these were updated the AVDS-1790 diesel engine was used.
Legend Productions has packed this latest offering in one of their substantial flip top cardboard cartons and so it should always reach you in perfect condition. A look at the resin castings feels me with a positive opinion as I feel that Legend Productions are one of the best resin casters on the market. You also get brass rod, brass wire, vinyl coated wire and finally photo etched parts. The large resin parts have substantial casting plugs that prevent distortion of the mouldings, this is a good thing in that respect but it does make removal a more difficult task.
My initial thought when I saw this was that Legend Productions was out to make a better return on previous engine offerings; I am very pleased to see and say that is not the case as the subtle changes I found that make this a unique offering. As I have said with previous offerings the AVDS 1790 engine found its way into many armoured vehicles and it is that multi-utility aspect that makes this such a great product line for Legend Productions.
The engine itself is due to its very nature very similar to previous releases, but there are quite a number of changes when viewed against previous two offerings. I am not in a position to vouch for the accuracy of those changes, but I have learnt from previous offerings from Legend Productions that the do have a record of doing their homework where accuracy is concerned. The combination of the various medias used in this offering can make life difficult for those who are unaccustomed to the materials, but this mix of media does have a purpose; Legend Productions has used the materials that they feel best replicate the details of the full sized engines in scale and can reasonably be expected to survive addition to the model.
Moving from the engine to the engine bay leaves me a very happy man, this is because the parts have been shaped and moulded to fit the model without the need for copious amounts of filler. Some surgery is required to the base models due to the internal detail where the drive transfers to the drive wheels and exhausts/intakes. While Legend Productions has supplied great replications of the large elements of the engine bay it is much smaller supplied parts that catch my attention, the various cables covered in this release really add the kind of detail that attracts the eye; I cannot explain it in a logical manner but the cables that run done the sides near the top of the compartment really drags my eyes to them. Looking at this area of the model I actually prefer the look of the engine bay with the engine out and so a diorama with the engine being removed or added would really appeal to me.
Anyone who knows me likely remembers that I have a dislike of photographic instructions which are used with this release. An examination shows that Legend Productions has put a lot of effort into this approach and the more I look at them the clearer my aim becomes, but I would still prefer a more conventional instruction method perhaps with some photographs for complicated aspects and further clarity.
Legend Productions has also gone to the trouble of supplying the engine deck in resin and that is a pleasing addition to bring completeness to the model. Detail is present on both faces of the engine deck doors, but the main central plate has no detail on the inner face; I believe the underside would rarely if ever be seen and so that does not concern me; plus I do not know if there would be any detail in that area.
I am pleased to see this offering from Legend Productions due to the increased popularity of Israeli Defence Force armour. I am not overly keen on vehicle interiors as they can rarely be seen and take up a lot of time for very little return, but the power packs on armoured vehicles are easily and naturally displayed within a diorama and add a lot of eye candy for a limited work requirement. I would still like to see the instructions handled differently, but your opinion may differ. I am very pleased to see that Legend Productions has taken the time to modify the engine rather than just giving us what was previously released.