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REVIEW
Meng Merkava Mk.3D Early
c5flies
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Posted: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - 01:05 PM UTC
Damon Burke takes a look inside the box of the Merkava Mk.3D Early, a new release from Meng Models.

Link to Item



If you have comments or questions please post them here.

Thanks!
Spiderfrommars
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Posted: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - 06:58 PM UTC
Many thanks for the incredibly exhausting review Damon.
I bought this kit about 3 weeks ago. At a first glance, It looks quite impressive
I think you're right about the gun. No matter if it's made in plastic, the problem is that there are too many pieces. That could create some aligment problems.
Regarding the anti slip surfaces, I think that is far more realistic reproducing them with baking soda and Mr surfacer rather than having some rough raised details on the kit. I might be wrong, but I suspect that plastic technology doesn't allow yet to have a good reproduction of them.
Yes, probably a PE fret isn't indispensable but considering that the kit is quite expensive, it would have been nice to have some finer details provided as an alternative to plastic parts.
Anyway it looks like a top notch kit. Now I can't wait for their T-90 family

cheers
Maki
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Posted: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - 07:22 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Regarding the anti slip surfaces, I think that is far more realistic reproducing them with baking soda and Mr surfacer rather than having some rough raised details on the kit.



I absolutely agree with you. Far more realistic results with adding anti-slip on IDF vehicles yourself... the texture grain is not as fine and uniform as with US vehicles, so it is very hard to reproduce it in plastic.

I'm wondering about the plastic ball and chain. It is supposed to save quite a lot of nerves of an average modeler, but in my opinion, it still looks a bit artificial .

Mario
cagkancakir
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Posted: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - 07:50 PM UTC
Thanks for the review Damon, it's very detailed.

I have the kit and I completely agree with you, Mauro and Mario..

It is a GREAT kit and only has two issues I think, first is the main gun and the second is the ball & chain. The kit has too many parts for the main gun, this could be very problematic, I'm thinking to use an aftermarket aluminium barrel (someone will release anyway) or a resin one (I have one already). For the ball & chain, I agree with Mario, despite the quality, molded ball & chain will look very artificial, Voyager has released an aftermarket upgrade already for this kit and it looks quite good.

I will add anti-slip with hairspray & fine sand & primer trio...

CC
Spiderfrommars
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Posted: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - 07:51 PM UTC

Quoted Text

I'm wondering about the plastic ball and chain. It is supposed to save quite a lot of nerves of an average modeler, but in my opinion, it still looks a bit artificial .



Yes,I agree, chains look too thick, but I suspect that it couldn't be reproduced in a better way.

Regarding the surfaces, that's a problem which companies seem not to understand. Not having a detail is better than having an ugly one raised on the kit. So for example in softskin models, it' s better not having any windscreen wipers rather than having them molded on the screen. A hole on an engine deck is better than a solid molded grill, especially if the grill isn't fine enough


(Hi Cagkan...what about your T-80? )
cagkancakir
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Posted: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - 08:15 PM UTC

Quoted Text


(Hi Cagkan...what about your T-80? )



Hi Mauro, I'm back in business, I posted something yesterday and I will post an update in a few days ..

How will you add an anti-slip to Merkavas? I am kinda obsessed anti-slip methods, trying to find best one ...

CC
Maki
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Posted: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - 08:34 PM UTC

Quoted Text

How will you add an anti-slip to Merkavas? I am kinda obsessed anti-slip methods, trying to find best one ...



I like the results Ryan got on his Puma. Here is what he uses: link

Mario
Spiderfrommars
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Posted: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - 08:47 PM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text


(Hi Cagkan...what about your T-80? )



Hi Mauro, I'm back in business, I posted something yesterday and I will post an update in a few days ..

How will you add an anti-slip to Merkavas? I am kinda obsessed anti-slip methods, trying to find best one ...

CC



I've missed your update!

For the anti slip I haven't decided yet but I tink I'll use baking soda and maybe a thin coat of Mr surfacer.
Anyway I've read about some other interesting techniques

http://www.armorama.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=SquawkBox&file=index&req=viewtopic&topic_id=193678&page=1

http://www.armorama.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=SquawkBox&file=index&req=viewtopic&topic_id=137727

I've also found out that Polyfilla Flexible Gap Filler grips on plastic surfaces and leave on them a rough layer which looks quite close to the effect which I'd like to achieve.
I'll have to make some trials before

Mario, many thanks for the link
cagkancakir
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Posted: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - 09:00 PM UTC
In my opinion, Guido Adorno's method is the best and correct scaled one, I will try to do something like that..

And I have to admit that we are lucky, because Meng and Michael Mass chose to not include an anti-slip surface on this great kit, it would be very artificial. Merkava's surface is very uneven as Mario pointed.

CC

seb43
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Posted: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - 12:10 AM UTC
Cool review Damon
I like the style and really appreciate your comments on the kit.

So this kit will be an All-Star ????:D

Cheers

Seb
bill_c
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MODEL SHIPWRIGHTS
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Posted: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - 06:09 AM UTC
Excellent review, Damon.

Quoted Text

The instructions are written in English and what I assume is Chinese.


Actually, it looks to my eyes as though it's Chinese, English and Japanese (in that order), but I can't tell precisely from the photo.
PantherF
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Posted: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - 09:50 AM UTC
Yes, excellent review. This along with the "Cracking the Box" video review tells you everything you need to know about this release!

And the sprue shots are very nice too.

Thanks!







~ Jeff
arpikaszabo
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Posted: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - 11:18 AM UTC
This is definitely one of the best modern armor kits on the market. I might buy another one.
didgeboy
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Posted: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - 03:45 PM UTC
It was loads of fun to review! Thanks to everyone at Armorama and Meng for the chance to do it. Thank you all for the kind comments.
ejasonk
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Posted: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - 06:44 PM UTC
Looks good.
And now it's time for the T-90 from Meng
Bearwoods
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Posted: Thursday, June 28, 2012 - 05:42 PM UTC
I have one, more than 700 kits, looks nice and glossy, and the introduction is clear and definite, not so hard to build up
CMOT
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Posted: Thursday, June 28, 2012 - 05:52 PM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Regarding the anti slip surfaces, I think that is far more realistic reproducing them with baking soda and Mr surfacer rather than having some rough raised details on the kit.



I absolutely agree with you. Far more realistic results with adding anti-slip on IDF vehicles yourself... the texture grain is not as fine and uniform as with US vehicles, so it is very hard to reproduce it in plastic.

I'm wondering about the plastic ball and chain. It is supposed to save quite a lot of nerves of an average modeler, but in my opinion, it still looks a bit artificial .

Mario



On the subject of anti slip coating I am not to bothered about why it is not replicated but if it should be there I feel a few drawings showing the correct pattern would be a big plus.
Maki
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Posted: Thursday, June 28, 2012 - 08:26 PM UTC

Quoted Text

On the subject of anti slip coating I am not to bothered about why it is not replicated but if it should be there I feel a few drawings showing the correct pattern would be a big plus.



IDF-modelling forum is currently hosting a Merkava 3D group build. People there are very helpful with providing info on IDF related questions.

Mario
ninjrk
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Posted: Friday, June 29, 2012 - 02:13 AM UTC
No kidding! And the tortoise come to that. . .

Matt
CrazyDavid
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Posted: Monday, July 02, 2012 - 07:15 PM UTC
The languages are respectively Traditional Chinese, English and Japanese。