login   |    register

135
Chariot of Fire

  • move
Meng Models has sorta come on the scene like a thunderclap releasing a flurry of interesting kits from WWI all the way to the present. My first acquisition was their Israeli MBT the Merkava IIID (Early). The Merkava (whose name in Hebrew means "chariot") is considered by tank experts to be one of the world's greatest modern tanks, and it's easy to see why:

Sleek lines

Creative armor solutions

Front-mounted engine w. rear crew access door to increase survivability

A nasty 120mm smoothbore gun

Metal "dreadlocks" on the turret basket to detonate RPGs

Never one to be satisfied with an OOB build if I can complicate things with after-market add-ons, I sprang for the Friul metal tracks (a good choice) and the ET photo etch main set and side skirts.

Not the best idea,

After struggling for weeks with the PE, I came to understand why the company chose "ET" for their name: the stuff is freakin' out-of-this-world. The instructions are chaotic, and many of the items are microscopic. They even ask you to make your own chain from PE links.

Uh, no.

I added the Voyager set of chain "netting," a set of radio aerial bases, and a brass & resin .50 cal. MG for the turret front.

The result was pleasing, but I'm still not sure if it was worth all the grief.

  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move

About the Author

About Bill Cross (bill_c)
FROM: NEW JERSEY, UNITED STATES

Self-proclaimed rivet counter who gleefully builds tanks, planes and has three subs in the stash.


Comments

Thanks, Jacob, nothing is more satisfying than the praise of one's betters and peers.
SEP 16, 2014 - 02:07 AM
I would say the result IS worth all the grief, well done.
SEP 16, 2014 - 03:02 AM
Thats a cracking build
SEP 16, 2014 - 03:51 AM
Now that is a most convincing desert weathering job! I think I have sand in my eyes from the dust that your Merkava has kicked up. Thanks for sharing. ómike
SEP 16, 2014 - 04:23 AM
AWESOME Love the weathering/finish A1
SEP 16, 2014 - 04:34 AM
Aw, shucks! Thanks, Gents.
SEP 16, 2014 - 04:59 AM
Awesome. Look really cool. I like. Paweł
SEP 16, 2014 - 09:04 AM
Thank you, Pawel.
SEP 16, 2014 - 09:48 AM
Can you guide us on the proper IDF tank colors. Did you mix your own or which company provides the right color. Great build--inspiring!! Well done.
SEP 16, 2014 - 01:28 PM
Dave, I laid down a base coat of Tamiya XF1 flat black, then oversprayed Lifecolor UA020 (Israeli sand gray). I then mixed some of that paint with acrylic white to lighten it about 50%, and sprayed that on the highlight areas. After a coating of clear flat, I then experimented with AK Interactive's OIF & OEF enamel wash (AK121). It's tricky to use because if properly-mixed, it comes out like black ink. Once the wash dries, it lightens up quite a bit, but I used a lot of mineral spirits to thin it out, as I did not want the tank to look too badly-used. Israel's military operations don't usually last very long (this tank represents one from Gaza in IIRC 2009), so you don't want your vehicle to be too beat-up (I did split between rubber-coated wheels and metal ones 50-50). HTH. Darren, should we put the painting information in the body of the feature?
SEP 17, 2014 - 03:40 AM