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Armor/AFV: IDF [Israeli Defense Forces]
Armor and AFVs of the IDF army from 1947-today.
Hosted by Darren Baker
Merkava Mk.4M w/Trophy APS (Meng-1/35th)
errains
#045
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South Carolina, United States
Joined: September 23, 2005
KitMaker: 307 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - 12:24 PM UTC
Hey Dennis,
IMO the tracks are the weakest part of the kit but you can still use them...I just finished installing them. The issue for me was the way the tracks were engineered. Requiring more effort then it was worth. I took me a good 15 hours of clean up and assembly where Friuls would have taken me about....let's say 4 hours.

If you go the master club road for tracks I would suggest ditching the resin pin and use brass rod.

Hope this helps
panzerbob01
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Louisiana, United States
Joined: March 06, 2010
KitMaker: 2,954 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - 03:48 PM UTC
Regarding the Merk gun being fixed...

I THINK that is true for most of the versions in-kit - like with various modern Russian tank kits, the main gun has stuff associated with it - articulating (in the real thing) lights, lasers, MG, plates and linkages, etc. And all that becomes hard to actually keep wholly articulated in a kit.

But for those looking for a challenge... I would bet that the parts could, with surgery and modifications and replacement bits, be made to articulate, in whole or in some reasonable part.

But, for me, the question would be WHY bother? I'm not much interested in moving the gun around - but that's just me, of course!

Bob
M4A1Sherman
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New York, United States
Joined: May 02, 2013
KitMaker: 4,300 posts
AeroScale: 152 posts
Posted: Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - 08:06 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Regarding the Merk gun being fixed...

I THINK that is true for most of the versions in-kit - like with various modern Russian tank kits, the main gun has stuff associated with it - articulating (in the real thing) lights, lasers, MG, plates and linkages, etc. And all that becomes hard to actually keep wholly articulated in a kit.

But for those looking for a challenge... I would bet that the parts could, with surgery and modifications and replacement bits, be made to articulate, in whole or in some reasonable part.

But, for me, the question would be WHY bother? I'm not much interested in moving the gun around - but that's just me, of course!

Bob



Hi, Bob!

AGREE!

I can't fault anyone who would want to make their Main Guns "movable"; THAT is their own prerogative... But once I complete ANY model of mine, it goes behind glass in one of my display cabinets, and IT STAYS THERE. Or, I will put the model into storage, and I will place it in a "protected, cushioned and compartmentalized box", so that NONE of the parts can be damaged while IN storage... I don't build anything to be "manipulated" once it's done- That's just "asking for trouble"... At least in my opinion, anyway...
M4A1Sherman
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New York, United States
Joined: May 02, 2013
KitMaker: 4,300 posts
AeroScale: 152 posts
Posted: Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - 08:34 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Hey Dennis,
IMO the tracks are the weakest part of the kit but you can still use them...I just finished installing them. The issue for me was the way the tracks were engineered. Requiring more effort then it was worth. I took me a good 15 hours of clean up and assembly where Friuls would have taken me about....let's say 4 hours.

If you go the master club road for tracks I would suggest ditching the resin pin and use brass rod.

Hope this helps



Hi, Eric!

Thanks for your feedback on the kit-supplied tracks. "Indy-Link Tracks" are tedious enough to assemble without having to do a lot of extra "finagling" with them. I ALWAYS check the reviews of any kit before I buy. If I've read that there is a "problem" with any component of said kit, for example the Tracks, then I'll factor in the extra cost of the FRIULs, or whichever Track sets that I may choose as replacements. Simple as that. No belly-aching, no crying, tales of woe, or rending of sheets and gnashing of teeth AS IS STILL GOING ON in another thread on this site...

Also, and this may be of interest to the rest of the guys as well, I discovered that I can use a nice, PLIABLE GREEN "Flower-Crafting" wire in connecting the links of the FRIULS, which I like to use in lieu of the FRIUL-supplied coiled steel wire. The FRIUL wire is too stiff, hard to cut, and is too small of a diameter for it to stay inside the Tracks. The wire which I like to use is available at any WALMART, in the "Crafts and Fake-Flower Arrangement Section". Buying a couple or three of these bags with these lengths of wire will last quite a long time, and this stuff saves me some aggravation into the bargain...
TopSmith
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Washington, United States
Joined: August 09, 2002
KitMaker: 1,406 posts
AeroScale: 14 posts
Posted: Thursday, March 28, 2019 - 01:10 PM UTC
For Friules I use standard staples. I straighten one side so it looks like an L and push it through. When I am done I finish by clipping off any part of the staple protruding from the track.
errains
#045
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South Carolina, United States
Joined: September 23, 2005
KitMaker: 307 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Friday, March 29, 2019 - 05:43 AM UTC
Suspension and Tracks

Ok the running gear is all done and assembled. All the suspension parts fit beautifully without any problems. While the road wheels are not staggered (which is unfortunate) it will not be noticeable once the kit completed.

The Tracks ...as stated earlier are the weakest part so far encountered. Meng's desire to produce "workable" tracks leads to a poor engineering design of having a top and bottom of each track link glued together with a molded in pin used to produce the track runs. I instead assembled each link separate and cut out the pins and then assembled the track runs. Also there was "molding flash" on most links that contains the pin, adding to an already long track assembly time. I would highly recommend aftermarket tracks to anyone building this kit in the future, adding to the cost that is already expensive.











With the most tedious part the build behind me now its on to more exciting parts of the kit.

Thanks for stopping by for a look and comments are always welcome.

vettejack
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Florida, United States
Joined: November 23, 2012
KitMaker: 1,021 posts
AeroScale: 1 posts
Posted: Friday, March 29, 2019 - 05:02 PM UTC
Timely article Eric. Having the Mk IV in the stash, I decided to follow up and purchase pretty much most of the aftermarket items based on your selections. When time permits to build, I'll have what the kit needs. Thanx for sharing the pics on those items as well...it made a difference on the brands chosen. Looks like you got a good build going on there!
errains
#045
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South Carolina, United States
Joined: September 23, 2005
KitMaker: 307 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Saturday, March 30, 2019 - 12:19 AM UTC
Thanks for stopping in John.
I'm happy to hear that the AM photo has been helpful. Overall the build has been fun and I'm satisfied thus far with the results..even the tracks...I guess

errains
#045
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South Carolina, United States
Joined: September 23, 2005
KitMaker: 307 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Sunday, March 31, 2019 - 12:51 PM UTC
Lower Hull Completed
Got a bit more done over the weekend. I managed to finish up the lower hull. I decided to scratch build the 200L external fuel barrel mount. The Desert Eagle update set comes with a PE one but my skills are a bit lacking in that area so it was easier for me to build one from styrene.







Thanks for stopping in
M4A1Sherman
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New York, United States
Joined: May 02, 2013
KitMaker: 4,300 posts
AeroScale: 152 posts
Posted: Sunday, March 31, 2019 - 09:04 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Lower Hull Completed
Got a bit more done over the weekend. I managed to finish up the lower hull. I decided to scratch build the 200L external fuel barrel mount. The Desert Eagle update set comes with a PE one but my skills are a bit lacking in that area so it was easier for me to build one from styrene.







Thanks for stopping in



Hi, Eric!

I'm LIKING what I see!!! GREAT WORK!!!
cabasner
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Nevada, United States
Joined: February 12, 2012
KitMaker: 955 posts
AeroScale: 7 posts
Posted: Monday, April 01, 2019 - 12:11 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Timely article Eric. Having the Mk IV in the stash, I decided to follow up and purchase pretty much most of the aftermarket items based on your selections. When time permits to build, I'll have what the kit needs. Thanx for sharing the pics on those items as well...it made a difference on the brands chosen. Looks like you got a good build going on there!



For what it's worth, having built a number of these Mark 3 and 4 tanks, now, in my humble opinion, the most significant aftermarket item to get is the Eduard set (even if it's for the Academy Mark 4) because of the photoetch vertical parts for the flexible baskets. Yes, I've noted that you're interested in the Meng 'full baskets' with complete tops, but they are gosh-awful expensive, almost as expensive as the entire 4M kit, but my opinion is that the vertical screens make those baskets fantastically realistic, and you can build your own 'inside baskets' out of tissue or thin rolled epoxy, and make the tops of the baskets out of the same material. Those aren't the only options, of course, and you CAN do the fully complete baskets as per the Meng aftermarket kit, but you could save a lot and have a great looking rear option for your 4M.
errains
#045
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South Carolina, United States
Joined: September 23, 2005
KitMaker: 307 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Monday, April 01, 2019 - 11:05 PM UTC
I in no way disagree with Curt regarding the resin baskets by Meng. They are rather over priced for sure. I did explore the use of PE for the flexible baskets but as me and PE don't get along (for whatever reason) I went with the resin option for convenience. Just a personal choice.
TopSmith
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Washington, United States
Joined: August 09, 2002
KitMaker: 1,406 posts
AeroScale: 14 posts
Posted: Saturday, April 06, 2019 - 08:02 AM UTC
Eric, I am ordering this kit. What are your thoughts on the gun barrel? Would the kit bennifet from an aftermarket barrel?
errains
#045
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South Carolina, United States
Joined: September 23, 2005
KitMaker: 307 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Saturday, April 06, 2019 - 12:41 PM UTC
Hey TS,
The short answer would be "Yes".

The kits barrel is the usual two part affair. Given the that this barrel has a thermal sleeve I don't feel that Meng could have done it differently. If you go back in this thread you'll see I have the legend productions Mk 4 update set. This comes with a resin barrel but mine was warped badly. I then order one from magic models this one is metal and resin and super nice.

So the bottomlins is this...if you don't mind the kit barrel and clean up it would look good. But the AM barrels are a bit nicer, provided that it isn't warped.

Hope this Helps and looking forward to seeing your build here.
ArtyG37B
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British Columbia, Canada
Joined: August 13, 2009
KitMaker: 399 posts
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Posted: Saturday, April 06, 2019 - 12:54 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Suspension and Tracks

Ok the running gear is all done and assembled. All the suspension parts fit beautifully without any problems. While the road wheels are not staggered (which is unfortunate) it will not be noticeable once the kit completed.



Just curious what you mean by not staggered?
metooshelah
#011
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Jerusalem, Israel
Joined: February 06, 2009
KitMaker: 1,506 posts
AeroScale: 2 posts
Posted: Sunday, April 07, 2019 - 07:42 AM UTC
i have to agree on the tracks, they are the weakest part of the kit.
nice job on the barrel!
errains
#045
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South Carolina, United States
Joined: September 23, 2005
KitMaker: 307 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Sunday, April 07, 2019 - 08:26 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Suspension and Tracks

Ok the running gear is all done and assembled. All the suspension parts fit beautifully without any problems. While the road wheels are not staggered (which is unfortunate) it will not be noticeable once the kit completed.



Just curious what you mean by not staggered?



Ok so before I go down this rabbit hole let say up front that I am NOT a Merkava expert and therefore most likely wrong.

On some modern MBTs with torsion bar suspension the road wheels are staggered (bad choice of word)..off set slightly. It was pointed out to me on another web forum that this kit did not have the off set road wheels.



That being said I not found any collaborating information supporting that the kit is either correct or incorrect. Either way it really don't make much differantce as I'm still building this kit

Sorry for any confusion
errains
#045
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South Carolina, United States
Joined: September 23, 2005
KitMaker: 307 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Sunday, April 07, 2019 - 08:29 AM UTC

Quoted Text

i have to agree on the tracks, they are the weakest part of the kit.
nice job on the barrel!



Thank You Sir...but I'm thinking of redoing the external fuel barrel as the top lip of the barrel I used is WAAAAAAY to thick. Did not catch that until I posted the pictures.
panamadan
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Minnesota, United States
Joined: July 20, 2004
KitMaker: 1,247 posts
AeroScale: 11 posts
Posted: Sunday, April 07, 2019 - 09:13 AM UTC
The roadwheels would only be off-set if the tank has torsion bars-does this tank have that suspension?
Dan
ReluctantRenegade
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Wien, Austria
Joined: March 09, 2016
KitMaker: 2,132 posts
AeroScale: 66 posts
Posted: Sunday, April 07, 2019 - 09:27 AM UTC

Quoted Text

The road wheels would only be off-set if the tank has torsion bars-does this tank have that suspension?
Dan



No, the Mk.4 utilizes a helical-spring type suspension. I don’t see why the road wheels should be offset in this case.
errains
#045
_VISITCOMMUNITY
South Carolina, United States
Joined: September 23, 2005
KitMaker: 307 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Sunday, April 07, 2019 - 10:44 AM UTC
I was hoping you would weigh in on this Israel...Thanks so much!!
ReluctantRenegade
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Wien, Austria
Joined: March 09, 2016
KitMaker: 2,132 posts
AeroScale: 66 posts
Posted: Sunday, April 07, 2019 - 06:14 PM UTC

Quoted Text

I was hoping you would weigh in on this Israel...Thanks so much!!



No problem mate. Great progress so far! I'm not familiar with the kit - does it have workable suspension? Otherwise I can’t really explain those “torsion bars”...
Kelley
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Georgia, United States
Joined: November 21, 2002
KitMaker: 1,963 posts
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Posted: Sunday, April 07, 2019 - 11:06 PM UTC
I'd guess the "torsion bars" are Mengs way of making the suspension workable?? (if it is):-P The road wheels definitely shouldn't be staggered. Nice work so far Eric, I have the friul tracks for mine, didn't want to mess w the kit tracks.
errains
#045
_VISITCOMMUNITY
South Carolina, United States
Joined: September 23, 2005
KitMaker: 307 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Sunday, April 07, 2019 - 11:36 PM UTC
Yes the suspension is poseable..ie workable. So I guess the reason for the torsion bar. I mistakenly took them as factual...Bad Me

Thanks for all the help and comments
cabasner
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Nevada, United States
Joined: February 12, 2012
KitMaker: 955 posts
AeroScale: 7 posts
Posted: Monday, April 08, 2019 - 04:58 AM UTC
Eric, would love to get that aftermarket main gun barrel, but my Apple operating system has a new feature that tells me that the Magic Model website is not secure from a transaction standpoint. Any idea of where else those parts may be available from?