by: Keith Forsyth [ ]
History During the late 70's and early 80's the IDF was left with numerous intact Sho't Kal hulls without the turrets. It was decided to develop an armoured personnel carrier which would offer greater protection than M and M3 Half track APC's. The Nagmachon, is a latest version to be converted from Sho't Kal(upgraded Centurion) hulls, substituting the turret for a fixed superstructure. The belly is reinforced by at least two plates of steel Armour for better protection against detonating belly-charges. The Nagmachon can be distinguished from its predecessor the NagmaSh'ot APC by the addition of more E.R.A.-panels (Explosive Reactive Armor) and the heightened driver's position.
The Nagmachon is equipped with formidable side skirts again made up of E.R.A.-panels. The rear most pair are made of metal armour plates which are hinged to tilt upward. This is meant to offer some protection from small arms fire for disembarking troops. The Nagmachon can be equipped with several engineering devices on its glaciers, including mine-breaching devices such as Nochri and Magov anti-mine systems. Along with its heavy belly armour plate, this makes it an ideal platform for breaching routes through mine-fields and booby-trapped areas. Although the vehicle can be used to perform engineering tasks, it is mostly used by infantry forces for fighting in urban areas, the most common battlefield of the 21st century. Due to the exposure of the crew to enemy fire, three armor panels are attached to the superstructure's roof. These panels were equipped with armoured glass vision blocks. Between these panels, two pintle-mounted 7,62 FN MAG machine guns are placed to give increased firepower and protection to the crew and travelling infantry.
The Kit The kit arrives in a large brown box with a colour picture of the finnished model on the top. On opening the box you are presented with four large bags of resin parts, a full resin upper hull, a bag containing a Photo Etch fret, a length of cord, a length of small chain, two different sizes of wire and a sheet of clear plastic card. Finally you are presented with a two page double sided colour instructions. The kit has been produced to fit any one of the new AFV club Centurions, in fact you will actually only need the lower hull, running gear and tracks the rest of the AFV club kit is wasted. Due to the amount of resin parts in this conversion around 400 plus , I would put it in the advanced modeller catagory, I would certainly not attempt it with out a good resin build knowledge.
The instructions are in full colour, but still leave a lot to be desired, there is a picture of all the resin parts with part numbers but as the resin parts come un-numbered its not a lot of help, and you will need to keep referring back to it as you build the kit. The Instructions also fail to mention that you need to cut the AFV Club hull down to fit the resin upper hull and that some of the interior spans need to be removed before the interior can be fitted. The instructions do show the distance for the space between the hull and the interior, but they are not clear on where this is to be measured from. The Rest of the instructions are made up of pictures showing the location of the rest of the parts, there are no real steps shown for the build so time and care will be needed to really get the best out of the kit.
The Upper Hull
The upper hull is a complete resin cast, with no bubble marks or signs of warping. There are substantial resin casting blocks to be removed as well as a film of resin that covers the access holes into the hull, these have been scored with a blade in a hatch pattern so you know they are waste. Finally there are two pieces of resin to remove under the hull which again have been scored to mark them as waste.
Due the kit having a large hatch at the rear a partial interior has been included with the kit, You will need to keep referring back to the instructions as you build the interior as part of it sits in the AFV Club Centurion hull and part of it in the resin upper hull. A lot of dry fitting may be needed so that both parts can fit together in the same place (lower and upper hull). there may also be a requirement to paint the interior before the upper and lower hull are finally glued together. The interior comprises of crew seats and commanders seat as well as internal walls with various cables and boxes attached, I would guess that very Little extra detail on top of what is already there will need to be added.
The resin ERA blocks come in there own small bag again perfectly cast, but you will need to refer to the instructions to identify each one. The building of the ERA parts will also require parts from the Photo-etch sheet to fully build what is required, Time and a lot of dry fitting will be required to correctly locate them on the upper hull.
The rest of the resin
The rest of the resin parts go to complete the upper hull, including the armoured skirts, the rear engine plate , the upper deck protection shields, and various other items to help complete the conversion, all the parts are again bubble free and appear to be well cast with no shrinkage. They are all cast on resin block and will need carefull removal from them so as not to damage some of the real fine parts.
The metal bits
The photo etch come on a small fret and is used to produce the ERA armour as well as headlight guards, fender spacers and other small items to small to be cast in resin. The length of chain is added to the substantain side skirts to produce the obvious supports as can be seen in most references to the actual vehicle. the lengths of wire are used to produce the rear basket so some degree of soldering will be required, A resin former is provided in the kit to help build the basket, allowing you to produce the identical bends requirde to complete the basket. The other wire is used to form the multiple grab and lifting handles again referring back to the instructions for there location and size. finally the thread is there to create the towing ropes which are a hugh feature of the centurion, these also use a couple of the AFV Club parts to complete (you will have to refer back to the AFV club instructions of the correct parts but they are parts C9 and C10 in the "Shot Kal" AF35124 kit).
ConclusionLegend have again produced a stunning conversion kit in resin in there ever expanding IDF line, the build looks reasonably straight forward once you get your head around the instructions, taking the time to identify all the pieces and number them with a fine marker will certainly help. The quaility of the casting is first rate as to expected from Legend. The lack of sequential instructions will not help the build but as with most resin kits the time and effort taken to build it will show in the final displayed kit. Not one for the beginner but certainly a build for a resin head looking for that something different. Recommended