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Armor/AFV: IDF [Israeli Defense Forces]
Armor and AFVs of the IDF army from 1947-today.
Hosted by Darren Baker
Takom Merkava I
cabasner
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Nevada, United States
Joined: February 12, 2012
KitMaker: 930 posts
Armorama: 883 posts
Posted: Sunday, October 15, 2017 - 09:22 AM UTC
I know this is no big deal to anyone but me, but I just placed an order yesterday for the new Takom Merkava i. I am really excited at the idea of a much better initial Merkava, compared to the ancient Tamiya kit, which I have but never built.

Is anyone aware of what might be accurate metal aftermarket tracks might work for this Takom kit? What about any photo etch, or any other aftermarket upgrades, or is it still too soon to see any of that? I guess I'm going to have to get the Desert Eagle book on the Merkava I, also...I've gotten most of those to go along with the IDF tanks I've built...
Wierdy
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Ukraine / Україна
Joined: January 26, 2010
KitMaker: 539 posts
Armorama: 522 posts
Posted: Sunday, October 15, 2017 - 03:53 PM UTC
MasterClub are about to release the tracks (look at the bottom of the page):
http://panzer35.ru/forum/25-10727-52
rfbaer
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Texas, United States
Joined: June 12, 2007
KitMaker: 1,721 posts
Armorama: 1,568 posts
Posted: Sunday, October 15, 2017 - 06:17 PM UTC
Also, Friul has several Merkava sets, at least one of them appropriate for the initial Merk1.
cabasner
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Nevada, United States
Joined: February 12, 2012
KitMaker: 930 posts
Armorama: 883 posts
Posted: Friday, December 01, 2017 - 11:30 PM UTC
Well, I finally got my new Takom Merkava in the mail yesterday. This is the first Takom model I've ever had. I don't know if this is standard, but the box was not sealed on the outside with cellophane as is the usual practice for most models; maybe this is how Takom does their kits? In any event, the box was quite sturdy, double cardboard on the bottom part of the box, and the sprues were all nicely bagged and sealed. The instructions are VERY nice, I thought, well documented, and the text was much less 'odd' than typical Chinese instructions. I'm very happy with what I've seen of the plastic thus far; the moldings seem quite crisp, and they have molded a number of details that would usually be individual pieces in other kits. I don't think that's a negative. I'd love to get started on it right away, but too many other models are in progress, so it will be a little bit until I get to get my hands dirty with this one!
Armorsmith
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Pennsylvania, United States
Joined: April 09, 2015
KitMaker: 940 posts
Armorama: 885 posts
Posted: Saturday, December 02, 2017 - 05:06 AM UTC
I have built several Takom kits including the T-55 and Chieftain. You will find the fit to be very good/excellent. Some caution is advised however, as some of the sub-assemblies can be a bit fiddly and the sprue attachment points tend to be rather large, even on small/delicate pieces so plan your cuts accordingly and don't act hastily when dealing with these pieces.
Precious_rob
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United States
Joined: March 09, 2009
KitMaker: 203 posts
Armorama: 180 posts
Posted: Saturday, December 02, 2017 - 08:12 AM UTC
I just got done building the Mk 1 hybrid version and I can't recall any real fit or instruction issues with the kit. Definite high point of the kit is the ball and chain armor, for molded plastic it looks light years better then Academy's and Mengs attempt to do similar. About the only low point is the tracks themselves, the end connectors are flat with no detail as opposed to the real ones that have track connector bolts. If your looking for replacement tracks, Fruil makes a decent set of early Mk1 style tracks. If you have the hybrid version, you could also conceivably use the Wolfpack Designs Mk.2 tracks, because alot of the Mk1 hybrids were re-tracked with them.

To your point on the non-sealed boxes, Ive noticed that their Tiran 4 and t-55Am2 kits came the same way your described, but with the way every sprue and instruction sheet is individually bagged, I can kinda see shrink wrapping the box a bit of overkill anyway.
cabasner
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Nevada, United States
Joined: February 12, 2012
KitMaker: 930 posts
Armorama: 883 posts
Posted: Saturday, December 02, 2017 - 09:17 AM UTC
Thanks, gentlemen, on your comments on the Takom kits. I have a question, though, for anyone who has built or evaluated the Merkava I Takom kit, as compared to the Desert Eagle book, which I also have. I've noticed a significant difference between the photos of the exhaust 'grill' on the right side of the tank (in all of the book photos that I've so far noted, and the grill on the model). The photos show a significantly different shape than the model, in that the photos show the grill to be the same height for most of the length of it, from back to front, with a slant toward the front occurring about the last 25% of it, whereas the model grill has the top part slanting downwards at a constant angle the entire length from back to front. Does anyone know why this is the case? Is the model in error? I've also noted a significant difference in the shape of the grate/grill that is to the left-rear of the driver's hatch; in the photos, the grating is angled, and on the model, it is almost square. Obviously, the photos aren't in error, so the kit must be. I've not gotten beyond these 2 fairly obvious differences, and I'm honestly a bit afraid of looking more in depth, as I'm concerned that these are indicative of some fundamental flaws in the model. Can anyone explain why this is the case? Did Takom use a particular tank, perhaps a prototype, to make their molds? I don't consider myself a rivet counter, but these look like pretty large, obvious flaws, again, unless the kit was modeled after a particular tank that had these characteristics. Interestingly, the old Tamiya Merkava I, which I also have (still in the box), has the exact same shapes on both grills as the Takom kit. Either Takom copied the Tamiya errors, or they both used different tanks as subjects for their moldings. Thoughts, anyone?
junglejim
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Alberta, Canada
Joined: February 18, 2003
KitMaker: 1,700 posts
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Posted: Saturday, December 02, 2017 - 10:11 AM UTC
You're probably looking at Mk.1 Hybrid photos, which closer resemble the Mk.2 exhaust grill. The Mk.1 had the sloping grill, as the Tamiya kit does...which is correct.



Jim
GTDeath13
#481
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Attica, Greece / Ελλάδα
Joined: June 12, 2015
KitMaker: 799 posts
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Posted: Saturday, December 02, 2017 - 02:34 PM UTC
Curt, which grill at the left rear of the driver's hatch are you reffering too? The grill on the engine deck?
cabasner
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Nevada, United States
Joined: February 12, 2012
KitMaker: 930 posts
Armorama: 883 posts
Posted: Saturday, December 02, 2017 - 07:17 PM UTC

Quoted Text

You're probably looking at Mk.1 Hybrid photos, which closer resemble the Mk.2 exhaust grill. The Mk.1 had the sloping grill, as the Tamiya kit does...which is correct.



Jim



Jim,

It looks like you are correct. In the new Desert Eagle book, Merkava Siman 1 - Part 1 (the only Desert Eagle book available as yet on the Mk. 1, as far as I know), every picture in the book (including the cover) is of the Mk. 1 Hybrid, except for three pictures, on pages 6, 7 and 9. I would have thought that the Part 1 book would have focused on the non-Hybrid version, followed by the Hybrid in a presumed part 2, but apparently, this is not the case.

Nikos - I will shoot a picture later today of the grill I'm talking about, and post. I'm guessing the grill issue is a Mk. 1 versus Hybrid thing as well, but that's just a guess.
cabasner
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Nevada, United States
Joined: February 12, 2012
KitMaker: 930 posts
Armorama: 883 posts
Posted: Saturday, December 02, 2017 - 07:42 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Curt, which grill at the left rear of the driver's hatch are you reffering too? The grill on the engine deck?



Nikos, it's the grill that is located on top of the hull. If you look at the top of the hull, with the front oriented at 0 degrees, this grill would be located at about 225 degrees around the perimeter of the driver's hatch. It's a very small grill, but square, not a trapezoid like the photos in the book. I assume that this trapezoid grill is a Mk 1 Hybrid grill.
GTDeath13
#481
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Attica, Greece / Ελλάδα
Joined: June 12, 2015
KitMaker: 799 posts
Armorama: 797 posts
Posted: Saturday, December 02, 2017 - 08:23 PM UTC
This is the best photo I have. The grill is square.

jps
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Wisconsin, United States
Joined: February 06, 2006
KitMaker: 110 posts
Armorama: 104 posts
Posted: Sunday, December 03, 2017 - 02:45 AM UTC
I have both the Mk1 and hybrid at hand. For what it is worth the grills are both square. All the grills on the TOP of the forward hull are identical. The exhaust grills are different. I will go through my references and see if I can see an "Inaction" shot with a view of the grill.
jps
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Wisconsin, United States
Joined: February 06, 2006
KitMaker: 110 posts
Armorama: 104 posts
Posted: Sunday, December 03, 2017 - 03:17 AM UTC
I agree with Nikos this is the best picture I have access too also. Found another one that also showed square but it wasn't as clear. I, of course, haven't looked at my Desert Eagle book but I will assume Curt is correct.

One thing that seems to be a constant in IDF armor is never say never. It is a possibility that there was a change in design during production.
cabasner
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Nevada, United States
Joined: February 12, 2012
KitMaker: 930 posts
Armorama: 883 posts
Posted: Sunday, December 03, 2017 - 08:01 AM UTC
Hey all,

Don't go crazy looking for a grill shape based on what I wrote...I don't have a full, clear view of the grill I'm talking about, and I imagine it is possible that the grill is square, but it just didn't look that way to me. I'd post a picture, but I don't want to violate any copyrights. Regardless of which version is shown in the majority of the Desert Eagle book, I've got them both covered...this afternoon, I ordered the Takom Merkava 1 Hybrid model, so now I'll have them both, and I'll have books and kits to cover either eventuality. It had been my intent to get both versions at some point, I just moved up my time table a bit