The following is taken from the information available inside the model kit:
The IDF is very concerned about the lives of the Israeli soldiers. Its forces are equipped with a number of unique combat equipment to protect the soldiers. The principle is that the crews are a dear resource, and the fighting vehicle should be built “around” the crew. The Namer heavy armoured personnel carrier is a good example.
One of the basic tasks of an armoured personnel carrier (APC) is to carry infantry into battle alongside with tanks and other manoeuvring forces. Based on this definition and because of the need to reduce its weight and cost, the APC normally doesn’t have the same protection level as main battle tanks. APCs are vulnerable when hit by modern anti-tank weapons. The valuable military personnel should not be easily killed by RPGs worth only dozens of dollars. Then how can they improve the protection of the APCs? The Israelis have found a way, and they are equipped with a series of APCs based on tank chassis, including the Nagmachon based on the Centurion tank chassis and the Achzarit based on the T-54/55 tank chassis.
In the original plan, it should be built on the chassis of the decommissioned Merkava Mk.1 tanks. However, it didn’t use the outdated chassis like its predecessors and instead it’s based on the Merkava Mk.III MBT which is in active service. Namer is the IDF’s first fully digitally designed main armoured vehicle. All Namer vehicles have the same protection level as the IDF MBTs in active service. The weight saved by removing the tank turret is also used to increase the armour protection. It should be noted that some Namer variants are also using chassis parts from the Merkava Mk.IV MBTs.
The Namer heavy armoured personnel carrier is armed with either am M2 12.7mm heavy machine gun or an Mk19 40mm grenade launcher mounted on a Samson Remote Controlled Weapon Station on the top of the vehicle. It also carries a 60mm mortar. This armament configuration is sufficient for the IDF to address the threats in the combat environments. Namer is able to carry 9 fully armed infantrymen. The Namer ambulance MEDEVAC version can carry up to 12 troops and one stretcher. Beyond its heavy armour, the IDF has started to equip the Namer with the advanced Trophy active protection system. This will further improve this vehicle’s survivability against anti-tank weapons.
The Namer heavy armoured personnel carrier with outstanding armour protection has demonstrated excellent survivability in combat, and is trusted by the Israeli soldiers. The IDF plans to completely replace the poorly armoured M113 armoured personnel carrier with this vehicle.
This model arrives in a card tray with a card lid depicting the artwork for the model. On opening you are presented with a large number of plastic bags, with individual sprues in for the most part. An examination of the contents, reveals rubber band tracks have been included and cleanly moulded contents. At this point, my only critique is the paper used for the instruction booklet which is very thin.
This offering from Meng of the Namer in 1/35th scale, is built upon a single piece lower hull tub and so no issues with assembly of a tub which may end up being askew. The suspension has been well detailed, as regards a model being displayed on a level surface. But there is no obvious way, to accurately depict a vehicle on an uneven surface. The road wheels themselves, are made up of five pieces with a poly cap trapped between the main two portions of the wheel. I am unclear if any tolerances have been built into the model, to accommodate the poly caps. The number of parts utilised on the road wheels, has enabled Meng to provide a visually accurate wheel face. The drive sprocket is in two halves, with the lightening holes present - again poly caps are used. The idler wheel also has a poly cap trapped into it. However, this has been slide moulded with a back plate trapping the poly cap. This has enabled a very accurate depiction of the idler wheel. Due to poly caps having been used in the drive, idler and road wheels - it means they can be added at the point the modeller chooses, and removed again up until the side skirts are added. The return rollers will not rotate once applied to the model, but have a nice level of detail, even though not seen on the finished kit. A photo etch plate is added to the front of the hull, and this is different depending on which vehicle you are intending to depict, and so you have to make a decision early in the build as to which vehicle you intend to depict.
The hatch at the rear of the vehicle where the troops would mount and de-mount, is nicely detailed, with the rear view window having a clear lens. The tracks provided for the kit are the rubber band type, with a reasonable level of detail, but that will need to be cleaned up where removed from the scrap material and is one aspect of this release that I myself would replace with after market. The exhaust utilised on Merkava vehicles, has been well replicated and a photo etched mesh cover provided. The upper hull of the model has a very nice level of detail moulded on to it, and includes a very finely moulded anti-slip textured where required. The hatch covers can be open or closed, obviously if open you will need to fill the void. The periscopes around the hatches, have been provided in clear plastic and is something that I like to see. The additional armoured plate on this model, is provided as separate parts and so enabling an accurate profile to be achieved. The grab handles provided in the kit, are of a resonable thickness, but I would consider using wire and using the kit parts as a pattern.
The raised dog house portion of the model is an aspect that signifies which one of the three versions you wish to build. The profile of the structure itself attaches to an internal frame, due to its complex shape and I am again pleased to see Meng having supplied clear lenses where required. The three versions offered differ in that one has no dog house, one has the dog house only and the third version has the dog house further protected by BAR armour. The modeller will need to take into account which version they are intending to build, as the three versions that can be produced are indicated by an A,B or C placed upon the step indicator count. And so you will need to pay attention during construction. Regardless of the version you intend to build, I really appreciate that Meng has provided three options within one model kit, rather than making you buy three different kits and maybe getting the wrong one.
Something that may surprise you on this model is the number of aerial mounts, and these are an attribute that will require you to be alert, depending on the variant you are building - as there is a potential for a mistake to be easily made. The detail of the aerial mounts is very good, but no details are provided as regards to aerial lengths. So Meng did miss a trick. The Trophy system almost looks like covered smoke grenade launcher, if you are unaware, and so far as I could ascertain are accurately placed.
For the Samson remote controlled weapons station, Meng has provided a 50 cal option only. The detail on the 50cal is of a high standard, but I would consider replacing the separate barrel with a turned metal offering. The GPMG which is the secondary machine gun, is also quite nicely detailed. But has not been slide moulded, and so the barrel end is flat and will ideally need to be partially drilled. There are at least two companies I can think of, that provide alternate weaponry, as well as replacement weaponry suitable for this model, both being available in resin.
The skirt armour protecting the sides and suspension has a nice level of detail on its face, and is added in five separate portions. I believe all five would be in place, as I do not think they were sacrificial parts of the vehicle as such. I will admit that I am unsure how they were articulated, when it comes to adding or removing and so I do not know if it is acceptable to show any or some of the panels off the vehicle.
Meng has provided three finishing options for this release, and these are:
Vehicle 896 - 270,Northern Command, IDF, Golan Heights, time unknown
Vehicle 895-677, 1stGolani Brigade, IDF, Golan Heights, January 2017
Vehicle 895-819, 1st Squad, 6thComabt Engineers Platoon, 4th (Wild horses) Company, 12th“Barak” (lightening) Battalion, IDF, Golan Heights, time unknown
This release from Meng model of the Namer in 1/35th scale is not a vehicle I have a great deal of knowledge on, but it looks the part. I like that three very different looking vehicles can be built from it, but the modeller could very quickly get caught out by the instructions when it comes to building one of the types available. When it comes to complaints, I will restrict them to the tracks, as I would have at least liked to have found individual track links options in the kit. In all other regards, I am happy with what is provided, with the aerial lengths being the guess work portion of the model.