I don't know about this one. I figured I would post the build on it, just so people can see the problems, if there are any. HA! A HB Merkava without problems....
First thing I did for this build was to search the net for any issues that would be a problem with this kit. Seems like there are a few small cosmetic issues and one major issue with the front of the lower Hull. So I decided to go straight out of the box on this one. No extra. No robbing other kits. No scratching. No after market. When I get to paint, I will make it look meaner/worse then a normal Merkava.
There is a NASTY seam right at the edge of the turret halves. This is not a good sign in my book for this build.
Look on the bright side though MZ - the wheel stations are correctly positioned, it has some attempt of anti-slip and that seam couldn't be in an easier clean up position eh? You should be able to 'invisibilize' that one easy enough eh?
I love this kit and think HB did a good enough job of it and I would pick any of HB's later Merks over Mengs all day!
If yer think yer one in a million, chances are, YOU AIN'T!
What I'm hoping for is that these seams are the worst part of this build. I put the barrel together last night and it was really nice, much better then the barrel on the 4. Just having so many problems with that 4 is making me cautious with this one.
I have 2 Mengs in my stash. Maybe I'll start one and do a side by side.
I'm with Dicky, would love to see a side-by-side as those are always enlightening to see how two different manufacturers tackle the same subject. Either way though, will be following this one with interest.
I usually work on more then one project at a time. I find it helps me finish kits faster. If I work on just one at a time, I get bored with it and set it aside. It ends up sitting for a long time(the M1A1 AIM I just finished).
So, without farther adieu-
Meng Merkava 3D
Quick, basic construction of hull and turret. The turret top is not set yet. There ae a few little detail parts that need to go on before it is glued in place.
First thing I have to say, the shape of the Meng is by far the better of the 2 kits. If you put the 2 lower hulls together without any other parts, you would think they are from 2 different tanks.
The Meng hull is much taller then the HB. About 4 to 5 millimeters taller. The basic construction of the turret for the HB has 5 parts, the Meng has 13. That may seem like a lot, but the way they fit together almost completely does away with the nasty seams, like on the HB turret. All the areas where the part was attached to the sprue are either completely covered or tucked away in a hard to see place. More pieces also leads to more accurate details.
If you look at the area where the antenna mounts, the HB is all molded in one piece. The Meng uses several parts to obtain a more accurate open look. The detail on the Meng is also more crisp.
This picture I was trying to show the differences in detail on the port side of the engine deck.
I actually have an Academy 3 that I've been slowly working on since the beginning of the year. I bought a Legend resin turret for it, the kit turret is just awful. I also got the Legend side skirts and rear baskets, because they are just as bad. Believe me, the new kits are worth it. I might do a comparison of the original parts when I get to those point.
I'm more then likely going to use parts from the second Meng 3D I have to detail the Academy/Legend. I have all of the Voyager parts for the Meng 3D, so there are going to be a lot of leftovers.
Is the Academy kit turret awful detail-wise? Fit-wise? Or accuracy-wise?
All of the above. There are 6 pieces for the turret, upper and lower, then 2 parts on both sides for the armor. The upper and lower halves barely fit together, there is a lot of work filling gaps. All 4 of the side pieces are the same. Gaps everywhere. The detail is really just plain and generic. Some of it is just plain wrong. The basket is way too thick all around. And to top it off, this kit is based on a prototype of the Merkava 3, not the production model. I've read that accuracy is close to the prototype, but far from the production model.
But for $20 and a kit from the late 90's, it's workable.
I built a 2 many years ago and still have the turret. I use it to test colors. The details are kind of generic, but I think they look a little bit better then the 3. The turrets are completely different. The 2 is basically an up armored 1, where the 3 has a completely different turret. There are still gap issues, but not nearly as bad as the 3. Accuracy wise I don't know. I haven't really looked into 2's, I can't seem to find any anywhere to buy. I'm also not looking because I'm elbow deep in Merkava 3's and 4's right now. I want to build a 2, but I want the 2D set. That is BAD A$$!!!
Dicky- the Meng is supposedly modeled exactly to the real 3D. From what I can see they look good. From what I have read online, they are perfect. The Hobby Boss, not so much-
I don't think it will matter too much after everything is on and covering all this.
rbaer- The balls aren't too bad once you get into the process. What I did with the Merkava 4 was work on them a little at a time. Before I knew it they were done.
Because Flickr screwed me on my Pro account and I now have space for like a jillion pictures there, here are some more pics-
Academy Merkava 2 turret-
I think I made this like 10 years ago. I have no idea where the rest of it is. I use it for testing colors.
Academy Merkava 3 turret-
The dry Mr. Surfacer is the second and/or third layer. This is where I decided to get a resin turret.
Here's the underside-
It's not unbuildable, but there is work.
Legend Merkava 3 Block 3 resin turret-
The tiles on the roof are shaped a little weird when I compare them to photos. But I think I'll be the only one that notices.
Barrel for above=
This is where I left off. The barrel that comes with the Legend kit is entirely too small. So I reworked the Academy barrel. I shortened the front of the barrel a little, stole the PE part from the Merkava 4 kit I've been using, added a strip of evergreen to the rear, removed all the detail from the fume extractor and started redetailing it.
The wheels are from the Hobby Boss kit, I just wanted to see what they loked like on this one. The Academy Merkava 3 has the completely wrong set of wheels, so I am trying to figure out if I want to buy some resin wheels or steal the wheels from another kit and get more wheels later.
A bad picture of all three 3's-
I'm not going to update too much on the Academy, as most of the work on that will take place later.
My mistake MZ it's the HB MerkIV with the suspension issue - it was incorrectly modelled with offset stations ala torsion bar system which it obviously doesn't have....give 'em their due, they fixed it with their very next Merk release
Old age sux....ignore me, rambling over!
If yer think yer one in a million, chances are, YOU AIN'T!
They should have fixed it on the 4. From what I've read, people were telling them for months before they released the 4 that the stations were in the wrong positions. And, I believe it's still not fixed. I bought a second 4 about a year after I bought the first one and everything was still the same. For the price a person pays for that kit, they should at least try to correct the easier issues.
Finished the basic construction of the turret for the HB-
I still have to fill some gaps here and there. The big seams on the sides I ended up using evergreen strips to fill. The upper half of the turret is just a hint wider then the lower in these 2 areas. .010 x .040" strips fit in those spots almost prefect. I had to sand them down a little, but sanding them saved the detail/plastic of the kit.
I went over each side with Mr. Surfacer 1200 from a bottle to show any gaps or areas that need more work.
It was much easier to fix the turret this way then to use putty and/or sand the living crap out of it.
The pieces for the turret fit together nicely, with the exception of the areas I fixed above. There are typical issues that need attention, nothing major or worth posting about. There is one thing, I didn't realize until yesterday, there is no .50 Cal for the barrel with this kit. I don't think I've ever seen a 3D without a .50 on it, unless it was being transported. Very weird way for Hobby Boss to go with this kit. It seems naked without it. I'll probably take one from another kit. Getting kinda old, stealing from other kits to finish a Hobby Boss model!
I will be dedicating the rest of this thread to Comcast. Without their support, I couldn't have had a 3 week gap in my posts here. Without their dedicated employees, who are really the best people in the world, I wouldn't have to make a super post this weekend showing all that I done and decided. I would like to give Comcast a triple middle finger solute.
I totally feel your pain with your cable provider. Charter Communications is my "provider" and they drive me nuts. Two or three times a week the cable will simply cut out for 2, 3, 4, 6, 10 hours at a time. It's.... awesome....
Love the comparison build of the Merks. That anti-skid that you made looks great. Can't wait to see the full effect with some paint on.