Nagmachon Early in 1/35...
...the Tiger Models kit of this IDF Heavy APC
One of the second batch of new kit release from Tiger Models, this is the earlier version of the IDF Centurion based Nagmachon heavy APC. It will go well with the later version, the so-called 'Doghouse', which was among their first batch of releases. Just like that earlier release, I found I was impressed as soon as I opened the box, and it is packed full of a multitude of parts. The Nagmachon made good use of an existing tank chassis that was out of date, so simply remove the turret and convert it into an APC, something the IDF is very good at.
Without the large 'Doghouse' on top of the superstructure, the protection for the crew is just three armoured screens, one facing front and another facing each side. At the back of the superstructure there is a large, crew access hatch, which may be fitted open. The advantage of doing that with this one is that there are detailed internal side walls for the crew compartment and the bench seats in the centre. Plenty of detail to go on top with the armoured screen plus the aerial mounts and the machine gun mountings, with GPMG's that reminds me of the arrangement on the old M113 ACAV as used in Vietnam, just on a much larger, heavy vehicle. The vision blocks are provided in three copies of the sprue, but one in clear, one with a green tint and another with a pink tint so do check the instructions carefully on which ones to use on which place. The superstructure is also protected by reactive armour panels on each side and smoke grenade launchers in front of it, on both sides.
The roadwheels have separate rubber 'tyres' and the tracks themselves are built up from individual links, so 6 sprues in the box filled with those individual links. Then there are the thick, heavy side armour panels. On photos of the real thing these are connected by holding chains, and chain is included in the kit to fit these as well. Just one of the marks of the level of detail that Tiger Models put into their kits, which is pretty much amongst the best out there at the moment I think. They have quickly made a mark for themselves. As well as braided wire for the tow cable, etch detailing parts Tiger Models also include a little extra which I find really useful. On a kit with multiple sprues in the box, you get a letter to identify each one, but they are awkward to read quickly and easily, so they provide some paper labels, A, B etc and you put one on each sprue as you identify them and it just makes them easier to find and pick up when locating the individual parts. Only the one colour scheme is suggested, the overall IDF Desert Sand, and the colour printed guide for colours and markings are prepared from them by Ammo of Mig Jiminez. Another first class kit from Tiger Models and I have to say I am something of a fan of these interesting IDF real-life AFV conversions.
For those wanting photo references on either this or the later version of the Nagmachon, I must recommend the book from Desert Eagle Publishing.
My thanks to Tiger Models for my example,and pleased to hear they now have a UK importer arranged, the aptly named (no connection) Tiger Hobbies UK.
This kit is another which I have recently been working on after a period while it stalled a bit. The interior is well detailed, though now pry much hidden once the superstructure is in place. The hatches can be opened however, so still something inside to see. With the exterior, again a lot of parts to be put in place. There is an etch star aerial to fit to the mast on the back of the hull, but I am leaving that until last where it can't be damaged when I am handling the model while painting and weathering it. I'll add some more photos when the final details are done...