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Armor/AFV: IDF [Israeli Defense Forces]
Armor and AFVs of the IDF army from 1947-today.
Hosted by Darren Baker
Merkava Mk.4M w/Trophy APS (Meng-1/35th)
errains
#045
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South Carolina, United States
Joined: September 23, 2005
KitMaker: 307 posts
Armorama: 295 posts
Posted: Sunday, March 31, 2019 - 12:51 PM UTC
Lower Hull Completed
Got a bit more done over the weekend. I managed to finish up the lower hull. I decided to scratch build the 200L external fuel barrel mount. The Desert Eagle update set comes with a PE one but my skills are a bit lacking in that area so it was easier for me to build one from styrene.







Thanks for stopping in
errains
#045
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South Carolina, United States
Joined: September 23, 2005
KitMaker: 307 posts
Armorama: 295 posts
Posted: Saturday, March 30, 2019 - 12:19 AM UTC
Thanks for stopping in John.
I'm happy to hear that the AM photo has been helpful. Overall the build has been fun and I'm satisfied thus far with the results..even the tracks...I guess

vettejack
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Florida, United States
Joined: November 23, 2012
KitMaker: 1,021 posts
Armorama: 998 posts
Posted: Friday, March 29, 2019 - 05:02 PM UTC
Timely article Eric. Having the Mk IV in the stash, I decided to follow up and purchase pretty much most of the aftermarket items based on your selections. When time permits to build, I'll have what the kit needs. Thanx for sharing the pics on those items as well...it made a difference on the brands chosen. Looks like you got a good build going on there!
errains
#045
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South Carolina, United States
Joined: September 23, 2005
KitMaker: 307 posts
Armorama: 295 posts
Posted: Friday, March 29, 2019 - 05:43 AM UTC
Suspension and Tracks

Ok the running gear is all done and assembled. All the suspension parts fit beautifully without any problems. While the road wheels are not staggered (which is unfortunate) it will not be noticeable once the kit completed.

The Tracks ...as stated earlier are the weakest part so far encountered. Meng's desire to produce "workable" tracks leads to a poor engineering design of having a top and bottom of each track link glued together with a molded in pin used to produce the track runs. I instead assembled each link separate and cut out the pins and then assembled the track runs. Also there was "molding flash" on most links that contains the pin, adding to an already long track assembly time. I would highly recommend aftermarket tracks to anyone building this kit in the future, adding to the cost that is already expensive.











With the most tedious part the build behind me now its on to more exciting parts of the kit.

Thanks for stopping by for a look and comments are always welcome.

TopSmith
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Washington, United States
Joined: August 09, 2002
KitMaker: 1,407 posts
Armorama: 1,337 posts
Posted: Thursday, March 28, 2019 - 01:10 PM UTC
For Friules I use standard staples. I straighten one side so it looks like an L and push it through. When I am done I finish by clipping off any part of the staple protruding from the track.
M4A1Sherman
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New York, United States
Joined: May 02, 2013
KitMaker: 4,300 posts
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Posted: Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - 08:34 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Hey Dennis,
IMO the tracks are the weakest part of the kit but you can still use them...I just finished installing them. The issue for me was the way the tracks were engineered. Requiring more effort then it was worth. I took me a good 15 hours of clean up and assembly where Friuls would have taken me about....let's say 4 hours.

If you go the master club road for tracks I would suggest ditching the resin pin and use brass rod.

Hope this helps



Hi, Eric!

Thanks for your feedback on the kit-supplied tracks. "Indy-Link Tracks" are tedious enough to assemble without having to do a lot of extra "finagling" with them. I ALWAYS check the reviews of any kit before I buy. If I've read that there is a "problem" with any component of said kit, for example the Tracks, then I'll factor in the extra cost of the FRIULs, or whichever Track sets that I may choose as replacements. Simple as that. No belly-aching, no crying, tales of woe, or rending of sheets and gnashing of teeth AS IS STILL GOING ON in another thread on this site...

Also, and this may be of interest to the rest of the guys as well, I discovered that I can use a nice, PLIABLE GREEN "Flower-Crafting" wire in connecting the links of the FRIULS, which I like to use in lieu of the FRIUL-supplied coiled steel wire. The FRIUL wire is too stiff, hard to cut, and is too small of a diameter for it to stay inside the Tracks. The wire which I like to use is available at any WALMART, in the "Crafts and Fake-Flower Arrangement Section". Buying a couple or three of these bags with these lengths of wire will last quite a long time, and this stuff saves me some aggravation into the bargain...
M4A1Sherman
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New York, United States
Joined: May 02, 2013
KitMaker: 4,300 posts
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Posted: Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - 08:06 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Regarding the Merk gun being fixed...

I THINK that is true for most of the versions in-kit - like with various modern Russian tank kits, the main gun has stuff associated with it - articulating (in the real thing) lights, lasers, MG, plates and linkages, etc. And all that becomes hard to actually keep wholly articulated in a kit.

But for those looking for a challenge... I would bet that the parts could, with surgery and modifications and replacement bits, be made to articulate, in whole or in some reasonable part.

But, for me, the question would be WHY bother? I'm not much interested in moving the gun around - but that's just me, of course!

Bob



Hi, Bob!

AGREE!

I can't fault anyone who would want to make their Main Guns "movable"; THAT is their own prerogative... But once I complete ANY model of mine, it goes behind glass in one of my display cabinets, and IT STAYS THERE. Or, I will put the model into storage, and I will place it in a "protected, cushioned and compartmentalized box", so that NONE of the parts can be damaged while IN storage... I don't build anything to be "manipulated" once it's done- That's just "asking for trouble"... At least in my opinion, anyway...
panzerbob01
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Louisiana, United States
Joined: March 06, 2010
KitMaker: 2,954 posts
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Posted: Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - 03:48 PM UTC
Regarding the Merk gun being fixed...

I THINK that is true for most of the versions in-kit - like with various modern Russian tank kits, the main gun has stuff associated with it - articulating (in the real thing) lights, lasers, MG, plates and linkages, etc. And all that becomes hard to actually keep wholly articulated in a kit.

But for those looking for a challenge... I would bet that the parts could, with surgery and modifications and replacement bits, be made to articulate, in whole or in some reasonable part.

But, for me, the question would be WHY bother? I'm not much interested in moving the gun around - but that's just me, of course!

Bob
errains
#045
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South Carolina, United States
Joined: September 23, 2005
KitMaker: 307 posts
Armorama: 295 posts
Posted: Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - 12:24 PM UTC
Hey Dennis,
IMO the tracks are the weakest part of the kit but you can still use them...I just finished installing them. The issue for me was the way the tracks were engineered. Requiring more effort then it was worth. I took me a good 15 hours of clean up and assembly where Friuls would have taken me about....let's say 4 hours.

If you go the master club road for tracks I would suggest ditching the resin pin and use brass rod.

Hope this helps
errains
#045
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South Carolina, United States
Joined: September 23, 2005
KitMaker: 307 posts
Armorama: 295 posts
Posted: Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - 12:15 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Would you happen to know of any way to rig the main gun so that it’s movable? The kit is intended to be built with it fixed.



I heard that the main gun was fix but have not gotten to that point in my build. I'll take look ASAP to see if there is a way to "un"fix it. I was planning on displaying the finished Merk in a hull down position so it's on my to do list.
M4A1Sherman
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New York, United States
Joined: May 02, 2013
KitMaker: 4,300 posts
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Posted: Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - 09:21 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

I really wanted to save money and try and use the Meng kit tracks, but the gap between the link halves is terrible.



I'm unfortunately am pass the point on no return using kit tracks so I'm stuck with them The tracks are by far the worst part of this kit.




Oh, see? Now THAT's ANOTHER BIG "HEADS-UP"!!! Guess I'll have to plan on getting a set of FRIULs for this project... Not quite ready to buy for a few more weeks...
M4A1Sherman
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New York, United States
Joined: May 02, 2013
KitMaker: 4,300 posts
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Posted: Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - 09:17 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Blast models has just released a resin low profile CROWS system.



Yeeaaaah- I saw that over on "The Modelling News" Official Site, along with other neat stuff for Strykers, just last night.

THANKS for your "heads-Up", too!
KruppCake
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Ontario, Canada
Joined: July 13, 2015
KitMaker: 361 posts
Armorama: 347 posts
Posted: Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - 09:15 AM UTC
Eric,

Would you happen to know of any way to rig the main gun so that it’s movable? The kit is intended to be built with it fixed.
errains
#045
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South Carolina, United States
Joined: September 23, 2005
KitMaker: 307 posts
Armorama: 295 posts
Posted: Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - 09:07 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I really wanted to save money and try and use the Meng kit tracks, but the gap between the link halves is terrible.



I'm unfortunately am pass the point on no return using kit tracks so I'm stuck with them The tracks are by far the worst part of this kit.

errains
#045
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South Carolina, United States
Joined: September 23, 2005
KitMaker: 307 posts
Armorama: 295 posts
Posted: Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - 09:01 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I'm guessing you meant to link to Fruil Merk IV tracks, not Leopard?

Thanks for catch...Link is corrected.
Hmmmm...I wonder what My next project is going to be...
dwnrng44
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Michigan, United States
Joined: September 15, 2009
KitMaker: 24 posts
Armorama: 23 posts
Posted: Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - 08:13 AM UTC
I'm guessing you meant to link to Fruil Merk IV tracks, not Leopard? But I used the Fruilmodel tracks on my Academy Merkava Mk IV and they are nice.Just finished up the Masterclub tracks for my Meng Mk IV Trophy build. I like the way they go together, plus a lot cheaper than Fruilmodel. I really wanted to save money and try and use the Meng kit tracks, but the gap between the link halves is terrible.
KruppCake
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Ontario, Canada
Joined: July 13, 2015
KitMaker: 361 posts
Armorama: 347 posts
Posted: Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - 12:14 AM UTC

Quoted Text

No problem...



1: Magic Models-(MM35172) 120 mm barrel MG253. Merkava Mk.IVM (MENG)
If I can assemble this properly it should look awesome

2: Meng Models-(MNGSPS056) Merkava Mk.4M Fully Loaded Rear Baskets
Resin add-ons…A bit on expensive side

3: Legend Productions-(LF1180) Merkava Mk.4 Detailing set
While not for the 4M directly most if not all can be use on this this. This was my first replacement barrel but was badly warded so I went with Magic Models.

4: SKP Model-(SKP 136) Merkava IV Lenses and taillights

5: Desert Eagle Publishing-(DEP35-006) Update Set & Fuel Barrel Mounting for Merkava 4 & 4m
Nice detail set, A bit on expensive side as well. I suggest this detail over Legend’s if you only chose one. They also make the battering ram as well…I like the looks the aggressive tow horns better

6: Leopard Club-(W034B) German Comrod Aerials
While not strictly IDF aerials these are some of the best modern Aerial on the market. The Update set from Desert Eagle come with two but if you want more the that on your Merk I strongly suggest using this set.

If I had to do it over I would replace the tracks with Friulmodel Track Link Set - Leopard 2

Hope this helps and looking forward to seeing your Merk build posted here.




Awesome, thank you very much! I will see if I can get my hands on some of those here, in Toronto. I know the Meng baskets are ultra expensive.
errains
#045
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South Carolina, United States
Joined: September 23, 2005
KitMaker: 307 posts
Armorama: 295 posts
Posted: Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - 11:10 PM UTC
No problem...



1: Magic Models-(MM35172) 120 mm barrel MG253. Merkava Mk.IVM (MENG)
If I can assemble this properly it should look awesome

2: Meng Models-(MNGSPS056) Merkava Mk.4M Fully Loaded Rear Baskets
Resin add-ons…A bit on expensive side

3: Legend Productions-(LF1180) Merkava Mk.4 Detailing set
While not for the 4M directly most if not all can be use on this this. This was my first replacement barrel but was badly warded so I went with Magic Models.

4: SKP Model-(SKP 136) Merkava IV Lenses and taillights

5: Desert Eagle Publishing-(DEP35-006) Update Set & Fuel Barrel Mounting for Merkava 4 & 4m
Nice detail set, A bit on expensive side as well. I suggest this detail over Legend’s if you only chose one. They also make the battering ram as well…I like the looks the aggressive tow horns better

6: Leopard Club-(W034B) German Comrod Aerials
While not strictly IDF aerials these are some of the best modern Aerial on the market. The Update set from Desert Eagle come with two but if you want more the that on your Merk I strongly suggest using this set.

If I had to do it over I would replace the tracks with Friulmodel Track Link Set - Merkava Mk. IV

Hope this helps and looking forward to seeing your Merk build posted here.

KruppCake
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Ontario, Canada
Joined: July 13, 2015
KitMaker: 361 posts
Armorama: 347 posts
Posted: Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - 10:06 AM UTC
Hi Eric,

Would you mind posting a list of the after market add-ons you will be using? I have the same kit and couldn’t find the appropriate upgrades for it, including PE and a barrel.
U-mark
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Michigan, United States
Joined: January 04, 2017
KitMaker: 116 posts
Armorama: 82 posts
Posted: Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - 09:14 AM UTC
Eric,Welcome back. I got back into the hobby a few years ago and started out with 1/32 aircraft but I have made the switch to armor. I built this kit a few months ago and it is like most Meng kits, very detailed and very good fit. The Merkava kits have the easiest individual link tracks I've seen. Just two parts, top and bottom. I think you will be pleased with the results. Looking forward to your posts. Mark
U-mark
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Michigan, United States
Joined: January 04, 2017
KitMaker: 116 posts
Armorama: 82 posts
Posted: Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - 09:08 AM UTC
Blast models has just released a resin low profile CROWS system.
errains
#045
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South Carolina, United States
Joined: September 23, 2005
KitMaker: 307 posts
Armorama: 295 posts
Posted: Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - 08:56 AM UTC
Hi Curt,
I remember you posting some questions regarding Merk4m's when I getting the kit together. That is Madding about losing the parts. Just look it like this...Use the other to test new building techniques that you don't want to do on your good kit or make it into a paint mule.

It sounds like you and I are going down the same road on how to finish our Merks. I'm going to have one of them plywood insignia boards on the back of the turret too. Post up some pics of your Merk when you get back into it, I would really like to see your approach to the same subject.

Thanks for stopping in and good luck
cabasner
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Nevada, United States
Joined: February 12, 2012
KitMaker: 955 posts
Armorama: 904 posts
Posted: Monday, March 25, 2019 - 10:49 PM UTC
Eric, thanks for posting your effort here! I have the same kit and have started the build. I had taken a break with this build, and while I distinctly recall placing the Trophy launchers and many of the periscope clear parts in a bag for safekeeping, when I returned to the build last weekend, I seem to have lost those parts. Maddening! So, I’ve ordered a new kit. I’ll have lots of spares!

I’ve been impressed with Meng kits, this one being no exception. I’ve also built the Academy Merkava IV LIC and the Takom Merkava I and have the Merkava I Hybrid yet to be built. I really like these IDF subjects! I’ll be watching your build with interest. My Mark IV/Trophy Merkava is going to be one from the Vulcan brigade, as I have the Michael Mass book about these tanks, and I really like the plywood insignia that hangs on the back of that tank, plus the huge amount of cables/wires and other such equipment (i.e. rotating beacons, etc.) on board for the exercises that tank was participating in, as photographed.
panzerbob01
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Louisiana, United States
Joined: March 06, 2010
KitMaker: 2,954 posts
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Posted: Monday, March 25, 2019 - 04:33 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Thanks Dennis!
I was thinking along the same lines was you are. Ture I could probably get by with not doing nothing to it...but really would like to give it a little more something. I'll have to think on it.



It's all about what YOU want in your build. There is a wide spectrum of things done by modelers regarding the non-slip coating "issue" on Merks and other AFV (and just Sat last, I helped a plane-builder at our club meet with his quest to put this onto the walk-strips on a wing of a build... ).

Lots of routes, techniques, and outcomes - OPTIONS -out there!

My suggestion, for what is worth, is for you to google or otherwise search images of Merks and assess what you may want your build to look like, and then look at what folks have done with their Merks in this regard. You may well find, as I've done, that there are "doable" routes to get it looking pretty good - seeing the outcomes of various options actually done is super-informative.

Regards molded-on non-slip... I've not seen it in play, so don't know anything about how good it may look. But I don't know anything about changing or "improving" a molded-on surface. It's the kit in hand for you and may well be that's what it is!

Looking forward to seeing how the build and finishing go!

Cheers! Bob
errains
#045
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South Carolina, United States
Joined: September 23, 2005
KitMaker: 307 posts
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Posted: Monday, March 25, 2019 - 02:15 AM UTC
Thanks Dennis!
I was thinking along the same lines was you are. Ture I could probably get by with not doing nothing to it...but really would like to give it a little more something. I'll have to think on it.