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Issue 100 Cover.qxp_Issue 26 cover 12/04/2018 09:51 Page 1
MAY/JUNE 2018 • £6.50 UK $15.99
Meng AFV Modeller
May / June 2018
AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 12/04/2018 11:18 Page 222
AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 12/04/2018 11:49 Page 1
Meng’s new Merkava
The Editor sees if Meng’s new Merkava gets the trophy.
We build the M3 Lee’s British brother, the Grant, new from Takom.
Jackson Action M36 B1- part 2
Andrea Vignocchi concludes his stunning seventy-second scene.
Panzerkampfwagen IV Part 17
The Editor continues detailing Trumpeter’s 1:16 kit.
The Editor pays homage to our centenary issue and revisits a
twenty year old panzer III project.
Rob Westerman’s surrender at Schwarzbach diorama.
So we've hit a century! The one
hundredth issue would have been hard to
imagine back in 2001 when the first groundbreaking copy of AFV Modeller tentatively hit
the press, as the only magazine devoted
purely to armoured vehicles. It was hard to
imagine the possibility that you could be
reading this issue digitally on a computer or
the yet to be invented tablet! So, around six
hundred articles later and here we are in a
golden-age of modelling with kits we could
only dream of in 2001 and even the most
obscure subjects available from mainstream
What's changed along the years then for AFV Modeller? Well if you're
a long term reader you'll realise not a great deal. The same Editor (for
his sins) and pretty much the same format with the emphasis and
vision of the highest quality and inspirational modelling from a wide
range of subjects. It's true that the internet has changed our hobby
tremendously with instant information and reference, once the unique
Meng AFV Modeller is published Bimonthly by
AFV Modeller ltd
Tel: 01670 823648
Fax: 01670 820274
Editor and Designer: David Parker
Deputy Editor: Mark Neville
Sales Director: Keith Smith
Proof Reading: Jim Chandler
domain of magazines and printed publications, so much is available
to view on screen and share through social media. Is there a place
for printed media in our digital future? According to many readers
who we chat with at various modelling shows around the globe the
answer seems to be a resounding ‘Yes’, so thank you all for the
continued support and here’s to the next one hundred issues!
We are now on Facebook, ‘Like’ us to
follow what we are doing and follow our
GRE IN SO
cente lebrate o S!
Face nary visit ur
chan k page fo r
our e e to win
AFV Modeller welcomes contributions from interested parties, but cannot accept any
responsibility for unsolicited material.
The contents of this publication including all articles, drawings and photographs
originated by AFV Modeller ltd become the publishers copyright under copyright law.
Reproduction in any form requires the written consent of the publisher. Whilst every
care is taken to avoid mistakes AFV Modeller ltd. cannot be liable in any way for errors
AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 11/04/2018 14:09 Page 2
WITH TROPHY ACTIVE PROTECTION SYSTEM
MODELLED BY DAVID PARKER
It is always good to see Meng return to the IDF pool of potential
subjects and with no one else offering a kit of the most up to date
Merkava 4M with the Trophy defence system this is a particularly
The Merkava 4 is a huge vehicle even by modern MBT standards
and the unique front engined design and ‘space age’ turret
festooned with fitting and details, the ball and chain skirts and the
usually dusty working environment all combine to provide a
striking and challenging modelling subject which is of course,
exactly what we want!
From the box you get a very complete package with working
suspension and tracks, clear moulded periscopes, a
comprehensive photoetched fret, braided tow rope and a tow
chain. The kit features a textured anti-slip surface for anyone who
is daunted about adding their own and like their Merkava 3 kits,
the ball and chain is moulded in lengths making for quick, simple
and effective solution. Available as a separate detail set, Meng
have also released resin stowage baskets and a covered turret
basket or you can use the empty baskets that come in the
standard kit. One area where there has been a very welcome
improvement are the turret mounted weapons, especially the .50
Cal which now comes with a choice of three separately moulded
barrels, all on a separate individual sprue which I guess we will
see included in any potential future releases which require this
weapon. The Trophy system mounted on the sides of the turret
comes with the optional protective cover or can be modelled
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without as seems to be the common arrangement on the real
The assembly of the hull tub with its separate side walls is
extremely straight forwad thanks to very posative locators and
then its on to the running gear which is it has to be said
something of slog to assemble. With each of the 12 roadwheels
having seven parts to assemble you can see that it will take a little
longer than usual. The results however do speak for themselves
and the working spring system for the suspension is very clever
but sadly hidden behind the skirts. There was a small moulding
issue on the initial kits where the square location hole on one
spring was replaced by a square peg where part of the mould had
not reset correctly. We understand this has been fixed and I know
some builders have received replacements. I simply cut off the
peg and made a new hole myself.
The kit includes a choice of six different photoetched chassis
registration numbers although their position on the lower hull
makes them tricky to see. The belly armour plate is a separate
part should you want to show a vehicle without it and you have a
choice of front towing hooks or the more spectacular towing
horns. I modified the mounts on the horns so that I could fit them
at the end of the project to avoid them being damaged.
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An irridescent plastic was used in
the Gunner’s sight.
fitting ALL the
antennae like this!
Photoetched engraved armour
tags were added
The lip of the mantlet above the
gun was thinned
Holes were drilled in
the lugs around the
Front mudflap was removed
to create more interest.
The moulded texture supplied with the kit provides
a useful guide if you want to add your own
I thought I would save myself additional work by masking the small details but my old masking fluid
caused more work. VMS Hull Tex was applied panel by panel
The finished effect is quite hard to see and even
harder to photograph! Here the small bolt detail
has still to be cleaned up.
Although the kit comes with a moulded anti-slip texture it is
impossible to recreate the real texture of the vehicle with any
injection moulding process. I think adding your own texture
significantly enhances the appearance of the model and helps
when recreating the particular weathering effects it produces. The
advantage here is that the areas needing to be textured are
already marked on the kit! I used VMS Hull Tex for the first time
although I switched the VMS adhesive for AK Interactive Sand &
Gravel glue. I masked some of the smaller details that I wanted to
keep clean with a rather old Mr Masking Sol. This proved to be
past it’s best and problematic to remove, causing more problems
than it solved! I used a brush to apply the adhesive one panel at a
time and the VMS grit comes with a really effective applicator
nozzle which allows you to ‘puff’ the grit out over the panel giving
a great even coverage. When I have done this previously it has
always been difficult to find an effective way to transfer your
chosen grit texture to the model without clumps or gaps. The
VMS bottle provides the perfect solution. Any areas of unintended
‘overspray’ were cleaned up by scraping off the texture and I took
the time to clean around all the rows of small bolts and other
fixtures on the hull and turret before applying a sealing coat of Mr
Surfacer and then a coat of Mission Models Tan primer.
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I replaced the moulded
handle on the Loader’s hatch
with a strip of pewter foil.
Armour tags would also be
added to the side skirts
A notch would be cut into this
lug to allow a chain to be fitted.
As I waited for the basket upgrade to
arrive I had followed the instructions up to
stage 28 but when the new basket arrived
it has parts E25 and E26 moulded into the
resin basket. These were tricky to remove
from the back of the turret so keep this in
mind when considering your assembly
With the anti-slip completed I was able to push on with the rest of
the assembly which was a delight and I made some very small
enhancements along the way. I added the small photoetched
armour tags using the ET Models Merkava 4 detail set for these. I
added the pair of guide lips to each side of the .50 Cal ammunition
feed chute using plastic card. The kit tracks were substituted for a
set of Friulmodel tracks which have the tiny casting numbers on
each link and I used a spare link with new brackets to replace the
spare stowed on the side of the turret. Small stowage items like
the spare MAG ammunition boxes were not added yet to make
painting easier but were detailed using photoetched stowage
straps from the ET Models set. The turret mounted weapon, trophy
sensors and side skirts were all left as separate parts at this stage.
The new tooling of the .50 Cal give you an excellent result without the need for
IDF Sand Grey is one of the most demanding colours to replicate
partly because it varies so much in photographs and it falls
somewhere in the hard to define area of the pallette between grey,
brown and green. Using Mission Models Sand Grey MMP-037 as a
basis I added a touch of green and grey as a base colour. Looking
at the colour afresh the next day I applied another coat of MMP
Sand Grey mixed with RLM 02 for a more green shift in the colour.
All the details were then brush painted including the markings
rather than relying on the decal sheet. The barrel stripes were
hand painted rather than relying on the complex masking needed
to spray them. Before moving on the whole kit was given a coat of
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Left Painted and pristine and ready to go!
Above Acrylic washes are great for replicating the heavy dust deposits
on the Merkava - my initial colour choice was more pink than I wanted
so it was reworked with a more orange tone.
Muckin’ up the Merk
Straight into some heavy weathering now using washes of Lifecolor acrylics and
again colour balance is key as I found out with my initial choice of colour for the
wash which didnt seem to match what I was seeing in photos of the real vehicle. I
altered my mix of UA 423 and UA 020 by adding UA528 to bring a more orange
tone to the dust. I started working on the hull roof panel by panel by wetting the
surface with water before adding the colour. As the dust settles onto the horizontal
surfaces I deliberately kept the wash here very dense whereas on the hull sides it
was just allowed to collect around any raised details. On the front edges of the
turret I applied undiluted paint and allowed it to naturally bleed back across the
The beauty of using Friulmodel white metal tracks apart from their inate toughness
is that they can be blackened avoiding the whole hateful business of painting them.
Once this was done I applied a very dilute acylic was using the same mix of colours
used on the rest of the tank. I then used an abrassive pad to burnish the tread
contact points and I masked the edges of the inner face of the track and burnished
the teeth and the contact area of the tires. I then selected a similar tone of
pigments to my dust colour and used white spirits to create a pigment wash which
was applied to the tracks and allowed to dry. A stiff brush was then used to brush
off the tracks leaving a suitably dusty residue in all the recesses and gaps.
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With the tracks fitted I was able to install
the skirts and begin to focus on more
detailing of the finish. I outlined all the bolt
and fastener details with my dust colour.
The picture here shows the bow mid way
through this process with the bolts ringed
in white yet to be treated compared to
those which have been ringed in black.
The whole front edge has been treated
and you can see how it defines the detail
and the panel lines have also been painted
in the same colour.
The tow chain supplied in the kit was treated in the
I also added the small section of chain
blackening solution and the shackles were finished in green. connecting the rear skirt to the hull.
The Merkava carries a combat simulation system around the edge
of the turret, secured by Velcro pads. These are often missing along
with the top layer of turret paint, an effect that I wanted to replicate.
I used strips of self-adhesive medical tape to create the Velcro
strips and I freehand painted the areas of exposed primer with a
Oil stains are a particular favourite effect where dust
collects around lubrication points. Sucessively darker
and smaller washes were applied to achieve this.
fine brush, adding a few random darker tones. The Velcro was
painted in a dark grey and the slight texture of the tape really
captured the look of the Velcro, the texture being enhanced with a
wash of dust tones.
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I made a pair of tiny spring
clips from brass wire to control
the solenoids on the .50 Cal.
Right 0.2mm lead wire was
used to make the control
cables for the gun with a brass
wire triangular and circular
handle added to the end. The
MAG mount is given a similar
dusty/oily finish with a heatshaped Live Resin ammunition
I wanted to depict the really dust-encrusted look of
some of the roof-mounted weapons where the oil
attracts the dust. Working from pictures of the real
thing I worked from lighter tones to the darker
areas. Whilst I was doing this I decided to extend
the spent shell sack so that it rested on the mantlet
using Magic sculp to do this. The sack was painted
and stecilling brush painted on the side. Oil stains
running down from the gun onto the front of the
ammunition box and the corner of the sack were
Above I added detail to the towing horns by drilling out the line of holes along the lower
edge, adding the bars along the inner face and the wire loops on the outer face. They were
then test fitted before final weathering was applied.
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ET Models photoetched straps add a welcome touch of extra detail to both
the ammunition boxes and the smoke grenades behind them.
My idea quickly takes shape and the casual pose is
working well although I have selected the older style tank
helmet by mistake, but I like the sunglasses.
Above Crafty crew - IDF tank crew overalls are not that different from
any other overall and I have found it useful to look outside the narrow
band of available figures. This pair of Soviet tank crew from Tank offered
a possible staring point. I removed the moulded on head and removed
the arms keeping the hands. Copper wire allows for easy posing as I
test out my idea.
Now with the correct helmet courtesy of the Hornet
range, I add my own shades and sculpt the new
arms and flak jacket. The second figure is underway,
based on a Blast Models IDF torso with new arms
and a Hornet head again.
The second figure’s arms are sleeved and both
are ready to be painted.
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To create the reflective sun glasses I began by masking off the rest of the head and
spraying a chrome base. Over this I sprayed a transparent orange and then transparent red
on the upper half. The masking was carefully removed to prevent the freshly applied paint
peeling off and the faces were then painted in my usual way using Lifecolor Flesh acrylics
and a small amount of oil paint to redden the cheeks. The helmets and uniforms were all
painted using Lifecolor acylics and working from references I could see some variations in
colours on elements like the flak vests which I introduced into the figures. The delicate
boom mics come with the Hornet heads and I used 0.3mm lead wire for the cables.