Sunday, June 7, 2015

Merkava Diorama - Part 1

Hi everyone,

Today's post deals with a new project that I have started.  This is a new diorama at the 1/72 scale of one of my favourite tanks - the Merkava.  I have not built a tank in a while now.  My last tank was the WW2 King Tiger, also at the 1/72 scale entitled Germans at Rest.

Since I do not feel confident enough to build the larger scales, I opted for another go at this cheaper scale to hone my skills.  On the plus side, I have always wanted to build this tank, so I decided to get stuck in.

I wanted this project to be light and easy going, and I certainly did not want to get bogged down by the scenery and model modification.  At this scale these things can be very challenging and that is not the purpose of this exercise.

After shopping around, I found a nice middle eastern diorama kit from a company called Black Dog that I found on sale on Hannants, as well as some well designed resin IDF soldiers ready to be painted up. I will post more on these in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, I go stuck in to building the tank.  It goes together quite well and the instructions are very straightforward except for a few things like gun placement on the turrent.  That could have been a bit clearer.

As for the fit, it was OK, but I still had a few problems that needed putty and sanding.  One drawback to the kit is the lack of certain details that I felt needed to be added.

A typical example are the exhausts.  These are basically holes in the side.  The designers must have thought that at this scale they would go unnoticed, but I found this oversight glaring annoying. 
I fixed this very easily by adding some plastic tubing, and the whole thing just looked all the better for it.
I also added some clamps to the extra tracks, and sanded down the mud flap protectors.  The flaps were very thick and unseemly, but after a bit of TLC, things fell into place.
The true work was in the turret.  This is the equivalence of a face on a model - it is the focus of attention for the viewer, so I decided to give it more attention. 

Once again I added extra details like clamps, pronounced welding marks, antennas and a whole lot of extras - I might have gone a bit overboard with this, but it was fun to do!

Well, the tank is finished and ready for painting.  Before I start though, I wanted to get some posts in with the other products I bought. So until then:

Farewell and good health,


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