Mag Ach 1/2 Middle East War Series (50th Anniversary The Six-Day War)
When I opened the box I was amazed at how many parts there were. It reminded me of the days when Dragon would include an entire sprue to provide 1 or 2 parts there are 11 yes 11 parts sprues in this kit. HEre is the breakdown of the entire kits contents.
- 11-Grey Sprues
- 2-DS Sprues
- 1-Set of DS Tracks
- 1-Small Sprue with two DS Polycaps
- 2 Clear Parts Sprues
- 1-Sheet of Photo Etch Parts
- 1-Metal Tow Cable
The term Magach is short for Merkevet Giborei Hayil whish is literally Chariot of War Heroes. The Magach 1 is based on the M-48A1 and the MAgach2 is based is the M48A2C. a portion of the Israeli Magach 1 tanks were captured from Jordanian forces during the six day war. I have chosen to model a Jordanian M48A1 in Jordanian national markings
I use several types of cements most notably Tamiya Thin Liquid cement and Testors Model Master liquid cement in the black dispenser bottle with the syringe type applicator. The paints used were Tamiya, Vallejo, Model Master and Mig Abtelieng Oils.
To start I must point out that I built this kit out of sequence starting with the upper and lower hull. It just made more sense to me to glue the upper and lower hulls together first rather than glue all parts to the hulls and then work around them while gluing the hulls together. So, with this in mind that is exactly what I did...Pay attention to the instructions in step 3. There are two upper hulls "A" Sprues. At first they look the same but upon careful inspection there is a huge difference. One has five (5) return roller mounting points for the Magach 1 and the other has three (3) return roller mounting points for the Magach 2. The illustration showing this is on the instructions is in step 4 and 5 on the next page. The upper and Lower hull fit together very nicely requiring minimal clean up and no fill or putty only a bit of liquid cement and a brush to add back the texture removed while sanding the joint. With the upper and lower hull glued together it was time to follow the instructions.
The Lower hull has a lot of parts none are a problem to clean or prepare however there is very little flash. The road wheels are nice consisting of two parts each. The sprockets are nicely detailed and a bit fiddly to assemble but once assembled look very nice. I should point out however that the three mud release holes in the sides of the outside halves (C16) are not there and need to be added or a suitable replacement aftermarket part be substituted. I chose to leave these as is for this review. As we moved along on the
lower hull suspension parts the lower hull began to show an impressive amount of detail at this point.
In Step 3 you will be removing some of the details on the lower hull following the illustration indicated by the instructions. Be sure to choose the correct illustration to correspond with the version you are building either the Magach 1 or Magach 2. Once this step has been completed the lower hull really starts to look impressive.
I left the outside of the return rollers off at this stage so they would be easier to paint off of the model and not under the fenders. They will be painted weathered and glued on last just before adding the tracks to the model. If you remember the first two parts the upper and lower hull were joined first so I did not have to deal with trying to achieve an acceptable joint between the two with all the glued on detail parts in the way so I skipped step 4.
As you continue on the lower hull in the rear of the model there is a some filling to be done on part D35 which is not to difficult. I did the filling after it was in place. Part D35 is molded smooth and once it was filled per the instructions and in place and I added cast texture using Tamiya Surface Primer. The rest of the parts fit is acceptable but you will need to do a small amount of putty work once parts L32 and L33 are dry. I cannot stress this enough here test fit them twice and then test fit them again before gluing once they are dry and all your joints are cleaned up and looking good you begin to have a very impressive lower hull. There were a lot of parts but the effort is well worth it because the detail is outstanding when completed. No issues were encountered and everything fit very nicely.
Continue on by and simply build a jerry can in a rack for the turret the details are nice on either style jerry cans. No issues encountered with the jerry can. You will then assemble the turret basket. It consists of five (5) very fragile and fiddly parts. Take great care here and get the basket as straight as possible. Once attached to the turret be very careful it is not very strong and easily broken.
First I need to say that in step 8 I did not glue the road wheels in place I sat them aside then painted and weathered them separately. They will be glued in place after the remainder of the model is painted and weathered just before the tracks are added. I did glue all of the suspension arms and the small detail parts C26, C27 used on the Mqgach1.
As you begin to assemble the fenders you will notice there is a lot of small parts for the fenders especially where the photo etch parts make up the mounting area for the pioneer tools. I did not have too much difficulty with the photo etch and when it was completed the pioneer tools looked really nice. The tool boxes and fender supports fit nicely and go together easily. When I glued the "L" parts along the fenders I noticed the slot for the parts is a lot larger than the part which I filled with Squadron green putty. I pushed the putty from the bottom of the fender and out through the crack and sanded it once dry. Please take note that there are different versions of fenders for different versions of the tank. Pay close attention to the instructions and double check before cutting and gluing different fenders from the various parts. I did not have to cut the fenders on my version but I did prepare one of the fenders for the Magach 2 version as a test and it was very easy and the two fender pieces went together nicely. So don't be intimidated but having to cut the fenders to do the Magach 2. In Fact I am saving all the extra parts and building a Magach2 very soon.
I completed the headlight subassemblies and added those to the hull. The completed fender assemblies were added and the remaining details on the lower hull. No issues were encountered however please pay attention to the mounting of the exhaust pipes that are on the front of the hull parts L-21, L22, L23 and MA-1 so you get them all lined up correctly. I also had to use a bit of Squadron green stuff on the joints where the fenders meets the turret ring due to a noticeable gap once the fenders are glued in place.
The turret assembly is straight forward. Again I chose to assemble the turret out of order like the lower hull. I began by putting the two small DS poly caps on part E1 and placed it in the upper hull F20. I then glued the lower hull F13 and upper hull F20 together. The two turret halves fit together very nicely with no issues. A bit of sanding and some Tamiya surface primer on the joints for texture and it was time to add details The turret basket assembled earlier was added and the reminder of the detail parts were added and fit without any surprises. Since I chose to build an early Jordanian M48A1 step 13 was followed to the letter with no problems what so ever. I added the remaining turret detail parts and assembled the commanders cupola with no issues. Maybe not a big deal but I especially like the .50 cal barrel and the fact that the opening in the end of the barrel is slide molded and present and saves me the trouble of having to drill out the end of the barrel. A very welcome and nice touch !
Since the turret was glued together first this left the assembly of the main gun which is very nice and easily cleaned up. The muzzle break on the main gun is very well executed and looks awesome. I did use the DS plastic canvas for the commanders cupola on the .50 cal and it was a welcome detail. However I left the remaining DS parts off the turret per the instructions and tossed them is the spare parts box for a future m48 I am planning on building.
I added the towing pintail as pointed out for the Magach1. I glued the tracks into a single piece for painting.
If you have not noticed this kit looks great. It has a lot of detail and looks mighty impressive when built. Not the easiest of builds but worth the effort put into it. I began by carefully and I mean carefully washing the entire in a mild detergent and let it all sit overnight to dry. The next day when the model was dry I primed everything in sub assemblies (Hull, Turret and Tracks) with grey Krylon cover Max and allowed it all to dry overnight.
The model was then given a base coat of Tamiya Desert Yellow followed with a panel fade (cloudy overspray) of the same colored lightened with about 25% of Tamiya flat white. Once dry the camouflage was painted on with an airbrush using Tamiya back Green. Once the camouflage was dry I panel faded it with the same color lightened with about 25% Tamiya flat white. After this was dry I took the lightened Tamiya desert yellow and touched up any areas that the green camouflage may have over sprayed.
I then hand painted all the details such as pioneer tools, spare tracks, exhaust and other details using Vallejo model color and Panzer Aces paints. The road wheels were painted using Panzer Aces Dark Rubber which is not black but rather a dark grey and in my opinion it looks a lot more like rubber than flat black.
The model and road wheels were then given a filter using Abteilung 502 wash brown mixed 95% thinner to 5% paint. The mixture was very thin and brushed on to change the tone of and blend the paint colors. This was allowed to dry over night
The model and road wheels were a pin wash was done using Abteilung 502 shadow brown and allowed to dry over night as well.
The turret area where the decals were to be placed were sprayed with a couple of coats of Tamiya clear and allowed to dry. Once dry the decals were added and a coat of Tamiya clear was used to seal in the decals. After allowing 24 hours to dry the entire model was given a coat of Vallejo Model Color clear varnish thinned 50%. Once dry various weather was done such as rust streaks, a slight amount of chipping and other details weathered here and there. The model was dry brushed with Buff Titanium oils and allowed to dry again overnight.
I really enjoyed building this model and would recommend this to anyone wanting to build a very detailed Magach 1 or 2. The detail level is very high and the overall finished model is impressive. I would also like to thank Dragon Models and the IPMS reviewers corps for giving me this opportunity to build this wonderful kit. Should you choose to build one you can obtain this kit from the Dragon website at http://www.dragonusaonline.com Simply place kit number 3565 in the search box and bam there you have it. The actual kit number is DRA-3565. Model on !!!!