Nagmachon Early Heavy APC Israel Defense Forces
The Nagmachon was developed from the Nagmashot which was based upon the British Centurion hull. Initially this APC was used as a counter-insurgency platform and for urban warfare. The Nagmachon is a heavily armed fighting vehicle fielded by the IDF. It contains three armoured shields on the roof containing vision blocks of armoured glass to protect the soldiers firing 7.62 mm machine guns. Additionally, the Nagmachon carries heavily armored belly protection as well as being equipped with ER armour. The Nagmachon weighs in at 52 tons and carries a crew of up to 10 including driver and commander.
This kit by Tiger Model is a release of the early version of the Nagmachon following the release of their “Doghouse” Late APC version in 2015. The “Doghouse” version, kit number 4616, has the distinctive raised superstructure intended to protect the soldiers. The model measures 225mm (8.9”) long x 115mm (4.5”) wide x 100mm (3.9”) high when completed.
The box is a normal size 15” long x 9-1/2” wide x 3-1/4” tall heavy gauge cardboard containing 16 beige sprues, 7 sprues in black plastic for the individual linked tracks, and 3 in transparent colored sprues for the bulletproof glass. One cellophane baggie contains the lower hull, one baggie contains the upper turret, and one cellophane baggie contains the following: small decal sheet, labels to attach to sprues, brass chain, small photo etch sheet, polycaps and one metal chain (noted on the parts layout as “String”). Additional items in box include one sixteen-page instruction sheet, one sheet for corrections to instructions in steps 16, 23, 26, 29 and 38 and a one sheet painting guide. The box top, in typical fashion, contains a depiction of a Nagmachon painted in IDF colors. As a note: my box did in fact contain two turrets as opposed to one, and six transparent bullet proof sprues in clear, blue and light ruby color. A welcomed addition although the correct amounts are shown in the instructions.
There are a plethora of sprues numbering twenty-three with an approximate count of over 650 parts, with 26 parts not being used. These unused parts are noted on the parts layout page. Most of the sprues are identified as being “Nagmachon 4616 @ 2015” which is Tiger Model’s “Doghouse” version released in 2015. Tiger Models has made good use of their existing molds.
Upon opening any model kit, what I like to look for is the amount of work, such as mold relief tapers, flashing, ejector pin release points (recessed or elevated marks), mold shift points, sprue attachment points and mold seams that need to be addressed during construction. The parts have crisp detail. However, there are several pin release points seen which will have to be sanded or filled. Whether these come into play, I will find out during the construction. The sprues have absolutely zero percent flash and very little seam lines that need to be cleaned up. The attachment points are kept to a minimum and are located in non-discreet areas
Detail in the driver’s compartment such as wiring, hosing and gauges is well represented, which will show quite nicely if the hatch is left open. I have included a picture to show this detail. Since I will be showing the model all closed-up, I did not detail or paint the compartment.
While labels are supplied by Tiger Models to apply to the sprues for visibility, all letters weren’t supplied for every sprue. I found it easier to use a black marker and highlight the letter. Good intentions by the manufacturer noted!
Instruction Manual, Paint/Markings Guide, Decal Sheet
The instruction manual is printed in black and white measuring approximately 6-3/4” x 10-3/4” in a portrait booklet orientation with an off-white color similar to Tamiya instructions. It contains thirty-eight steps on sixteen pages of clear uncluttered diagrams. Also included in the instructions are images for the parts layout on the sprues. Nice touch. The images for the steps also contain the paint color references for Tamiya paints. Additionally, the one-sheet painting and marking guide contains references for Ammo Mig paints. There is plenty of room for notations on the instructions prior to or during the building stage. Tiger Models has only provided one color painting and decal option for its early version, that being “Unknown IDF Unit South Lebanon 1999”.
With that said, I am looking forward to building this Early version IDF Nagmachon. Additionally, as modelers we do not always follow the instructions step by step, however in this review I will describe any irregularities or problems I encountered in the build step by step. Now for the fun process.
- Before the build begins it is imperative to read and review the instructions to ascertain at what point the tracks will be built and placed on the model due to the fenders and side armour coming into play. I decided to wait before attaching Parts E19, E24 (side skirts), E18 and E15 until step 30 (constructing the tracks) was complete.
- Steps 1-5 consist of constructing the cockpit and cabin. The cabin interior, as I mentioned earlier, is well detailed with multiple wires and hoses. These can either be cut off and new wiring and hoses applied or left as is. If showing the model with the hatches open this cabin detailing would show well. Molding sink holes in Part N23 had to be filled as these will be seen if the hatch is left open.
- Step 6 consists of building twelve road wheels using polycaps and vinyl tires. Tiger Model states in the instructions to use Super Glue. I found that glue was not needed as the vinyl tire fit well without the need for glue once I was able to get them on. They were a little “fiddley”, so my recommendation to Tiger Model would be to mold the rubber tire onto the wheel. Care must be taken when cutting the vinyl tires from the sprues since sanding is almost impossible. The detail on the road wheels is extremely detailed. In their molding process Tiger Model was able to obtain the lugs which can be seen. The addition of polycaps within the road wheels allows movement. However, since the tracks are individual links and need to be glued, workable suspension and tracks are not an option without extensive reworking.
- Step 7 consists of building the idlers and sprockets. Fine detailing by Tiger Model can be seen here with the lugs and bolts.
- Steps 8 and 9 consists of building the suspension system and attaching the rollers. No problems in construction were noted here. The instructions have you paint the rollers at this stage with flat black, but I decided to wait till later on during the construction phase.
- Steps 10 and 11 consist of attaching the suspension bogies to the hull and adding roller wheels. I did not see any problems during the construction in these two steps.
- Step 12 consists of constructing the rear hull plate along with some photoetch parts. I did notice during this stage that photoetch parts PA7 and PA8 were reversed on the instruction sheets. The angle of the PE part determines where their placement is attached.
- Step 13 consists of attaching the road wheels, sprockets and idlers. Upon test placement, I did not notice any problems. Since I will be attaching them later after painting I proceeded to step 14.
- Steps 14 and 15 consist of constructing the side skirts. I did notice several sunken release points that needed to be filled. Part A8 had to be trimmed in order for parts E19 and E24 to be attached. Detail was crisp and clean and no problems were noted other than the sink holes and trimming mentioned earlier.
- Step 16 consists of building and attaching the hood ledges to the fenders. There are corrections to this step supplied by Tiger Model. Parts N44 and N45 are reversed. Also, noted in this step is the attachment of PE (parts PA2 and PA1) which I decided to wait as these are not only attached to the fenders but, are attached to the front hull plate in step 20.
- Steps 17 and 18 consist of building fender compartments and the rear hull plate. Tiger Model has you fill holes in the rear plate. Detail is crisp and I noticed no problems.
- Step 19 consists of attaching several small parts to the upper hull. Additionally, the instructions show the removal of two L-shaped protrusions. No problems or irregularities were noted.
- Steps 20 and 21 consist of attaching the rear, front hull plates, small parts to the rear plate and construction of the turret assembly.
- Step 22 consists of attaching several parts to the fender assemblies. I saw no problems with construction in this step. The Jerry cans were well detailed. These should be painted prior to attachment to the fenders.
- Step 23 consists of building the four machine guns (three .30 cal and one .50 cal MGs). After assembly, these were painted with Vallejo’s Neutral Grey 70.992 with a thinned wash of burnt umber acrylic paint. These were placed aside until final assembly and painting of the tank was complete.
- Steps 24 and 25 consist of construction of the hull turret hatches and turret. Turret hatches can be constructed open or closed. There were several sink marks in the turret that needed to be filled as these will be seen if the hatches are left open. Two small holes must be drilled during this process. Detailed interior instrument clusters are well detailed.
- Steps 26 and 27 consist of bringing together past steps and attaching to hull. Care must be taken during this step in the construction of the tubular cage which sits on the rear hull. I used a razor saw to remove these parts from the sprues. I’m sure if sprue nippers were used one would end up with several broken parts. Also during these steps are the attachment of several armour plates. Take care in their placement as proper placement assures that plates in step 34 are attached in their correct position.
- Steps 28 and 29 consist of constructing the armour plates and attaching the bullet proof glass assembly. I test fitted the bullet proof glass but, did not glue it into place. Smoke grenade launchers are also constructed. Tiger Model gives you the option for them to be in the open or closed position. If opting for the closed position, canvas convers are provided which have good detail.
- Step 30 consists of constructing the individual links. In order to construct the tracks I made a track jig using Evergreen card stock. This jig made the work rather easy. The number of links used per side totaled 106. However, by adding more links one can obtain the desired sag in the tracks. There are only three attachment points that need to be cleaned per link which when cleaned mostly will not be seen. There were no ejector pin release points (recessed or elevated marks) on the links. As a guide, as to how long it would take to clean up each link, I timed myself from the point of cutting the link off the sprue to trimming and final sanding. Each link to approximately one and one-half minutes. Counting the number of links of 224 this time amounted to five and one-half hours. But the rewards are immense. What you end up with are highly detailed links and are easily molded around the sprockets and idlers using Testors Liquid Glue. For the links that were straight runs without sag I used Tamiya Extra Thin. Both worked extremely well. These were allowed to dry. After painting they were installed back onto the tank and the fenders were installed.
- Steps 31-36 consist of final attachments of armour plates, tow ropes, machine guns, side skirts and construction of the photo etch antennas. Care must be taken when bending the antenna due to how thin each wire is. ** Note ** Step 35 actually is mislabeled in the instruction sheet as Step 31.
- Step 37 and 38 consist of adding the constructed antennas, adding jerry cans to the rear hull plate tubular cage and the armour side skirts. Note that step 38 has corrections indicated on the kit enclosed correction sheet.
- Painting: Model was first given two thin coats of Vallejo Nato Green Primer then two final coats of Ammo Mig 068 IDF Green. A thin filter was applied using Vallejo Model Wash Desert Dust.
- Decals: The decals laid down nicely after a clear gloss acrylic coat was applied and allowed to dry for 24 hours. As I usually use MicroSol as my setting solution, I found no problem with the supplied decals.
After completing each kit, I ask myself, “would I build this kit again?” In regards to this kit, my answer is “most certainly yes”. This definitely was an enjoyable build.
Thanks to IPMS/USA and Tiger Model for allowing me to review this kit.