Achzarit APC Part 2

There is nothing perfect in this world, and this project isn’t any different too! Simply said – no info and pictures around the web. I hardly found anything about IDF APC’s. There are books for the Achzarit out there, but they cost as much as the model itself. So that is a bit discouraging.
Having that in mind I decided to make the weathering as close as possible to the Merkava tanks that I have pictures of. Mostly those shot after 1990s. I found logical to have Achzarits used around that same time, so I made up my mind and did it that way.

Before starting the weathering

Weathering the model was something
that I am very familiar with. I have built couple of Merkava’s so it wasn’t a big deal to do it. I used several different techniques, and weathered the model in three stages.
First stage was before adding the tracks and before painting the red and black parts.
I wanted some sand accumulation here and there, but in the same time to keep the colored parts still visible.
The weathering can interfere with later stages of painting, and you gotta be careful with that if you decide to go that road.
Next was the red handles painting, transparent glass parts beneath the main gun and the guns itself. After that…

…Stage two of the weathering. A bit of sand here and there, and by that you can guess pigments, different companies sans solutions, pastels on powder or applied with a brush.
Whatever suits your feel. In my case, I always like to combine three types of sand –
Yellow -ish
Red-Brown -ish
White -ish
Those three I believe give you most seen weathering on Israeli tanks. Sometime Grey-ish is visible too, maybe pure Brown sometime, but those three are almost always there. If you overdo it with pastels, you cannot fix it with another layer of varnish like it is with pigments, so you gotta be careful!

Few moments before the installment of the tracks.

Stage three was the tracks and their weathering.
Here, I must admit, is the only low point of that model. The tracks. The idea of Meng – I am guessing – was to make a model like Tamiya do it. Easy to assemble it, rubber track, flexible enough to look authentic and not so hard for a novice. On all points they did splendid job, especially with the fit. However, the tracks are not that good as they should be. I was wondering what to do with the tracks while making part 1 of that article. I chose the easiest way, but maybe I was wrong.
I had troubles with one of mine, had it torn in two places. Even though small damage, it was there and I know it’s there which is the worst part. If you do not glue them onto the upper part of the wheels they won’t stay, and even if you do, to replicate the complicated position seen on T-55 tracks is a challenge.
So, I would suggest what I will do for my next Achzarit – Friuls or Modelkasten.
You can read about those two here or you can just go with your gut. That is always the best thing to do.
The lesson I’ve learned is that if you want to have a great IDF Achzarit APC – you must add some aftermarket. Weather it is interrior, tracks or stowage, or even all those combined, I strongly recommend you to get aftermarket.
It will still look great without it, and if you play with the rubber tracks a while you can get very good result, but with a small investment, this model can be turned into a fine piece of art and that’s without any reasonable doubt.

A lot bigger model than I expected! Nice!!!

My conclusion:
Great model from Meng. They did wonderful job with it. It’s kinda creating “demand and supply” gap, having every mid- to high- experienced modeler  to buy resin or metal aftermarket parts as well as books for the real APC, but that’s another good thing. If you look it from the other side, it creates opportunities for other companies on the market who do that.
So in any case it is a win-win situation with that model.
I enjoyed it a lot, and will share my experience with the next one, which is already on its way to my address!
Thanx for watching, I hope you enjoyed the article as much as I did the modeling that beast!