Ball and Chain set for Merkava 1/2/3/4

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Ball and Chain set for Merkava 1/2/3/4

That project is concerning Ball and Chain add on – something very popular among IDF modelers. After improvement of Merkava I, just until nowadays, all Merkavas has this thing attached to its cupola. I am not gonna bother you with explanations about it, just little info about this particular set.
Once I got my hands on Merkava III.D produced by Hobby Boss, I realized that their set is off scale a bit. That actually doesn’t bother most of the modelers, but there are really punctual people out there, who wish to add more accuracy to their miniatures, thus buy more and more aftermarket parts to make that improvements. After wondering around through some modeling sites, I discovered that there are quite a few sets out there.
Two things I found to be a bit bothering –
1. The price.
2. They were not the same in terms of final look.

So after a consideration, I decided to try and find a way to deal with my own problem as I did 15-20 years ago – without internet, and with all the means I could find.

My set
The real deal

So I found out the supplier of the proper chain size, which you can see on the pictures below, is quite more accurate then the one Hobby Boss uses. Actually, their ball set is almost the same. The chain is
what is off. And their rail is usable with my chain, but then again, not every kit uses that rail. Some companies built and engineered their Merkava models differently, so depending on what you have in stash, attachment might differ. Its all up to you.

I supply plenty off spares. The chain needed is close to 12″, which is 30cm. The chain in my Ball’n’Chain set is 50cm long. The balls too – I give you 70 /maybe 1-2 more or less/ and this is gonna work for one Merkava + its baskets and still have spares left. And yes, some of the Merkavas has ball and chain on their baskets, but whoever wanna buy this should know it by now.
Number of the chain rings vary according to your particular model, but in 1/35 scale, you need 3 to 5 rings for each ball.

To built those, you need some modeling skills, but nothing serious. Actually, at first I found it tedious to even think of doing that. But then, once you built your first few, the process becoming a routine, and for and hour or two, you might get everything done. It is the same as Friul tracks. They look scary, but in fact they aren’t.

Having all this in mind, I tried to keep my set priced at lowest possible. I listed some on eBay for around $15 with included delivery. And found that there is a huge interest. I have clients who ordered 5 sets at a time.
After a while I started getting positive feedback /not in eBay of course/ for the sets.
I guess that answers the question is this worth it.
Understandably, not every modeler will wanna get into this. But the ones who have made their minds already, well, I think this might come handy. So, if you wanna update your Merkava, whatever the kit is: Tamiya, Meng, Hobby Boss or Academy, this is a good start. And it goes for all of the Merkava models 1,2,3 or 4.
Please feel free to contact me if you want a set, or you just wanna ask something about it! I would be happy to help!

This is half of the set, the chain is the other half
And this is how it looks on a Merkava III.D MBT

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