This is, IMHO, the coolest looking Merkava tank ever built. I like it because of that famous picture of the 188th Armored Brigade’s training day back in 2008. I believe that it has the meanest profile that you can find in a tank ever!
Anyway, the model is the first big hit of the Meng Models company. They made their appearance with that tank, and I might say, they
shook the modeling world with it.
It has almost everything that you need in a model OOTB. Once I got my hands on it, I couldn’t believe how huge and filled is the box. The detail is crisp and there are very few things that you can complain about. Compared to Academy’s Merkava series it stands out on every level without any reasonable doubt.
I had to build mine in relatively short time, since I was building it for a guy in France and for whatever reason he was in a rush. The tank itslef needs time, in order to get it done perfectly. It has many tiny details, which eventually a person can change with metal parts, or add /even if it is already full of detailing!/ some new.
I find it a bit hard to cope with all those stuff, and I ended building not for fun, but in a hurry. That killed some of the joy of the modeling, but even with that, I learned a lot from that kit! Meng Models had raised the bar in the modeling world for good!
My guy wanted the tank relatively clean and that didn’t left me with a lot of options for weathering and painting tricks. I managed to add only antennas and a towing chain, and I suppose that this completed my personal touch of the thing. Even with that in mind, it has a stunning appearance in the end.
I have no clue, is that Meng’s job or just the tank is good looking, but once done, it attracts a lot of attention.
In a model, the first thing I notice is the overall look. If you look at a Russian tank, like T-34, or T-55, the first thing you see is “small”. In Merkava or Abrams or Leopard it is just the contrary – you see “big”. And in Merkava II.D, III.D and IV you see “mean” too! It looks like a machine built to kill and conquer and that makes it so attractive. Meng’s model gives you exactly that: big and scary tank, even 35 times smaller than the original one.
You hardly can tell that from the pictures, but believe me, every AFV modeler or collector has to have one on the shelf!