Monday 7 March 2016

Merkava - Off to a flying start

The reason I finished the Lunar Module in rather a hurry, was because THIS thing was waiting around the corner : Meng's 1/35 Merkava Mk. 3 BAZ with mine roller!

I was dreading to start it. Not sure why actually. Granted, it's a rather expensive kit. So, I guess I was using the commom excuse that I didn't want to start it "until my skill was good enough". Well, if that's a reason not to do anything challenging or even slightly difficult, my "skill" will never amount to much.
No better motivation to start this, than a Group Challenge, organised on a Facebook group I rather enjoy : The Scale Modelers Critique Group. The challenge started March 1st and runs until August, so it's more suited to my speed of modelling than a Weekend Build Challenge.

The number of parts is staggering though : over 750!

Assembly starts - as usual - with the running gear. This takes up step 1 through 6 of a whopping 56.
You're immediately confronted with the choice of wheels : steel rim or rubber, foam insert (prevents mud and rocks from building up in the rim) or not. I went for a mix of both, for some visual interest. Each  wheel consists of 7 parts.

Engineering of the wheel assembly is very clever, but even then I messed up instructions twice before I completely got it. Let's say the first batch of 6 wheels took at least an hour. The next only 20 minutes.

It's rather easy to have all wheels touching ground (especially important of you mix the 2 wheel types), in the way the arms connect to the springs, There's at least a millimeter wiggle room, so no reason for having a wheel hanging in the air. Very clever engineering indeed!

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