a-im-title.jpg (7789 bytes) a-im-month.jpg (6572 bytes) a-top-corner.jpg (4494 bytes)



MSRP: $32.00


By Ray Mehlberger


The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) built the Merkava series of tanks in order to have a home-grown, independent source of Main Battle Tanks (MBT). The tank is designed for survivability of the crew, with spaced armor incorporated to provide the Mk. III with added armor around the crew compartment. The spaced armor has a open area between the 2 layers of composite material to dissipate the energy of an anti-tank weapon with minimum effect on the crew and the vehicle. The modulation of the armor allows for fast replacement of it in the field. A diesel powered 1,200 HP ICM AVDS 1790-9AR engine is mounted in the front of the tank and acts as extra armor. Major suspension changes were made to increase road speed and crew riding comfort. The crew is further protected from Nuclear/Biological/Chemical (NBC) weapons by a enviromental control system that uses filtration and a positive air pressure system. The Merkava Mk. III is equipped with impressive fire power, including a 120mm cannon, a co-axial 7.62mm MG, two anti-personnel 7.62mm MGs, and 12.7mm MGs for use by the commander, and a 60mm light mortar.


The kit comes in a box with a nice box art and six photographs on the side panels of a finished model. The box art shows two tank crewmen, but there are no figures included in the kit.


I am told that this kit is a updating - or correction to an earlier Merkava kit that Academy released in the past. Being a WWII armor nut, I cannot say. It is supposed to have new suspension parts, new spaced armor turret, and a new rear-end with an entry door. It has the 60mm mortar mounted internally in the turret. The decal sheet is reported to be new and the kit includes white metal parts for a armored curtain that hangs below the rear turret overhang.

There are six trees of light tan plastic parts in the kit, plus the upper and lower hull pieces. 18 polycaps are in the kit to retain the roadwheels. The kit has the rubber-band type of tracks in it. 24 rubber tire pieces are included to mount on the roadwheel rims. There is a length of white string for use to make tow cables. Finally, there is a small cello bag of white metal parts that are the armored curtain that is mentioned above. No figures are in the kit as said before.

There are two different Israeli Defense Force markings on the decal sheet. These include a lot of stencil numbers that go on the skirt armor and large Hebrew letters for one of the two options.

The instruction sheet is eight pages long and in several languages, including English. A separate sheet is provided as a decaling and painting guide.

There are extra suspension parts and drive sprockets in the kit. This is probably a hold-over from the earlier Merkava release by Academy, I would guess?


The parts trees are in several cello bags in the box to prevent some scratching to parts. This is a nice move in any kit. Especially if it includes clear parts. This kit should keep the modern modeler amused as it has 379 parts in it to assemble. I could detect no flash on any of the parts and the detail looks excellent.

Thanks go out to Greatmodels Hobby Shop for providing this kit. This model will be built and reviewed when finished by Moustafa Assad in a future issue of the magazine.

pragolog-sm.jpg (5410 bytes)

browse-book-stack-rev.gif (3989 bytes)

tacair.jpg (6610 bytes)

Air Intelligence
1999 Modelers'
Reference Guides

1/32 Scale Guide $18.00
1/48 Scale Guide $25.00
1/72 Scale Guide $25.00
HH-43 Huskie Color
Reference Guide $15.00

Please add $3.20 Postage in the US.

TacAir Publications

PO Box 90933
Albuquerque NM

E-Mail Us!

Next: Tamiya Caterham
Previous: Contents
a-bottom-corner.jpg (4577 bytes)