This is my latest project for a customer. It is an IDF Megach 3 circa 1973. It is basically an M48A3 with a 105mm L7A2 (US M68) barrel. Here is the actual tank.
I started with the Tamiya M48A3 by taping off the motorization holes from the outside and filling the inside with a thin layer of casting resin. Once cured, remove the tape and sand smooth. It is a quick and easy way to deal with motorization holes.
Next, I lowered the roadweels by about 3mm since Tamiya's kit was based on a vehicle without and engine and it sits too high. I simply cut off the small pin portion of the bumper attached to each roadwheel arm. This allows the arm to move up about 3mm and the tank to sit properly.
Next, I cut off the kit barrel just past the slinky section on the dust cover and mated a Verlinden Israeli L7A2 barrel from their M48/M60 update set. I also removed the commander's cupola ring from the turret roof at this point in preparation for installing a Sherman early commander's cupola. I made the fabric cover around the mantlet out of A&B putty as well.
I added strips of 0.040 styrene stock to the lower turret half to raise the turret up about 2mm as well since it is a bit squashed in the kit. Once the basic construction of the turret and hull was complete, I gave them both a bit of cast texture. To do this, I wet sections of the plastic with liquid glue, then stippled the surface with an old paint brush. Another pass of the liquid glue toned it down and blends the texture look like cast steel.
After the cast texture, I installed the Sherman cupola and a .30 cal MG mount on the turret roof.
I also added Archer Surface Details casting numbers and symbols to the turret and hull. I also constructed a storage mount for the search light and modified the air cleaners to the larger opening Israeli type.
Lastly, I cut the mud release holes in the sprockets.
I also added bolts and smaller details here and there, along with a Tank/Infantry phone to the right rear fender.
Some overall pics.
Now its off to the paint booth and markings. It will also get a set of AFV Club's excellent T97E2 tracks on it.
As always, all comments welcome, so let me know what you think.
Gino P. Quintiliani - Field Artillery - The KING of BATTLE!!!
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