by: Peter Ong [ ]
The I.D.F. Magach 7A is an upgrade of the I.D.F. M60A1 with “Blazer” ERA. Instead of active explosive armor, the Magach 7A uses passive armor consisting of riveted armor plates along the hull and turret sides, giving this tank a unique blocky appearance. The Magach 7A sports a 105mm main gun and four machine guns: a 7.62mm COAX, a 12.7mm over the main gun, and two 7.62mm FN MAGs over the commander and loader’s hatch. Two unique I.D.F. smoke grenade dischargers are mounted on the side.
The first ziploc bag contains 48 white resin pieces and a 22-piece main PE fret. The second ziploc bag contains the .50 cal PE fret, two small PE frets, thin brass wire, nylon rope and thin lead foil. The last bag contains a full turret the turret bottom with turret ring and the instructions (color photocopy on flat white paper). This conversion kit is intended for Academy’s 1/35 I.D.F. M60A1 kit.Legend’s Magach 7A conversion kit pieces look mighty impressive, crisply cast, smooth and free of air bubbles in its cream resin. The pieces are thin yet stiff and opaque and I don’t see any translucency caused by a shortage of resin (flow) when casting thin flat plates. The pieces are also surprisingly devoid of excess flash (except where support is needed). Furthermore, the pieces are mainly for detailing since the turret is a solid one-piece cast.I found all the small pieces are incredibly sharp and free of damage as they stand erect on their pour blocks-not an easy feat to do. Why even the FN MAGs’ bipod is crispy cast and free of warpage and flash. The .50cal’s barrel is also straight-as-a-rod with the cooling air vent holes perfectly imprinted.Pieces that should be flat (such as the deck and side skirts) ARE indeed flat! While it’s probably premature to assume flatness without actual construction, I find comfort knowing that a flat-looking piece will probably glue flat and flush against the Academy M60 hull—just as Legend intended.Legend throws all resin pieces into a single bag so if you have this kit, I would separate the pieces according to flat, heavy, small and delicate in order to avoid future damage.
This one-piece turret has thick walls and feels solid but isn’t heavy so as to sag the resin turret ring. The outside looks gorgeous and highly detailed: the roof of the turret has a rough texture while the add-on armor is smooth and flat and actually looks integrated onto turret front and not an adhoc add-on some “novice modeler” just tacked on. The turret also has many protrusions from hooks to eyelets, armored ridges to pipes, and hatches to weld seams—all cast in crisp detail and alignment. I really appreciate the one-cast turret idea for this leaves less room for error on the part of the modeler; and besides, why make life harder sawing off and gluing on more parts?The turret bottom’s pour block obstructed the fit but it seems to insert well underneath the turret. One has to notice the ridges that are meant to connect to the turret for the turret doesn’t rest flush on its bottom piece. Having a stiff and solid feel, the bottom piece appears strong enough to support the weight of the solid turret above it.The rivet detailing just looks awesome. On the same piece the rivets APPEAR the same and LINE UP both horizontally AND vertically, just as with the real Magach. There isn’t one rivet that doesn’t fall out-of-line with the others. I can see and feel the consistency of the rivet details all along the turret sides and the frontal side skirts; and by running my finger over the rivets, I can tell they are the same height, thickness, and roundness. The rivets do differ in thickness because some panels receive a thicker rivet than others (which is probably similar to the real Magach) which means Legend didn’t buy a bag of rivets and use the same ones all over. The size and appearance of indentations and impressions are also identical, proving that the caster used the same tool to imprint them and didn’t make them freehand. This superb attention to detail is what the modeler pays for!
Photo-Etch and Instructions:
The thin PE frets are another sight to behold and some even have tiny raised embossing on them. The PE wire basket consists of PE supporting struts with miniature holes drilled in them for the threading of the brass wire. I tested the wire through the holes and it goes through. Don’t play around with the wire for once taken out of the Ziploc bag, you may have a hard time coiling the wire to reinsert into the bag again.
The wire shouldn’t be bent or kinked in any way or you will lose the smooth surface consistency of the wire.Note: Lead foil is poisonous so handle it with latex gloves.Legend often provides a single one-sided color photocopy instruction sheet and in the case of the Magach 7A kit, this same format is used. Is this ample and adequate enough information? Since I haven’t built the kit yet, I can’t say, but I will say that I wished Legend could print on the back of the sheet as well for added information. The photo angles and contrast of the white resin pieces against the white resin hull is a VAST improvement over my Legend Achzarit’s instruction photos for with the Achzarit instructions, I couldn’t even see white on white and thus couldn’t tell how the piece was supposed to be cut and mounted.
Legend used blue numbers and black lines to show the parts and their placement but again, I won’t know if this visual information is enough until I construct this kit. The Magach 7A instruction photo resolution is a lot finer as is the photo focus and lighting compared to the Achzarit’s instructions. Still, I believe Legend can improve their instructions in the future (see nit-picks below).
The Nit-Picks and Conclusion:
There are no obvious errors or “showstoppers” with the Magach 7A kit but I do have a few nit-picks. First off, I find the Magach 7A kit has the same issue as my Legend Achzarit kit and that is—WHERE to cut and HOW to cut off the pour blocks? Some pieces are almost flush with a flat extension of the pour block so is the extension a part of the piece or not?
The parts photo helps for the lighting shows the support blocks as translucent compared to the actual master piece but still, one has to exercise attention and caution when cutting the pieces off their mounts. Which brings us to the process of cutting. Because of the close connection of the pieces to the pour blocks, a motor tool isn’t particularly recommended. One may have to use a scriber, wire snippers, PE scissors or just sandpaper to cut out the piece.
I envision the sawing aspect may present a challenge to novice and even veteran modelers for there’s a fine line of error if one can’t saw straight-especially when it comes to removing some flat panels from their pour blocks.One of my FN MAG’s barrel was bent but hopefully nothing hot water can't fix. The bottom right side of the add-on armor on my turret appeared to be ripped when the turret was pulled from the mold but this is nothing a little putty can’t fix.I don't know what the nylon rope is for but it looks braided like a tow cable.
I'll probably use picture frame wire instead.For the future, I wish Legend could inscribe a part number on the pour block under each tiny part, or better yet, enlarge and print the numbered parts photo on the back of the instruction sheet. I had some difficulty matching the appearance of some small resin parts to the numbered parts photo so I recommend modelers cut off parts one at a time.
Given enough time staring at the parts photo, the photo resolution is sharp enough to identify the resin part though.All in all, Legend Productions has produced an exceptionally fine kit with sharp, crisp, and flash-free resin parts and four PE frets so now it’s up to the modeler’s skills to be able to pull off the conversion.
With eye-catching details and a whole wealth of rivets, protrusions and surface details, this conversion kit looks stunning and is a welcome addition to I.D.F. armor fans. Although ,in truth, the final judgment and rating comes down to the construction review, I do highly recommend this kit, but only to veteran and advanced modelers due to its intricate and complex construction and attention to detail.
Copyright ©2020 text by Peter Ong [ ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Historicus Forma or Silver Star Enterprises. All rights reserved.
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