The version provided is the early Nagmachon that includes a full array of ERA panels and the three armoured shields and FN MG mounts for crew protection on the superstructure. The latest configuration with the large “doghouse” turret fitted atop the superstructure has just beed released as Set #LF1162.
The set has approximately 435 parts cast in light cream resin, a large fret of etched parts, length of twine, length of chain and a couple of lengths of copper wire plus a four page instructions sheet all housed in sturdy card box and zip lock bags.
The instructions are in the usual colour photos of the model during and after construction with the parts called out by number plus a few sub-sections shown in close up but I feel that these are inadequate for such a major conversion. I particular there is nothing to tell you that some quite extensive alterations are required to the AFV Club lower hull tub, only a couple of photos of the altered hull with the interior resin parts fitted leaving you to guess the rest.
Granted most who build this conversion would be more experienced and it becomes obvious that the modifications are needed but some further indication in the instructions of what is required here would be helpful.
There are three photos showing the numbered parts layout but the resin parts themselves are not numbered and you have to continually refer back to these photos to identify parts and having the part numbers included on the casting blocks would also be of assistance.
Quality of the resin casting is first class without any warping or other blemishes other than a few very small air holes but these are so small they will probably disappear during construction or be hidden.
Included on the parts are the usual casting blocks and many of these have large extensions that go over the actual part making the cleanup a little tricky as care is needed to not damage the part in the process. You have to take care as parts like the upper armour shields have casting braces over the parts as well as a brace on the inside that has to remain so check the photos carefully before cutting.
Many of the larger parts have huge casting blocks that need a bit of work to remove but using the new razor saw from Lion Roar (set #LT0026) made short work of these and there are also many very small parts that need extreme care during cleanup and assembly.
As mentioned before you start there are some modifications required on the AFV Club lower hull, the first is to remove the second, third and forth fillets from both sides on the inside of the hull tub, this is to take the resin interior walls and floor sections.
Next you should trim off the top of the hull sides level with the lower edge of the fender groove, this groove makes it fairly easy to cut off the top section and you should also cut off the remaining rear overhang level with the side plate and you are now ready to fit the resin parts.
On the inside of the lower hull tub are the sidewall sections, the floor section, central troop seat and driver’s seat as well as a couple of ammo box racks but nothing for the driver’s station even though this area can be seen if you have the driver’s hatch open after assembly.
This is the largest and most impressive part of the conversion with the full upper hull cast in one piece without any warping or other blemishes and just the large casting blocks from the rear and the support strips along the undersides of the fenders as well as the resin film from the open top crew hatches, rear troop hatch and driver’s position, all fairly easy to remove.
Removing the casting blocks from the rear of the hull will require care as they overlap the rear plate and the lower edge but taking your time there shouldn’t be any problems.
Detail on the upper hull casting is superb with well defined detail on the fenders, the weld seams around the superstructure and the engine deck louvers as well as the other details all represented cleanly without any distortion.
Added to the insides of the upper hull are the side panels, turret ring inserts as well as the forward bulkhead with additional air bottles, radios and equipment boxes with the fit of these parts being good overall but you should as always test fit before gluing to see if any trimming is needed?
Obviously all the interior parts should be painted before proceeding to fitting the upper and lower hull parts together.
After modifying the AFV Club hull the fit of the upper resin hull is very good with precise fitting at the front and two small notches on the underside of the fenders that ensure the rear hull is positioned centrally without any fuss.
The lower rear hull plate (part 119) is then attached and the fit of this part is good but there are two large triangular holes on either side that will need to be filled with some scrap plastic card as you can see right through the hull if left unattended.
Once the hull parts are together it’s really a matter of attaching all the additional details as there are no other major sub-assemblies but there are a few areas that need some additional work to bring out the best.
The large blast plate side skirts have all the side and top details included in the castings but take care as they are not the same both sides and while numbered differently in the instructions it’s easy to mix these up if not paying attention.
The raised “I” detail on the outside of each plate is not positioned centrally and the plates should be mounted with the “I” fitting further forward, check the instruction images on this to ensure this is correct but before you fit the skirt plates you must attach the hull side mounting brackets (parts 101/102) but again the instructions are not clear on this with just a photo of the assembled model but no indication of the proper sequence of assembly, this is common throughout the instructions so take care and study the instructions carefully before gluing.
The chain provided is then fitted to the top of the blast plates and attachment brackets to add some nice detail and the rear armour plates either side of the engine deck are fitted in a similar way where the mounting brackets (parts 90/91) are fitted to the hull side first and then the plates. Cleaning the resin casting blocks from these plates will require care as they overlap the part quite a bit on the inside and while this added support ensures there is no warping of the plates there is a little more cleanup required.
The large driver’s armoured cell at the front is in one casting with separate top hatch and again there is a bit of cleanup required on this casting that will need care and when attaching this to the hull there are some small gaps around the lower join. These can be easily filled with thick cyanoacrylate (super glue) while fitting and the ERA blocks added later also cover most of this area so this is not really a problem after assembly.
The hinge on the driver’s hatch can be made workable with a little work as there are separate resin hinge pins provided to do this but the instructions again just show an image of the pins in place but no indication how they got there. Basically position the hatch in the closed position and while holding this firmly in place drill a 1mm hole through the hinge brackets and then slip the resin hinge pins (parts 37) into place and trim to the correct length. This hinge procedure can be repeated for the two top round crew hatches and the square rear troop compartment doors using the wire for the hinge pins to make them workable as well.
All the crew hatches have additional details in the form of wire grab handles or resin inside latches that can be fitted as needed as well as other smaller fitting around the hull such as the head lights where the bush guard brackets are provided as etched parts for good definition. Also the small latches to hold the hatches open are also provided as separate parts and the small retaining clip is another separate part requiring care when fitting but it allows you to show this open or closed depending on the position of the hatch?
Attaching the many ERA blocks will also require care as there are etched brackets that fit between each ERA block and numbering the resin blocks with a soft pencil before hand will help reduce any placement errors during this process but there shouldn’t be any real problems if you study the instructions carefully beforehand.
Added to the middle of the engine deck is a large storage rack made up from the copper wire provided and you are also given a resin jig to help bend the wire to the correct shape and more importantly a consistent size. I removed the three outside resin blocks from the jig as these tended to hinder the bending process as you had to twist the wire up over these blocks as well as around the corners and removing these made the process easier.
Assembling the wire basket is best done by soldering for better strength and you can file the joins making them almost invisible but some experience with soldering would be of assistance to get the basket together. The main trick when soldering small joins like this is position the parts to be joined on a wood board held in place with the tips of fine tweezers and use thin rod solder (1mm is a good size for etched and metal parts) cut into very small sections. You only need a section of solder about 1mm long for such a small job and make sure the tip of the soldering iron is hot, trying to solder with a “cold” tip is a recipe for disaster.
Added to the top of the superstructure are the three armoured shields with thick bullet proof glass blocks but unfortunately the “glass” is not provided in the conversion and you will have to source this elsewhere. Using thick Perspex cut to size would be the best to give the appropriate thick glass appearance of the real thing.
Defensive armament is provided by 4 nicely cast FN machine guns and the detail on these is very well done and thankfully none of the barrels were warped which is a common problem with long MG barrels cast in resin, but the muzzles will need careful drilling for a final look.
Other details added to the FNs are nicely detailed scissor mounts, ammo boxes, forward tripod legs and lifting handle and the assembled guns do look exceptionally good as they come.
The two large aerial posts added to the rear engine deck have additional etched parts for the post supports and the antenna tops that again add some nice detail definition with other parts such as the four large smoke grenade boxes at the front and the tow cables from the twine provided and resin end shackles are easily fitted on place.
There is one small detail item that deserves special mention as well as requiring extreme care in fitting and that is the dozens of small resin grab handles added to the side skirts and engine deck. These are cast on larger blocks and you have to carefully “slice” these off using a very sharp scalpel blade before carefully positioning on the model. These are extremely small and thin when cut from their casting blocks and while tricky to fit add excellent detail definition as they are round in profile instead of the usual flat profile etched handles.
No information is provided on the painting or markings added to the Nagmachon and this info will have to be sourced elsewhere.
The quality of the resin casting in this set is exceptional making the sometime intricate assembly that much easier but there is a fair bit of cleanup required on some parts before assembly but nothing to excessive and is to be expected on a resin conversion of this type.
Assembly is quite straightforward really for such a large conversion once the kit lower hull and resin upper hull are fitted together as it’s really just adding all the remaining parts but as mentioned the lack of sequential instructions sometimes makes this more tricky than it could have been.
The end result certainly looks impressive as does the real vehicle and this conversion should appeal to all IDF fans as well as anyone else who like unusual looking AFVs.
Highly recommended 8/10
See the review of the new set #LF1162 IDF Nagmachon Doghouse Conversion Set
Also see the Centurion Subject page for additional reviews of Centrurion related items.
Thanks to Legends Productions for the review set.