by: Darren Baker [ ]
Originally published on:
When it comes to having a green armoured force there cannot be many if any to touch the Israeli Defence Force. For years they have taken vehicles passed their best and made them frontline capable again. In times of war the Israelis take the captured and damaged vehicles and turn them into something else to fight their previous owners in many cases. The Sherman of World War Two served for many years with the IDF and faced off against much newer armour and coming away the winner. The IDF also do a good job of upgrading and repurposing their own armour, as is the case with the Nagmachon which is built on the hull of the Centurion tank.
The following text is as supplied by Hobby Boss;
The Nagmashot and Nagmachon are heavily armoured infantry fighting vehicles fielded by the Israel Defence Forces. The Nagmachon evolved from the NagmaShot APC, which in turn was based on Centurion Sho't hulls from the 1970s and 1980s. The vehicle carries thick belly armour designed to withstand mine-blasts and mountings on the front hull for various engineering devices such as mine plows, mine rollers and dozer blades. Early Nagmachons were equipped with three armoured shields to give soldiers firing the mounted FN general-purpose machine guns some degree of protection from small arms fire. Later Nagmachons were fitted a distinctive raised superstructure, sometimes referred to as a 'doghouse'. The raised superstructure and increased mine protection have made the Nagmachon an ideal platform for counter-insurgency and urban operations, seeing much use in the al-Aqsa Intifada within the occupied territories and southern Lebanon in 2006. It is often used as an engineering vehicle and a carrier for sappers, although its main role has been to carry infantry.
Hobby Boss are one of a few companies that goes to some lengths to make sure their product reaches you in the same condition it left the factory. Supplied in a substantial cardboard tray and separate cardboard lid along with sheet foam packing to protect delicate parts, I consider Hobby Boss highly for their approach. Inside the box you will find the contents sealed inside several plastic bags that break down as follows;
2 clear plastic sprue
Injection moulded plastic road tyres
4 brown sprues
12 green sprues
A decal sheet
2 photo etched frets
A colour painting guide
An instruction booklet
An examination of the contents for this product shows just how far Hobby Boss as a company have come in a relatively short time. The moulding quality is very good having no obvious faults that need to be brought up. Yes there are some seam lines and even some ejector pin marks that will need to be addressed, but nothing beyond expectations of an injection moulded model. The breakdown of the contents also looks good having a mix of media that should not overwhelm anyone while still providing a little of the wow factor.
The suspension and wheel element of this offering from Hobby Boss lives up to my expectations and in some respects exceeds that expectation. The suspension units are not workable, but with some forward thinking they could be set for any type of terrain; this does mean that the suspension units have to be left until you know the base you intend to use, or if you measure blocks of styrene to sit hidden between the front and rear plates without fouling the arms you can assemble and set at the end of the build. When I first looked at the contents I thought Hobby Boss had provided rubber tyres to mount on the road wheels, but no these are injection moulded and being black get you part of the way there when it comes to painting.
The tracks supplied with the model are all individual track links, but they are not workable links. The tracks should meet the needs of most modellers from my inspection as there are no ejector pin marks present, which are a pain on individual track links. With that said there are four connection points on each track link and so removal and clean up will take a little time. Once prepared these tracks should easily conform to the set up of your suspension, but I do strongly advise that this is done before the top track guards are fitted to the hull.
The upper hull looks very nicely detailed, with the reactive armour being particularly eye catching. The rear stowage basket is a four piece assembly that I fear may be difficult to get correctly aligned. In order to attach the basket to the hull you will need to drill four holes in the rear upper hull; you will kick yourself if you forget to do this prior to attaching the upper and lower hull, but if you do place a light source inside the hull and the holes that need to be drilled should be easily seen. On the subject of the basket I do expect to see Legend Productions and may be others offer resin sets to replace this part of the model.
The upper track guards are very busy areas of the model and you will need to be careful to make sure everything is placed correctly. I also suggest that prior to adding everything to the upper track guards you check the fit against the hull, if fettling is required you will be glad you did it before putting everything in its place. The parts are a good mix of photo etch and plastic and this means that parts such as the brush guards for the lights have a very nice scale look about them. Another aspect I rather like the look of is the smoke grenade launchers which can be assembled with their covers in place or not; the instructions only show them in place.
The crew or fighting compartment is where the Hobby Boss instructions go decidedly Dragon like and could easily lead the unwary astray and that is before you even get to the bar armour. There are a decent number of parts in some cases very small parts; there are also areas of minor surgery to contend with, so the best advice I can give you is take your time and check often before adding glue. Hobby Boss do seem to have again done a good job of the reactive armour and aerial mounts are also note worthy. Some of the photo etched parts here are ridiculously small with the locations for the parts poorly identified. One other part of this area that I am not overly happy with are the viewing periscopes, these are just triangular clear plastic with a photo etched part added to the back; it is good that they are clear plastic but I expected to see more detail provided in this respect.
The bar armour has been very well replicated while taking into account the limitations of using injection moulded parts, IE the space between bars is larger than it would be on the vehicle. My biggest concern with the armour is the removal of the pieces from the sprue without damaging what are very finely moulded parts. Ironically it is the fact that these are injection moulded parts that makes them easy to attach to the model rather than using photo etched parts. While in this area of the model Hobby Boss has done a good job of the rear mounted radio jammers, at least that is what I believe them to be; they have even taken the time to tell the modeller the that the crown needs to be set at 70 degrees, I feel that a former would have been a better than telling the modeller the required angle.
The side armour is the last area of the model that needs doing before you can sit back and admire your work. The heavy guards at the front of the vehicle really do look the part, but details are missing such as the lifting chains for adding and removing them, at least that is what I believe they are for. The rear section of the track guard looks good with a nicely replicated mounting step provided. To finish Hobby Boss has even provided a couple of stretchers for the rear hull. One thing that appears to have been omitted and that is very evident in the artwork is the tow cable, yes I know this is easily added by the modeller, but I expected to see it supplied in the box.
I am sure that once this offering from Hobby Boss of the Nagmachon is built most modellers will be happy, but I know that there are a cadre of modellers out there who expect more. Donít get me wrong I am very pleased to see this model released and I am also sure that it will prove popular, but there is also plenty of room for touches that I would expect in the box to now be sourced by the after market companies. I of course also have to say that some areas have been very well done, areas such as the upper track guards are a good example and the hull being another. This is also a lot of model for the money.