Tuesday, 24 May 2016

IDF Merkava Mk 1 MBTs

At the weekend I painted up this pair of Merkava Mk 1s for my 15mm-scale Crossfire IDF force.  Putting aside issues of politics & ethics, the Merkava (Hebrew for 'Chariot') series are my favourite tanks, mostly because of their unusual 'futuristic' look that came about from clever design intent (e.g. the low profile, & added crew survivability from having the engine block at the front).  These ones feature the stowage cages on the rear of the turrets, that in reality were fitted with short dangling chains to prematurely detonate RPGs aimed at the rear of turret ring.  They are even capable of cramming a few soldiers in the rear via a large hatch, although in reality this was mainly used for casualty evac under fire, & required removing a portion of the stored shells.  After the 1982 IDF invasion of Lebanon, Merkavas began to be developed further, with things such as their 60mm mortar being made operable internally (always a good idea!), & having a paraxial .50cal HMG mounted atop the main gun.

These 7.5cm-long models are from QRF, whilst the commander figure is from Peter Pig. They are nicely detailed, especially for 15mm-scale, & my only criticism is that they are slightly lacking in height compared with the real tanks, although this is only evident when infantry figures are placed next to them.  I have left the hatch MGs off for now as the QRF weapon scale is quite 'true-scale' compared to the chunkier, wargame-friendly Peter Pig MGs that feature in most of my collection.  I'm hoping I will be able to source some of the MAG MGs as seen on my M113s to attach in the pin-holes on the turret tops, so there's a uniform look to my IDF.


  1. Replies
    1. Cheers, Michael. I have a couple more IDF vehicles in the queue: an M163 VADs (Vulcan chain-cannon M113), & a Nagmashot heavy APC carrying an assault engineer squad.