Academy's Merkava MK IV LIC kit was, for the most part, a fun kit to build. First the pros: Part quality and fit were excellent - I didn't have to use any putty. The rough non-skid texture on the upper hull and turret looks very convincing, especially under a coat of paint and a wash. The kit comes with two full figures - A tank commander and an infantry soldier, both of them nicely sculpted and realistic looking. The kit comes with a nice fret of photo-etched parts - Grills for covering the exhaust port, headlights, two separate optics on the turret, and the ball and chain armor. The tracks come as the link and length type. I actually prefer this to the rubber band style, so I was pleased. It does take some work to get the tracks assembled, but the payoff is that they look more realistic to me. The tank is a large beast, and it looks the part of a modern main battle tank. The cons individually are not too drastic, but all of them together add up. Fist, the tracks have two ejector pin marks on almost every single link, and they all needed filling and/or sanding down. Very time consuming. The vinyl wheel hubs used for attaching the wheels to the axles were too small in diameter to fit easily over the axles and had to be carefully forced on with a pair of pliers. The cannon must be glued in place and cannot move, unless minor surgery is performed. The photo etched ball and chain armor seemed gimmicky to me, so I used a Legend's after-market set (still a pain, though). There are no clear parts for any of the optics. Finally, the decals did not respond to any setting solution. I tried Testor's, MicroSol's, and Solvaset - none of them worked at all. Even with the drawbacks, the kit looks awesome when finished. I'm glad I stuck it out and finished it. Recommended for those with interest in modern Israeli armor.
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