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Military Scale Modelling

Review: 1/35 IDF Shot Kal 1973 (AFV Club AF35124)

IDF Shot Kal 1973 (AFV Club AF35124)

Intro

Almost a quarter of all the produced Centurion tanks went to Israel where they were renamed Sho’t Kal. Although the crews weren’t happy with the tank at first, after a few modifications like the upgraded 105mm main gun and a more powerful diesel engine, which was more fuel efficient (and less dangerous because diesel is less likely to catch fire than petrol) life for the crew became much easier, especially for the driver who now didn’t need to work so hard anymore. The new and bigger engine meant they had to make more room and a different engine deck was used. Also it was aircooled so filters were installed along with extra room for fuel throughout the tank. Among the smaller changes made are a turret basket and a .30 machinegun instead of the .50.

The Kit

The AFV Club Sho’t Kal comes in a glossy box which feel sturdy and the boxart looks good. A Sho’t Kal is seen from the back and in the background you see a enlarged ‘shadow’ of the same picture.  Inside you see mostly green sprues and when you take a closer look you find nice decent and detailed plastic. This combined with the fact that AFV Club was working with Dr. Robert Manasherob on this kit gives you the feeling that something really beautiful can be build out of it. The content:

  • Instruction sheet
  • Lower hull
  • 2 lower turret halves
  • 14 green sprues
  • 1 clear sprue
  • Tracks
  • Resin stretcher
  • Photo etch
  • Wire
  • Mesh
  • Poly caps
  • Rubber wheels
  • A bag of spare tracks
  • A bag of springs
  • Metal barrel
  • Decals

Instruction Sheet:  An A4 sized manual with some background info on the front. The instructions are nice and clear and divided in 25 steps. After that the paint and decals schemes and on the back there is a parts list.

Lower hull: A nice and sturdy tub with some nice detail like the welding seams.

Lower turret halves: Nice detailed pieces of the lower turret but they do have a little bit of flash on it. There is a nice casting detail on it and also the other details look really good.

Sprue B: Two smaller sprues with small parts for all sorts of purposes. Nicely detailed but a little bit of flash is noted on some parts.

Sprue C: A bigger sprue with some lager parts mostly for the upper hull. Some nice details here too

Sprue D: A smaller sprue with smaller parts. Antenna bases, jerry cans and tools. Where some other sprues do have some flash not much is noted here.

Sprue E: Two sprues with parts for the suspension and wheels. The wheels really stick out here because they look very good.

Sprue F: A small sprue with parts for a machine gun. The machine gun was dented a little during molding but otherwise looks really nice.

Sprue H: This sprue contains some smaller parts, also the fenders which aren’t used. But the parts that stand out the most are 4 and 7. The casting structure on these parts look great.

Sprue I: A bigger sprue with some smaller parts and the bigger parts for the turret. Also the turretboxes and the gun mantlet are on this sprue. The detail on these parts are really nice. The structure looks nice and will give a nice finish in the end.

Sprue K: A small sprue with the 2 sideskirts. It would have been nice if these parts were separate. But these probably will cause little trouble if you decide to separate them.

Sprue L: A large sprue with parts for the upper hull and the fenders you will use for the Sho’t Kal. The engine decks stands out and looks great. The small handles are really nice and crisp.

Sprue N: A small sprue, with a headlight and the turret machine gun mount. Not all parts seem to be used.

Sprue S: Two small sprues with Jerry cans and the end of the tow cables. Details again look good here.

Clear sprue: The clear parts for the periscopes and lights. The periscopes for the commander are a one piece ring. This makes assembling easy.

Tracks: Some people don’t like one piece tracks but these look nice enough though. Although they have a little flash here and there, no ejector marks are visible on the tracks and that is always a good thing.

Resin stretcher: A nice touch for multimedia in a kit. This resin part probably does look a tad better than a plastic stretcher would look.

Photo etch: A small fret which feels a bit thick but probably has about the right thickness for the parts for what they are used.

Wire: For the tow cables.

Mesh: For the turret basket.

Poly caps: for the wheels and the main gun.

Rubber wheels: I am not sure what to think of these. They look nice enough, but how they will look after a few years after your model has finished I don’t know.

Spare tracks: Loose tracks which will be the spare tracks on the tank. They look nice but do need a little touch up because there are sink holes present.

Springs: These will be used for the suspension in order to make it a ‘working suspension’. Nice touch for those who like it.

Barrel: These are the extra’s I really like. A one piece metal barrel which to me always looks better than two plastic halves. This barrel is a nice piece of work too. Will look great when the model is finished.

Decals: The decals carry a lot of extra film but don’t feel thick. They give options for 4 different tanks. Three options are in the Golan heights and one in the Sinai desert. The third Golan heights option is without the side skirts.

Option A: 7th Brigade, Yom Kippur war, Golan heights 1973.

Option B: Ugdat Peled, Yom Kippur war, Golan heights 1973.

Option C: 188th Brigade, Yom Kippur war, Golan heights 1973.

Option D: Ugdat Adan, Yom Kippur war, Sinai desert 1973.

Conclusion

AFV Club is a bit of an undervalued brand. This kit just shows why. A good level of detail combined with some multimedia items like photo etch and resin.This kit does have some flash here and there but the good detail and all the extra’s like the metal barrel make up for all of this in my opinion. Only the lack of a mantlet cover is something that could have done better. So if you are a IDF fan or you like Centurion derivatives this one is definitely recommended!

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