Review: 1/35 Magach 6B Gal Batash (Academy 13281)
The Magach, which means ‘Battering Ram’ in Hebrew, is the name given to the M48 and M60 tank by the IDF. This Magach 6B Gal Batash is an M60 based vehicle that was modified in the late 1990’s. Because of all the modern anti-tank missiles a special advanced armor was developed to replace to ERA modules. This includes heavy armor around the turret, turret roof, hull front, gun mantle and also new side skirts. A more powerful engine was installed and some belly armor as well. The Gal Batash did see action in Gaza and Samaria.
The kit itself then, it comes with a very nice boxart with the green/black/white we are seeing more and more on the Academy kits. When looking at the boxart at first I thought ‘where are the machineguns on the turret?’ fortunately they put them on there in the kit! Inside there are a mixture of old sprues that are being reused and some new tooling sprues. You can directly see which are the new and which are the old because the new are that bit sharper compared to the old. What is the content of the kit:
- Instruction sheet
- Assembly reference sheet
- Upper hull
- Lower hull
- 8 sandy yellow sprues
- Poly caps
Instruction sheet: A4 sized black and white sheet with on the front a paint-chart and a parts locating diagram. The instructions itself are clear and easy to understand.
Assembly reference: Black and white pictures of a finished model, which also is used for decal placement.
Upper hull: This part is old tooling although it could have been a bit sharper it is not all that bad.
Lower hull: Old tooling too, with big holes in the bottom of the hull for the RC option it used to have. Fortunately the big hole in the middle will be covered by the belly armor.
Sprue A: This sprue is about wheels. There was no need for making new wheels so this is old tooling too.
Sprue B: An old tooling sprue as well, not everything will be needed. Most parts are for the suspension. The detail feel a bit old too on this sprue.
Sprue C: This sprue contains an old cupola that won’t be used because IDF didn’t use this cupola. Most other parts you will use are for the Magach hull parts, like the rear end and some box-lids.
Sprue E: Here you can see more of the IDF influences coming in but this clearly is an older sprue as well. Academy should have really retooled this sprue! That would have been a really good choice. Especially the machineguns feel a bit disappointing to me, compared to the new tooled machineguns you see nowadays those are way to simple. Unfortunately my kit came with a broken machinegun and too bad it was one of the two you need to use. I do like the wooden box though. With some washing and washing these can look nice.
Sprue H: A small sprue (also old tooling) with the sprocketwheels you will need to use for the kit and some smaller parts.
Sprue K: Our first new tooling sprue and it is immediately one that pops out the most. The cool turret and a new tooled commanders cupola too. These details feel a bit sharper compared to the old tooled sprues.
Sprue L: A new tooled sprue with mainly parts for the turret basket, sideskirts and some other parts like the sparetracks (which look better than the one piece tracks but more on that later). Parts 42 and 43 (for the skirts) really stand out for me looking at details. Really crisp!
Sprue M: The last sprue on our list is a new tooled one as well and most of this sprue is for armor, armor for the turret, hull and the belly are included here and look really nice but lack the anti skid coating (for those that care). Academy did make a mistake with part 37. This is the front hull armour, they’ve made it ribbed while this should be flat. Check your references for this. You can fill it up with anti skid coating (if you are going to add anti skid coating) or choose to cut the ribs off.
Tracks: To me the biggest disappointment in this kit. They are the Merkava tracks, and allthough they are fitted on some Batash vehicles I would rather have seen them using Batash tracks. They came all curled up and aren’t formed correct. Positive point here is that these tracks lack the ugly ejector marks you sometimes see on the older ones.
Poly caps: For the wheels.
Wire: For towing cables.
Decals: Only one option which isn’t stated anywere.
Academy brings a cool kit out on the market especially if you are an IDF fan. This is the first Batash on the market in plastic and thus is a lot cheaper than the resin option we had for building a Batash. Too bad Academy used a lot of older parts for this one, which is obviously the reason why the price is not all that high, but I would loved to have some new tooling on some of the parts that will be in sight. The fact you have only one decal option, which isn’t even stated, is a little disappointing too but all in all if you look at the molding which is really nice for the newer parts and the fact that it is a really cool subject which is one of a kind in plastic makes up for a lot. Also there is little to no flash noted on the old or the new tooling, and if there is, it’s just minor. My final score is based on the comparison between price and quality.