While getting aftermarket markings for some subjects can be quite easy, i.e. WW2 German, others have long been ignored. IDF subjects are one of these, but things are looking up. The last several months have seen a couple of companies release markings specifically targeting IDF subjects and now we can add another to the list, Firestorm Models out of Australia. This set, FS35162 for Merkava Mk III “Mahatz”, is the first in what looks to be a series of 1/35 IDF dry transfer releases.
The set comes packaged in a small Ziploc bag with a single small sheet of transfers and a sheet of instructions inside. The instructions give you a very brief history of “Mahatz” and as you can see from the pic, they also show where to apply the various transfers on the model. For those that are attached to the sides and rear of the bustle rack they suggest you use three pieces of lead foil, (not included) painted to either match the tank, or in black, rub the transfer onto the lead foil, and then attach it in the appropriate place. The other transfers are all placed directly on to the model. As with all dry transfers there is no water needed. You just trim them off the sheet, put them in place with a small piece of tape to hold them, and then use a blunt pencil or something similar to rub the transfer on to the model. The transfers themselves are very well done, in register, and with nice sharp definition to the edges.
Having read the review of one of the other Firestorm sets, where some of the markings were damaged when the protective backing was removed, I removed the backing on my set nice and slow and experienced no problems. Upon testing one of the markings on a spare model, it went on very nicely, again with no problems.Now we come to the one thing that some will see as a downside to this set, and that is, the markings are for one vehicle only, a Merkava Mk III named “Mahatz.”. Photos of this particular tank can be found in the Osprey New Vanguard book on the Merkava. This was pointed out to me by a very knowledgeable person on another site, and while this is true, you can mix and match these markings with those from other sets to get what you want. For example, the chevrons and side bustle markings could be combined with other sets and used for many different tanks.
Despite its possibly limited use, this is a well done set. The instructions are nicely done and easy to follow. The transfers themselves are of high quality and go on as they should. For someone who is looking to model this particular Merk III, or if like me you just want to add them to your stash of IDF markings, I would definitely recommend them.
Highs: The transfers are high quality and for an often neglected subject area.Lows: The only low is this set has limited uses.Verdict: For someone who is looking to model this particular Merk III, or if like me you just want to add them to your stash of IDF markings, I would definitely recommend them.
Our Thanks to Firestorm Models! This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.
About Mike Land (Kelley) FROM: GEORGIA, UNITED STATES
My story is like so many others, I began modeling as a kid, then in my teenage years I discovered more interesting things...girls, cars. I got married in my early thirties and got back into modeling pretty heavily in my mid thirties (I'm 46 now) I was amazed at the changes. As a kid I started with m...