This PE set by voyager is for academy Merkava IV kit no. 13212. The kit itself lacks details, and those that do exist are sometimes not prominent enough. You can see for example the data plates on the kit itself are quite plain, while the Voyager ones contain tiny numbers inscribed inside. Another example is the “closing handles” (part ‘h’) and various handles on the kit. They are just not prominent enough.
After being much disappointed with the ka-model offering I came across this Voyager set. Reading some reviews about the company’s other products, and the fact that I was very impressed with another PE set from them (for the Churchill tank), I decided to buy it.
The set comes as usual in a small cardboard box, and inside your PE frets sit tightly on a piece of cardboard to keep them from harm’s way. Also included are just about everything you need to build the set: various diameter brass rods, a plastic rod and some steel wires. When opening the box, you will be amazed at its contents: Voyager has left nothing out.
The content of the set is as follows:
A, B and C PE frets contain almost all of the set’s parts; this includes various grab handles, meshes for hull and turret baskets and the likes
A zip lock plastic bag containing approx. 70 small metal balls and another plastic bag containing a length of copper chain
A zip lock plastic bag containing four resin tow shackles for the two copper cables (0.5 in diameter and 50cm long )
One plastic rod 0.5mm, 5cm long
Three 0.7mm copper rods 15 cm long (the package says two, but in fact it contains 3, or at least mine did)
One 0.3mm steel wire, 8cm long
One 0.3 copper wire 8cm long
You get far more than the “usual” metal cable and resin shackles Voyager most kindly add; you also get all you need to form the “balls n’ chains” of the Merkava IV. These probably are the most annoying thing modelers of Merkava tanks face: recreating chains with balls attached at the end that for a “mesh” or “screen” on the end of the turret basket. The PE parts themselves come in 3 frets that are simply loaded with items: you get grab handles to replace the Academy ones, data plates to replace those on the turret (which lack detail), and it’s very easy to form “closing handles” (part ‘h’). Also included are parts to enhance the main gun and commander’s cupola, MG emplacement, turret basket and the grab “bars” on the turret.
The only thing that seems to be missing is that there are no LIC parts (protective mesh for the gunner’s or commander’s sights), though you do get protective mesh for the head lights. Most of the kit focuses on detailing and enhancing the turret, while only a few parts are devoted to the hull itself. If you want a kit to detail the lower hull, I think voyager’s side skirts set (separately sold, of course) will do the trick
This is a very fine PE set. The parts are of high quality, they come well-packed so no bent or broken pieces are found. The instructions are clear and easy-to-follow. You will find this kit a bit time-consuming to use (well, at least I did), but the result is worth it, as it will bounce your kit a level higher in terms of details. The set’s lack of some LIC parts is no deal breaker here. I recommend it very much, and I have absolutely nothing to say against it. If you are building Academy’s Merkava IV, you should definitely think about purchasing this PE set as well.
Highs: Lots of parts; clear instructions; high level of detail.Lows: Some may find the lack of LIC parts annoying (as they will need to get them someplace else).Verdict: If you’re purchasing the Merkava IV kit, buy this PE set, too.