Dragon 1/35 IDF Magach 3

This new release from Dragon is the second of their series of models representing the 50th Anniversary of the 6-Day war in 1967.  The previous release in this series was the Magach 1/2 (see link below) and we already know that the third will be an IDF M3 half-track.  What we see here is the Magach 3, which is based on the US built M48, but with many modifications made by the Israelis themselves, such as replacing the original 90mm gin with the British designed 105mm L7, changing the commander's cupola and replacing the petrol engine with an alternative 705hp Diesel Continental AVDS-1790-2A with Allison CD-850-6 transmission.

The kit itself is of course largely the same as the M48 kits already released by Dragon, but with additional parts for this Israeli conversion. One result will be a fair number of parts left over to add to your spares box.  There is also the Xenon searchlight that is mounted over the main gun.  This is optional and may or may not be fitted to this one.  The good thing about that is that if you still have Dragon's early M48A3 release which lacked the light, you can now use it for that.  The build is essentially the same as their other M48 kits, so it all starts with the lower hull, to which there are a fair number of parts, so this will give you a bot of work to start with.  With the way the hull is moulded, the main roadwheels, sprocket and idler are all on the lower hull, while the return rollers are fitted to the upper hull section.  The one thing I found a bit odd in the construction sequence was the inclusion of building sub-assemblies for the jerrycan, Xenon searchlight and stowage basket to fit to the turret (steps 4,5 and 6), and then just go back to building the hull, running gear and track guards.  It isn't until stage 14 that you return to the turret itself.  The turret is the basic one of the M48, but with new gun, new lower cupola for the commander and DS styrene parts for the canvas mantlet covers and etch brackets to hold the large cables in place stowed on the turret.  The final step is to fit the one-piece DS Styrene tracks.

There are four options provided for in terms of colours and markings, all in an overall IDF sand colour.  The first is for an example with an unidentified unit in 1967, while the second is for a tank with the 40th Battalion, 401st Brigade, also in 1967.  A minor difference of detail with the markings on the last two options, as the turret markings need to be applied to a piece of 'canvas' style material rather than being applied direct to the metal of the turret itself.  So option 3 is for Daied (4th) Company, 46th Battalion, 35th Paratrooper Brigade 1967 and lastly, Daied, (4th) Company, 46th Battalion, 401st Brigade in June 1967.

There are plenty of recent references on IDF equipment, thanks largely to Michael Mass and hid Desert Eagle Publishing series of books on IDF armour, so there does seem to be a growing popularity in IDF armour models in the last year or two.

Thanks to the Hobby Company, the UK importers and Dragon Models for our example.

For full information on all Dragon products, please see their website, Dragon Models Ltd.