Construction of the AEF Magach 7a conversion kit by Mike McNichols.
AEF kit #406 and Academy kit #1358.
This was a straight forward and easy conversion to do. The conversion requires no cutting of the
plastic base kit. The Academy hull and suspension is built per the instructions. The AEF sideskirts and front hull armour simply glue on. The only additions I made were the light guards, two grab handles and two
step cables. These are visible on the very front of the hull. I did have to remove a couple small bolts on the glacis plate. I could not find them on any photo. The sideskirts did require a lot of cleanup of flash
and over-pour. Other then cleaning parts, there was nothing to hold up construction.
The turret is an impressive casting. Lots of details are cast in place. The turret basket comes partially filled with some
room for the modeller to add items as desired. I still wonder how AEF managed to cast all those tiny bolts. I only had to replace 8 or 10 of them. The turret Is hollow cast in 2 parts, upper and lower. A little
sanding and the 2 halves hit perfectly together. The Academy kit provides the 105mm gun tube, Urdan cupola, FN mgs and mounts, and the tow cable heads. I only added a few basic details to the turret.: 2 wire
antennas., string tow cables, wire for the smoke dischargers and the tarp over the turret basket. I did move the smoke dischargers a bit further forward of where the kit intended. As such I hade to extend the
I had only one real complaint about this kit. My sample came without a loaderâ€™s hatch. Unfortunately the Academy kit hatch is for the A1 model and so can not be used. But I did manage to
scratch build a hatch. If you have a spare Tamiya M48 hatch, it will work just fine. Otherwise, this was an outstanding kit! It was easy to build and produces a model that looks like what I have seen in photos of
the real tank. I really can not ask for much more. An added bonus I have a huge pile of M60a1 parts added to the parts box.
A final note. The kit is painted in the IDF paint that AEF sells. It is thinned and
airbrushes well. But I found that it must be allowed to dry for several days. If not fully cured, enamel washes will lift the basecoat. I also donâ€™t know if it is the right color. I have seen photos of IDF Merkava
IIIâ€™s that look rather greenish.