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D9R Armoured Bulldozer w/Slat Armour 1:35


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D9R Armoured Bulldozer w/Slat Armour
1:35 Meng Models


Based upon the successful Caterpillar D9 bulldozer chassis, the D9R is the latest incarnation of the armoured variant used extensively in the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) in the Combat Engineering Corps. It is heavily armoured with bullet-proof glazing, as well as protection for the hydraulic and electrical components, with The updated version sporting the new slat/bar armour to pre-detonate RPG rounds before reaching the cab area, a feature that was introduced in 2005. It has a crew of two, with the commander issuing the orders and manning the roof mounted M2 machine gun, and a driver living up to his job title. Its nickname in IDF service is Doobie, which is Hebrew for Teddy Bear, which I'm guessing is ironic.

It is used for breaching barriers under fire, as well as creating or destroying earthworks, or making areas passable by heavier armour. They have also been used to clear landmines, make fortifications and clear areas of cover, preventing sneak attacks on their forces. They are so well armoured as to be impervious to all but the largest of explosives, and have been known to withstand direct hits from RPGs and IEDs up to half a tonne. So successful has the Doobie been that some have been purchased and used in US service for similar tasks.

The Kit
The original release was way back in 2013, reviewed here, and it has taken the best part of three years to tool the necessary parts to do the slat armoured version, although the "slats" are actually tubular bars, so the title bar armour would seem more appropriate if we were going to be pedantic. Inside the box are nineteen sprues in sand coloured styrene, three in black, two sprues in clear, one of which is truly clear, the other tinted bullet-proof glass green. A small sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, seven chromed metal tubes of varying lengths, a length of flexible black tubing, four poly-caps plus of course the decal sheet and instruction booklet round out the very full package.












The moulding has been adapted cleverly to incorporate the new parts, and construction is almost identical to the earlier model, so I won't go into vast detail about it, although some important upgrades have been added with the benefit of feedback from the modelling community. The first and most obvious upgrade is the inclusion of chrome tubing to replicate the finish on the hydraulic rams, along with a newly tooled end-caps and attachment eyes on the two new sprues to complete them. These are simple replacements for the plastic parts and should give a much more realistic finish to the area with a little careful masking of the metal. The second change is to the track links, which were a little fiddly in their previous incarnation. Instead of two inner links to marry up and glue to the traction plates, the two parts are supplied as one, ready to be glued directly to the plates. This will save a lot of time, glue and cursing, so Meng are to be applauded for expending the effort to improve them.



The hangers for the slat armour panels are added around the top of the crew cab on armoured "pelmets" above the window that fit onto the wall panels. Additional brackets are spaced around the sides, with scrap diagrams showing the correct orientation of those that are difficult to see from one view only. The panels themselves are almost without exception single parts, very finely moulded to give a realistic depiction of the bars and slats that hold them together. There is however a tiny amount of flash here and there, but this can be quickly scraped off with a sharp #11 blade along with the moulding seams to give the correct look to the rods. A little tedious, but worth it to get it right. The sections are shaped to hug the contours of the cab, and separate parts are used to allow access to stowage areas, or to go around protrusions. It is very nice to see that the armour is left until last, which will suit the modeller down to the ground, allowing them to complete the kit as far as possible before painting, and at the same time they can paint the armour panels.

There are three markings options, but all vehicles are painted IDF Sand Grey, which is referred to as Hemp in the instructions, but as the likes of AK, AMMO and LifeColor have the correct IDF colours in their range, it shouldn't be a problem to convert the Vallejo colour call-outs if necessary. From the box you can build one of the following:

  • Combat Engineers Battalion, 188th Barak (Lightning) Brigade, IDF, Golan Heights, October 2015 – coded 949642.
  • Combat Engineers Battalion, 401st Brigade, IDF, Golan Heights, June 2014 – coded 949630.
  • Un-named unit with a small stylised cat motif on the blade sides, with the digits 003 beneath it – coded 949669.


Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas.

Another welcome release, and a nice easy way of building a slat-armoured Doobie without resorting to the expense of aftermarket PE sets. It's a Meng kit, so moulding quality and detail is first rate, and if you want to upgrade the rest of the detail, most of the aftermarket for the original release should fit just as well on this kit.

Very highly recommended.


Review sample courtesy of

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For some unknown reason I was under the impression that the bar armour was in pe brass which I didn't fancy the idea of. Now I've seen this review I am very tempted.


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