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Shar2

IDF APC Nagmachon (Doghouse II). 1:35

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IDF APC Nagmachon (Doghouse II)
Trumpeter 1:35


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History
With the success of the Achzarit [T54/T55 based] and Puma Combat Engineer Assault Vehicles, the IDF began looking around their armour graveyards for more refits. The most obvious choice was the large selection of Centurions falling apart and rusting away. These were rebuilt with a new engine and named the Nagmashot (circa 1983), the Nagmachon (circa 1980s) and the Nakpadon (circa mid 1990s). The main drawback of these vehicles was their lack of mobility and therefore, inability to support Merkava MBTs.

Nagmachon is a heavily armoured personnel carrier fielded by the Israel Defence Forces. The Nagmachon evolved from the Nagmashot APC, which in turn was based on Centurion. It made its first appearance in the Lebanon Conquest, upsetting many Arabs who found their AT missiles bouncing off the APC's thick hide.

The Nagmachon is an improved version of the Nagmashot and Sho't. Nagmachon is an acronym for Nagmashot and Machon. Nagmashot is an acronym for Nagmash and Sho't; Nagmash is an acronym for Noseh Guysot Meshoryan, Sho't being a whip, the Hebrew name for the Centurion main battle tank; Machon is Hebrew for belly. Head-on photographs of the Nagmachon disclose an additional layer (in some cases two layers) of armour plating on the underside of the hull.

The turret is removed and the space replaced by troop seats, a raised superstructure, and hatches. Machineguns ring the superstructure, and the engine is replaced with a smaller, more efficient design, allowing a small door in the rear of the vehicle.

The Nagmachon can be fitted with several devices in the front, including mine-breaching devices such as Nochri anti-mine system. Along with its heavy bully armour plate, this makes it ideal for breaching routes through mine-fields and booby-trapped areas. Therefore, it can be classified as combat engineering vehicle (CEV).

The Nagmachon is very notable due to the elevated pillbox turret, an elevated armoured cabin with shooting-sights and 7.62 mm machine guns, enabling the troops inside to shoot soft targets without being exposed to enemy's fire. This feature makes it very efficient for urban warfare and security patrols.

The features which make it ideal for mine-clearing and urban warfare were proven valuable when the Nagmachon was heavily employed in the Al-Aqsa Intifada. Beside opening routes for other AFVs and patrolling in hostile populated areas, it was also used to mobilize infantry and carry them in the Palestinian cities. Because of their elevated turret, Nagmachon CEVs supervised and secured armoured Caterpillar D9 bulldozers in dangerous combat zones and under fire.

The latest Nagmachon vehicles have increased belly armour for mine protection and a distinctive armoured extension on the top, called the doghouse. Those features optimize it for counter-insurgency operations but reduce its capacity for traditional mechanized warfare. The Nagmachon weighs 52 tons, has a 750 hp engine, and carries a crew of 2 and 10 infantry.

The Model
The kit comes in a surprisingly large box, certainly bigger than Trumpeter normally uses for their MBT’s. The boxart shows a Nagmachon driving in the desert in the company of a Merkava MBT. Inside there are twelve sprues and three separate parts, all in a beige coloured styrene, four of a brown coloured styrene, two sprues of clear, two etched brass sheets, twenty four styrene “tyres” and a small deal sheet. As we have come to expect from Hobbyboss, the parts are all very well moulded, with some very nice detail, no signs of flash or other imperfections, but there are quite a few moulding pips that will need to be cleaned off. Of particular note in this kit si the comprehensive suite of bar armour which is all injection moulded and yet, very finely done. There really isn’t a need to replace this with etched brass, unless you are particularly picky about these sorts of details. The instructions are nice and clear with only a few operations per step. There doesn’t appear to be anything too taxing, with perhaps the exception of the tracks which I will mention in detail later.



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The build begins with the assembly of all the road wheels and the fitting of the separate tyres. Of course, these can be left off until after painting, which will alleviate the masking that would be required otherwise. The sprockets and idlers are also assembled at this point. The suspension blocks are each made up from six parts. The rear bulkhead is fitted out with two short lengths of track, a storage box, two grab handles, two steps and two towing eyes.

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Before any parts are added to the lower hull, there are a number of moulded sections that need to be removed and holes drilled out. Once these are done the bump stops are added to the hull sides, along with the suspension assemblies and two piece idler axles. The rear bulkhead is attached, followed by the skirt supports, three rear mounted three piece towing hooks the two piece sprocket gear covers, the road wheels, idler wheels, return rollers and drive sprockets. The engine deck also requires some holes being drilled out before fitting to the hull. The exhausts, each made up from three parts are attached to each side rear of the deck, whilst the four piece stowage rack is fitted to the centre. The foredeck is also attached, and fitted with the ERA blocks. The tracks are made up from individual links, each connected to the sprue with four sprue gates. Fortunately these are very thin and shouldn’t take too long to clean up the 106 links per side that are required. Since the links require to be glued together it may be best to make up lengths of track before fitting, using only individual links to fit around the idler wheels and sprockets. If you want to, you can get away with only doing the sections of track that aren’t covered by the side skirts. With the tracks fitted the rear light clusters are attached and a pair of Jerry cans assembled and placed in the storage cage on the engine deck.

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Each of the two fenders are made up of the main length and a separate front mudguard section. Each fender also requires several holes to be opened up before they can be fitted with the wide selection of storage boxes, front light clusters and guards, more Jerry cans, racks and brackets for the forward mounted self defence systems boxes and two piece rear mudguard flaps. The two fender assemblies are then fitted to the hull, followed by the revised drivers position, complete with viewing ports, large hatch, ERA boxes and bar armour. More bar armour sections are attached to the front of the engine deck, immediately aft of the “turret” pillbox position. The middle section of the pillbox is fitted with two large hatches which are detailed with viewing ports, handles, catches, vents, hinges and large springs which aid opening on the real vehicle. The upper section of the pillbox is fitted with four panels, two large panels fore and aft, which are fitted with armoured glass panels, steps, and grab handles, whilst the forward and aft quarter panels are each fitted with a machine gun and armoured glass. On top of the pillbox, two, three piece hatches are fitted. The top and mid sections of the pillbox are then joined together and the bar armour supports fitted. The faceted base is then assembled and fitted with ERA boxes, a two door rear hatch, two whip aerial bases, two ECM aerial bases and yet more ERA blocks. The top assembly is then glued to the base and fitted to the hull, before the bar armour is attached, along with their associated supports. Two large aerials are fitted to a separate base unit, before being attached to the rear of the engine deck. The larger of the two aerials is fitted with a PE part which will need some careful rolling and teasing to shape to get it to look right. The side skirts are assembled and are actually large ERA blocks for the first two thirds of their length, with the aft sections just armour plate, with the rearmost section fitted above the rear decking keeping the sprocket wheel clear of possible clogging mud and sand. The section just forward of the sprocket is fitted with a large three piece step, whilst on either side of the engine deck a three piece stretcher is fitted, completing the build

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Decals
Whilst the decal sheet isn’t the smallest I’ve come across, there are in fact very few decals on it. The huge Israeli flag dominates the sheet and will require some stretched sprue or thread to attach it to the rear of the pillbox. There are three number plates and two lots of numbers, 070 and 038, but these aren’t mentioned in the painting guide.



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Conclusion
As with a lot of Israeli vehicles this one is certainly an unusual design and will stand out from the crowd in any collection. The injection moulded bar armour is really well done, being really quite fine. If the kit builds like some other Hobbyboss releases I have completed, then it should be an enjoyable time for any modeller. Very highly recommended.





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Review sample courtesy of
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Great review, looks like a really fun subject to do and must be very nasty to deal with in an urban combat environment!

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