Academy 1/35 Magach 6B Gal Batash Kit First Look
|Date of Review
|Magach 6B Gal Batash
|New tooling, nice details
It was 1973, the Israeli armed forces had updated its ground forces and aircraft from contemporary US inventory including the M60A1 main battle tank which was standing watch with NATO in Europe. When the Yom Kippur holiday began, the Israeli army sent its regular forces home and the reserves stood watch over the country. Tensions were high, but nobody believed that Arab forces would attack during the holiday.
From the north, Syria pushed a surprise attack into the Golan Heights at night, protected by little more than up-gunned Sherman tanks. Despite the odds, the Israelis were able to hold off the attack while the regular forces were recalled and deployed. Before the campaign was over, Israeli Pattons had engaged and defeated the combined might of the Syrian, Jordanian, and Iraqi armored forces. The southern front was not so fortunate.
The Egyptians had taken a beating in the 1967 war and was prepared to return the favor. Using a masterful feat of engineering, the Egyptians created bridgeheads over the Suez canal. Protected by sophisticated air defenses, the Egyptian army was able to ambush and destroy a significant number of Israeli Pattons. This was the first major combat employment of anti-tank guided missiles against opposing armor and the Egyptians made good use of their Soviet-made weapons.
As a result of the Yom Kippur war, Israel began a series of survivability and capability upgrades to their tanks. In the case of the M60 (designated as Magach 6), the type received the M60 RISE updates becoming Magach 6B. Fitting the Gal fire control system created the Magach 6B Gal, while the upgrades adding the 908 horsepower engine and generation 4 passive armor rendered the Magach 6B Gal Batash configuration.
Like its Israeli counterpart, Academy has updated their M60A Patton kit with some new tooling and a very nice result. Molded in tan styrene, this kit is presented on ten parts trees plus two runs of vinyl track in the Merkava pattern.
When I first opened the box, I was disappointed to see the old motorized hull bottom but then I realized that this was all going to either be plugged or covered by the supplemental bow and underside armor plating included in the kit.
Among the features and options in this release:
- Hull features new underside and bow armor plate
- New passive armor blocks on the upper bow
- RISE air cleaners
- New armored side skirts
- New-tooled turret with sloped armor and topside armor plating
- New sloped cover over gun mantlet
- Boresight M2 machine gun over main gun
- New bustle rack on rear of turret
- New smoke grenade launchers
- New swing-arm-mounted machine guns for tank commander and loader
- New thermal-wrapped main gun
- New wind sensors for Gal fire control system
- New Merkava track
This is definitely a nice-looking kit and will look awesome with paint and weathering on your contest shelf.
For a look at this kit built-up, look here.
My sincere thanks to MRC for this review sample!