Friday, December 27, 2013

Magach 2 or 3? How about BOTH! Same with Sho't!

Here in the States, there is an old question that is asked:

Ginger or Mary Ann?

The correct answer is BOTH!

For Christmas, I got a boat load of AIW stuff (good thing I preordered it all).  I got 6 Sho't / Centurions, 6 M51 Ishermans, 6 Magach 2 /3, 6 AMX-15, Israeli decals and half track stowage.  Needless to say, I have been an assembling machine!

With both the Magach and Sho't boxes, you have to choose which version of the gun you want to mount.  Because I like to choose "both", I decided to magnetize the barrels for both the Sho'ts and the Magachs.

The Magach is pretty easy to do.  So let's tackle the tough one - the Sho't.

This is what the model looks like when you pull them out of the box:

The tracks are all one piece - including skirts - plus the hull and the turret.  Here is a closeup of the turret:

Notice the hull is flush - this allows the gun to be glued flush.  Take a look at this picture, which shows the back of the gun:
Ignore the magnet for now.  So you simply glue the gun to the turret and off you go.  But we want both barrels to work.

To do the drilling, you will need several different sizes of bits.  I went micro, then used three different bits - but only one was actually "drilled" with my drill.  Here are my bits and drill:

And my drill:

Ok.  Here are the steps.

Step 1 - Turret as is out of the box:

Step 2 - Micro bit

Using the small bit, find the center of the turret and make a small hole.  I found that being slightly lower than center was advantageous.

Step 3 - Next bit (I believe I used 9/32")

Using a normal drill bit and using your hand, slowly rotate the bit to make a larger hole.  Depth isn't important as you just want to expand the hole and take away the outer resin "shell".

Step 4 - Next, next bit

Repeat the exact same step as above, but with the next larger size bit.

Notice the hole is getting larger.  This is exactly what you want.

Step 5 - Drill Baby!!

Now, take the size bit that is needed to make the hole large enough for the magnets.  I used the same magnets that are included in the model for the turrets.  I just took those to my neighborhood hobby shop and found an exact match.  So I bought 30... or 60.

The trick is to start very slowly with the drill until the bit has shaved away all the hard resin.  Then increase the drill speed and apply a little more pressure to the drill.

This is what the turret should look like after.
I was a little "high" on this specific turret.  Now don't worry about it because you will just match up the location of the hole and where you will glue the magnet on the barrel.

You may want to check the depth by grabbing your magnets and making sure that two magnets can fit inside the hole.
You need two to fit inside - one for the magnet that will be glued inside the turret and one for the magnet from the barrel.

That is it for the turret!  Now, glue a magnet into the turret.  Oh, be sure to mark or know which side of the magnet you need to be facing out for the barrel...
So yours should look like the above.

Now, grab a barrel and place it over the hole and try to see where the magnet should be glued.  This is the tricky part.  I have no suggestion other than to eyeball it.  You could stick a piece of chalk to something that can hold ink, but that seemed more of a pain than just eyeballing.  And so far it has worked for me.

Here is the picture from above (again) showing the gun and the magnet:

And on the model:
Notice that those Sho't have different barrels!  That is what we want!

So now you have both barrels and can bring both versions of the tank to the game.

The Magach works the same way, except the whole drilling and gluing of the magnets is way easier.  Each Magach turret has a predrilled hole for the gun.  And each gun has a protrusion exactly where it would go into the hole in the turret.  Just expand the hole using the same process above and cut off the metal protrusion from the barrel.

Here is the finished result:
Now, notice that a portion of the turret bottom got chipped.  Do not worry!  It happened on 5 of the 6 models I have.  And you will not be able to see it when the turret is on the tank.  Want proof?

Here is the underside:

Here is the top view:
And on the tank:

And with the other barrel:

So if you take the time to drill and glue, you will have both versions of the Magach and the Sho't available for you.  I believe it is totally worth it and the results are pretty darn good!  Best of luck and drop me a question in the comments.

Oh, here is my table - just AIW stuff...



  1. One trick for lining up the opposite hole.. when you have your smallest guide hole.. clip a very small length of paperclip or what not, jam it in, and cut down so that just about 2mm sticks out. Paint the tip of the wire red, and while wet, dry fit the barrel where you want it to be. Once you have a red dot on the barrel, drill a guidehole there too, yank out the wire, and then proceed to enlargen both sides.