.I'm not renowned as a fan of tracks in my Sci Fi armies. I'm a Grav man. But you know, something about Rebel Minis new Merka 5 Medium Tank spoke to me and I'm glad it did.
MAEFV6 for $11.95The Merka 5 is a very tasty Post Modern-Futuristic model tank that deserves a place in my 15mm armoury. In fact a whole platoon of them!
The Merka only really comes alive when it's fully assembled, at whihc point it becomes a beast.
The model comes in 4 main parts - turret and 2 track assemblies, which are metal, plus a crisp, well detailed resin hull. The ballistic shaped turret is complimented by a separate radar and two mini Vulcan point defence cannons.
The detail overall is superb and I congratulate John Bear Ross on designing a turret which is very real world and not some slabby sided affair that was obviously designed in a timeline without it's own equivalent of the T34, Panther and T80 to draw upon.
I think it's worth mentioning an issue with models designed using rapid prototyping, know as "potato chip effect". This is caused by the build up of layers during rapid prototyping print out. I'm led to believe that It's currently an issue that is extremely difficult to eliminate in its entirety and requires a lot of modelling hours to rectify. In fact there's a saying that a rapid prototype master is only as good as the skill of the person sanding it.
Is it noticeable? in places worse than others on some models. On the Merka I barely noticed it at all and put down the texture as being part and parcel of the real tank's manufacture. In my day when a tank was a tank and the Centurion was made out of manly Bakelite, none of this girly ceramic stuff, when up close and personal with a tank, it WAS rough.To be honest, I've been more pee-d off with model metal AFV's manufactured in the old way that had come from the casters with screeds of tiny pitting on a supposedly aerodynamiclally smooth surface.
So, to sum up, a great design, plenty of detail and utterly believable in it's own right.