The IDF received their first Mk.II Centurions (Sho't) in 1959 followed by later Mk.III And Mk.5 types which still retained the 20Pdr main gun with both Type A and Type B barrels (with fume extractor). They also retained the original Centurion Meteor engine with minor modifications for additional IDF equipment. By the late ‘60s, updates were made to fit the L7 105mm gun followed by more extensive modifications to incorporate the US Continental AVDS-1790 diesel engine as fitted to the M60 Patton tank series with the rear hull being extended and the engine deck changed to the same style as fitted to the M60. This kit builds into a Sho’t Kal from the 1973 Arab-Israeli war with the above modifications.
This kit is basically the same as kit #AF 35195 IDF Sho't Centurion Mk.5, Mk.5/1 1967 early type (which in turn evolved from the earlier kits #AF 35122 Centurion Mk.5/2, 6 and kit #AF 35100 Centurion Mk. 5/1 RAAC), with the addition parts for the new hull and diesel engine deck. A great review of the Sho’t Mk. 5/Mk. 5 /1 1967
is also here at Armorama by Pete Becerra and there's no need to repeat (no pun intended) that here. Much of the review below will focus on the additional parts for this version instead of just reposting all the photos from Pete's review.
The sturdy cardboard box contains 12 main sprues in green plastic; a large decal sheet of markings for 3 vehicle; 24 rubber roadwheels; 1 small PE fret; a clear parts sprue, 6 indi-link track for spares; 6 metal springs for the bogies; a section of string for the tow cable; some mesh for the stowage basket; a turned metal L7 105mm barrel; a resin stretcher, vinyl poly-caps, and the lower hull half. All the above items are individually bagged to keep them from being damaged during shipping. The multi-fold, 24-step instructions manual and a 1-page, color Paint & Markings guide round out the package. The instructions are clearly written and have good illustrations for parts placement location. The decals look to be in perfect register with very thin film and they provide markings for 3 vehicles from the 1973 Arab-Israeli war.
The individual parts on the sprues look to be sharply molded and free of any flash. The majority of the sprues are the same as the previously mentioned Centurion kits which this version is derived from. There is one new sprue included consisting of the parts needed to build the Sho’t Kal ’73 version. The new sprues include a new rear engine deck, fenders, rear hull extension, fender tool boxes, side loading air filters, and various small IDF fittings.
The small PE fret is very nice. It provides pieces to detail the fender supports, final drive access plates, reflectors, and a few other small detail pieces. All of the hatches are separate pieces to allow them to be built open or closed. The hatches have great interior and exterior details to allow them to be displayed in the open position. There is no interior to display though, so figures will be needed to fill them.
Overall the kit looks very detailed. The ADVS-1790 diesel engine deck parts, to include the modified fenders and air cleaners for it, are very nicely detailed, and all of the parts accurately capture the look and details of an IDF Sho’t KAL ’73. Once again, AFV Club brings us another great kit in their Centurion lineup. The only drawback is the decision by AFV Club to market mantlet covers, a common feature on Centurions, rather than include it in the kit as a standard option.