I pulled the Academy Merkava II out of my stash last night and though about building it as a IIB with the added roof armour and upgraded side skirts. I have parts from an Academy Merkava Mk IV that I plan to use (roadwheels, the first panel of the side skirts, side skirt hangers, antenna mounts, etc.), and I also have Fruil tracks. I am planning on scratch building the roof armour (it doesn't look that complicated).
However, I have a question about a panel behind the loader's hatch on the turret roof. See the picture below comparing the kit turret to the Legends turret (now out of production - this picture is from an article on Planet Armor):
Right behind the loader's hatch on the Academy turret is a panel with circular disk. That panel is missing on the Legends turret. I've looked at pictures of IIB turrets, but I haven't found one yet that shows that area clearly. Should the panel be there?
One other question - when did Merkava IV style roadwheels (with the five holes) start being used on Merkava IIs? I have pictures from Gaza in 2003 showing them in use.
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This is the best photo I could dig up (the open hatch blocks the view in other photos); I don't think that circular hatch should be there.
Can't help with the roadwheel timeline I'm afraid.