The SLA’s, South Lebanon Army also known as Lahad Army, heavy APC-54 is a modified version of the iconic Soviet T-54 medium battle tank. Provided by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), the SLA had the tank’s turret removed and replaced by welded metal sheets, resulting in an open top “doghouse” vehicle. Dubbed APC-54 the modified vehicle fulfilled its new role as a heavy armored personnel carrier (APC), in service with the SLA in Southern Lebanon under the authority of its leader Saad Haddad. Occasionally spotted equipped with a front V-shaped dozer blade, the SLA APC-54 was tasked in clearing debris and clearing roads as well.
MiniArt‘s SLA Heavy APC-54 w/ dozer blade and interior kit consists of 76 light grey plastic sprues, 1 clear sprue for the periscopes, a length of nylon wire, a decal sheet, and 1 PE fret. The kit features crisp details as can be seen on the side fenders’ subtle weld lines, castle marks on the wheels and tracks, interior wall’s wiring and cables, and the included cleanly cast weapons, pioneer tools and accessories. The kit includes a full interior not only for the highly packed, fully detailed open crew fighting compartment but for the engine compartment containing a complete V-54 engine assembly with its mounting frame, and exhaust manifolds. All hatches can be posed as open or closed. An additional upgrade kit, containing the engine’s radiator and transmission assembly is available if the scale modeler chooses to showcase an open engine cover. The PE fret includes parts for the engine’s grills, jerry can holders, and other required parts for the build. The kit’s workable torsion bar suspension and individual track links allow for a varied terrain diorama.
One marking option is provided for a SLA Blue painted vehicle and red painted dozer blade belonging to the South Lebanon Army during the early 1980s.