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IDF Armour Modelling (9781838045838)

MA Publications




Ever since the state of Israel was created after WWII, they have been using cast-off and hand-me-down equipment for their defence forces, utilising their ingenuity to prolong the service life of vehicles that should have been retired long ago.  A lot of Israeli equipment was provided by the US, but they have never been afraid of pressing captured armour into service, often after substantial modification to suit their needs.  Through the years they have begun to be more self-sufficient from the US and other countries, producing more of their own indigenous products, such as the Merkava range of tanks that is now on its fourth iteration.  They have also made inroads into weapons manufacturing in both the armour and air warfare arenas, which has put them alongside some of the best in their respective industries and opened up markets for their products.


Whilst you may not be familiar with the name MA Publications, you’ll surely know some of their magazines, such as Model Aircraft Monthly, Scale Aviation Modeller International, and Scale Military Modeller International.  This book is perfect-bound A4+ portrait formatted, with 80 pages of genuine content within, covering a substantial 21 builds of various types of armour, some using conversion sets, in great detail.  It is printed in full colour on glossy paper with masses of large photos throughout, accompanied by a lot of text to keep you busily reading, while assimilating a whole raft of modelling techniques, some of which you might have heard of, others you might not.






The book begins with an index of the builds so that you can flip to any particular build if you’re so minded, after which there is a brief two-page history of the IDF (Israeli Defence Force) with some interesting photos of various types mixed in.  Then the builds begin, in the following order:


Isherman – Jerusalem Chariot, Dragon M51 (Andy Renshaw)

Desert Whip – Sho’t Kal Gimel with Explosive Reactive Armour, AFV Club (Matt Edwards)

Battlefield Engineering – Academy M113 with Mr Modellbau, Friul & Eduard accessories (Jan-Willem Fischer)

Urban Stinger – Academy M163A/1 Vulcan SPAAG with Legend conversion (Keith Forsyth)

Up-Gunned Workhorse – Cyber Hobby M50 Super Sherman (Jan-Willem Fischer)

Urban Monster – Tiger Models Nagmachon with Doghouse (David Francis)

Blazer Armour – Magach 6B Gal Batash, Academy M60 with Legend conversion (Rob Andrews)

Israeli Re-Engineering – Tamiya Tiran 5 (Keith Forsyth)

Magach Magic – Academy Magach 7C Gimel (Matt Edwards)

Ramming Hit – Magach 6B Gal Batash, Italeri M60 with Legend conversion (Keith Forsyth)

Desert Lightning – Legend Productions Merkava IIIB Baz (Keith Forsyth)

Nagmachon – Clearance Under Fire – AFV Club kit with Legend conversion (Keith Forsyth)

Merkava 3D – Meng Model built with Blast Models, Legend & Model Miniature Upgrades (Maxime Levesque)

Desert Chariot – Hobby Boss Merkava IV (Ray Deakin)

Clearing the Way – Academy Merkava III with Mine-Rollers (Rick Saucier)

Battlefield Support – Meng Model Achzarit (Keith Forsyth)

Ultimate M113 Zelda – Academy M113 with HK Models conversion (Lee Hoe Yen)

Yom Kippur Warrior – Tamiya M113 with Eduard and Model Kasten accessories (Patrick Brown)

Modular Armour – Magach 7C – Academy M60 with Legend conversion (Keith Forsyth)

Kasman – Urban Protection – Blast Models Kit with Friul tracks (Jan-Willem Fischer)

Access All AreasAFV Club M109A2 Doher with Black Dog, Real Model & Friul upgrades (Keith Forsyth)






Each build spans several pages and has good sized pictures so that you can see the detail well enough to be useful.  The builds use a variety of techniques to achieve their effects, so if you’re still learning (aren’t we all?) then you might pick up some new things to try, and even if you think the schemes depicted are over- or under-done, your next model can use a modulation of those techniques to achieve the effect that you want.  It’s nice to see the use of older kits with a variable quantity of aftermarket, as well as some unusual conversions from various companies.






The disparate and home-made, sometimes Heath-Robinson appearance of some Israeli armour makes for interesting viewing, and while it doesn’t necessarily appeal to everyone, it does to many, and in recent years there has been a big increase in available kits as well as conversions, many of which you can see in this book.  We can all learn a little bit more about the IDF and their wide range of AFVs that have been devised for some very specific purposes at times.


Highly recommended.




Review sample courtesy of


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