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Arab-Israeli Wars


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Hello all,

The Arab-Israeli wars, maybe the unsung ''Hot'' area of the Cold War? We all know it got hot for America in Vietnam arguably the Soviets too, and for both the Soviets and America during the Korean War. But maybe we all overlook the battlefields in the Middle East?

The Soviet Union put its backing into the exsisting Arab States, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Syria. America and France (Western Powers) into Israel. This is clear when you examine the sides equipment, Israeli F-15's, Mirage III's, F-16's and the like, and the Egyptian and Iraqi Mil Mi 2's, Syrian MIG's and all those to boot too. Perhaps a few too many to sit here and name. The Soviets even supplied the Egyptians Sagger Anti Tank Missiles during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, which were used against Israeli M48 and M60 tanks, supplied by America.

So, we have Americans against the Soviets. This causes tensions during the Cold War, no doubt that it could have gotten even worse when it was revelead that during the Syrian attack in the Golan Heights on 6th October 1973, had the Syrians broken through (coincidentally in Soviet Tanks) then Israel could have been pushed to use Nuclear Weapons. Unknown at the time and still disputed is the quantitiy of Israeli Nuclear Weaponry. Just as a thought, the Syrians were based so much on Soviet ideas, the army even ran the same field manuals and tactics. (If they had capitalised on their successes in the Golan Heights they could have broken through, but, Russian Tank Field Manuals stated that one must not outrun his own Anti Air Defences). As we now know skilled handling of Israeli Tanks allowed the IDF to push Syria back on the 10th-11th October 1973.

Anyway, this got me thinking.

For a conflict that has been raging on and off for the last 70 years, and arguably is still today, why do so few kits actually offer options to create aircraft from this geographical part of the world. I have probably missed some kits and not seen them but, it got me thinking why do kit manufacturers not include these? As well, why are there so few kits of these types, I.E. Kfir and Nesher's, Mil Mi 2s and 4s, as well as 8s, SU-7's and such?

Granted, they are small airforces (although Egypts now is quite large) and perhaps more unknown, but does this not make modelling them all the more interesting? How many Iraqi Sea Furys or Tuploev Tu-22's have you seen? Egyptian Spitfires? Jordanian Hawker Hunters, F-104's and Mirage F1's (during the late 1970's) or Syrian Gloster Meteors, Macchi 205's and Spitfire F22s? How about Israeli P-51's and Gloster Meteors or Dassault Mystere's?

This though is just a small thought, I do not mean to have caused a ruckus, just merely a debate as to what we all thought.

All the best,

Dan.

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You're not completely correct, there are plenty of kits and decals for recent Israeli hardware. Kfirs, F-16, F-15, Phantoms... just a few examples on t of my head, in 1/72 only:

Kfirs: hasegawa and italeri do 2 nice kits.

F-16: the esci kit had israeli decals, hasegawa and others are doing the F-16I.

F-15: both airfix and esci had decals for Israeli F-15As, Hobbyboss and Academy have done the F-15I

F-4: again esci had israeli decals in their F-4E.

A-4: esci (they must have loved israeli planes) had an israeli A-4E

Isradecals and Sky's also have plenty of aftermarket decals.

The problems start with older stuff, not much because of any use by Israel but because a lot of older subjects don't seem to be too interesting... I mean, how many people outside France ever cared about the Vautour ? Again, in 1/72 only:

Ouragan: heller did a nice kit with israeli insignia

Super Mystere: airfix did one, with Israeli markings

Mirage IIIc:AML has a short run kit and some issues have Israeli markings. Not only that, some boxes are for special Israeli modified versions

Spitfire: Kp issued their kit with Israeli markings

Avia S199: AML does a kit dedicated only to the Israeli ones.

For the other planes again there are aftermarket decals.

If we look at Israel's enemy the situation is worse for a number of reasons: first most people finds a soviet MiG-21 more interesting than a Syrian one. Then there's a more serious documentation issue: most middle east countries are very paranoid about military secrecy and it is very hard to get information on markings of, say, syrian air force planes. It's therefore difficult for a kit manufacturer to provide such decals. Mind, until very recently Israel was not really much better from this point of view...

Of course there are exceptions: egyptian mig-21 are well known and a few were issued in model form with these insignia (Kp, fujimi, matchbox). Middle east Su-7s and Su-22s were made by KP, iraqi furies by PM. Other subjects are covered by aftermarket decals producers.

As to why not many models in these markings can be seen, it all depends on where you look. If you go to a model show in Britain, it's clear that most people will prefer to use RAF 74 Sqn. markings on a Meteor or a Hunter rather than building them in Israeli or Jordanian markings. If however you look a a model show in Israel, you'll see plenty of planes in such markings. And Israeli modellers have featured in British magazines with good articles on such subjects.

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You're not completely correct, there are plenty of kits and decals for recent Israeli hardware. Kfirs, F-16, F-15, Phantoms... just a few examples on t of my head, in 1/72 only:

Kfirs: hasegawa and italeri do 2 nice kits.

F-16: the esci kit had israeli decals, hasegawa and others are doing the F-16I.

F-15: both airfix and esci had decals for Israeli F-15As, Hobbyboss and Academy have done the F-15I

F-4: again esci had israeli decals in their F-4E.

A-4: esci (they must have loved israeli planes) had an israeli A-4E

Isradecals and Sky's also have plenty of aftermarket decals.

The problems start with older stuff, not much because of any use by Israel but because a lot of older subjects don't seem to be too interesting... I mean, how many people outside France ever cared about the Vautour ? Again, in 1/72 only:

Ouragan: heller did a nice kit with israeli insignia

Super Mystere: airfix did one, with Israeli markings

Mirage IIIc:AML has a short run kit and some issues have Israeli markings. Not only that, some boxes are for special Israeli modified versions

Spitfire: Kp issued their kit with Israeli markings

Avia S199: AML does a kit dedicated only to the Israeli ones.

For the other planes again there are aftermarket decals.

If we look at Israel's enemy the situation is worse for a number of reasons: first most people finds a soviet MiG-21 more interesting than a Syrian one. Then there's a more serious documentation issue: most middle east countries are very paranoid about military secrecy and it is very hard to get information on markings of, say, syrian air force planes. It's therefore difficult for a kit manufacturer to provide such decals. Mind, until very recently Israel was not really much better from this point of view...

Of course there are exceptions: egyptian mig-21 are well known and a few were issued in model form with these insignia (Kp, fujimi, matchbox). Middle east Su-7s and Su-22s were made by KP, iraqi furies by PM. Other subjects are covered by aftermarket decals producers.

As to why not many models in these markings can be seen, it all depends on where you look. If you go to a model show in Britain, it's clear that most people will prefer to use RAF 74 Sqn. markings on a Meteor or a Hunter rather than building them in Israeli or Jordanian markings. If however you look a a model show in Israel, you'll see plenty of planes in such markings. And Israeli modellers have featured in British magazines with good articles on such subjects.

All I can say is your knowledge of kits astounds me, I honestly take my hat off to you here. I seem to struggle once I go past most mainstream manufacturers and can reel off a bit about the lesser known but even then cannot tell you what you got with what kit. Fanastic, thanks alot.

Aside from the aftermarket decal sheets and such from smaller kit manufacturers for Arab States (no offence intended to KP and PM models, I have just googled their ranges and seen you are correct, they did issue and still do large numbers of kits with markings for these) but perhaps as smaller manufacturers they are often forgotten as such, if you catch my drift here?

So, it is correct in saying ones own background can determine the sorts of markings or types of aircraft one would model? This makes alot of sense.

I am wondering why larger kit manufacturers do not follow on with giving more extraoridnary markings as options to kits, take Airfix's new tooled MIG-15, the options aside from the Soviet were North Korean and Hungarian. Similarly the Airfix Il-2 had options for a Mongolian Sturmovik. These are nice touches, it gives you the option to build someting completely different to the normal array of kits you would expect to see of subjects.

I have done further searching, and it appears Airfix have a history of doing this, too, with the Hawker Hunter kits of vintage coming with Kuwaiti markings and EE Lightning having Saudi options. I understand your point, that as a Brit one would rather see them in RAF colours, but the odd one or two builds from far off and unknown countries is always a tempting one. Having something to stand out from your display cabinet/shelf.

I was just curious, as for the scale of something that is as much of a conflict as the Arab-Israeli Wars, and the impressive hardware on display of recent times from the Israeli's as well as the innovative use of tactics and skill (taking the 6 Day War of 1967, 5-6th June the Israeli Air Force wiped out most of the Arab nations jets before they could even take off, securing mastery of the skies). I know from a Western perspective it could perhaps be a forgotten conflict, and one in which the general public would possible know little on, but surely there must be more people that would be interested in something ''out of the ordinary''?

Again, the post was just a thought for conversation.

All the best,

Dan.

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The Israeli side have always been well covered, in many scales.

For the Arab side, that's another story.

But still, there are some possibilities if you know where to search.

On BM, it's true that most people are RAF oriented, but there are a few BMers going for more exotics subjects.

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Dan,

the inclusion of more exotic markings in kits is something that some do and some don't. In the end markings are included to try and appeal the customer, and depending on what a company expects their customers might like, they choose the markings accordingly.

Airfix as now startd to add more unusual markings, and I think it's a great idea. Back in the old days, matchbox also had a certain reputation for this, witness the indian sea harrier and tempest or the saudi F-5.

However far east companies might have a different customer base, and for hasegawa a japanese F-4 sells much better than an israeli one ! Also japanese companies have only done relatively few soviet types, so it's hard to see middle east markings from them.

KP (or Kopro as it was known for a while) is a different story: they started in what was Czechoslovakia during the cold war and as such made all the types that where common in their country and other warsaw pact countries. Having all these migs and sukhois made it easier to add middle east markings. And as Israel first planes came from Czechoslovakia (spitfires and Avia 199), they also had an interest in these subjects.

Mind, if you have any interest in arab air forces, you'll have to look into smaller kit companies from eastern europe, as they did most of the best soviet types kits.

Anyway, if you want to see BMers building exoting soviet planes, just look at the soviet foreign group build. There are some very nice kits being made !

In general the Arab-Israeli wars are far from a forgotten subject ! There have been plenty of books and magazine articles on these, although it's sometimes hard to find documentation from all sides. I have to say that here in Italy we are close enough to the theatre to have been affected directly in the shape of sabotage and terrorist acts, so the events of the long struggle between Israel and his Arab neighbours are well known here.

Re. my knowledge of kits, guess I have too much time on my hand to remember these things... :D

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Hello,

I do tend to have an liking for stranger kits, I am not sure what it is.

Currently seem to be obssessed with aircraft from the Vietnam and Cold War era in general, so much mystery surrounds it and the whole situation, on a knife edge. One day the world could of just practically ceased to exist as we know it, becuase of a hunch or a false alarm.

So paranoid where the Soviets and Americans. But I love it, I must say.

It is always nice to learn something new and that is something I seem to do regularly here on Britmodeller.

All the best,

Dan.

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If you dont mind about the quality of kits, there are quite a few you can get to fill the gaps for an Israeli or Egyptian Air force (though I havent found a couple yet), its more of a problem finding the decals for me - many of my Israeli decals I am getting from the Academy Texans and even Bilek Mig 21 F-13's

Dont even know if I have many Egyptian air force roundels for some of my planned projects

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Hi Dan

just a note to say that Jordan was not supplied by the Soviet Union - King Hussein was too canny for that. As I recall, during the 67 war, they used Hunters with most of their Air Force having been supplied by Britain.

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Fantastic, thanks alot for all the information everyone.

Just an area of interest to me, and currently Vietnam and the Arab Israeli wars are right up there, my knowledge of kits is not, though.

I am mainly in the hobby for the fun over the accuracy but its starting to catch up on me these days, with all the reading I get done on the aircraft I feel as though I have to make them more representable. Either way, I am never sure of what I am getting for my money in a kit so it is nice to know so many people know there stuff around here.

Thanks.

All the best,

Dan.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Dan, you need to look here for Israeli stuff. There's a lot of decals for modern Israeli aircraft, as well as some stuff for the older types. They've also made a Meteor sheet with markings for Israeli, Syrian and Egyptian planes, as well as a sheet with various Middle-Eastern F-5s. The books available there are some of the best references for Israeli stuff that there is. I currently have about 15 of the listed titles, with hopes of acquiring more. So far, their books about the Ayit and Netz have eluded me though and there's others I haven't gotten around to ordering yet. The references they use for some of the modern decals can't be faulted either, the owner of IsraDecal designed a lot of the real-life tailart on the Israeli planes. Their resin stuff do tend to need a bit of help though and there's been grumbles about the adhesive capability of the newer (Czech produced) decals.

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You've got me really thinking! When we were kids (early 80's) my brother and I got into the Arab/Israeli thing, him doing doing the Israeli stuff, and me doing the Arabs. He had no problems! Loads of kits, where as I was quite restricted to mainly Mig-21's! Mind you I did enjoy all the different colour schemes. Syrian with desert 'tiger' stripes looked quite mean!

These days there's a lot more about. Quite fancy the Badger in Egyptian colours, prefer it to Soviet actually.

Do you feel a group build coming on??????????.........

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In the field of aftermarket decals, there are a good deal of sheets covering Middle Eastern subjects. I can remember old Esci sheets with national insignia, and some modern by Linden Hill with Third world insignia. There was a Su-24 sheet with Libyan and Iraqi machines, dedicated Superscale sheets for Iraqi and Coalition aircrafts from the 91 war, an Xtradecal sheet on International Hunters including Jordanian ones, Hi-decals offers a lot of Israeli, and Iranian F-4s and more exotic subjects as Su 25s, MiG 23s and Hinds, and so on. On older machines stuff includes Egyptian Spit 22 in one Eagle Strike "Last of the Legends", some Lysanders in 1/48 by Max.

On some subjects, it is a good kit which is lacking, for instance, the long nose Mirage III/V and the F.1. But others are equally well served: 1/72 Fujimi Mig 21s came with special Third world boxings, Airfix Mig 23 with Syrian, Esci F.1 came with Iraqi markings, and the A-4E and F-4E with Israeli ones. MPM Spit IX includes an Israeli IXe, and Eduard offering of the Airfix 22/24 includes one Syrian example.

All in all, a fair proportion of machines can be modelled.

Fernando

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You've got me really thinking! When we were kids (early 80's) my brother and I got into the Arab/Israeli thing, him doing doing the Israeli stuff, and me doing the Arabs. He had no problems! Loads of kits, where as I was quite restricted to mainly Mig-21's! Mind you I did enjoy all the different colour schemes. Syrian with desert 'tiger' stripes looked quite mean!

These days there's a lot more about. Quite fancy the Badger in Egyptian colours, prefer it to Soviet actually.

Do you feel a group build coming on??????????.........

That would be a good idea, plenty of subjects from prop planes to mach 3 fighters. Old WW2 stuff like spitfires and lysanders, classics like the mirage III, mig-21 and phantoms, lesser known planes like the Ouragan... not to mention the ground stuff, with shermans, Panzer IV, centurions, merkava and all the russian types...

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Look out for zotz roundels of the world no. 5, this covered the middle east countries with the exception of iraq,iran and israel if my memories working. chris

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Maybe not the right thing but Forgotten Missions from Hannants covers Israeli and Arab markings for various aircraft - though it is currently out of stock and only in 1/72.

Dave

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Do you feel a group build coming on??????????.........

I'd be up for it with a... well... a Spitfire...

In fact. maybe two Spitfires! One Israeli, one Egyptian. I also have decals for a Syrian Spitfire...

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  • 1 month later...
Maybe not the right thing but Forgotten Missions from Hannants covers Israeli and Arab markings for various aircraft - though it is currently out of stock and only in 1/72.

Dave

It's an excellent sheet both subject matter and quality. Just done Egyptian MiG-17 and 19, earlier in the year Israeli and Egyptian Meteors and Syrian MiG-17.

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Just found this thread and it`s an interesting read.

My experience is that if you really want to model a subject from the Arab-Israeli wars, you`re not fussy about scale, and you are prepared to do some digging, then you can model pretty much anything.

Many Arab jets will not be on special `Arab` decal sheets but will appear on sheets dedicated to jets or airforces.

For example, from the excellent Linden Hill stable..

Iraqi fighters (includes Arab-Israeli war types)

http://www.hannants.co.uk/product/LH32005

Or this sheet from Print Scale on the Mig-21 that covers several Arab airforces.

http://www.hannants.co.uk/product/PSL72009

On the other side of the fence (so to speak) Bosse over on ARC plans to build every plane flown by the IDF/AF and I don`t see any reason why he can`t.

And I`m sure I saw a pic on the `net of someone converting a Sherman tank kit into the `Kilshon` a mobile launch platform for anti-radiation missiles like Shrike and Standard as seen here..

http://www.israeli-weapons.com/weapons/veh...on/Kilshon.html

I`m liking the idea of an Arab-Israeli wars GB as it allows for both mainstream and VERY esoteric machines. Seems like there is interest, what`s the chances of it getting off the ground?

Cheers, Ian

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Zotz Decals “Roundels of the World” will be your friend, too:

http://www.zotzdecals.com/roundels.htm

Part One covers Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad, Sudan, Eritrea, Senegal, Burkina Fasco, Nigeria, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Cameroon and Cape Verde Islands.

Part Five covers Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Syria, Qatar, Yemen, Oman

Then you just need some Arabic letters and numbers, and you’re away!

bestest,

M.

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