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Arab Revolutions and Border Wars, 1980-2018 Review

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Arab Revolutions and Border Wars, 1980-2018

Modern Conflicts Profile Guide Volume III

Pere Valls and Zachary Sex

Reviewed by Glen Broman

So the two or three of you that follow my reviews on the Blog will undoubtedly remember my brilliant, although somewhat ethically challenged concept of releasing a book, which gets rave reviews, but which I title “volume II”. The intent would be to send everyone madly scrambling to find volume I, which I would then release on EBay as “very rare” a few copies at a time, and make a killing. I wonder if the folks over at AK Publishing may have been reading my reviews. Hey, it could happen!

I probably should explain. AK Publishing released the Modern Conflicts Profile Guide, Volume I earlier in the year. It covered the Middle East Wars from 1948-1973. I really enjoyed volume I and have been excitedly waiting for volume II to appear when, you guessed it, up pops volume III on the Last Cavalry web site. So my first reaction, as we used to say in the Army was “WTF? Did I miss volume II?” So the short answer is no, I didn’t, volume III was next in the batting order.

Now that we have addressed this little conundrum, let’s move on, shall we? Let me state up front that this is not an inexpensive book, but it also nearly another 50 pages longer than volume I and chock full of full color profiles and color pictures. In fact, I don’t believe that there are any black and white photos in this one; it’s all in glorious color. This book has an interesting organization, following the introductory chapter; chapter 2 covers the Regular Arab armies, with sub chapters on Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Sudan, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Turkey. Chapter 3 covers three Arab rebel armies, the Peshmerga, Kurd’s and Daesh (ISIS). The last chapter covers Middle East war machines, with a variety of formerly Russian vehicles in Arab services. As I’ve mentioned before, Russia is the Bargain Bob of slightly used, only one owner, and special deal for you, this week only, armored vehicles. This chapter covers the T-72, T-62, T-55, 2S3, ZSU-23-4, ZU 23-2 and ZPU 14.5mm.

Let me say that if you love off the wall and well off the beaten path camo schemes, this book is for you. If you want to combine a little scratchbuilding with some basic Russian and a few Western vehicles, you need look no further than this volume and keep yourself busy for months building and painting some really whack vehicles. How about a sand and green M1A1 in Moroccan service? Maybe an M113 with a ZPU-14.5mm mounted on top? So let’s really go full gonzo and combine an Ace 1/72 Panhard M3 VTT with an M101 105mm gun. This is like the Hunter S. Thompson guide to building tanks. You can’t even begin to imagine some of the strange crap all up in here. Or maybe you can, in which case, you are scaring me. One that got me all fired up was a Moroccan M56 Scorpion SPAG. I found two of these old Revell kits at a hobby shop consignment sale at Major Art and Hobby (shameless plug for my old local hobby shop), one was always going to be an Army vehicle, but one can only do so much olive drab; one needs color in one’s life, yes? Well, this book comes riding in like the Union Cavalry at Gettysburg and whammo, I have a little color back in my life in the shape of a sand and brown Moroccan M56. Life is good, yes?

Do you have some of those Trumpeter and Hobby Boss Chinese tanks that you maybe won in a raffle and don’t quite know what to do with them because Chinese PLA schemes just aren’t your bag? Well, Sudan has hooked you up with some interesting camo schemes that might just be your cup of tea. I simply can’t describe the hundreds of schemes and subjects in this book, all I can say is that necessity is the mother of invention and there are some real mother’s in here.

The Arab Rebel Armies and Middle East War Machines chapters are filled with color pictures. I can’t even imagine what these guys must have been smoking when they came up with some of the ideas that led to these vehicles, but it must have been world class. Just saying.

If I had one complaint, it would be that something more than a single side view of each vehicle would have been really welcome, you are left guessing as to what the front, rear or other side markings may have been on the vehicles. Overall, I highly recommend this book; it will probably cause you to overdose on inspiration for both conversions and provide something completely different in the way of camo and markings.

I purchased my sample from Last cavalry at www.lastcavalry.com.