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Review Middle East Wars, Arab-Israeli Conflict 1948-1973 AK Interactive Publications

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Product Review

“Middle East Wars, Arab-Israeli Conflict 1948-1973

Modern Conflicts Profile Guide, Volume I.

Published by AK

Authors: Pere Valls and Zachary Sex

Having visited the Middle East on an all-expense paid tour financed by my Uncle (Uncle Sam, you may have heard of him) and my Mother’s stories when she was studying in Jerusalem, I have developed a certain affinity for that part of the world. I also have this weird attraction for tanks so when someone decides to publish a book on Middle East Armor I’m on it like white on rice. So here’s another odd little personality quirk, I generally hate to go with kit decals. I like odd schemes off the beaten path. Those of you who have been reading my product reviews for a while know that “off the beaten path” looks like a four lane superhighway to me, so when I saw this book on the Last Cavalry stand at the Bay City Show I was all over it. After Dave Youngquist chummed the waters with this great book, I went and bought the Dragon Syrian Mark IV and some Red Star Middle East vehicle decals. It turns out I can resist everything but temptation and off the wall paint schemes, but enough about me.

This is a very cool book. Its 101 pages on high quality paper with heavy card covers. Besides all of the color profiles, there are some good black and white and color pictures of vehicles, many I’ve never seen before. Wait, did I mention that this is Volume I? Does this mean one can safely assume that there is a Volume II in the works? Oh be still my beating heart!

So let’s talk about how the book is organized. We start with a short introduction with a bit of a potted history covering the various wars and campaigns from 1948 to 1973. By the way guys it’s “Kibbutzim” not “Kibbutism”, just saying. So once the scene has been set, the good stuff follows - the profiles. The profiles cover British and French vehicles during the Suez Crisis, Egyptian vehicles, Jordanian and Algerian vehicles and Israeli vehicles. There is some really great stuff in here. You like M-47’s and M48’s in something other than olive drab? Russian vehicles in three color schemes instead of that boring old 4BO green? Maybe I can interest you in an AT-L tractor in sand paint and a full color Egyptian roundel on the door? If so, this book is for you. I believe that I mentioned re-purposed WWII vehicles a little earlier, like the Syrian Mark IV. There are M3 halftracks used by the Egyptian’s and Israeli’s, all in interesting schemes, not to mention the odd IS-3M and T-34’s and Sherman’s out the ying-yang. Since the French were the Bargain Bob’s of post war military hardware, a lot if their stuff is in here as well. One of the nice touches is a small color or black and white picture with each profile. There is a small caption with each profile, although they do not mention units or colors used. There is a very short paragraph or two at the start of each chapter describing camouflage and markings in general terms.

The third chapter covers Arab vehicles captured by the IDF during the Yom Kippur war. These mostly consist of black and white pictures taken at a collection point. There are some Syrian T-62’s on the back of Diamond T tractors and M9 trailers so there’s a potential new scheme for you Matchbox or Merit kit, depending on your scale preference. Chapter four covers surviving vehicles used in the Arab-Israeli wars. These are all color pictures taken at the Israeli Armor Museum at Latrun. The last chapter covers surviving Sherman variants, once again at Latrun.

Overall, this is a great source of inspiration for a large variety of models that you can indulge all of your painting fantasies on. I would have liked to seen just a little more on paints and markings described for each profile. We are left to guess what colors are used on some of them. A few scrap views of markings or off side camo schemes would have been nice, as all of the profiles are a single side. The bottom line though, is that this is a really handy reference for a very reasonable price. I’m really looking forward to Volume II.

I purchased my book at the Last Cavalry stand at the Bay City show, which oddly enough, is held in Bay City, Michigan. The book is also available on the Last Cavalry website, www.lastcavalry.com. Don’t forget to check out the Blog section for more reviews.