I always had a soft spot for IDF (Israeli Defense Force) vehicles. Often extensively modified and upgraded from standard configuration, packed with stowage and heavily weathered, these vehicles have ample of that cool factor modelers crave for. However, modeling IDF vehicles presents quite a challenge and having quality reference photos is a must… and the best IDF references come from Desert Eagle Publishing.
My Desert Eagle collection recently expanded with several new titles. Being very impressed, I decided to share my thoughts about these books on Armorama.
For over 10 years now, Desert Eagle Publishing has been working to provide modelers and military enthusiasts with the best possible reference material dedicated to vehicles used by the IDF. This review covers the latest title from the company, Volume No.35 in IDF Armor Series - Jeeps Tank Hunters - M151 & Landrovers in IDF Service – Part 1.
Looking at the front page, the name of the author, Michael Mass, immediately catches the eye. Michael Mass is Lt. Col. (retired) in the Israeli Armored Corps, curator of the Yad Lashiryon Memorial Site and Museum in Latrun, and a well-known figure among modelers and IDF modeling forums' members. Michael is also an advisor to many modeling companies, to whom he provided expertise and references to produce the most accurate IDF kits possible. The editor, Adam O’Brien, is also someone many modelers immediately recognize as an expert in the Israeli armor and author of many stunning IDF models. These two gentlemen are the driving force behind Desert Eagle Publishing.
The book follows the same standard A4 paperback format as the rest of the titles in the series, making quite a nice collection in my modeling library. The book spans on 108 pages and is packed with over 200 color photographs. All the photos are taken in the field, showing the vehicles in action.
The book covers Orev (Crow) units and vehicles of the IDF, characterized by the TOW missile launchers and the mission to locate and destroy high-quality targets at long ranges, but also to scout and provide intelligence on the enemy’s forces. This title provides photo reference on M151A2 MUTTs and Land Rovers in Orev units, while Orev Hummers are showcased in Volume No.16.
The chapters include:
- Introduction (pages 003-012)
- M151 Djapas (013-015)
- M151 Orev (016-039)
- M151 Orev Ammunition Carrier (040-045)
- Land Rovers in the IDF (046-051)
- Land Rover “Wooden Leg” of Maglan (052-099)
- Land Rover “Wooden Leg” – Another Type (100-103)
- Land Rover “Wooden Leg” – Wildflower (104-105)
The book opens with Introduction chapter, which briefly outlines the origins of anti-tank weapon use in the IDF, with particular emphasis on the BGM-71 TOW (nicknamed “Orev” (Crow) by the IDF) and the Palnat (anti-tank company, “Orev unit”). An additional unit that operates transportable launchers is the Maglan (Ibis) unit, specialized in operating behind enemy lines. Next up is a short chapter on M151 Djapas, showing several photos and explaining the characteristic features of a scout jeep version. The M151 Orev follows, with 24 pages dedicated to TOW equipped vehicle. A walk around of the jeep covers the details of TOW system launcher and tripod, the Fire Control System (FCS) box, peculiar spare tire mount and various other IDF specific features. Also, Orev with MILES system for training is shown in detail. M151 Orev Ammunition Carrier chapter covers the vehicle with a different layout and 8 TOW missiles stored in their canisters at the rear compartment. Land Rovers in the IDF briefly depicts several specific variants of Land Rover Defender 110 in Israeli service. Light armored car “David” is covered, as well as the soft skin vehicle fitted with a peculiar observation pod on an elevated mast. Land Rover “Wooden Leg” of Maglan unit is the longest chapter in the book, and it starts with several pages of vehicles aiming and firing, showcasing the system in action. The extensive 42-page walk around follows, displaying the general views of the vehicle as well as all the possible details of the vehicle in great depth…. the specific seats with stowage bins, reinforced front fenders, side foldable racks and webbing for stowage, details of TOW system and launch control box, missile canisters, foldable roll bars, spare wheel with camo net wrapped around it, the tripod rear attachment point… it’s all there. And the best part is that the vehicles are photographed during the mission, so the modelers can see the actual “heavily loaded” arrangement of maps, binoculars, comm devices, personal gear, bags and various stowage. The Land Rover “Wooden Leg” – Another Type shows the vehicles fitted for different missions which do not carry the TOW launcher and missiles, while Land Rover “Wooden Leg” – Wildflower chapter briefly presents vehicles with more advanced RAFAEL Spike anti-tank system.
Having gone through the book, I have to say I’m very impressed. Desert Eagle Publishing has the perfect recipe for reference material for modelers: the wealth of high-quality photographs covering every detail of the subject combined with very informative captions.
Jeeps Tank Hunters - M151 & Landrovers in IDF Service – Part 1 from Desert Eagle Publishing presents the ultimate reference material for all those interested in modeling TOW equipped jeeps in Israeli service. Be it Legend Production M151 Orev conversions or the new Land Rover “Wooden Leg” full resin kit from Accurate Armour (which was produced with the assistance from Michael Mass), this title provides coverage of these subjects in great detail and from every possible angle, which is bound to satisfy even the most demanding rivet-counters eager to super-detail their models. For me, the best part of the book is that it shows vehicles in use, so the modelers can see the crew preferences for arranging their personal gear, as well as the specific ways of securing bags and various stowage to the vehicle.
Highly recommended as a “must-have” for all IDF modelers and military enthusiasts.