by: Sven Harjacek [ ]
In recent years Israeli armor has become very popular, which means more IDF kits will be produced. And that's exactly what has happened, more than a dozen new kits were announced. Unfortunately almost nobody produced decent IDF figures at that time. Luckily Dr. Robert Manasherob from SabIngaMartin Publications jumped in and produced some highly anticipated resin figures.
My figure came in a clear zip-lock bag, but I can't say if that's how they are shipped as I got mine from a friend in Israel.
This figure was their first one, if I'm not mistaken it was introduced around one or two years ago. The figure consists of three grey resin parts, the body (arms aren't separate pieces), the head and optional goggles. They require minimal cleaning and it's wonderfully molded, without any air bubbles or imperfections. The figure is around the same size as figures from other mainstream resin figure producers. It measures around 5 centimeters (1.96 inch) which means the real tanker would be around 175 centimeters (68.89 inch). The figure is in a position like he is putting one of his legs on something (crate or some higher part of the tank). His shirt is unbuttoned and the sleeves are folded. Part of his torso is exposed, that part is done amazingly well and has great detail. You can see where the ribs end and the abdomen cavity starts. The navel is also depicted.
This figure is equipped with one of the many different uniforms used in the Israeli army from the early 50's to late 60's. This one has two oversized pockets on the shirt and two on the pants. There are also some great details like the dog tag and the belt. The helmet is however much easier to recognize. It's one of the Czechoslovakian helmets, and from the pictures I have it was used from 1950's to 1960's, I'd say up to the Six day war, which means you can use this figure as crew on many tanks, including various Sherman tanks (M1, M50, M51 etc.), Centurions and AMX 13's.
I must say that this figure has impressed me and I'm really excited to see new figure releases by SabIngaMartin Publications. I would recommend this figure to anyone making a 1950's to 1960's IDF diorama or just want a figure to enrich your model.
Mid-East Wars: the Israeli army by Lr.Colonel David Eshel I.D.A (ret) ISBN-965-256-001-4
Born in Battle magazine, November 1979. issue.