Israeli armour has become a staple with armour modellers around the world, with companies such as Academy, AFV Club and Meng to name but a few of the companies feeding models to those interested modellers. When it comes to reference for those modellers with more than just a passing interest in the vehicles and also for those modellers who want the details to be just so, good reference material is not always easy to find and can result in quite a few frustrating hours on the net. One company that is doing a lot to make Israeli armour reference easier to find and add to your library is SabIngaMartin Publication, they have released a surprising number of titles covering this area of modelling and have also released a number of resin upgrades, figures and decal sheets to aid us further. The latest title from SabIngaMartin Publication covers the Shot Kal Gimel and is the title I will be looking at here.
It is only fair that I start with a word on the packaging that this book arrived in. The book arrived in a sealed clear plastic bag, inside a bag with the edges protected by folded cardboard, which was inside another bag before finally being packaged inside a cardboard sleeve; opening it reminded me of pass the parcel as kid. All that packaging has insured that the book has reached me in perfect condition. Something worth mentioning with so many orders being made over the internet.
This book is soft backed and consists of 80 pages roughly A4 in size and which is bound in a card cover. The paper is a good quality glossy paper which shows the photographs off at their best. The author of this title is Dr. Robert Manasherob, a person who is classed as an expert on Israeli armoured vehicles.
The text of the book begins with a quick look at the Yom Kippur War and the damage inflicted on Israeli tanks that lead to the use of Explosive Reactive Armour or ERA. The book then goes into how the explosive reactive armour works in preventing the destruction of the armoured vehicle to which it is applied, and what types of ammunition it best defends against. Also covered are the disadvantages of explosive reactive armour, something I cannot remember reading about previously. The book also provides diagrams showing the layout of the explosive reactive armour on the various Centurion types in service with the Israeli Forces, the Alef, Bet, Gimel and Daled. This section is very specific as to what goes where and will be a fantastic aid to the modeller.
From that point on you go into photo sections; these sections have a mix of photographs in both black and white and colour. The pictures are very good, with very few of the images being soft focus wise, the photographs even include pictures of the authors brother Jacob in front of one of the Gimelís he served on. There are also some great schematics of various Centurions in 1/35th scale and which even includes the barrel on its own shown from three angles. All of the pictures are accompanied by very informative captions that leave you in no doubt as to what you are looking at.
The book then provides a 30 page walk around of the Shot Kal Gimel tank covering all aspects of the external features of the tank in surprising depth. The walk around in my opinion make this book an absolute must for any modeller who is going to tackle the latest Centurion release from AFV Club and for that matter the soon to be released next Centurion in the line from them. The last nine pages of the book cover the camouflage and markings of some Shot Kal Gimel tanks pointing out some very specific markings and when needed pointing out their significant meanings.
This book from SabIngaMartin Publication is a very impressive book when it comes to the Shot Kal Gimel. Every aspect of the contents I found to be informative and provides the information to enable the modeller to build a model as accurately as they wish or are able. The 1/35th scale schematics are an absolutely great addition to the book and which remove all doubt as to what goes where and is it correctly orientated. When it comes to lows I can only think of one; the text in the book can use unexpected words or word order for English speakers, this does have the potential to make the reader stop and then read the section again to get a full understanding of what is being said. I will finish by saying that the text should in no way effect a modellers decision on purchasing this book as it is one of the most informative vehicle specific books I have read when looked at from a modellerís perspective.
Highs: Very informative photographs which will provide all the information you will need when it comes to the exterior of the Shot Kal Gimel.Lows: The text has the ability to make you stop and read it again, this is due to it not being written in the way English is always used.Verdict: If you have the latest Centurion from AFV Club, buy this book.
Our Thanks to SabingaMartin Publications! This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.
About Darren Baker (CMOT) FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM
I have been building model kits since the early 70ís starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70ís, I have had lots of opportunitie...