All colour, superb detail and weathering
Most vehicles depicted are abandoned or not
The first thing that struck me while flicking through Moustafa
El-Assad’s second Blue Steel book was the vast improvement in the
quality and size of the photos contained within. Most pages are
simply 1 or 2 large pictures that allow a detailed look at the SLA’s
The book’s setout is fairly simple. This time starting with an
author & contributor page. We then have a 2 page introduction that
details quite well the history of the ex-IDF M3 halftracks used by
the SLA up to its collapse in May 2000. The main body of the book
then is a varied mix of modified M3’s, all showcased with good
quality photography. Over the last few pages there is a section
titled “Inside an SLA barracks” that has a few rather good photos of
concrete fortifications, ammo boxes etc., all brilliant reference
for diorama ideas and detailing.
mix of destroyed / operational vehicles here is similar to the first
book of the series on the T-55. A majority of the photos are of
abandoned or destroyed M3’s. The operational machines depicted show
a wealth of detail and weathering possibilities. The photos are all
large enough to allow close examination, and highlight the different
colour schemes used. The book has a multitude of close-up shots of
interiors, cabins and various details that will be invaluable to the
There are no true walkarounds to be
found in the book, however there is a good collection of photos of
the Fitter variant, an ex-IDF recovery vehicle that utilized a HIAB
crane in a movable jib. One of these vehicles is in good condition
and was even rescued from a fire by the author! I would like to have
seen a full walkaround of this vehicle as there are only 3 photos.
Without doubt, the most interesting modification highlighted is the
M3 ACAV variant. This is a fully enclosed, armoured APC with an M113
ACAV turret on the roof. The vehicle pictured had been abandoned,
and in a state of disrepair, but we do have a good series of photos
of it, both internal and external, spread over 12 pages, all
invaluable reference if you intend to model this machine
Spread throughout the book is a series photos of M3 models produced
by the author. They are nicely finished and compliment the book.
Blue Steel 2 is a definite
improvement over the first book in this series in terms of qaulity
and size of photos.
Modellers of SLA M3’s will find
this book useful in converting, detailing and weathering their kits.
Noted on the back cover are the
next two titles in the series, M113 APC’s and the M50 Sherman.
Blue Steel is shaping up as an
impressive series of books for the modeller interested in South