UNIFIL, the United Nations Interim
Force in Lebanon was originally created by the UN Security Council
in 1978 to assist the Lebanese government in restoring its authority
in the area and confirm the Israeli withdrawal. Following the July
2006 crisis, the Council enhanced UNIFIL to broaden its mandate. It
would accompany the Lebanese forces in their deployment in southern
Lebanon and monitor the cessation of hostilities. It would also
itself patrol the “blue line” between Israel and Lebanon.
El-Assad’s third book in his Blue Steel series concentrates on the
UNIFIL landings during the summer of 2006. The book’s layout and
structure follows the previous two releases and is basically the
author’s photo album of the event. There are no “chapters” as such.
The breakdown is basically a small heading for each nation involved
in the operation – simple but effective.
The photographic content is
generally very good, with large, clear photos on show throughout.
The book does have a documentary feel about it – photos taken “as it
happened” which can be a two-edged sword. One the one hand, we get
to see a good selection of modern AFV’s “in action”, with some,
before and after the application of the UN white paint. On the other
hand, there are no true walkarounds to be seen in the book, so
modelling any one particular vehicle might require a little guess
I particularly liked the photos showing the white painted vehicles
as they began to get dirty and weathered – great modelling
reference. Excellent for modelling a UN vehicle, but also good
reference for any base colour as the white in the photos highlight
the weathering patterns very well.
Of particular interest to the modeller of modern figures, is the
look at the various uniforms and weapon carrying styles of the
different nations. Careful examination of the photos will reveal a
lot about how to model the soldier of a specific nation accurately,
they all have a different look and a different “stance”.
The space allocated to the Israeli Defence Forces was, to my mind, a
little small. I would have liked to have seen a few more pages
devoted to the IDF. What is shown is tantalizing though, as the
vehicles photographed (Nakpadon & Hummer) all have the latest
modifications fitted – pure gold for the IDF modeller (myself being
one!). I’ll happliy forgive the author though, as this book is
primarily a photo album of UNIFIL 2006, not the IDF.
Landing Zone Lebanon is an
excellent publication if you are interested in, or want to model any
of the white painted UN vehicles used by UNIFIL. It is good
reference for type, variant, colour and markings. It also a good
breakdown of “who used what” in the UNIFIL of 2006.