Israeli vehicles are very interesting, with many conversions and nice colors. Unfortunately, there are only a few decal sheets for Israeli tactical markings. Thanks to Decalomaniacs, there is a sheet of them that will be valuable to Israeli Defense Force fans.
IDF markings are distinctive and coordinated. For example, the gun barrel striping (barrel rings) are used in conjunction with chevrons on the sides and letters and/or numbers on the turret. Unlike with Axis guns, the barrel rings do not designate kills, but unit affiliations: one rings means first battalion, two rings, second, et cetera. The chevron denotes the company, with a downwards pointing chevron indicating first company; pointing right is second company, et cetera. The number denotes the platoon, and the Hebrew letter the vehicle position in the platoon. For example, the aleph denotes the platoon leader.
These markings were present at least from the Yom Kippur War onward, and were likely used during the Six Day War. IDF versions of the M48/M60 (Magach) and Centurions (Sh’ot), along with later M51s and M50 (while still active) all carried these types of markings.
what you get
The decals come in a Ziploc bag with a cardboard top printed with the usual information. The bag contained one A4 Paper with the history and usage of the markings the decals represent, plus two sheets of decals:
On the bigger sheet (19.6cm x 12.3cm) there are 156 decals in white, black, blue and orange colors showing the stripes used on the gun barrels (barrel rings)
The smaller sheet (7.7cm x 11.3cm) has 16 (air recognition) crosses in 3 different sizes.
For someone who's not really into IDF (Israeli Defense Force) this will be quite enough, though those who want more information and find some pictures, then more research is necessary. Since I’m an IDF fanatic, I decided to see what’s out there and did some research. I discovered a lot, and it was fun! And of course, I learned a lot of stuff I didn’t know.
Roundels were sometimes seen on IDF vehicles during the Six Day War and Operation Kadesh. The Israelis captured a lot of Egyptian vehicles, especially during the Egyptians’ hasty retreat during the former conflict. Those vehicles were immediately put into service by the IDF without even over-painting their Egyptian markings, but just adding white Israeli markings alongside it. I have seen PT-76's, BTR's and the like with both Egyptian and IDF insignia.
The white-filled squares are mainly used on APC's like the M113 and the Centurion-based and T-55-based APC's. The geometrical symbols are placed on the fenders of tanks but I don’t know what they mean.
The blue crosses are St. Andrews Crosses used as air recognition markers on the engine deck of the early M50 (Degem Beth and Degem Aleph, both with the French M50 gun and the VVSS suspension). They were also used on early M1 Shermans— early, meaning an original 76mm gun and turret based on the M4A1 76(W) VVSS suspension, and on the nose of the Israeli AMX-13 (French-supplied, but without the SS11 missile rack). The crosses were used during Operation Kadesh in the Sinai to keep the air force from taking out their own vehicles. That’s because France had also sold the same vehicles to Egypt. The crosses can be seen from 1956 onwards. By the 60's, they can still be seen, but are worn and usually other markings appear on the turret.
Now what about the decals themselves? Overall, they look very nice, with crisp edges. The St. Andrews Crosses seem to be too thin, but only few people would likely notice that.
This is a very nice set, and a must for every IDF fan. These markings are very rare, and made in a small number, so they are much more appreciated by modelers who are interested in Israeli vehicles (or captured ones if you model Egyptian AFVs). They’re very cheap in price, and provide you a lot of Israeli tactical markings, which few decal sheets have.
I want to thank Jeroen Visschers for helping me research this review.
And thanks to Decalomaniacs for providing this review sample. Be sure to mention you saw them on Armorama when ordering.
Highs: Unique subject. A lot of decals. Small amount of carrier film around the edges.Lows: A few decals are a little bit wrong.Verdict: Nice, rare and cool sheet which provides you a lot of decals for Israeli vehicles. Recommended.
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