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"McDonnell Douglas A-4 Skyhawk"
(Aircraft of the Israeli Air Force Vol.3)

 

by Ra'anan Weiss
and Yoav Efrati

 

published by Isradecal Publications

and

Israeli Air Force A-4 Skyhawk
1:48 & 1:72 by Isradecal (IAF 17/1)
 

 

S u m m a r y

ISBN: Not Quoted
Media: Soft perfect bound cardboard cover; A-4 Format; 114 pages
Price: AUD$73
Review Type: First Read
Advantages: Incalculable value to the modeller of Israeli Scooters.
Disadvantages: Expensive in Australia
Recommendation: Recommended

 

Reviewed by Paul Gillan


HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron.com

 

FirstRead



I saw this book advertised last year and decided that I wanted it. I saw the advertised price, paled slightly when converting it to Aussie Dollars (aka South Pacific Pesos), and went through a local dealer to acquire the book. The landed price of this book was A$73. Ouch!! This price is not a reflection on Isradecal's pricing policy as I chose to go through a local distributor and must accept that there would be an increase in price. The guys at Isradecal fund the production of this publication out of their own pockets and have to sell the books at a price that will recoup their outlay. It's not their fault the Aussie dollar sucks.

I must have misinterpreted an overseas review of this book as I expected a hefty, hard cover tome of incalculable value to the modeller. Needless to say, I was a little disappointed by the size of the book when it arrived. The book is a perfect bound, soft cover A4 sized publication of one hundred and fourteen high quality glossy pages. However, the disappointment ended there. It might not be hefty or hard cover but if you want to build an Israeli Scooter, this is the essential publication.

I actually read most of the book this afternoon. Yes boys, I can read!

A brief introduction about the A-4 in Israeli service also covers the types (E/F/H/N + TA variants) operated and upgrades instituted while in service. This is then followed by histories of the operator Squadrons. Very similar to the Ginter A-4 books, except in colour. The text is well written and easily digestible. It's not too wordy either as words take up valuable space that photos need. Excellent, we are modellers not scholars.

Each squadron history is covered briefly and most of the chapters have a '....and there I was...' war story. Of particular interest is the tale of the only 'MiG killer' Israeli Scooter. Ever heard of Zuni rockets being used in air-to-air mode??? Very cool stuff.

There are a couple of minor grammatical and spelling errors but hey, we are modellers not teachers. I only mention this because someone is bound to bring it up and bag my review as not being honest or accurate.

I haven't done an exact count but there are about three hundred photos of which one hundred and ten or so are colour. There are also forty odd excellent colour plates. There are images from every angle, in the air and on the ground. At the back of the book is a ten page walk around feature that misses nothing. Most of the images are exceptionally clear and well presented. There are a few grainy shots, but that is to be expected. If you expect to see any colour scheme that isn't green, two browns and a grey, you will be disappointed. No flashy anniversary markings here.

This book is a limited release publication. If you like IDF aircraft it's an essential purchase while it is still available.

So in summary, while the book is expensive on my side of the pond, it is of incalculable value to the modeller of Israeli Scooters. Like how I linked that back to my first comments??

I'd like to thank Ra'anan and Yoav for producing this exceptional publication. Without cottage industry types like Isradecal we would probably never see publications like this. I highly recommend the book.

Recommended.

The review sample was provided by my wallet and was made available in Australia by Jamin from Scale Effect at scalefx@austarnet.com.au

 



Israeli Air Force A-4 Skyhawk
1:48 & 1:72 by Isradecal (IAF 17/1)

Like the book, I figured I needed this decal sheet to build an IAF Scooter.

Might as well, I have the Cutting Edge intakes, seat, and Israeli A4H conversion. Again, cost was a killer. At A$32 delivered, it hurt my wallet. Damn, this Israeli Scooter is going to cost me a bucket load! Putting the cost into perspective, this is about the average price for high quality decal sheets in Australia today, particularly if you are getting them from overseas. As for the book, this is a reflection of the Aussie dollar buying power, not the product.

Please note the decal review is an "in the bag" review. I have not had an opportunity to use the decals as yet.

A perfect compliment to the aforementioned book is the decal sheet by Isradecal for Israeli Skyhawks. Contained in a zip lock plastic bag are two 7" by 5" decal sheets featuring both 1:72 and 1:48 marking options and a detailed eight page A5 sized black and white instruction manual. This sheet provides markings for all variants of IAF Scooter.

The sheets are printed by Cartograf and are crisply done. The colour sheet is in register with no obvious bleed through of colours. The full colour sheet features the unit markings of all Israeli Skyhawk units, stencils, intake markings, national insignia and rudder markings. Of particular interest is the large flying tiger marking for an 'N' model Scooter. The other sheet is your basic black. This sheet covers all the aircraft numbers and stencils that do not require colour. Well duh!

One thing that strikes you is the mis-spelt "RESRCUE" arrows. These markings are only called out for two jets, so I'm assuming there is photographic evidence of this balls up. I couldn't find this error in the book, this doesn't mean it didn't occur though.

The instruction sheet features twenty five different single seat marking options. However, with a little research, you can probably do the markings for every IAF Scooter, including the duals, from this sheet. This instruction sheet is a welcome addition and will benefit those people that don't buy the book.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


To me, the biggest disappointment of the sheet is the lack of national markings. I bought this sheet so I could do a couple of IAF aircraft in 1/48 scale. There are only eight 1/48 roundels. IAF Scooters have standard six position national markings. It is frustrating that Isradecal would go to all the effort of providing a multitude of possible marking options and then not provide sufficient national markings for more than one aircraft in 1/48 scale. This deficiency is accentuated by provision of stenciling for at least two aircraft. To make matters worse, the 1/72 "Braille scale" mob get twelve roundels......aaarrgghhh!!!! However, I believe that this was an effort by the manufacturers to provide the widest range of unit markings for the best price in the space available. More stencils and markings would have meant less options or a higher cost.

But, gripes aside, the sheets are very nice. Isradecal has done an exceptional job of providing a decal sheet that provides the modeller with a wide range of marking options. If you can get past the national insignia issue then you will more than likely be very satisfied with the product.

Many thanks to Isradecal for researching and producing the sheets.

Recommended

The review sample was provided by my wallet and was made available in Australia by Jamin from Scale Effect at scalefx@austarnet.com.au


Review Copyright 2002 by Paul Gillan
This Page Created on 05 May, 2002
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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