The latest volume in Moustafa El-Assad’s Blue Steel series targets
the M113 in South Lebanon. I must say from the outset that I think
the book is an improvement on the previous volumes. I said this
about volume 2 as well, so the series is getting better with each
release. I still have my reservations about the graphic design and
layout of the books, but on the whole, they fill a required niche.
The book’s set out is similar to the preceding 2 in the series. This
time starting with a 2 page history of the M113 in South Lebanon
followed by a contributor page. The body of the book then is an
eclectic mix of in-action and destroyed M113’s – all good modelling
reference. At the end of the book we have a 5 page spread on one of
the author’s finished M113 models.
The mix of destroyed / operational vehicles within this volume is a
little more biased towards the latter which is a good thing. The
photography generally is the best yet in the series. We have 1 or 2
photos per page with most shots well exposed and sharp. The mix of
close and long shots is good also, and should be very helpful to the
There are no true walkarounds to be found, however, there is a 12
page section that highlights an ex-IDF, ex-SLA Zelda fitted with
TOGA armour. Of particular interest are the shots of a damaged
section of the TOGA panels that focus on the armour attachment
brackets – very useful detail for modelling the TOGA arrays, which
the author has capitalized on for the construction of his model!
An interesting series of photos that divert from the subject of the
book is a sequence of shots taken along the Lebanese / Israeli
border. Here we have some quite good shots of the IDF NUN NUN
command car (soon to be released by MIG Productions), Nagmashot’s,
Merkava’s and even a page devoted to IDF helicopters!
Spread throughout the book is a series photos of M113 models
produced (I assume) by the author. They are nicely constructed and
compliment the book, though we have no build-up or painting
Blue Steel 3 is a definite
improvement over the first 2 books in the series. Modellers of SLA
M113’s will find this book useful in converting, detailing and
weathering their kits. A mix of IDF “border patrol” shots only adds
interest to this handy volume.