Book Review
PUMA – Heavy APC
PUMA – Heavy APC: Centurion Based APC In IDF Service Part 1
  • move

by: Todd Michalak [ TRM5150 ]


Desert Eagle Publishing is a collaborative effort between Michael Mass and Adam O’Brien. Desert Eagle Publishing has a growing list of books in their IDF Armor Series which highlights various armored beasts that operate within the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces). Each edition from Desert Eagle Publishing gives an in-depth technical overview along with incredible pictorial walk around views of each of the subjects laid out with the enthusiast and modeler in mind.

A little about the Author and Editor
Michael Mass, author of the IDF Series of books from Desert Eagle Publishing, spent the majority of his life in and around the IDF. Currently Michael is a Lieutenant Colonel (Res) in the Israeli Armored Corps and is the curator of the Yad Lashiryon Memorial Site and Museum as well as an establishing member of the Israeli Chapter of the IPMS. Adam O’brien, Editor of the Desert Eagle Publishing Series of books, is a self-employed Architect specializing in Building Design and Drafting. Adam has been fascinated with the political and military history of Israel and the IDF from an early age and is an avid modeler of the genre associated with the IDF.

PUMA Heavy APC: Centurion Based APC In IDF Service – Part 1
The latest offering from Desert Eagle Publishing as a part of their IDF Armor Series is their 11th publication, PUMA Heavy APC: Centurion Based APC In IDF Service – Part 1. This book is an eighty-four page photo manuscript covering the inner and outer working of the Puma Heavy APC as it is seen in use by the IDF. The Puma Heavy APC book is a gathering of technical data and over 200 high resolution photographs about this Centurion based armored vehicle including the following chapters:


• Introduction
• Puma in Action
• Man and Machine
• Puma in Detail
• Puma on Trailer
• Tactical Signs

This book has been dedicated in the memory of Colonel Yechi’am Harpaz. Col. Harpaz was the intellectual mastermind behind the designs of the suspensions on all of the Merkava MBT’s as well as the Puma APC. His legacy will live on through his creation as well as through the memories of his friends and family.

The Puma

The Heavy APC began its journey back in the late 1950’s with the presentation of a small number of Centurion MK. 5 tanks from Great Britain. The arrival of the Centurion coincided with the foundation of the IDF Armored Corps. The numbers of Centurion would grow considerably over the coming years and would also have the chance to prove themselves in battle throughout the 1960’s and 70’s.

The Puma APC would eventually evolve from the line of Centurion Shot-Cal MBT’s as the Gimel/Dalet variant of the Shot-Cal is the platform for the Puma. Designed for engineers, this APC fulfilled the need for troops to be able to move every other piece of heavy equipment on the battlefield wherever and whenever it had to and do so with the same manoeuvrability as seen with the heavy assault vehicles in use.

The Puma’s hull is that of the Centurion Shot-Cal Gimel/Dalet configuration fit with the same suspension used on the Merkava MK.2 MBT. The Puma retained the outer drivetrain used on the Centurion. With this solid base, the Puma was born and would branch off into several different variants and versions of this heavy APC.

Desert Eagle Publishing’ PUMA Heavy APC: Centurion Based APC In IDF Service – Part 1 starts off in the Introduction with a very informative ten-page history of the development of the Puma APC from the humble beginnings of the first supplied Centurion Tanks through various APC creations culminating in the arrival of the Puma platform. The Introduction briefly shows several variants of the Puma supported with many color photographs of these variants.

The In Action Chapter is a highly visual photographic exploration of the Puma in operation. The chapter contains highly detailed pictures or the Puma in its natural environment with all the dirt and dust the beast can kick up. Each picture is supported with text pointing out highlights to what we are looking at.

The Man and Machine Chapter of this book is an eight-page photo-layout showing the battlefield engineers hard at work. Again, each of the photographs is supported by text. This section sheds light the human aspect between ‘Man and Machine'.

The Puma in Detail Chapter makes up the bulk of the PUMA Heavy APC book. There are forty-three pages to this section covering every inch of the Puma and all in high resolution color pictures all supported with detailed technical explanations to the details being seen. The chapter can actually be broken down into sub-chapter including:
• Front
• Left Side
• Right Side
• Rear
• Rear Deck Basket
• Superstructure and Roof
• Driver’s Hatch
• Battery and Greaser
• Yonatan
• Suspension
• Weapons
• Rear Deck
• Interior

The next chapter, Puma on Trailer, shows the loading of one of the giants onto a heavy duty trailer and explains the loading and securement procedures involved with transporting this big cat around.

The final chapter of this book gives a photographic look at the Tactical Signs associated with the Puma. A valuable resource to placement of marking on this vehicle if one intends to depict the Puma in a modelling venture.


The PUMA Heavy APC: Centurion Based APC in IDF Service – Part 1 book is a welcomed continuation of the high-quality comprehensive examination of armored vehicles from Desert Eagle Publishing. This, the 11th edition of the IDF Series, takes the reader around into the crevasses and every corner, up over the top and inside the hatches as well as deep inside the belly of the beast with a photo arrangement showing us the complete interior to the Puma and all her glory. It is often said a “picture is worth a thousand words”…that would most certainly make for some hefty reading as there are over two hundred color photographs included in the book.

I highly recommend this book to anyone, if not only for learning more about the Puma Heavy APC’s in the services of the IDF, but for the technical referencing value of this publication’s pictographic walk around of this beast. The PUMA Heavy APC: Centurion Based APC In IDF Service – Part 1 is an indispensable resource guide to the Puma along with being a profusion of weathering wonderment; a true asset to any modeler! After reading this book, the only thing left to do now is to eagerly await the arrival of Part 2!

I wish to thank Michael Mass, Adam O’Brien and Desert Eagle Publishing for providing PUMA Heavy APC: Centurion Based APC In IDF Service – Part 1 book for review.

Eagle Publishing – PUMA – Heavy APC: Centurion Based APC In IDF Service Part 1
Series – IDF Armor Series
Authors – Michael Mass and Adam O’Brien
Printed by HodRahav Printing Israel
ISBN – 978-965-91635-7-1
Pages – 83
Highs: An exceptional pictographic walk around to the Centurion based Puma APC.
Lows: None at this time.
Verdict: I feel this is an essential procurement for anyone captivated with the Puma APC or who is looking for an incredible reference for weathering.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: No.11
  Suggested Retail: $52.00
  PUBLISHED: Dec 31, 2014

Our Thanks to Desert Eagle Publishing!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

View Vendor Homepage  |  More Reviews  

About Todd Michalak (TRM5150)

I am building what I like, when I like and how I like it; having fun doing it. I have been building and finishing models on and off my whole life but the past ten years things really exploded. Just about anything goes when it comes to hitting the bench, but wrecked armor, rusted hulks, ships or ...

Copyright ©2021 text by Todd Michalak [ TRM5150 ]. All rights reserved.


Thanks for posting Darren, And thank you Todd Michalak for your special and unique way of your review.. Happy new year, Michael Mass
JAN 01, 2015 - 12:13 AM
You are welcome Michael! The IDF Armor Series is truly a great collection of books; highly detailed, up close photographs accompanied by informative textual support! Nothing more to ask for, except for you to keep bringing us more! Thank you!
JAN 03, 2015 - 07:53 PM

Click image to enlarge
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move