Book Review
Achzarit Heavy APC
Achzarit Heavy APC In IDF Service
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by: Todd Michalak [ TRM5150 ]


Desert Eagle Publishing is a partnership of Michael Mass (Author) and Adam O’Brien (Editor) and has brought us many editions in their IDF Armor Series; books designed to give us an up close and personal look at many specific Israel Defense Forces (IDF) related armor. With removal of censorship over the IDF a few years ago, this paved the way for Michael and Adam to begin their series of books with not only the Military researcher and historians in mind but the modelers out there as well.

Desert Eagle Publishing brings us their next installment in the continuing IDF Armor Series; Achzarit Heavy APC in IDF Service; Number 8 in the series and in the spotlight is the Achzarit Heavy Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) which is an APC design evolved from converted stock piles of captured T-55 Main Battle Tanks obtained from previous wars.

The Achzarit Heavy APC in IDF Service is printed on high quality paper with the high resolution photographs throughout. The book contains ten chapters with eighty-three pages packed full of information along with over 220 photographs on the Achzarit and its variants.


  • Book – Achzarit Heavy APC In IDF Service
  • Series: IDF Armor Series
  • Author, Text and Photographs: Michael Mass
  • Editor and Layout: Adam O’Brien
  • Model & Description: Adam O’Brien
  • Printed By: Rahav Printing Israel
  • Publishing: Desert Eagle Publishing
  • Volume No. 8
  • 83 Pages
  • SRP: $59.99

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • In Action
  • Man and Machine
  • In Detail – Walkaround
  • In Detail – Suspension
  • In Detail – Interior
  • In Detail – Power Pack
  • Ambulance
  • Tactical Signs
  • Achzarit LIC
  • Modelling the Achzarit


The “Introduction” of this book covers the humble beginnings of the Achzarit with the story behind the T55 MBT and its evolution to the Tiran, the Samovar; a prototype carrying the Tiran 5 Turret and finally ending with the Achzarit. The historical layout in the beginning of the book is supported nicely with plenty of excellent detail shots of the different stages of evolution of this mighty APC.

The “In Action” chapter of the book is jamb-packed with clear photos showing the Achzarit in full motion; showing this workhorse on maneuvers at the Land Forces Training Center to the Northern Negev. This chapter shows the Achzarit at home in its natural environment.

In the “Man and Machine” chapter of Achzarit: Heavy APC shows us an up close and personal interaction that the men and women of the IDF have with this vehicle. We see some of the day to day connections of “Man and Machine”; maintenance, training and deployment are all laid out here.

Of course one of the highlights of this book, especially for the modeler, is the “In Detail” chapters of this book. Desert Eagle Publishing gives us a very complete walk around session of the Achzarit. Every angle is covered from the T-55 and Centurion suspension, Hatches and upper hull layout, full interior walk-through and an in-depth look at the power pack of the beast. If nothing else, this book is a must have for the walk around section. Each photograph in this enormous layout, as is in the entire book, is supported with facts and descriptions of everything we are looking at. Not only is the technical information and layout valuable to the modeler, the wear and tear along with the weathering seen in these sections is a gold mine of information. These vehicles are worked hard and it shows all right here.

The section entitled “Ambulance” shows us a walk-through one of the Achzarit’s sub variants.

In the chapter “Tactical Signs”, the author shows a comprehensive look at several tactical markings used on the Achzarit. Often hand painted chevrons and task team numbers along with many insignia carried on the vehicle.

The chapter on the LIC ready (Low Intensity Conflict) Achzarit Bet (late) shows us yet another walk around of another modified Achzarit focusing on the commander’s doghouse cupola and two versions of the tow horns.

Finally the book finishes up with a fantastic step by step building of a 1/72 Cromwell Models Achzarit by the editor of the book; Adam O’Brien. Adam has done a wonderful job on this braille-scale model and shares his building, painting and weathering experience.


Well, what can I say about the Achzarit Heavy APC in IDF Service book from Desert Eagle Publishing? If it came down to one word, it would have to be…WOW!!! Of course I could stop just there. This book covers the Achzarit APC in the IDF Service exceptionally; history, use, inside and out and with the human connection associated with this versatile battlefield behemoth.

The author and photographer Michael Mass and the editor and avid modeler Adam O’Brien have time and again hit the mark with each publication in their IDF Armor Series; No. 8, Achzarit: Heavy APC in IDF Service is just one more valuable manuscript geared to the modeler and IDF enthusiast alike.

Every page of this book shows us all of the ins and outs of the Achzarit APC. Desert Eagle Publishing has left no stone unturned so I can confidently say that every inch of the Achzarit is covered in this book. I highly recommend this book and this is not just limited to anyone with interests the Achzarit APC and IDF but most certainly with scale modeling and any weathering associated with that modeling. Another fine job from Desert Eagle Publishing!

I wish to thank Desert Eagle Publishing for this review sample and would also like to thank Michael Mass and Adam O’Brien for all their effort that they put into their passion for the IDF Armor and modelling which helps in bringing us these books.

Any and all pictures provided in this review are the sole property of Desert Eagle Publishing; any copy and/or reproduction of these photographs are not allowed unless written consent from the Publisher and/or author of the book.

You can find No.8 in the IDF Armor Series: Achzarit Heavy APC In IDF Service at many fine retailers in the following link
Desert Eagle Publishing Live links

Highs: This is a highly comprehensive look into, around as well as the story behind the Achzarit Heavy APC. A must read for any fan of IDF Armor and/or this APC.
Lows: None at this time
Verdict: I feel this is must have for anyone interested in the subject matter; historian and modeler alike.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: No.8
  Suggested Retail: $59.99 USD
  PUBLISHED: Feb 23, 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.

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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.


Nice. It's a must have. I just buy my model and now need this book. Thanks Todd! Marco
FEB 23, 2014 - 04:43 AM
Hi Marco, Your welcome! This book is an excellent reference for the Achzarit, you will enjoy it!
FEB 23, 2014 - 05:27 AM
Got this book last week, I agree with the review, it is excellent reference, a must buy for IDF fans. Cheers, Christophe
FEB 23, 2014 - 10:30 PM

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