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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Review: Ch'ir Mamochan Israeli Motorized Infantry by Battlefront

The Israeli Defense Force is an interesting beast. It's one of the few conscript armies in a democratic nation. Given the political situation in the region since the country's inception in 1948, this makes some sense. However, despite the fact that nearly everyone sees military service it is one of the highest quality military forces in the world -  punching well above its weight.

The core of any army, of course, are the foot truckers. These boys (and later, girls) are given strong representation in the Flames of War Arab Israeli War supplement: Fate of A Nation.

I've read some varied descriptions of IDF gear and look during the time but according to FoaN they were a motley bunch wearing multiple different styles of uniform. The weapons, however, were as uniform as any other army and were brought to you by the fine nation of Belgium. As this is a new briefing to all of us I'm going to take a moment to run down the 3 pieces of gear you'll care about:

Or Fusil Automatique Léger, was the, the Belgian made standard issue automatic rifle for the IDF. This little boy has a long history of service across NATO and Western nations, so much so that it was called the "right arm of the free-world." Developed in 1946, it still sees service in some countries today.

In game terms this is a ROF 1, AT 2, FP 6 automatic rifle (meaning it doesn't take a ROF penalty when moving or pinned and, when unpinned, it re-rolls failed defensive fire shots) with tank assault 4.

The Fabrique National Mitrailleuse d'Appui Général, or general purpose machine gun is another Belgian made gun that has now seen use in more than 80 countries. 

In game terms this is a ROF 5, AT 2, FP 6 with a 16" range.

Not as ubiquitous as the other two pieces of Belgium war gear, this guy is the bazooka of the IDF.
On the table this 2 man team is ROF 1, AT 11, FP 5+, Tank Assault 5 with a range of 8".

OK, now that we've got the primer on what you're looking at out of the way here's the kit:
You'll get enough stuff to do all 6 FN FAL teams, 2 FN MAG teams, 2 Blindicide teams and a command teams. All the options!

Plenty of poses. 

All based up. As a nice touch, they added in the fillers for the empty holes. 

Yeah, so I forgot to prime the models before I based gouped them... Sue Me. 

And here they are all painted up! One of the things about the IDF in the 60's was that the variation of uniform was pretty impressive. From French Airborne, to old US and British kit, to the new standard Israeli uniform, the unit could be pretty hodge podge. I attempted to represent that in my army. 
One very positive and two very negative notes you can see here. First, the faces are just awesome - some of the best, most expressive faces I've seen so far. Second, there are some hairy mold lines in places you can't easily remove without compromising detail. Third, the helmets are weirdly molded/modeled so much so that I thought they were soft caps in some places.  

Those two issues aside however (also you can see that the blindicide is off center by a noticeable amount) the rest of the detail on these guys including the webbing, faces and guns is just fantastic. 

I set my dudes up in some desert grass/flora with out it screaming "I'M IN A YELLOW YELLOW DESERT" more of a Golan Heights look than a Sinai Desert look.  
Because, while you might think the entire middle east looks like this:
The Sinai Desert.

Much of it actually looks like this:
The Golan Heights

So much of the detail is so good, it hurts me that the helmets and casting lines pull down the product quality a bit.

FN Fal's and Uzi's represent!

FN Mag Teams.

Weirdly, the platoon came with like 4 dudes who could be re-loading the Blindicide and no one (at least no one obvious) to act as assistant gunner to the FN MAG.

Mortar team. 

Command team.

But, we've got so much more to look forward to! Just think, if we make it to the 80's maybe we'll get some infantry models that look like this:
We can hope right!?

I knew, when I looked at the list for the Pl'ugah Tan'kim, that I'd be running an armored rifle platoon. I always like boots on the ground with a tank list. But in a lot of ways this kit sold me on it even further. It some other ways however, it nearly made me run away. 

Detail 3/5 Smexy IDF Ladies: This was a real tug of war in my brain. Part of me wanted to give these guys a 5 on the quality of the face sculpting alone. But the helmets and mold lines really dragged it down. 

Build 4/5 Smexy IDF Ladies: They're infantry, there isn't really any build :) Sclupts were nice and varied but the lack of an assistant machine gunner seemed odd. 

Value 5/5 Smexy IDF Ladies: Right now you only need one platoon, and the blister comes with everything you need to field it (short of the M3 Half Tracks of course!). 

Overall 4/5 Smexy IDF Ladies: A mixed bag that comes out for the better thanks to some superb detailing out weighing the foibles and a great deal out of the box. 

"Throckmorton is a reclusive cactus farmer living somewhere in the frosty northern climes of Alberta, Canada. When not pricking himself on pointy caryophyllales, he occasionally deigns to climb down from his northern 'Cactus Throne' to play some Flames and very occasionally writes about his adventures on Throck Of War, his personal blog."

Models provided by Throckmorton's wallet. 

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