Friday, October 18

Having a doozie with your Doobi? Don’t know your D9’s from your be-hind? This may just be the book for you..

Today we read the new Desert Eagle book on the D9 Armoured bulldozer of the IDF – there has been precious little reference on this until now and builders of the MENG kit have had to scour everywhere the can to get reference on this special vehicle. It seems with this book your prayers are answered – let’s see…

Doobi D9 Variants; D9 Bulldozers in IDF Service
(Desert Eagle Publishing No. 7)
Michael Mass & Adam O’Brien
77 pages
Desert Eagle Publishing
(ISBN 978-965-91635-3-3)
Available from: Ronnels hobbies -

The new MENG kit of this very large armoured bulldozer has an appeal for many modellers. Personally having grown up around a lot of heavy machinery like this I made sure I got the kit as soon as it came out. Problem is there are bugger-all pictures of this vehicle around. Yes lots of pictures at a distance that encompass a whle vehicle, but not many of details – yes DETAILS!!

And forget about it if you want a picture of the cab! The details of the weathering which would be most interesting to modellers are a hard find also. Then I saw this book from Desert Eagle Publishing. I found a good bookseller in Australia who got it to me very quickly and safely called Ronnels hobbies ( I was glad they had it as people are getting to see this book and it seems to be in short supply.
The book is a glossy (stiff) softcover book of just under A4 size in portrait format. It is the fruits of a retired Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) serviceman Michael Mass, and a modeller and graphic designer Adam O’Brien – so we are already barking up the right tree it seems. With their connections at Desert Eagle Publishing several books concerning Israeli vehicles have come so far. They have secured much much more information here than I could in 100 Google searches. Indeed I hadn’t even found a decent picture online of the cab of a IDF D9 (apart from pictures of this book I had seen) so the co-operation shown with the IDF personnel has brought riches here for modellers.

The book gives is a light history of the use of bulldozers in the wars fought by the IDF in the second half of the century and the role played seems to have increased with the size and power of their ‘dozers.  Through a glance into the D7 and FIAT Bulldozers we go straight into the meat f this book – the D9 dozer – starting with the “L” version….

…. And aint it grand! Straight into pictures of the cab and the drive train and back ripper is prominent.  This – the more powerful of the D9’s has a different cab and lighting set up that was altered for later variants.

The D9N is next to get a showing off. Lighter and easier to access than the other D9’s the author has provided many of his own pictures showing the open cabbed variants and even a civilian version are interesting, as are the D9N rescuing an overturned D9R (Doh!)
There are yet more pictures of this variant in action on manoeuvres and in transport with several close ups as well as shots of the vehicle with other IDF equipment, tanks and tankers.

Next is what the makers of the Varja and MENG kits want to see – the D9R “in action” Eighteen pages follow in this section of the D9R doing what it does best – moving things! Of interest are the bulldozer in many different conditions – wet, dry, red dirt and winter settings all show the dozer in different stages of weathering, Of interest as well is the condition of these vehicles – from a pristine variant to bent horns on the blades – silver blades and dull coloured blades not used for a while, to running gear as new to beaten up scratched to bits wheels and blade arms. A weatherer’s paradise it should be a great guide especially to weathering obsessed modellers.
The next section shows the D9R “in detail” - and as it says on the tin this part shows some great photos of the armoured dozer that modellers want to really see. All around the outside of the vehicle is covered. The top deck is something not often seen because of the perspective of people taking pictures - the elevated shots are great. Tracks, running gear, hydraulics and the large ripper on the back are featured as is the cab, the slatted armour and the mighty blade of this hulk. Of interest to me was the variation of vehicles shot in these photos. From a beat up, moderately used Doobi’s to a brand new never been scratched dozer which almost looks like a massive toy compared to the other weathered examples here. The rooftop is also seldom seen – as is the cab, and there are shots of a brand new and heavily used dirty interior here. What a difference! And what a great reference of this vehicle this book is.
In a real “terminator” type of way the new D9T is next featured only very briefly on one page – it is an unmanned remote controlled D9 in development by the IDF – not much is known or released on this variant yet but it seems that the use of armoured bulldozers – as shown by the evolution of the D9 in this book – is just the beginning.

Lastly there is a great section (I wish it was longer) of the D9 kit in 72nd built by Adam O’Brien. This resin kit has come out very very well – you could be fooled that it isn’t bigger from the detail exposed here. Thought this is only three pages the pictures are great and the text is helpful. No doubt you could well apply this knowledge to your own kit when you get to make it. I
It is nice to see some detail about the Authors on the back page as well.

I needed a book like this for my build and I can say that it is everything I would hope for in a reference. Never boring – the pictures and text are great and the variety of vehicles on show really helps you choose just how far you want to weather the hell out of your own Doobi when the time comes. The modelling section at the end is cream on the top of a lovely hemp/Caterpillar coloured cake.

For those who want to see other D9’s from the US forces they may have to look elsewhere. Maybe another edition? I am sure if there was another like this it would do well. Not everyone is a fan of the IDF. 

Modelling is all about choice if you ask me - how much you want to make your kit look realistic, weathered or pristine - it is all up to the modeller - and this book gives you that choice in the varied pictures in different conditions and variety of different vehicles in different states of repair. It is the only reference you need of this vehicle.

I could not recommend this book enough to modellers who want to make this kit – or to those who like IDF and heavy machinery especially.

Adam Norenberg
I got my copy from the excellent and very personable Ron from Ronnels Hobbies - thanks Ron!