Panzerwrecks- Panzers in Berlin 1945
By Lee Archer, Robert Kraska, and Mario Lippert
Artwork and Berlin map by Felipe Rodna
Hardcover, 8.5x11" Landscape
392 pages with scores of excellent black & white photographs and color artwork
When I first became interested in moving on from building 1/48 WWII aircraft to armor a few years back, the Panzerwrecks books were something I had always heard rave reviews about in their amazing content of wrecked and generally abused pieces of German armor. I thought that sounded cool, but considering I didn't really build much as far as German armor, I hadn't put a whole lot of thought towards it other than these occasional references from others. Over the last year or so, I've obtained a few kits of German panzers and StuGs and have grown to appreciate their worth in the grand scheme. I am even in the process of building the Airfix Tiger as I type. So when this book showed up on my doorstep and I started sifting through it, I really have begun to grasp the beauty of these books.
My scanner sadly is too small to give this map the quality scan it deserves
I had sent a few of the prior issues out to the other reviewers and saw the amazing photographs that fill the pages, as well as the excellent color drawings that are works of art on their own. Yet this particular volume really struck me as far as the ideas that immediately started propagating in my brain pan for diorama ideas. After an introduction by Lee Archer, there are brief histories of Berlin based divisions that are referred to in the book. Rather than typing them all out, I've included a snapshot of the table of contents listing them above.
After these histories, the more than 300 following pages are dedicated to hundreds of black & white photographs of actions and military vehicles in and around Berlin. I've only attached a few here, but I had a truly difficult time narrowing the scanning down to just this handful featured in the review. There really isn't a bad photograph in the batch and I could have easily picked any one to show off how amazing this book is.
While I am not overly familiar with these books, I know that some photographs are normally accompanied by color graphics that mirror the original black & white shots. Lee credits the artwork and maps to Felipe Rodna and praises his work as some of his best. I echo that sentiment- these photos are amazing and the one that adorns the cover really got me inspired to keep this particular volume instead of passing it on.
As you can see in some of the attached photos, QR codes are attached alongside the images. Scanning these codes sends you to a Google Street view of the location from the photo in the present day. I tested this out and it was flawless and really a very neat feature. Seeing a wrecked tank alongside bombed-out buildings transform into a modern day street view with modern cars, technology, and storefronts is truly something to see.
If you're like me and have held off in picking up a copy of this most excellent series, now is definitely the time to put aside any doubts and pick this book up. It is many times larger than the typical volume and is jammed with excellent reference photos that will provide endless inspiration for those looking to do something different with their armor pieces. The section featuring dug-in tanks and turrets has provided loads of ideas for a product I have had in mind for some time now. For those of you struggling to come up with a piece to go along with 2020's Last Battles AMPS International Convention theme, this might be all you need to get the creative juices flowing.
Highly Recommended for anyone who enjoys excellent rare photographs from German armor and craves ideas for dioramas or vignettes featuring these pieces.
Thanks goes out to Panzerwrecks for this review sample.
Reviewed by Michael Reeves, AMPS Albany
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