German and Russian Tank Models 1939-45
Having just come back from AMPS Nationals in Buffalo, I have an appreciation for how popular German and Russian tank subjects are to modelers. Scanning over the various Panzers and T-34s, I think the timeliness of this book's release speaks volumes to the popularity of the subject and the usefulness of the content inside. Featuring subjects in 1/72, 1/48, and 1/35, there is a bit of something for everyone inside.
Author- Mario Eens
Pages- 132 pages with over 200 color photographs
8" X 10" Hardcover
WHAT'S INSIDE THE BOOK
Mr. Eens doesn't fool around-- getting right to the builds. There are plenty of photos in each chapter giving thorough step-by-step tutorials of how he accomplished recreating the settings and end products. Here is a breakdown of what's inside:
- DAK Panzer I Ausf. A- North Africa, 1941-- Using the 1/35 Dragon kit, there is a thorough list at the start of all aftermarket items used, as well as materials used in scratching certain items. Things get moving along with Construction-- modifications including adding scratch built details using copper wire and strip styrene, thinning of surfaces to better recreate scale sizes, and improving surface details such as weld lines are also shown in great detail. The author replaces a good amount of the kit parts such as tools and exhaust covers and the like with scratch materials as well as aftermarket parts. There is a run-down next of painting and weathering interior details, and recreating a beat-up desert scheme for the exterior. Any paints or washes are listed and the methods used to achieve the results are methodical and concise. The author seems to prefer using dry transfers for most of his markings-- it would have been nice to address techniques for using normal decals for those who may not use dry transfers, but that's just a minor issue. The chapter concludes with an overview of painting tracks, wheels, and accessories. The author seems to prefer using Modelkasten tracks as opposed to kit ones in the majority of the builds.
- T-34/76 "ChTZ"- Russia, Summer, 1943-- This 1/35 build is a kit bash of a few different Tamiya T-34 kit components, as well as another lengthy list of aftermarket items. The chapter follows pretty much the same format as the prior chapter, starting with hull and turret construction. There was quite a bit of surgery involved in the build, including removal of most of the fenders, engine hatch grills, and modifications of plastic thicknesses and weld details on the hull and turret. There is also a nice step-by-step for adding texture to the gun mantlet and hull using liquid cement and a stiff brush. The next few pages are dedicated to painting details like base coating and variation and depth techniques. Chipping, weathering, and adding dry transfers- as well as a run-through of finishing wheels and track details come next. After detailing extra accessories, there is a nice section on assembling and painting a figure for the tank.
- Panzerkampfwagen VIII Maus, Germany, 1946-- This is the 1/72 scale Easy Model kit-- and the Maus was really a late war design whose prototypes were captured by the Soviets. The kit comes as an assembled model in red primer and was used mainly as an experiment in painting, although the author couldn't resist slightly modifying the tank before beginning the repaint. Retexturing the hull, fixing sprue attachment points, and drilling out the exhausts and thick barrels take up the majority of the work involved. The red oxide primer coat was repainted and then after a base coat, the splinter-pattern camouflage was masked and sprayed on. After a few layers of pin washes, work was done to add chipping and other weathering. Work on the road wheels and tracks and addition of a few dry transfer markings complete the chapter.
- SU-152- Eastern Front, Winter 1943-- Using the Bronco 1/48 kit, the author looks to recreate a white-wash finish. The only other additions to the kit were some Fruilmodel tracks. Construction was straight-forward, although there was quite a bit of sanding to scale thickness and modifying the overdone texture on the upper hull. He sanded and filled and redid the textures using a stiff brush and liquid cement.Adding of torch cut markings and weld details as per the usual procedures for the author followed. After application of the base coat, there is great detail in recreating a realistic white-wash effect using Tamiya Flat White paint over a couple layers of AK Interactive Heavy Chipping fluid. The weathering section goes into a bit more detail in adding wet mud to the lower hull, wheels, and tracks. The chapter concludes with finishing touches, fuel can, and accessories.
- Russian Infantry- Berlin, April 1945-- As a nice wrap-up of the book, this chapter focuses on painting and detailing a 1/35 Mig Productions Russian Scrounger with Panzerfaust figure. Assembly and painting tips for the face, coat, shirt and trousers, boots, and weapons provide information on paints used and there is a helpful chart to follow for each detail. Following these few pages is a great section on assembling, painting, and detailing a scratch built base for the figure.
The author has done an excellent job presenting a book with a little bit for everyone inside. The photos are crisp and clear and easy to follow and the accompanying text in the captions can give just about anyone a boost to start trying some new methods of creating realistic Axis and Soviet pieces. No matter what genre or scale you prefer, you should be able to find something useful inside to advance your skills and get your piece looking just the way you'd like.
Highly Recommended for any armor modeler, but especially oriented to those working on German and Russian armor.
Thanks goes out to Casemate for this review kit.
Reviewed by Michael Reeves
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