Reviews of books or magazines relating to scale modeling.

Gun Trucks - A Visual History of the U.S. Army’s Vietnam-Era Wheeled Escort Platforms

Published: March 15th, 2016     
Gun Trucks - A Visual History of the U.S. Army’s Vietnam-Era Wheeled Escort Platforms
Author: David Doyle
Reviewed by: Bill O’Malley, IPMS# 46473
Company: Ampersand Publishing

Ampersand’s website:

Noted military truck historian David Doyle has created an extensive and vivid portrait of these unique trucks. He begins with a detailed description of the truck platforms and designs, giving the reader a basic primer of the trucks prior to modification. This is followed by a lengthy illustrated description of the many weapons systems used, from small arms to the .50-caliber quad. Coverage of the trucks in action follows and is composed of many never before seen photos, many of which are full page in size and in color.

The first section describes military transport vehicles from the 1/4 ton M151, 2 1/2 ton 6 x 6, the 5 ton 6 x 6, and the M37. Each of the vehicle types is described in two or three pages with overall views and detailed photos of the engines. The photos are ‘proving ground’ type shots and in-action photos.

The next section covers The “Quad” M55 quadruple .50 caliber machine gun mount. This section includes over 9 pages of walk-around photos of an example at the Rock Island Arsenal museum.

J2M Raiden and NiK1/2 Shiden/Shiden-Kai Aces

Published: March 15th, 2016     
J2M Raiden and NiK1/2 Shiden/Shiden-Kai Aces
Author: Yasuho Izawa, Tony Holmes, Illustrator: Jim Laurier
Reviewed by: Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
Company: Osprey Publishing

The newest in Osprey’s Aircraft of the Aces series is authored by Yasuho Izawa, an ophthalmic optician in Tokyo. His past literary works include co-authoring Japanese Army Air Force Fighter Units and their Aces 1931-45 (with Ikuhiko Hata), Japanese Naval Air Force Fighter Units and their Aces 1932-45(with Ikuhiko Hata), Japanese Naval Aces and Fighter Units in World War II (with Ikuhiko Hata), and Bloody Shambles Volumes 1 and 2 (with Christopher Shores and Brian Cull). Tony Holmes has been the Osprey Aviation Editor since 1989 and is responsible for devising the Aircraft of the Aces, Combat Aircraft, Elite Units, and Duel series of books for Osprey. In his 26 year career, Tony Holmes has authored, or co-authored, more than thirty aviation books. Illustrator Jim Laurier, a native of New England, provides the color profiles. Jim has been drawing since he could hold a pencil and throughout his life he has worked in many mediums creating artwork on a variety of subjects. He has worked on the Osprey Aviation list since 2000, and has been featured in hundreds of aviation books.

Valentine Infantry Tank 1938-45

Published: March 14th, 2016     
Valentine Infantry Tank 1938-45
Author: Bruce Newsome
Reviewed by: Phillip Cavender, IPMS# 50085
Company: Osprey Publishing

Osprey Publications have given us another excellent book for the military historian or for the model builder wanting a good reference book to include in his library. This publication was written by Bruce Oliver, PhD, a lecturer in International Relations at the University of California Berkeley who has several publications to his name.

The Valentine, Infantry Mk III was a light duty tank built and used by the British in WW II. The book is divided into 8 sections.


The introduction section consisting of 2 paragraphs, gives a short synopsis of the Valentine platform and the countries it was exported to during WWII along with the percentage data of the platform usage.

Tips to Master Advanced Techniques Building 700th IJN Ships, Vol. 1

Published: March 10th, 2016     
Tips to Master Advanced Techniques Building 700th IJN Ships, Vol. 1
Reviewed by: David Wrinkle, IPMS# 45869
Company: Model Art

Since April of 2013 when Kodakawa games released their free browser game Kantai Collection (aka Kancolle), featuring cute anime girls each of which represent ships from the Second World War IJN, there has been an increased interest in ship modeling in Japan. Tamiya, Hasegawa and Aoshima, have long worked in harmony releasing a sizable number of 1/700 warships represented by the waterline series of kits. These three companies as well as Fujimi are capitalizing on the popularity of the game and anime series by re-releasing many of these kits, as well as creating new kits, with extra decals of the girls as well as game specific box art.

Admittedly, because of the game as well as the anime series, I too have become a bit more interested in ship modeling. When I saw the Model Art issue covering up for grabs I knew that I wanted to give it a good look. Based on other Model Art magazine reviews and the few that I already own it I knew I would not be disappointed.

Let me say, I was not disappointed.

Republic P-47B-D Razorback

Published: March 9th, 2016     
Republic P-47B-D Razorback
Author: Robert Peczkowski
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery, IPMS# 14003
Company: Mushroom Model Publications

Authored by Robert Peczkowski, with color profiles by Zbigniew Kolacha, this book, is a comprehensive text and photographic/image guide to the Republic P-47B-D.

The book thoroughly covers the “B”, “C”, and “D” versions of this famous World War II aircraft. This story is told in excellent text, accompanied by period B&W photographs, excellent color images of surviving airframes, extracts from official manuals, and a superb collection of color profiles by Zbigniew Kolacha.

Of particular interest to the hobbyist is the excellent color artwork which depicts many of the camouflage schemes and markings found on the P-47.

Of particular interest in the list of chapters are those which feature “Detail Photos” of the fuselage, wing, engine, canopy, cockpit, tail, undercarriage, guns, and stores. The modeler will find these images rich in detail.