Military Vehicles

Reviews of products for scale military vehicle models.

French Tanks of WW I

Published: January 30th, 2011     
French Tanks of WW I
Author: Steven J Zaloga , Illustrated by Tony Bryan
Reviewed by: Roger Rasor, IPMS# 34117
Company: Osprey Publishing

Number 173 in Osprey's NEW VANGUARD series provides a concise history of FRENCH TANKS OF WORLD WAR I. In this soft cover book, author Steven J. Zaloga focuses on the three main tanks developed by France during World War I. In ten chapters, Author Zaloga describes how an innovative military concept was brought to reality, perfected and effectively employed in its intended role, and how the most successful of them soldiered on after the war and on to the brink of WW II.

Both France and Britain conceived and began developing the military tank at about the same time as an effective way of dealing with the virtual battlefield stalemate brought about by trench warfare. The book describes how France was the first to introduce the new weapon into combat and eventually fielded more of them than any other country. In the process, France arrived at a design that would become a standard for future tanks, with armament in a central turret and the engine in the rear.

United States Army Ordnance Museum

Published: January 28th, 2011     
United States Army Ordnance Museum
Author: Przemyslaw Skulski
Reviewed by: Gary Telecsan, IPMS# 34779
Company: MMP Books

This is the second book in the MMP Stratus "Military Collections of the World" series. It begins with a short, 9 page illustrated history of the Aberdeen Proving Ground and the Museum, and the rest of the book is dedicated to a photo documentation of the museum's exhibits.

The first 9 pages show the Museum's inside exhibits, uniforms, small arms, small artillery pieces and one or two smaller vehicles, and the rest of the book shows the portion of the collection stored outside. There are at least two views of each vehicle or field piece, and some commentary, in English, about the vehicle displayed.

Often the exhibit's provenance is given, and some comments about its condition. I found the book engrossing as I had no idea that Aberdeen's collection was so varied. The photos are of good quality, and will be of use to the modeler, though they do not provide the level of coverage which the super-detailers amongst us crave.

SU-85, Soviet Tank Destroyer

Published: January 24th, 2011     
SU-85, Soviet Tank Destroyer
Reviewed by: Mike O'Brien, IPMS# 47662
Scale: 1/35
Company: Tamiya

The Model

The SU-85 is a Russian tank destroyer that has a massive 85-mm gun, and was capable of taking out nearly every foe it came across. The tank did not have a moving turret so it made it easy for the Russians to build. It was powered with a V-2 12-cylinder diesel engine that could reach speeds of 34-mph on rough roads. There were roughly 2,050 destroyers built from 1943 until late 1944. It was mainly used in the battle of Kursk, as well as being heavily used from December 1943 to counter-attack German Panthers and Tiger Tanks.

The Kit:

The kit contained 4 bags, one with the main body of the tank, one that contained 4 sprues marked A.B, C, and D, a bag with the tracks, and hardware required. The fourth bag contained 6 Russian soldiers to assemble. The kit also came with Tamiya weathering master for Russian Tanks.

15-cm Sturm-Infanteriegeschutz 33 Ausf. Pz. III

Published: January 20th, 2011     
15-cm Sturm-Infanteriegeschutz 33 Ausf. Pz. III
Reviewed by: Don Barry, IPMS# 46771
Scale: 1/35
Company: Dragon Models

Editor's note: This kit is from Dragon's Cyber-Hobby line

Soviet Medium Tank T-34/76 Mod 1943 (Snap-fit)

Published: January 15th, 2011     
Soviet Medium Tank T-34/76 Mod 1943 (Snap-fit)
Reviewed by: Tom Moon, IPMS# 43192
Scale: 1/72
Company: Zvezda

This kit is listed as "My First Model Kit" and I wanted to get my grandson into modeling, so I thought this should be a good kit to introduce the hobby to my just turned 6 grandson. Well, things did not go as I had hoped. There are no age recommendations on the box, but most of the other kits on the shelf state 8 years old or older even for the snap tight kits. Now I know why. My grandson's fine motor skills were not developed enough to handle a sprue cutter and his attention span was not long enough even to handle this kit (from start to finish no more than 2 hours). So I ended up finishing the model myself and getting him introduced to the painting and decal portion of the project. Below is listed what was done and how: