Reviews of products for scale miscellaneous models.

GRUNTS: Inside the American Combat Experience WWII through Iraq

Published: September 27th, 2011     
GRUNTS: Inside the American Combat Experience WWII through Iraq
Author: John C. McManus
Reviewed by: Hub Plott, IPMS# 31328
Company: NAL Caliber Trade Paperback

This thick book gives one a close up look at the life of the fighting infantryman! Each of the 10 chapters covers a specific battle and the experiences of those who fought there. From the Pacific theatre to the European, from Vietnam to Iraq, you are there on the beaches, in the foxholes, the rice paddies and through the streets of Fallujah.

This book gives you a very good sense of the up close and personal war that is fought by each and every combat infantryman be they Marine or US Army. Harrowing accounts of night fighting and Banzai charges, fighting the elements and the Germans at the Bulge in this book you are there. Each chapter puts you in the heart of the action and gives you as close as any book can a sense of what it was like to be there.

The Airfix Book of Scale Modeling

Published: September 13th, 2011     
The Airfix Book of Scale Modeling
Author: Jonathan Mock
Reviewed by: Vince Leonardi, IPMS# 47726
Company: Concord Publications Company

Always on the lookout for a good book on my favorite hobby I stumbled upon this book in my local Barnes & Noble and purchased it right away, as the new logo colors, photography, and use of the rich "painting"-like illustrations drew me in.

The latest regeneration of Airfix has brought about not only great new tooling of kits, but also reissues of classics, a full line of paints, tools and finishing equipment, and now the resurrection of publishing efforts.  First, they brought us Airfix Model World on a monthly basis, but now we have their first new book, "The Airfix book of SCALE MODELLING", by Jonathan Mock. This book weighs in at 176 pages chock-full of color photos and state-of-the-art CAD paintings just like those in the new Airfix magazine.

American Fire Apparatus, Vol. 2 - Aerial Equipment

Published: September 12th, 2011     
American Fire Apparatus, Vol. 2 - Aerial Equipment
Author: Wayne Mutza
Reviewed by: Chuck Bush, IPMS# 42838
Company: Squadron Signal Publications

Wayne Mutza  has written his second book on American Fire Apparatus aimed at the scale modeler.   This volume covers Aerial Equipment and, from Don Greer's paintings on the front and back covers to the more than 300 color and black and white images inside, it is a feast for the eye.

The introduction explains that by the late 1800s the increase in multi-story buildings brought on the organization of the first Hook and Ladder Companies.  They arrived at the blaze carrying multiple ladders and pike poles, or "hooks", for pulling down walls and ceilings.  American LaFrance purchased the patent for a wagon-mounted ladder raised by a worm gear and fitted with a tiller seat from Daniel D. Hayes of the San Francisco Fire Department.  The Hayes Aerial went into production in 1881.

Model Art Modeling Magazine, #828, September 2011

Published: September 9th, 2011     
Model Art Modeling Magazine, #828, September 2011
Reviewed by: Luke R. Bucci, PhD, IPMS# 33549
Company: Model Art

In Model Art No. 828, September 2011, the ever-popular Takao class of WW2 Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) heavy cruisers in 1/700 scale is featured.  Pages 12-45 are filled with a comprehensive review comparing commercial kits and aftermarket sets, along with very detailed build information on super-accurizing each ship in the class (Atago, Chokai, Maya, Takao).  Builds range from straight out of the box to superdetailing with aftermarket photoetch.  Pages 50-52 are a history of Chokai.  Except for this history, the non-English language is not a problem for understanding the builds and modifications.  If you want to build 1/700 ships of this class, this magazine is a must-have.

1973 - 2010 The Story of Matchbox Kits

Published: August 27th, 2011     
1973 - 2010 The Story of Matchbox Kits
Author: Jean-Christophe Carbonel
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Company: Histoire and Collections

The Author

This book is the English translation from the French by Jennifer Meyniel and the author. I have to say that it is a very good translation, as the text is very readable. I finished this book in one evening, during the commercial breaks in a couple of favorite Tuesday evening TV shows.

Mr. Carbonel has taken the time and trouble to track down many of the players in the Matchbox plastic model division, done interviews and has done pretty extensive research on this subject. I had never heard of him, but apparently he is a respected author and aviation authority in France.

The Book

There are four sections:

  1. 1973 - The Range
  2. The AMT-Matchbox Era
  3. The Twilight Period
  4. Under German Control

Each section is divided into chapters covering one year, although some years are skipped late in the book, as not much happened after 1997.