Publications

Reviews of books or magazines relating to scale modeling.

Weapons of the Viking Warrior

Published: March 3rd, 2019     
Weapons of the Viking Warrior
Author: Gareth Williams; Illustrator: Johnny Shumate
Reviewed by: Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
Company: Osprey Publishing

Gareth Williams has been a curator at the British Museum since 1996, with responsibility for British and European coinage, about AD 500 to about 1180. Within this area, he specializes in Anglo-Saxon and Viking coinage. Much of his work focuses on the use of coinage as evidence within broader historical and archaeological studies. Gareth has authored at least fifteen books and led several projects at the British Museum, with a "Viking Voyages" exhibition that recently finished a run from March 2015 through February 2017. He has been actively involved in historical re-enactments. Check him out at the British Museum.

Smolensk 1943: The Red Army’s Relentless Advance

Published: March 2nd, 2019     
Smolensk 1943: The Red Army’s Relentless Advance
Author: Author: Robert Forczyk Illustrator: Adam Hook
Reviewed by: Mike Lamm, IPMS# 50139
Company: Osprey Publishing

Osprey's Campaign series of books is a well-established line covering some of the more famous campaigns in military history. The series started 29 years ago with the Normandy landings and with this installment, Smolensk 1943 being one of their latest releases.

As the battles around Kursk were winding down, Joseph Stalin began setting his sights on the next largest German army on the Soviet's Western front the German Heeresgruppe Mitte (Army Group Center). Operation Suvorov would launch the Soviet Western Front and Kalinin Front armies against the numerically inferior German forces concentrated around the city of Smolensk. The Soviet forces consisted of over 1.2 million soldiers, outnumbering the Germans by a ratio of nearly 3:1, but the Germans had held the area for nearly two years prior to the Soviet offensive and were able to prepare strong defensive positions that Soviet reconnaissance and planning had not accounted for at the time of the attack. The Soviet offensive launched at the start of August of 1943, but ultimate Soviet victory was not achieved until early October costing both sides huge losses of men and materiel.

The Russian Aviation Colours 1909-1922: Camouflage and Markings; Vol. 4, Against Soviets

Published: March 2nd, 2019     
The Russian Aviation Colours 1909-1922: Camouflage and Markings; Vol. 4, Against Soviets
Author: Editor: Roger Wallsgrove - Author: Marat Khairulin - Illustrator: A. J. Kazakov
Reviewed by: Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
Company: Mushroom Model Publications

Following up the first three in this series, The Russian Aviation Colours 1909-1922: Camouflage and Markings, Volume 1 Early Years, Volume 2 "Great War", Volume 3 "Red Stars", comes MMP's latest tome. This book, focused on 'Against Soviets' is the final volume in the series. The author leans heavily on Russian private archives, as well as archives, libraries, and museums.

The book is a nice hardbound, with a nice glossy cover, and 128 pages on high-quality stock with a matt finish. Mainly clear black and white period photos are supplemented with modern day color photos, color period posters and postcards, colour side and top views, and colour unit emblems and personal markings. The text is in English and quite readable. I counted 173 black and white photographs to go with an additional 21 color pictures. There were 79 color side profiles and another 51 color drawings highlighting markings details.

Before the Birth of the MBT - Western Tank Development 1945-1959

Published: March 2nd, 2019     
Before the Birth of the MBT - Western Tank Development 1945-1959
Author: Dick Taylor and MP Robinson
Reviewed by: Michael Reeves, IPMS# 51129
Company: Kagero Publishing

According to the Kagero website, this book is the first in a short series looking at the major developments of battle tanks by Western nations in the years following the end of the Second World War up through to the present day. This volume is a good mix of B&W images, design sketches, as well as a color photo section and selection of color profiles.

There is no real order of chapters the book follows. After a brief introduction paragraph, the overall majority of the book just delves into a general overview of the "Iron Trinity"- Firepower, Protection, and Mobility. The book then shifts into how late war versions of the Sherman, including the Easy Eight, were primarily used for training and continued to be used up until the time of the start of the Korean War. During this time, the M24 and M26 started to make their presence known, but not in as sufficient numbers as the military would've hoped. Photos early on in the book switch between training photos and in service shots from the Korean War.

Sherman Tanks (U.S. Army, North-Western Europe, 1944-1945)

Published: February 22nd, 2019     
Sherman Tanks (U.S. Army, North-Western Europe, 1944-1945)
Author: Dennis Oliver
Reviewed by: Blaine Singleton, IPMS# 50734
Company: Casemate Publishing

Introduction

The aim of this innovative new series is to provide modelmakers and tank enthusiasts with a new standard of primarily visual reference of both full-size tanks and their scale models. Each book will contain detailed technical information imparted through drawings and photographs while the meticulously researched full-color profiles will provide a complete reference for paint schemes and markings, in addition every volume of TankCraft series will feature summaries of design histories and operational careers, and reviews of available kits. Each book is devoted to an iconic tank type - chosen for its popularity as a modelling subject - and the series will provide coverage across a range of different criteria, showcasing the best of the world's tank types and providing invaluable insight and guidance for modelmakers.

The Author

Dennis Oliver is the author of over twenty books on the Second World War armoured vehicles including Codename Swallow: British Sherman Tanks to Alamein, To the Last Bullet: Germanys War on 3 Fronts, Westwall: German Armour in the West1945, Viking Summer and A Sound Like Thunder.

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