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The Patrol [DVD]
The Patrol [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ben Righton
Price: £5.64

4.0 out of 5 stars Overstretched in Helmand, 14 Oct. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Patrol [DVD] (DVD)
This is not really like The Hurt Locker; it's more like Das Boot because it focuses on the time in between the fights, rather than the fighting itself which occupies only a few minutes.

If you're curious about the war in Afghanistan then this might be up your street but if you just want Hollywood-style pyrotechnics then it won't be. Having watched it I'd really like to know how much it represents the truth. Is it a good representation of the British Army? Anyway, I do think it's a convincing portrayal of a bunch of blokes under pressure - much better than the sanctimonious squad in Saving Private Ryan. To make a good war film you have to get past patriotic lies and propaganda, and I'd say this happens only rarely.


Hf.2 Schwerer Heeresfeldwagen
Hf.2 Schwerer Heeresfeldwagen
Offered by Sales@gmm
Price: £18.29

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Frustrating, 22 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This kit used to be made by Esci. It represents the German Hf.2 Heavy Army Field Waggon which was used in both World Wars.

Most of the kit is nicely detailed to represent the woodwork, but in two places there is a slight loss of detail compared to the older edition from Esci, presumably because of the deterioration of the mould over time. I tried to remedy this by inscribing the grain and joints with a scalpel point. The wheels are crude, very little detail, but if you feel strongly about this then you could replace them with Tamiya wheels from one of their Field Kitchen kits - they are the same size.

The kit is a pain because it doesn't fit together properly. It's not a complicated structure so it's surprising that they failed to make the sides, the back, the top and the partition compatible. Of course, you can make them fit together but it's a silly amount of work for something that ought to be so simple.

The waggon is the wrong shape. The sides (or the rear portion of the sides) should be vertical, not cambered. Although they're vertical in the picture, they're not in the actual kit.

The body of the waggon also looks too tall (especially in comparison to its length). I could be wrong but I'd estimate it's about 4mm too tall. The figures provided are much too big, but if you replace them with proper 1/35 sitting figures from Dragon, Masterbox, Hornet or Tamiya then, probably because of the waggon's excessive height, their feet don't reach the footboard.

The rear door is just flat plastic - no representation of its timber construction - totally inaccurate. You can scratchbuild a better one, but it will have to be the wrong shape in order to fit the incorrectly shaped body.

The front axle is about 2cm too far back. It should be right at the front of the waggon. Thankfully this problem is easy to fix.

You get two horses. (In reality the Hf.2 Waggon often needed four, sometimes six.) Their necks are too thin (because they are made in one piece, and the thickness of a piece of injection-moulded polystyrene is limited). Nevertheless I do quite like them. They are at least as good as the Masterbox horses in "Road to the Rear" and better than the Tamiya horses in 35103 Gulaschkanone. In particular, I think their heads are more convincing than the others. Their harnesses are moulded onto them and these are quite good too.

It puzzles me that Shep Paine is so complimentary about this kit in How to Build Dioramas. However, he wrote that a while ago and the standards you could expect from manufacturers were lower then. Also I don't think he'd seen many photos of the real thing. There's now a collection of photos at panzerarmee.com.

To completely correct the shape of the waggon would be a lot of work. It might be better to assume that it's just a slightly unusual variant of the Hf.2. Overall I'd say it's a better idea - more fun - to build Tamiya's Field Kitchen than this badly designed kit, although it would be reasonable to use these horses to tow it.

Hussar Productions make a quite nicely detailed and reasonably priced resin kit of the Hf.1 Light Field Waggon (HSR 35016). This was probably a more common vehicle than the Hf.2 near the front line, which might be a point in its favour. It's a straightforward kit but resin kits are more difficult than polystyrene ones, mainly because you need to use superglue to put them together and because the parts need a lot more cleaning up. This waggon is much smaller than the Italeri one and it doesn't come with figures, horses or a covering tarpaulin. Again, I'm dubious about the dimensions when I compare the model with the photos at Panzer Armee. It seems narrow, and the wheels although beautiful are too small. Maybe it's another unusual variant?


The German Army 1939-45 (2): North Africa & Balkans: Balkans Vol 2 (Men-at-Arms)
The German Army 1939-45 (2): North Africa & Balkans: Balkans Vol 2 (Men-at-Arms)
by Nigel Thomas
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing pictures, 11 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have just received a new copy of this. Unlike most of my other Osprey books, it says in the front "Printed and bound by PrintOnDemand-Worldwide.com, Peterborough, UK"

The quality of the colour pictures inside is bad compared to my other Osprey books. The colour is poor. Take the picture which is on the front cover and is also reproduced on page 28. On the cover Rommel is depicted in several distinct colours, as you would expect. His skin is varying tones of pink. His breeches are khaki. His collar patches and the stripes on his breeches are red. The cover is okay, but on the inside picture everything is just blotchy brown. Other colours and tints have been lost. The red has become reddish brown. His skin, instead of varying pink, is blotches of brown contrasting with harsh white highlights. Compared to the front cover, the picture on the inside is almost monochrome. And the other colour pictures in the book are similar. There is a glimpse on the back cover of what they ought to look like. It's obvious that the artist's original paintings must have been a whole lot better than the murky reproductions here. They are like photocopies.

Since the colour pictures are my principle reason for buying this book, I'm extremely disappointed.

It seems to me that a cheapo printing process has spoilt it. For comparison I've looked at a copy of The German Army in World War II (Special Editions) which consists of the five books in the series combined in one paperback volume. It was printed in China through World Print Ltd, in 2002 as far as I can see. The colour pictures in this book are much better. They are comparable to the front cover of the PrintOnDemand copy. (The black and white pictures are also slightly better.)

It would be helpful if people selling second-hand Osprey books online would make clear when the book says in the front "Printed in China through World Print Ltd" or something similar, so that buyers will know it's not one of these print-on-demand jobs.


The Murder of Nikolai Vavilov: The Story of Stalin's Persecution of One of the Great Scientists of the 20th Century: The Story of Stalin's Persecution ... the Great Scientists of the Twentieth Century
The Murder of Nikolai Vavilov: The Story of Stalin's Persecution of One of the Great Scientists of the 20th Century: The Story of Stalin's Persecution ... the Great Scientists of the Twentieth Century
by Peter Pringle
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The life of a Russian scientist, 28 Mar. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It was a busy and adventurous life. Vavilov travelled the world, scouring inhospitable regions looking for crop seeds that might withstand the Soviet Union's harsh climates. He could speak several languages and he met and studied with biologists in the capitalist West such as the genetics pioneer William Bateson in Cambridge. At home he ran the Leningrad Institute of Agricultural Sciences. He was a clever, energetic and inspiring man - but he wasn't appreciated by Comrade Stalin.

His interrogators could not understand why he studied with Bateson: "Couldn't you learn from Marx?....Marxism is the only science."

Eventually this ignorance prevailed. The communists decided that chromosomes were a reactionary plot. It's horrifying and astonishing that the likes of Lavrenty Beria and Trofim Lysenko were granted so much power in Russia, and in the end this book lays bare the awfulness of the Soviet regime in plain and simple terms.


35052 1/35 German Horch Type 1a (japan import)
35052 1/35 German Horch Type 1a (japan import)
Offered by J - Innovation
Price: £15.05

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An old kit: Tamiya's Horch 4x4, 15 July 2012
The vehicle's full name is the Schwerer Geländegängiger Einheits Personenkraftwagen - or heavy cross-country standard personnel car - and it was built for the Wehrmacht by Horch, Auto Union and the German branch of Ford.

The Tamiya kit dates back to 1975. It depicts an early type, Type 1a, which had spare wheels mounted on the outside of the body to prevent the middle of the car grounding on uneven terrain. It also had all-wheel steering - heaven knows why! What use is it to be able to steer the back wheels? Anyway, the kit doesn't allow you to turn the wheels to show off this feature. You have to have them straight.

The basic vehicle was adapted for various specialist uses by the Wehrmacht, each configuration having a different inventory number. Kfz.23 was for laying telephone cables and Kfz.83 carried machinery to operate a mobile searchlight. Kfz.81 was the Flak version: sometimes it had the Flak gun mounted on the back, sometimes it just pulled it (I think). Converting the Tamiya kit to a Kfz.81 by sticking a 2cm Flak gun on top is a popular option and there are a couple of inspiring build-logs of this on the internet at Armorama and Militarymodelling. There was also an ambulance version, Kfz.31, for which you might still be able to find the resin conversion set produced by Das Werk Miniatures.

Three other inventory numbers are mentioned. Kfz.18's use I don't know; perhaps it was the basic unadapted vehicle. Kfz.69 was for towing guns, and Kfz.70 was the weapons carrier. But these three, 18, 69 and 70, all seem to look the same and it's this vanilla configuration of the vehicle which you get in the Tamiya kit.

I've been unable to find information about the precise details of all the different configurations. For example it would be nice to know more about the telephone version, which had extra doors near the back; and what actually was the difference between Kfz.18, Kfz.69 and Kfz.70? Clear photos are hard to find, particularly of the inside, but there are three books which are some help. I've also found a lot of photos by trawling the internet, however there is always the problem that the old photos tend to lack detail and the modern photos are of restored vehicles which may not be authentic.

The first of the three books is German Personnel Cars in Wartime by Reinhard Frank, which deals with light, medium and heavy cars, both standard and non-standard. It has 23 old photos of the Schwerer Einheits PKW of varying clarity. The top right photo on page 41 has the doors removed so that a little of the interior can be seen. This vehicle is very similar to Tamiya's model. It shows that Tamiya's front seat design is valid.

Cars of the Wehrmacht by Reinhard Frank has 16 old pictures of the Schwerer Einheits PKW but three of these are duplications from the first book. There is a clear picture of the dashboard and footwell of a Type EG which is helpful.

The third book, Horch in Detail, published by Wings & Wheels Publications, is extremely useful. It shows very clear photos of three recently restored Schwerer Einheits PKWs. Two are the Type 40 (designed in 1940), the later type with the spare wheel on the inside and front-wheel steering. One is a Type 1a with its engine missing. All three are in the vanilla configuration - the Kfz.18/69/70. Late war vehicles survived the war in larger quantities than early war vehicles which are very rare, so it's harder to reconstruct early war vehicles. I think the people in this book have used details from the Type 40 to reconstruct the 1a. Judging by the old photos I've looked at, this has produced a few errors. For example I don't think there should be tubular steel hoops sticking up above the spare wheels and there shouldn't be a metal tab at the top left of the radiator grill on the 1a.

There are two detail sets which you can buy to add to the Tamiya kit. On my first model I used the cheaper of the two which is from Eduard and consists of photo-etched metal. The best thing about it is the dashboard which looks great in my opinion. The steps behind the front wings are also good. Tamiya's windscreen is a weak point, so I replaced this with the Eduard one which is better but has two faults. There should be flanges on the sides of the frame which close the gap between the windscreen and the celluloid front door windows. These flanges are missing. Also the opening pane on the driver's side is too tall. If you don't trim it, it overlaps the lower pane, which looks noticeably wrong. Otherwise, the windscreen looks good. With a lot of this set, though, I was disappointed. A lot of the parts are too small, and the headlight brackets are too big.

The more expensive set is from the Italian company, Royal Model, and this includes both photo-etch and resin. I'm currently trying to use this on my second model. It modifies the Tamiya kit more heavily, and is better designed although still far from perfect. It's very expensive at 39 euros. Good points are the replacement non-slip floor and the folded down canvas hood that is better than Tamiya's. Some smaller parts are not to scale, though. Also the instructions are inadequate. You will definitely need Horch in Detail to make sense of them. They are based on the Type 1a vehicle in that book. In my opinion the instructions copy the errors which the restorers of that vehicle have made. On one point in particular I think they should be ignored. They ask you to omit the partition in the Tamiya kit which seperates the front seats from the passenger compartment. They ask you to replace it with a frame, made of wire to represent tubular steel. I think it's apparent from a couple of the old photos that there is no tubular steel. Tamiya are right. There is a partition, or at least a board - it doesn't have the thick edge which Tamiya have given it.

Both of the photo-etch sets give you stuff you don't really need (e.g. because you can do a better job with sheet styrene) while missing out stuff that would be very helpful. Tamiya's doors are too thick. In reality the doors consisted of a frame on the inside supporting a skin of metal on the outside. Photo-etch would have been very useful here, but we're not given it.

The Tamiya kit is not too difficult to put together but there are some problems. The main ones I found are the rear doors, the fit of the radiator/bonnet sub-assembly, the driver's footwell and the optional raised canvas hood.

The rear doors are a single piece of plastic, and Tamiya made an error here, which needs to be corrected before you put the model together. They must have misinterpreted a blurry old photo. In reality there are two simple square doors hanging on the back, with some odd brackets on them which have a purpose: The two trapezium-shaped passenger doors on the sides of the vehicle could be removed to enable soldiers to get in and out more quickly, and for storage they were hung on these brackets on the rear doors which were designed to hold them. However, Tamiya, looking at the back, didn't understand what they were seeing. They give you doors within doors. That is to say, they have the correct square doors on the back with smaller trapezium-shaped doors set in them - which makes no sense. This error is fairly easy to correct by filling the grooves round the inset doors, but you also need to make a new recessed door handle.

The instructions tell you to start by building the chassis, which is easy and looks good. They then tell you to put together the "Engine Hood" as a sub-assembly: radiator, bonnet, bonnet-sides & firewall. This is a mistake in my opinion. The sub-assembly didn't fit properly when I tried to attach it to the chassis, and I ended up making a mess of it. I found that it's better to start by fitting the body sides (perhaps with doors already glued in?) onto the chassis, braced by the partitions (if you are using them both) and the rear doors. Then fix on the firewall - this will be held in the right place by the sides - and then fit on the other four pieces that surround the engine. By going in this order it should be easier to get everything in the right place. There is still a lot of filling and sanding involved though.

Before you fix the firewall you may want to cut a big hole in it for the driver's feet. The pedals should be in this recess. Its shape can be seen in Horch in Detail.

If you want to make the model with the canvas hood raised and you are a pedant then you have a problem because the hood is the wrong shape, especially at the front where it incorrectly narrows to the width of the windscreen instead of overhanging it. Also, neither of the detail sets give you any of the metal framework for the hood, not even the struts on the outside, which is a poor omission in my opinion. I made a mould for my hood and cast it out of resin. There were probably easier and faster ways to do it though.

There is also a minor problem with the wheels. The real wheels usually had special flanges to hold snow chains. The kit lacks these unfortunately. A replacement resin set of wheels was once made by Spanish company Toro Models but these don't seem to be available any longer.

Overall, this is the only model of this ugly beast at 1:35 and despite its problems it's an okay kit. By modern standards it isn't great, but it gets the basics about right. You don't necessarily need the after-market detail sets (which haven't been very well thought out anyway). If you build the kit straight out of the box with no modifications it looks good. If you like the subject and you're prepared to do more work then it can be turned into a more authentic model. However, to be honest there is room for a lot of work.

MiniArt are now releasing a model of the Mercedes L1500A which is a later but very similar vehicle. Looking at the pictures on their website, they seem to have made a much more convincing job of the hood and the celluloid side curtains.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 3, 2015 9:37 PM BST


Horch 4X4 Type 1a Schwerer Einheits PKW A.U. 1:35 Scale Model Kit MM152 Tamiya
Horch 4X4 Type 1a Schwerer Einheits PKW A.U. 1:35 Scale Model Kit MM152 Tamiya

3.0 out of 5 stars An old kit: Tamiya's Horch 4x4, 11 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The vehicle's full name is the Schwerer Geländegängiger Einheits Personenkraftwagen - or heavy cross-country standard personnel car - and it was built for the Wehrmacht by Horch, Auto Union and the German branch of Ford.

The Tamiya kit dates back to 1975. It depicts an early type, Type 1a, which had spare wheels mounted on the outside of the body to prevent the middle of the car grounding on uneven terrain. It also had all-wheel steering - heaven knows why! What use is it to be able to steer the back wheels? Anyway, the kit doesn't allow you to turn the wheels to show off this feature. You have to have them straight.

The basic vehicle was adapted for various specialist uses by the Wehrmacht, each configuration having a different inventory number. Kfz.23 was for laying telephone cables and Kfz.83 carried machinery to operate a mobile searchlight. Kfz.81 was the Flak version: sometimes it had the Flak gun mounted on the back, sometimes it just pulled it (I think). Converting the Tamiya kit to a Kfz.81 by adding a 2cm Flak gun is a popular option and there are a couple of inspiring build-logs on the internet at Armorama and Militarymodelling. There was also an ambulance version, Kfz.31, for which you might still be able to find the resin conversion set produced by Das Werk Miniatures.

Three other inventory numbers are mentioned. Kfz.18's use I don't know; perhaps it was the basic unadapted vehicle. Kfz.69 was for towing guns, and Kfz.70 was the weapons carrier. But these three, 18, 69 and 70, all seem to look the same and it's this vanilla configuration of the vehicle which you get in the Tamiya kit.

I've been unable to find information about the precise details of all the different configurations. For example it would be nice to know more about the telephone version, which had extra doors near the back; and what actually was the difference between Kfz.18, Kfz.69 and Kfz.70? Clear photos are hard to find, particularly of the inside, but there are three books which are some help. I've also found a lot of photos by trawling the internet, however there is always the problem that the old photos tend to lack detail and the modern photos are of restored vehicles which may not be authentic.

The first of the three books is German Personnel Cars in Wartime by Reinhard Frank, which deals with light, medium and heavy cars, both standard and non-standard. It has 23 old photos of the Schwerer Einheits PKW of varying clarity. The top right photo on page 41 has the doors removed so that a little of the interior can be seen. This vehicle is very similar to Tamiya's model. It shows that Tamiya's front seat design is valid.

Cars of the Wehrmacht by Reinhard Frank has 16 old pictures of the Schwerer Einheits PKW but three of these are duplications from the first book. There is a clear picture of the dashboard and foot well of a Type EG which is helpful.

The third book, Horch in Detail, published by Wings & Wheels Publications, is extremely useful. It shows very clear photos of three recently restored Schwerer Einheits PKWs. Two are the Type 40 (designed in 1940), the later type with the spare wheel on the inside and front-wheel steering. One is a Type 1a with its engine missing. All three are in the vanilla configuration - the Kfz.18/69/70. Late war vehicles survived the war in larger quantities than early war vehicles which are very rare, so it's harder to reconstruct early war vehicles. I think the people in this book have used details from the Type 40 to reconstruct the 1a. Judging by the old photos I've looked at, this has produced a few errors. For example I don't think there should be tubular steel hoops sticking up above the spare wheels and there shouldn't be a metal tab at the top left of the radiator grill.

There are two detail sets which you can buy to add to the Tamiya kit. On my first model I used the cheaper of the two which is from Eduard and consists of photo-etched metal. The best thing about it is the dashboard which looks great in my opinion. The steps behind the front wings are also good. Tamiya's windscreen is a weak point, so I replaced this with the Eduard one which is better but has two faults. There should be flanges on the sides of the frame which close the gap between the windscreen and the celluloid front door windows. These flanges are missing. Also the opening pane on the driver's side is too tall. If you don't trim it, it overlaps the lower pane, which looks noticeably wrong. Otherwise, the windscreen looks good. With a lot of this set, though, I was disappointed. A lot of the parts are too small, and the headlight brackets are too big.

The more expensive set is from the Italian company, Royal Model, and this includes both photo-etch and resin. I'm currently trying to use this on my second model. It modifies the Tamiya kit more heavily, and is better designed although still far from perfect. It's very expensive at 39 euros. Good points are the replacement non-slip floor and the folded down canvas hood that is better than Tamiya's. Some smaller parts are not to scale, though. Also the instructions are inadequate. You will definitely need Horch in Detail to make sense of them. They are based on the Type 1a vehicle in that book. In my opinion the instructions copy the errors which the restorers of that vehicle have made. On one point in particular I think they should be ignored. They ask you to omit the partition in the Tamiya kit which seperates the front seats from the passenger compartment. They ask you to replace it with a frame, made of wire to represent tubular steel. I think it's apparent from a couple of the old photos that Tamiya are right - there is a partition, or at least a board. It doesn't have the thick edge which Tamiya have given it.

Both of the photo-etch sets give you stuff you don't really need (e.g. because you can do a better job with sheet styrene) while missing out stuff that would be very helpful. Tamiya's doors are too thick. In reality the doors consisted of a frame on the inside supporting a skin of metal on the outside. Photo-etch would have been very useful here, but we're not given it.

The Tamiya kit is not too difficult to put together but there are some problems. The main ones are the rear doors, the fit of the radiator/bonnet sub-assembly, the driver's footwell, the optional raised canvas hood and possibly the internal partitions (particularly the front one).

The rear doors are a single piece of plastic, and Tamiya made an error here, which needs to be corrected before you put the model together. They must have misinterpreted a blurry old photo. In reality there are two simple square doors hanging on the back, with some odd brackets on them which have a purpose: The two trapezium-shaped passenger doors on the side of the vehicle could be removed to enable soldiers to get in and out more quickly, and for storage these were hung on the brackets on the rear doors which were designed to hold them. However, Tamiya, looking at the back, didn't understand what they were seeing. They give you doors within doors. That is to say, they have the correct square doors on the back with smaller trapezium-shaped doors set in them - which makes no sense. Up to a point this error is fairly easy to correct by filling the grooves round the doors, but you also need to cut a new groove between the doors, and you have to make a new recessed door handle. This can be done by using the photo-etch set provided by Eduard. This is what I did, but frankly it's not an ideal solution.

The instructions tell you to start by building the chassis, which is easy and looks good. They then tell you to put together the "Engine Hood" as a sub-assembly: radiator, bonnet, bonnet-sides & firewall. This is a mistake in my opinion. The sub-assembly didn't fit properly when I tried to attach it to the chassis, and I ended up making a mess of it. I found that it's better to start by fitting the body sides onto the chassis, braced by the partitions (if you are using them both) and the rear doors. Then fix on the firewall - this will be held in the right place by the sides - and then fit on the other four pieces that surround the engine. By going in this order it should be easy to get everything in the right place. There is still a lot of filling and sanding involved though.

Before you fix the firewall you may want to cut a big hole in it for the driver's feet. The pedals should be in this recess. Its shape can be seen in Horch in Detail.

If you want to make the model with the canvas hood raised and you are a pedant then you have a problem because the hood is the wrong shape, especially at the front where it incorrectly narrows to the width of the windscreen instead of overhanging it. Also, neither of the detail sets give you any of the metal framework for the hood, not even the struts on the outside, which is a poor omission in my opinion. I made a mould for my hood and cast it out of resin. There were probably easier and faster ways to do it though.

There is also a minor problem with the wheels. The real wheels usually had special flanges to hold snow chains. The kit lacks these unfortunately. A replacement resin set of wheels was once made by Spanish company Toro Models but these don't seem to be available any longer.

Overall, this is the only model of this ugly beast at 1:35 and despite its problems it's an okay kit. By modern standards it isn't great, but it gets the basics about right. You don't necessarily need the after-market detail sets. If you build the kit straight out of the box with no modifications it looks good. If you like the subject and you're prepared to do more work then it can be turned into a more authentic model.

MiniArt are now releasing a model of the Mercedes L1500A which is a later but very similar vehicle. Looking at the pictures on their website, they seem to have made a much more convincing job of the hood and the celluloid side curtains.


Panzer Divisions In Battle 1939-1945 (7070)
Panzer Divisions In Battle 1939-1945 (7070)
by Tom Cockle
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting pictures / expert captions, 11 Jun. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
In this book you get:

2 pages of introduction & bibliography,
60 pages of captioned monochrome photos,
8 pages of coloured illustrations.

Most of the photos have a few lines giving some details of the vehicles, and Tom Cockle, a meticulous model-maker, likes to get details right so I reckon he writes with authority. The pages are quite big and about 50 of the pictures take up nearly half a page (195 x 115mm typically) which is nice.
These are the types of vehicles shown, with the number of photos of each:

Halftracks
Sd.Kfz.10.............3
Sd.Kfz.11.............1
Sd.Kfz.6...............1
Sd.Kfz.7.............11
Sd.Kfz.8...............3
Sd.Kfz.9(Famo).....2
Sd.Kfz.250............2 (Cockle writes about the antennae on these vehicles, but they are hard to make out. There is more Russian landscape than vehicle detail in these two.)
Sd.Kfz.252............1
Sd.Kfz.251............9

Armoured Cars
Sd.Kfz.221............1
Sd.Kfz.223............1
Sd.Kfz.222............2
Sd.Kfz.263(8-rad)..1
Sd.Kfz.231............4
Sd.Kfz.234............6

Tanks & Self-propelled Guns
Pz.Kpfw.35(t)........3
Pz.Kpfw.38(t)........8
Marder III.............1 (wrecked by a shell)
Pz.Kpfw.I.............9
Pz.Kpfw.II...........10
a battle group.......1
Marder II..............1
StuG.III................1 (being built)
Pz.Kpfw.III...........16
Pz.Bef.Wg.III.........4
Pz.Beob.Wg.III.......2
Pz.Kpfw.IV...........17
Hummel................2
Panther...............12
Tiger I................24
Tiger II.................1

Foreign Vehicles
Renault UE tractor..4
Panhard 178..........2
Lorraine Schlepper..1
Hotchkiss H39.........1
Pz.Kpfw.BT742(r)....1

Most of the coloured illustrations are interpretations of the vehicles in the photos. They are side elevations, plus a few details of markings on rear and front.
Two pictures per page:

Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.A
Pz.Kpfw.II Ausf.A-C (The illustrator and the author evidently disagreed on the colour of the tactical numbers on this one.)

Pz.Bef.Wg.III Ausf.H
Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.C

Panther Ausf.A
Tiger I Ausf.E

Tiger II Ausf.B
Sd.Kfz.7

Sd.Kfz.251/10 Ausf.D
Sd.Kfz.250/5 Ausf.A (Alte)

StuG.III Ausf.G
StuG.IV (the one on the front cover)

Pz.Bef.Wg.38(t) Ausf.F
Schwerer Panzerspähwagen Sd.Kfz.234/2

Lorraine Schlepper, Marder I
Panzerspähwagen Panhard 178 with a rare CDM turret


Panzer Colours: Camouflage of the German Panzer Forces, 1939-45 v. 1
Panzer Colours: Camouflage of the German Panzer Forces, 1939-45 v. 1
by Bruce Culver
Edition: Hardcover

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Panzer Colours: Volume 1, 17 Nov. 2011
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This is a well-known book for military modellers. When I started to get back into the hobby recently I kept seeing it mentioned. It's good even though it's very old - first published in 1976.

It's also slim. You might ask 'why is someone asking 20 odd quid for it?' There are 93 pages if you discount the titles: 77 pages contain text and 178 black & white photos, and 16 pages contain colour illustrations.

Well, the book is an essay on German camouflage, and each photo is chosen because there is something to learn from it. The photos are therefore more interesting than a more random selection from Pen and Sword. The authors are very clever at interpreting them, and the captions tell you what colours the vehicles would actually have been. The colour paintings are also their interpretations of the vehicles in the photos.

The paintings are helpful, though they're not masterpieces. It's the photos themselves though which I find inspiring. There is a wide range of textures and finishes to the vehicles: mud, dust, snow, chalk, whitewash and paint applied in lots of different ways, and it's this richness which I like.

There's also a wide range of vehicles depicted, including soft-skinned ones.

The book is divided into sections which I've listed. Interspersed among them are the pages of colour illustrations which I've put in brackets.

p5..... Introduction
p6..... Interior Colors
p7..... Method of Application
p8..... Weathering
p9..... German Camouflage in World War II: Introduction 1918-1934
p10... Pre-War Period 1935-1939
p11... Early War Period 1939-1940
p16... Barbarossa: Russia 1941
p19... Winter 1941
p25... Spring 1942
p29... Winter 1942
p31... Deutsches Afrika Korps: North Africa 1941-1943
[p33.. Pre-War and Polish Campaign 1934-1939]
[p36.. French Campaign 1940]
[p37.. French and Russian Campaigns 1940-1941]
[p40.. Russian Campaign, Winter 1941-1942]
[p41.. Russian Campaign, Winter and Spring 1941-1942]
[p44.. North African Campaign 1941]
[p45.. North African Campaign 1941-1942]
[p48.. North African Campaign 1942-1943]
p52... Three Color Camouflage 1943-1945
p59... Zimmerit Paste
p61... The Final Years 1943-1945
[p65.. Russian Campaign 1942-1943]
[p68.. Russian Campaign 1943]
[p69.. Russian Campaign 1943-1944]
[p72.. Russian Campaign and Occupation Forces 1943-1944]
[p73.. Italian and Russian Campaigns 1943-44]
[p76.. Western and Italian Campaigns 1943-1944]
[p77.. Western, Italian and Russian Campaigns 1943-1944]
[p80.. Western and Eastern Campaigns 1944-1945]
p81... Foliage as Fixed Camouflage
p90... The End

There is a more recent book on the same subject by Tomas Chory (Wehrmacht Heer Camouflage Colors 1939 - 1945) but it's hard to find, expensive and rather disappointing.

~

There follow some comments about the book, apparently written recently by one of the authors, Bill Murphy. (You can also find on the internet corrections for the other two books in the series.)

"Here are some errors I have found in my own work. I will be surprised if others don't surface.

Page 47: Middle photo, The Tiger # is not 124. It must be either 724 or 824. At this time, s.501's panzers were integrated into the 7. & 8. Kpn. Of Pz.Rgt. 7/10.PD.

Page 47: Lower photo; The Tiger is probably not olive green and its numbers are in white outline, not red/white. Ibid. for color drawing on page 48.

Page 52: None of the Tigers involved at Kursk used this small solid black number system. It is probably from s. 502. Ibid. for the page 68 drawing.

Page 59: Text. Zimmerit was discontinued in late 1944 - not "early 1945" as stated at the end of the paragraph two.

Page 60: Lower photo, These Panthers are not divisional but are from I./Pz.Rgt.4, which was a Heerstruppe unit at this time. Italy is correct, though.

Page 71: Middle photo,, I no longer believe this Bef.Pz.III's code (II) is in red/white. The unit is ID's as Pz.Abt.5 of 25. PzGrenDiv. The StuG's of this outfit carried black/white codes at this time (late '43)

Page 74: The Japanese ACHTUNG PANZER softcover on StuG's pretty much nails this photo series as being of a LW field in Norway - not HG in Italy as previously thought.

Page 88: Lower photo, II./SS Pz.Rgt.12 Panzer IV's carried black/white not red/white numbers.

Page 90: A beauty. I missed a lot here. Dark gray was not an applied base color at the war's end. The photos of latest war '45 "dark" AFV's are either in red oxide primer (as a base) or the last official base color - a dark green. I missed both of those developments completely in Panzer Colors I."


Blitzkrieg Russia (Images of War)
Blitzkrieg Russia (Images of War)
by Jonathan Sutherland
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting pictures / ignorant captions, 3 Nov. 2011
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This book is worse than others in the series which I've bought. The pictures are good but the writing is terrible. The authors are clearly not experts on this area of history, to put it mildly. There is a lot of tedious waffle and a lot of inaccuracy. They would've done better to put two pictures on each page rather than only one, and not to bother writing anything at all.

Amazon UK says the book has 176 pages, but my copy has 144 pages, and of these the last ten are blank.

I'll start with the caption on page 17:

"This is a truly impressive line-up of SdKfzs sporting flak artillery pieces. The SdKfz was a hard-track military vehicle, which dates back to 1934 when designs were underway, leading to its first appearance in 1938. Aside from being a tractor for the 88mm Flak gun and howitzers, it was also widely used as a self-propelled anti-aircraft vehicle..."

Well, it's nonsense to describe an "SdKfz" without specifying which inventory number, and there is no such thing as a "hard-track military vehicle". It's "halftrack" of course, but which halftrack are they talking about? Because it was the Sd.Kfz.7 which usually towed the 88mm Flak guns and which started to be produced in large numbers around 1938, while the picture on this page is of the Sd.Kfz.6. Basically the whole paragraph is irrelevant rubbish.

Page 19 is just as bad. The caption tells us these are "German infantrymen", but the author hasn't realised that this entire chapter is actually photos of a Luftwaffe anti-aircraft unit. The soldiers in this black and white photo are almost certainly wearing the red Waffenfarbe of the Artillery, not the Infantry. The author describes the dress of soldiers of the Heer, however they are actually wearing what is commonly known as the 'Fliegerbluse' of the Luftwaffe. They are wearing blue-grey, not field-grey, and the collars are not "faced in a dark blue/green material" as we are told.

On page 24 the vehicle is a Krupp Protze, not a Horch Kfz.15

On page 28 the caption reads, "This is the classic German R12 motorcycle with sidecar" but it isn't an R12 in the picture; it's a BMW R75.

On page 39 the caption reads, "The German on the left of the photograph appears to be an officer, as he is carrying a map case around his neck." Actually it's just an ordinary soldier with a gas cape in an oblong pouch attached to his gas mask strap. This error is repeated on page 44.

On page 85 there is a picture of an armoured car with a big advertisement in the background saying, HUILES RENAULT. You have to wonder why they included this photo, because I doubt that it was taken in the Soviet Union!

Writing books about WWII would be a dream job for thousands of people, so why doesn't the publisher select someone who could do it better? It's a shame because I'd love to know more about these pictures.

The pictures come from Jim Payne, a photograph collector who has an interesting website called Through Their Eyes. The crashed Soviet plane on pages 58 and 59 of the book (wrongly identified by the authors) seems to be a Neman/Kharkov R-10, which is quite a rare machine. You can see one of these two photos on the website under the heading WW2 GERMAN ARMY RUSSIAN FRONT.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 17, 2011 2:13 PM GMT


Little Cyclone (Coronet Books)
Little Cyclone (Coronet Books)
by Airey Neave
Edition: Paperback

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dédée and the Comet Line, 22 Nov. 2010
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'Little Cyclone' was the nickname given to Andrée de Jongh by her father. She was generally known amongst the Resistance just as Dédée. In 1941 Dédée and her father set up the Comet Line to smuggle Allied servicemen from Belgium across France and the Pyrenees to the British Consulate in Bilbao. From there the British took them onward to Gibraltar and then flew them home.

Hundreds of people worked for the line, and about thirty of them are mentioned by name in this book. (Some are mentioned by two names - real name and codename.) The most important figures are described more fully.

The book was first published in 1954. Airey Neave clearly had great affection and admiration for the organisation, and I suppose it was written as a token of gratitude. Possibly, therefore, it's not a completely objective account. For example, Dédée's character comes across as implausibly perfect in my opinion; we don't hear about any foibles or weaknesses. Nevertheless it's a very exciting story and a great legend of the twentieth century.

(Evader by Derek Shuff looks at the line from a different perspective.)


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