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The Ardennes Battlefields ISBN : 9781612005348 Casemate UK I think I like a lot of people know about the Battle of the Bulge, but only generally from watching a few films and the excellent Band Of Brothers min series. However like a lot of things there is much more to it once start to get under the surface. By late 1944 the front was all but stationary in the 85 mile area of the Ardennes. It was here on the "ghost" front that Hitler would stage his final gamble to halt the Allies push into Germany. In what was a risky plan carefully hoarded reserves of men and equipment would be thrown through the heavily forested Ardennes into weak allied positions with the aim to be at Antwerp within a week. Through almost total secrecy the attack came as a great shock to the allies but in the end they were able to rally their troops, and a combination of this, the weather, and poor German logistics saw this last hurrah defeated; and then the way into Germany was more open than it was before. This book from Casemate looks at the complete battlefield. It is A4 hardback with 192 pages. It is lavishly printed through out with Black and white contemporary photos, complemented by colour photos of the areas today; and many colour maps of the battles which took place. The authors have looked at all aspect of the battles; the original German plan, the units on all sides, the attacks and counter attacks. The photos also look at the many memorials which litter the towns in the area, and which are still kept in excellent condition to this day. Conclusion This is very much a complete look at the Ardennes Battles fields, the photos and maps show how the battle panned out, and the modern photos show in some cases how little things have changed. If you are interested in WWII history then this book is a must. For the military modeller the wealth of contemporary photos give a very good idea of how the vehicles and troops looked at this time. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
Ardennes Building MiniArt 1:35 MiniArt seems to be on a production role at the moment and this is their latest release, the Ardennes House. Arriving in quite a large, deep box with a picture of the completed house on the front, it is full almost to the brim with parts. As usual the majority of the parts are vacuum formed, although in this case there are also a lot of injection moulded parts. As with other vacform kits, it’s not necessary to cut all the way through the styrene to remove the parts, just score with a sharp blade and snap apart. Care should be taken when scoring the corner parts of the building as these make up prominent joins. Once the parts have been removed from the backing sheets they will require a good sanding on the mating surfaces to ensure a tight join, care and patience prevail here as it will mean a lot less work with filling and sanding later on. Once all the vac parts have been prepared they can be glued together and onto the base. It is up to the modeller how they proceed with this but I generally build the building first, fill any gaps as required, and give it a coat of primer before painting it in the basic colours. When this is done, then the injected parts can be built up, painted and attached to their relevant positions. The injected parts in this kit, comprise of the entrance door, which is raised off the ground and accessed by a set of stairs and a landing area, each surrounded by hand rails, barn like double door with a smaller door within one side, drain pipes, lanterns and their brackets. The majority of the parts are generic and used in many MiniArt kits, and by the very nature of being generic means that you are left with quite a few spares which can be used as debris for the completed diorama. The front, two side walls and an internal wall are glued together, followed by the roof and chimney. The step assembly to the front door is fitted into position and the railings added. The injection moulded window frames, windows, doors and door frames are then added, followed by the gutter and drain pipe. Most of these parts are best painted before fitting as should the main parts for the building be painted before these parts. Having made quite a few of these buildings I have found that the plastic is readily melted by liquid glue, which, whilst making gluing parts together easier, care must be taken to prevent glue getting over the surfaces of parts as it will show. Since this kit doesn’t come with a base, it is up to the modeller how they wish to present the completed model so is only limited by the extent of their imagination. Conclusion This is a great looking building and quite an extensive kit. Yet again you will be left with a lot of spare parts which no doubt will be used in other builds. But it will look great on the right base and suitable weathered and of course can be used for dioramas depicting a whole range of eras. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of