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Found 5 results

  1. M10/Achilles A visual history of the US Army’s Tank Destroyer Ampersand Group via Casemate UK The M10 was developed on the chassis of the M4A2 Sherman chassis with a rotating open turret carrying a 76.2mm gun, with the name 3-inch Gun Motor Carriage M10. It was lightly armoured, had a poor turret motor which resulted in a very slow 80 seconds to turn completely around, which gave it a disadvantage in rapidly evolving battles, which the crew tried to reduce by hand-cranking it themselves. The open top made it a tempting target for a carefully thrown grenade in close combat, and the crew casualties from air-burst shells were frequent and plentiful. It reached service in 1942 after a redesign of the turret to remove the initial shot-traps that extended all the way around it, and production ceased in 1943, although it soldiered on in dwindling numbers through the rest of WWII. The Achilles is the name given to the 17-pounder equipped variant, which was much more successful against the then-new Panther with its improved armour, which the British used to good effect with their lend-lease vehicles. The extra punch of the bigger gun that went on to equip the Sherman Firefly was a godsend that helped avoid close-in engagements that put the Achilles at a disadvantage due to its relatively light armour. Even so, the driver appears to have been the safest member of the crew, despite being positioned out front in the glacis plate area. After WWII the surplus examples found their way to other countries, and were used by liberated Allies until they could restore their own armed forces after years of living under Nazi rule. The Book This book from Ampersand by the prolific David Doyle carries on the format of the Visual History series, with 128 pages of great photos from sources both contemporary and from preserved or restored vehicles that are now in the hands of collectors. The book contains over 450 photos in total, with many of them large and highly detailed. The pages are split between the A10 and the Achilles with a useful potted history given on both types in the introduction, although the larger part of the book is given over to the more numerous A10, which acquired the nickname “Wolverine” at some point in its career. While the contemporary photos are in black and white, the preserved examples are photographed in full colour, and the detail in which they are depicted would be an absolute boon to any modeller, especially those wishing to go for ultimate realism. The quality of the restorations is exemplary, and the author has documented the post-war additions where practical, such as rear-view mirrors and so forth. Conclusion Whether you have the models that you intend to use this book for reference, or have an interest in the subject, this book will give you all the reference pictures and some besides, as well as some inspiration for dioramas. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  2. Kübelwagen & Schwimmwagen A visual history of the German Army's multi-purpose vehicles Ampersand Group via Casemate UK The Type 82 Kübelwagen was developed from the nascent "People's Car" that Hitler had ordered from Volkswagen once he took power in the early 30s. It was originally meant to be based on the running gear of what later became the Beetle, but changes had to be made to improve the vehicles handling off tarmac. It was made simple for utility, and had all stamped body panels for ease of construction and maintenance, plus a 1L air cooled engine in the rear compartment, which was increased in size during the development of the Schwimmwagen. The amphibious Schwimmwagen was developed for crossing rivers, and had a specially stamped body that improved water-fastness, plus a flip-down propeller at the rear for propulsion. Both types were built in large numbers, and saw active service in many theatres of WWII. This book from Ampersand by the prolific David Doyle carries on the format of the Visual History series, with 120 pages of great photos from sources both contemporary and from preserved or restored vehicles that are now in the hands of collectors. The book contains over 250 photos in total, with many of them large and highly detailed. The pages are split between the Kübelwagen and the Schwimmwagen with a useful potted history given on both types in the introduction. While the contemporary photos are in black and white, the preserved examples are photographed in full colour, and the detail in which they are depicted would be an absolute boon to any modeller, especially those wishing to go for ultimate realism. Conclusion Whether you have the Beko or Tamiya Kübelwagen, the Tamiya Shwimmwagen in 1:35 or one of the many models in other scales, this book will give you all the reference pictures and some besides, as well as some inspiration for dioramas. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  3. 251 Half-Track Ampersand Group by David Doyle When you think of a German WWII half-track, most people will automatically conjure up the Sd.Kfz.251 in some shape or form, unless they've fallen for all the 60s and 70s movies where the American Half-Track was substituted with some suitably Germanic paint-jobs, mostly because there just aren't that many of the original left, as evidenced by the high prices they go for in the vintage military vehicles world, unless you fancy cheating and converting a Tatra TO-810 at a fraction of the price. The basic chassis was developed and converted to mount all manner of weapons beyond the original troop transport role, some of which defied practicality and you could argue sanity, as you will see within the pages of the book. It is landscape bound in a hard back with a glossy cover that should stand up to plenty of wear, and has a black card inner leaf to further protect the pages within. There are 168 pages on thick glossy paper, all printed in black and white due to the fact that all the photos are contemporary from either official sources that survived the war, or from personal collections. The book's strapline is "A visual history of the German Army's Sd.Kfz.261 armoured half-tracks", which is a perfect description as you would imagine from leafing through the pages. The introduction briefly details the development of the initial vehicle and its chassis before discussing the major variants in a potted format over the following few pages. For some reason they gave up numbering the variants after 22, but as there was only one following this that was only a semi-official Luftwaffe anti-aircraft conversion. As we've come to expect from this publisher, the quality of photos is high, with only one exception where a large scratch is still visible across the centre of a picture, which could have been Photoshopped out with a little care to leave the reader non-the-wiser. The captions are informative whilst brief, allowing the maximum space to be devoted to the primary reason for this book. The photos. A great reference on this once ubiquitous Wehrmacht workhorse that will both give the reader plenty of detailing opportunity as well as some inspiration for load-outs and diorama ideas. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. Gun Trucks A Visual History of the US Army's Vietnam-Era Wheeled Escort Platforms Ampersand via Catemate UK ISBN:978-0-9861127-3-7 Convoys have always needed protection, and as they became motorised during WWI the protection had to be able to travel at the same speed. In WWII we saw trucks take on light armaments in the shape of .50cal M2 Brownings mounted to rings on the cab of a truck, as well as other vehicles. During the Vietnam era they made a come-back with a vengeance resulting in some strange vehicles that were sometimes heavily modified in the field to fulfil a pressing need. This new title from Ampersand's Visual History series has again been penned by David Doyle, and includes a lot of rare pictures from the era, as well as many from preserved vehicles, some of which might not have been seen before. It starts with the usual short introduction, and then goes on to describe various vehicles in their own sections, including superbly detailed photos from unusual angles with plemty of informative captions attached. The book is 120 pages on glossy paper, bound in a landscape A4(ish) format with card binding. The 250 plus pictures are spread over the following sections: The 21/2 ton 6x6 The 5 ton 6x6 The M151 The M37 The M55 "Quad" The Birth of the Gun Truck Weapons The 21/2 ton Gun Truck The 5 ton gun truck APC bodied Gun Trucks Engineer Gun Trucks Armoured M151s Armoured M37s The Last Survivor "Eve of Destruction" The final section regarding Eve of Destruction is the only known Gun Truck to preserved in its original state from the conflict, as all the others were either reverted to their cargo carrying role and stripped of armour, given to the Vietnamese Army, or scrapped as the US withdrew and the need diminished. She can be found at the US Army Transportation Museum, Virginia. Conclusion Another great title from Ampersand, the publishing arm of Hobby Link Japan that will interest the Vietnam era enthusiast and modeller alike. There should be plenty of inspiration for load-outs and configurations within the pages, plus lots of graffiti-style vehicle names that were emblazoned on the side armour of the larger vehicles as intimidation for the enemy. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  5. M48 Patton Ampersand Group via Casemate ISBN: 9780986112768 This new title by David Doyle from the publishing arm of Hobbylink Japan concerns the M48 Patton, the third tank to bear the name of General Patton, who was of the opinion that the medium tank was the way to go, and was in part responsible for delay in the Pershing heavy tank at the end of WWII. The book's tag line is "A visual history of the US Army's mid-20th century battle tank", which gives a big clue to what you'll find inside. If you've read my review of the Panzer I book from the same author and publisher (here), you'll know what to expect in terms of formatting and quality. Inside the sturdy card binding are 128 pages on glossy stock in a landscape A4(ish) format, with over 250 illustrations, some of which are contemporary, others from preserved examples in museums. Again, the format is a very short introduction, followed by the aforementioned photos, which have been helpfully broken down between the following variants: T48 Prototype M48 M48A1 M48A2/C M48A3 M67A1 M48A5 Because the Patton served for a considerable part of the last century, there are plenty of colour pictures, and a great many from preserved examples that have exceptional clarity. As well as discussing the exterior of the vehicle, there are a substantial number of photos of the interior in full colour that would be of great interest to anyone planning on detailing the interior of their model. Conclusion If you're interested in armour, armour modelling or both, this book will provide you with plenty of information both from the photos and the clear, verbose captions that accompany every one. A must have for your reference library. Review sample courtesy of
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