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  1. Königstiger KAGERO - Casemate UK At very nearly 70 Tons the Königstiger was the heaviest Tank that the Germany Army fielded during WWII. The Tank we commonly refer to as the King Tiger is in fact the Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausführung B, or Tiger II. They were armed with Kampfwagenkanone 43L/71 88m Gun which could destroy any allied tank of the time, at ranges outside of even the best armed adversary. The tank also benefited from sloped armour upto 180mm thick. Thankfully for the Allies the Germans were not able to produce this Tank in large numbers. Another factor which worked in the Allies favour is that these tanks suffered from reliability issues to the drive train and engine seals. This book from Kagero arrives as an A4 portrait soft cover volume with 82 pages. The first 18 pages offer a brief history of the type along with a series of black & white pictures of the tanks in combat, and abandoned/knocked out examples. There are then a series of 1/35 scale drawings of the Tanks and its various parts. A series of excellent walkaround pictures then follow. These pictures feature Turret number 321 exhibited in Munster Panzer Museum (Germany), Turret number 300 at The Bovington Tank Museum (UK), and Turret number 213 at the December 44 Museum in La Gleize (Belgium). There are also pictures of the the tanks Maybach engine, and the 88mm gun. There follows a few pages concerning the Crew and Camouflages used by the Tank. The last few pages contain colour profiles of various operational tanks. Conclusion This is a great book for the WWII history buff, those interested in Tanks, or indeed German Tanks. The detail photographs and line drawings will make it a great reference source for modellers as well. Overall this is a well produced book and highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  2. Befehlpanzer, German command, control and observation AFVs RN Publishing Unlike the static warfare of World War 1 the fast moving actions brought about by the development of the tank meant that communications between the hierarchy and the individual tank commanders needed to be massively improved. All the major European military thinkers had a clear view of what was required, but it was the famous German theorist, Colonel Heinz Guderian, who, during the years 1927 and 1933 developed his idea of Blitzkrieg or Lightning war, which had to be made possible by the concentrated use of armoured formations, supported by an assault aviation and co-ordinated by a complex network of radio communications. Since the advent of these ideas, the Wehrmacht, began designing, or modifying tanks to act as communications, command and control vehicles which this eighty eight page softback book deals with. Beginning with the Pz.Kpfw.1, (Panzer 1), the book provides information on each chassis type used to produce these Befehlspanzers right up to the Pz.Kpfw.VI, (King Tiger). Each vehicle is given a chapter on the modifications, equipment and usage along with several side views showing the different camouflage used on them. The book is well written and obviously well researched with plenty of period photographs to accompany the text. The colour side views are fully annotated with information relating to where and with whom the tank operated as well as the colour callouts for the camouflage and the tanks ID’s. Conclusion I’ve not heard of RN Publications before but if this book is anything to go by I doubt it will be the last that ends up in my growing library. The amount of information contained in the book is tremendous and a real boon to those AFV modellers who would like to produce something a little out of the ordinary when it comes to WW2 German tanks. With this being only Part 1 I’m looking forward to Part 2 which will concentrate on modified captured vehicles. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  3. USS Missouri Kagero Top Drawings The long and spectacular career of the USS Missouri is well known, although she is most famous for being the ship on which the Japanese surrender took place in Tokyo Bay in 1945. She served as a front line battleship in various stints from 11 April 1944 until she was finally fully de-commissioned in 1995. Although some will say she still serves, as a Memorial ship alongside Battleship Row, Pearl Harbour, behind the USS Arizona Memorial. Kagero have just released this book in their Top Drawing series. This softback book has three pages containing the history and specifications of the Mighty Mo, with a further twenty 6 pages of line drawings covering the whole ship from stem to stern. Each sheet contains detailed drawings of various parts of the ships structure, weapons systems, radars, aircraft and other, smaller parts. Each drawing is beautifully done with some fine detail that would normally have been missed is other titles. The drawings have obviously been done from some excellent references which have resulted in a very useful book for the detail addict. Most the drawings are in 1:200 scale with a few in 1:100 for larger detail information, making it perfect for owners of the big Trumpeter kit. Also included with the book are five B2 sheets of plans. Some sheets have a selection of drawings from the book on one side and half the ships length drawing in 1:200 scale on the reverse, whilst the others have full colour profiles of the ship in 1:400 scale. The 1:200 scale drawings and the drawings contained within the book show the ship as she was in 1945 and 1991 configurations. The plans showing the later dated ship will help modellers scratch build the details needed to convert the kit to this configuration, at until such time that any aftermarket company fills the need. Conclusion This is probably the best book in this series I have seen, certainly the most useful in a modellers point of view. The drawings are clear and crisply drawn and the full scale plans for the big Missouri kit will be so useful. The scale plans can also be joined together, if desired, to make an impressive wall piece in the modelling den to help keep the mojo going on the long build. Review sample courtesy of
  4. USS Massachusetts Kagero Super Drawings in 3D USS Massachusetts, a 35,000 ton South Dakota class battleship built at Quincy, Massachusetts, was commissioned in May 1942. Following shakedown and training operations, she took part in the Invasion of North Africa, engaging French warships at and off Casablanca, Morocco, on 8 November 1942. Massachusetts transferred to the Pacific in early 1943. Following several months in the South Pacific, she participated in the invasions of the Gilberts and Marshalls in late 1943 and early 1944, raids on Japanese-held islands in February to May and the Hollandia invasion in April 1944. The Massachusetts was overhauled in mid-1944, then returned to the Pacific war zone to take part in raids on Okinawa and Formosa in October, the Battle of Leyte Gulf later in that month and attacks in the Philippines area during the rest of that year. Her operations with the fast carrier striking forces continued in 1945 with further attacks in support of the invasion of Luzon in January, Iwo Jima in February and Okinawa in March-June. During July and August 1945, Massachusetts twice bombarded the Japanese home islands with her sixteen-inch guns. Following a late 1945 overhaul, Massachusetts was stationed along the U.S. Pacific coast until April 1946, when she returned to the Atlantic. The battleship decommissioned in March 1947 and remained in the Reserve Fleet until stricken from the Naval Vessel Register in June 1962. Three years later, USS Massachusetts began a second career as a memorial and museum ship at Fall River, Massachusetts, and remains in that role to the present day. The book is in the form of Kageros' 3D format with the first seven pages dedicated to the history of design, construction, The Battle of Casablanca, her Service in the Pacific and the Post War Years. The rest of the book is filled with highly detailed 3D renderings of every part of the main decks and superstructure. All the drawings are supremely well done and will be an absolute goldmine of information for the locations of the many different bits of smaller equipment not normally shown in side drawings or plans, such as 5” practice loaders which are almost hidden from view between the 5” amidships turrets. Included with the book is a pull out double sided sheet, with line drawings of various ships equipment in various scales from 1:50 to 1:200 on one side and side, front and rear views in1:350 scale on the reverse, which is very helpful, particularly with the rigging of the ship.. Conclusion As we have seen with other titles in this series this is a brilliantly laid out book with superbly drawn and rendered pictures plus a good potted history of this fabulous looking ship. I can highly recommend this book to all interested in the “Big Mammie” as she became to be known. Whilst more useful if you have the Trumpeter 1:350 kit for direct comparisons, this book can still help with adding those extra details onto the their 1:700 release. Very highly recommended Review sample courtesy of
  5. Die Wehrmacht Beutepanzer 1939-1945 Robert Johnson & Uwe Fist - Casemate UK BEUEPANZER literately translates to bootytank, we would describe this as a captured tank. The Germans had a knack for taking captured equipment of all types and returning it for use within their own forces. It is safe to say there is very little material available which concentrates on this area of "re-use" within the German Army. This book will hopefully go some way to filling this gap. The book arrives in a slightly larger than A-4 size Landscape form with hard covers. There are 262 pages and the book is broken down into 8 chapters; Polish Campaign, French Campaign, United Kingdom, Russian Campaign, United States, Italy, Hungary & Lend-Lease. The Russian Campaign and the French Campaign feature most in the book, as this is where the majority of vehicles were captured. The book brings all areas of vehicles from abandonment, through evaluation; and eventual reimplementation. The quality of the printing and photographs are excellent. Example - French Campaign Example - United States Conclusion This is a great looking book into an often forgotten part of the war. This was an area in which the Germany Army invested time and resources. Highly recommended reading if you like the more eccentric areas of WWII. It also gives some great diorama ideas for the modeller. Review sample courtesy of
  6. Painting Guide For AFV of WWII and Modern Era Jose Luis Lopez Ruiz - Casemate UK It has been a while since this reviewer switched from AFV modelling to aircraft. I found I could never really achieve the results I wanted, and this was in those pre-internet days of long ago. I do wish there had been books like this then. The book is what I would describe as medium/large format in an A-4 portrait sized book with a soft cover. There are 82 high quality pages. The printing is excellent through out, with clear text and great photographs illustrating the various techniques. Jose Luis Lopez Ruiz is a world renowned Spanish modeller who is a major contributor to The Steelmaster Magazine. He is a very talented modeller who has spent years developing his own techniques. In this publication we are introduced to his "Black & White" technique which has to be seen to be believed. As well as explaining the "Black & White" technique the book covers; Primers Layering Paints (Enamel & Acrylic) Washes Varnishes Pigments Primers The second half of the book then show cases five builds from WWII and the modern era to demonstrate the techniques discussed earlier. The photographs are clear and the text is concise. A gallery of completed models completes the book. Conclusion This is a great learning guide from a top class modeller. While you might not stick to one specific technique as shown, the book provokes thought as to how the individual modeller might make use of the techniques on show to finish their own model. Highly recommended, it might even spark the reviewer into making AFVs again! Review sample courtesy of
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