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German & Russian Tank Models 1939-45 (9781612007359)

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German & Russian Tank Models 1939-45 (9781612007359)

Casemate Publishers UK




The 2nd World War in Eastern Europe, known as the Great Patriotic War by the Soviets, was total war, with no quarter asked or given, resulting in massive destruction of men, machinery, innocent civilians and the land through which operation Barbarosa was prosecuted.  The Russians burned anything that would be of use to the advancing Germans, and the Germans did the same as they were forced back by the then-fully mobilised Soviet war machine.  A broad range of equipment was used by both sides, from light tanks to heavy tank destroyers, as well as the ubiquitous T-34 that was produced in huge numbers to counter the complex German tanks that were used to great effect during the initial advances.


The Book

This is a techniques book that takes a selection of subjects from this campaign and also touches upon North Africa's Afrika Korps (DAK), showing the modeller step-by-step how to achieve realistic and artistic effects that you can try on your next model, whether it's from the Eastern Front or not.  Written and modelled by Mario Eens, the book is bound in a hard back cover, which is handy if you're going to be flicking back and forth and leaving it open as reference.  Inside are 128 pages plus two blank sheets printed in colour on glossy stock, with an easy to read layout and photographs of the modelling techniques printed at such a size that leave the details easy to see, rather than lots of postage-stamp sized photos that are hard on the eyes (we're none of us getting any younger).  There are five subjects within the book, as follows:


Panzer I Ausf.A North Africa, 1941

A light tank that was almost obsolete by the time the war was underway, depicted in a worn dark yellow scheme with the original Panzer grey showing through.




T-34/76 "chTZ" Russia, Summer 1943

In Russian green with a light coating of dust from the dried out countryside, hay adhering to the stowage from a close encounter with a haystack, and a cheerful crew member grinning at the viewer.




Pz.Kpfw.VIII Maus, Germany 1946

An alternate history monster that almost reached service in the final days of WWII, wearing a striking green splinter camo over a dark yellow base.




Su-152 Eastern Front, Winter 1943

A 152mm self-propelled howitzer in Russian green with the remnants of a winter white distemper coat clinging to the front and sides.




Russian Infantry, Berlin April 1945

A typical member of the army, posing in his padded coat on some steps in front of a discarded cable reel, with a captured Panzerfaust over his shoulder.




Each subject has a section of the book devoted to it, and it's not just a slavish out-of-the-box build, but includes plenty of additions and alterations to make the finished result better.  This includes some handy hints and tips, as well as suggestions for methods that will improve your own models if you apply them judiciously to your builds.  They are broken down further into subsections as if we are watching the build "live", showing various construction and painting phases, with the latter including more tips for effects such as chipping, streaks, and rust effects.  It's clear that Mario is a master modeller, and at the top of his game so the end results are all fabulous, and give us all a standard to aim for.  Add a couple of his tricks to each subsequent build, and you'll be surprised how soon it will become second nature to you.  You will notice that he models each sub-assembly such as exhausts and pioneer tools as a model in and of itself, which helps to further improve the detail, although it takes more time than just lashing a bit of brown paint on the handles of the tools.


As well as the gurning tanker that's popping out of the T-34, there is also a little diorama of the Russian solider at the end of the book, which gives the modeller a quick introduction to quality figure painting, often a weak-point of many of us, as well as the construction of the base with its tangle of twisted metal, rubble and the cable reel, which is another area that I personally struggle with.



A great how-to book that is bound to give you some inspiration as well as technical knowledge that will assist most modellers in achieving better results.


Highly recommended.




Review sample courtesy of


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