As modellers we sometimes get hung up on detail or exactness, and in some cases that desire can be hard to find a resolution for. There are many titles on the market available that tackle the machines that were used by the soldier in the field, but what about when you are looking for details on a grenade used, or for that matter how the German soldier of World War set booby traps. This offering from Helion and Company will have the answer to many of questions in that vein.
The following portion of the introduction is as provided by Casemate Publishing who provided this title for review:
Keith Ward brings German weapons and equipment to life with his technical illustrations in this essential guide for anyone interested in the German armed forces in World War II. This title is the first in a series that employs a simple and effective concept to illustrate and describe the multiplicity of equipment and weapons systems used on the ground during World War II. Whilst many books have described such weapons and war materiel, Keith Ward's unique abilities as a 3D technical artist bring these items to life, illustrated throughout in full colour. Here, in a single concise volume, are all major and many minor and less well-known items of German weaponry and equipment, rendered precisely, including detailed cutaways showing their internal workings, information which is often absent from other publications. Technical details are also provided. This is an essential volume for anyone interested in the German Armed Forces of World War II.
This offering from Helion and Company and Authored by Keith Ward is an unusual offering. It is a soft backed book with 144 pages of a good quality paper with a glossy finish. The cover is made of card and has a glossy finish that should do a fair job of protecting the pages within. The book has no text as such other than the very long captions that accompany the computer generated artwork. Looking through the title I have to say I found the title a little misleading to me, but it is accurate. By equipment I thought it was going to cover personal equipment such as backpack, gasmasks and so on; what it actually covers under that heading is artillery and vehicles used with them.
The computer generated images inside this title is the content and is broken down into eleven sections:
Hand Held Anti-Tank Weapons
Mines and Demolition Charges
Artillery and Crewed Anti-Tank Weapons
Late Production Munitions and Miscellaneous Kit
The small arms sections I found of limited use to me personally, but a title of this type would be amiss to leave this area out. With that said it only covers six weapons and is a nice quick reference for the covered arms. The next short part does look at personal equipment in the form of flare pistols and a Field Torch, I found this area of great interest due to it covering items I have rarely seen, this is one area of the book that I would have liked to be much larger than it is as it covered an area that is hard to find reference on.
The next area of this title looks at the humble hand grenade; now I donít know about you reading this but I think of the stick grenade when thinking about German grenades, this title opened my eyes to their use of glass grenades and concrete ones as well. This section is followed by very short areas on machine guns (MG 34 and 42) and the 5cm and 8cm mortars, two areas that I found of very limited benefit.
Moving onto the section covering Mines and Demolition Charges, this section is by far the largest in the book and of quite some interest to those who like to spend their time working on dioramas. This section of the book looks at some really interesting aspects of the German soldiersí ability to make war or slow down a pursuer. This section of the book gets my vote as the best section due to covering such a wide selection of devices.
It is at this point that I feel the author should have stopped and expanded the areas already covered. I feel this way because no matter how great the artist is I feel that the Artillery and vehicles are covered much better in dedicated publications; after all I am not going to get something from a computer generated image of an 88mm that I could not find a photograph of and from many more angles.
This book is a difficult offering to judge and quantify. The sections at the font of the book are useful depending on your area of modelling, by this I mean of interest to those who are pulled towards dioramas and to a slightly lesser extent figure modelling. The back of the book looking at Artillery and vehicles shows how good the artist is at generating images on a computer, but are of little use to the modeller from a reference point of view. So I do see a number of benefits to this title, but I also feel the author missed a trick by moving onto artillery and vehicles where a picture or two does not cut it as reference.
Highs: While this are computer generated images they are still of benefit when it comes to the smaller items and personal equipment.Lows: I feel the sections that look at artillery and vehicles are wasted as there are other books that cover these aspects better.Verdict: For the money I feel this title is worthy of consideration depending on where your modelling interests lay.
About Darren Baker (CMOT) FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM
I have been building model kits since the early 70ís starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70ís, I have had lots of opportunitie...