Many of you may already be familiar with this series of paperback books but this title is the first in this series that I have had the chance to have a really good look at. The text (which only takes up four of the 48 pages) is split down the middle into English on the left and German on the right. All the myriad of picture captions and notations are also bilingual, as are the Glossary and Reference sections in the back of the book. Apart from a few well chosen ďin serviceĒ photographs, the bulk of the illustrations are the same as you will find in any technical manual, in that they have been retouched to get rid of distracting backgrounds and to better show the detail present in the picture. There are also scale drawings included with appropriate measurements and artists renderings of internal layouts. A good smattering of overhead views have been included and there are plenty of internal photographs as well. All the pictures are of an adequate size to be of immense value to the modeller and the captions highlight important details that may be overlooked.
INSIDE THE BOOK
Once you have read the History, Description, Main Differences Between Models and the Production Figures 1942-1945 sections you are left with a page of Technical Data before you move on to the main reason for this book, the pictures.
The first chapter, 105mm Howitzer Motor Carriage M7, covers the prototypes in field trials and moves on to multiple views of the initial production M7. The intermediate production M7 is highlighted next and then the late production version is shown. Several in service shots follow on and then we have a page of scale drawings with appropriate measurements showing a late production variant with spaced out running gear and wide tracks.
The second chapter, 105mm Howitzer Motor Carriage M7B1, covers the later variant and an internal ghost drawing is included in this chapter.
The Driverís Controls and Instruments are covered by the next chapter, quickly followed by the M7 and Engine Compartment chapter. The radial Continental R975 C1 engine is shown in detail, both inside the vehicle and externally. Great Diorama potential there!
The M7B1 Engine and Engine Compartment come next with views of the Ford GAA engine and the differences in the engine compartment for this variant.
The Power Train and Suspension come next and we are shown the front transmission separated from the vehicle and details of the suspension and tracks.
Moving on to the Hull and Fighting Compartment, we are shown various useful internal and external details over the next seven pages.
Armament comes next and there are enough views of the main 105mm gun to please nearly everyone. The Sighting Equipment and Ammunition are covered next and then we move on to a brief chapter on the Kangaroo Conversion (Canadian Army).
A variant that I was not aware of, the 9.75-in. Mortar Motor Carriage is covered next before moving on to a chapter covering the Deep Water Fording Equipment (U.S. Army). The Long Immersion Instructions (British Army) are also covered and the book rounds off with a chapter on the 105mm Howitzer Motor Carriage M7B2 with itís raised main armament and pulpit.
Finally we have a Glossary and Reference section along with an Editorial information section.
This book is ideal for the modeller wishing to detail his model of an M7 Priest . There is such a wealth of knowledge held within itís pages that it cannot fail to inspire the modeller to higher levels of accuracy and detail. The only disappointment is that there is not a chapter covering the Israeli modified variant of the M7 Priest. This would have made the book absolutely complete in my humble opinion
Highs: A good all round technical publications of the M7 Variants, clear pictures and textLows: would be nice if it covered other variantsVerdict: Recommended for any one wanting to build an accurate M7
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About Richard Howden (magach_eight) FROM: ENGLAND - WEST MIDLANDS, UNITED KINGDOM
Like many of you, I have been a modeller on and off for most of my life. My main area of interest is Israeli armour of all ages. I specialise in this area because most of the modifications that the Israelis have done to their full size vehicles the modeller has to mimmick, in scale, on their models ...