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Book Review
AFV Modeller Magazine
Issue 34
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by: Jim Rae [ JIMBRAE ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction
I am not the world's greatest purchaser of magazines, partly this is due to their very high price by the time their reach this country, partly because it seems that only a handful have sufficiently 're-invented' themselves and many suffer from a lack of 'specialization'. This is no criticism of the contributors to the popular titles, they do, on the whole a superb job, rather the format of the majority force the editors for commercial reasons to appeal to as wide a market as possible. Therefore, I tend to pick up a magazine when it's got one or two articles which directly interest me.

I also have to admit, that although AFV Modeller is known to me, I have never actually got round to purchasing a copy. This changed a week or so when I was buying the Blast Models' M2 Stowage set from the magazine's on-line store where this issue was being advertised so I decided to take the plunge...


The Magazine
AFV Modeller is published bi-monthly - this issue is number 34, corresponding to May/June 2007. The magazine is typical A4 format with 64 pages. This issue contains seven featured articles along with eight pages of News/Reviews. The overwhelming majority of the (many) photographs are in color and are very-well reproduced.


Contents of Issue 34

1) 88mm Flak 36

2) Scram Part Two.- Kursk Diorama

3) M2 Build-Article

4) The U.S. M2 and M2A1 Halftrack Vehicles - historical/variant photo report

5) Xtreme Detail - The M2 - Walkround of a preserved example

6) White Elephant - Building an M4A3E2

7) Keeping Track - New Release Overview

8) M3A3 - Upgrading the Tamiya Bradley


In Detail - 3 'themed' articles
It isn't the easiest task in the world to actually review a magazine, so in this case, it's easier if I do an overview of the reason I purchased it - the M2 Half-Track articles. The magazine wasn't billed as an 'M2 Special' but it comes very close...

Building the M2: Taking DML's U.S. M2 Half-Track as the starting point, David Parker (the magazine's editor) goes intio building the kit in a series of step-by-step photos and a considerable amount of informative text. Apart from three (simple) After-Market sets the model is built OOB. The author concentrates on simple (but very effective) improvements such as improving the roller brackets and adding some additional detail to the tool stowage. This is NOT a rebuild, but something that the average modeller will find simple to do - with good results.The author also weathers and paints the vehicle using some very worthwhile techniques which could be applicable to almost any vehicle.

M2 History - The U.S. M2 and M2A1 Halftrack Vehicles : This seven-page article is written by David Doyle whose published works on U.S. vehicles should need little introduction. Doyle concentrates on archive images from (principally) the War Department technical manuals which are extraordinarily well chosen and reproduced showing the 'layout' of the (bare) vehicle. with some useful images of the engine block, the suspension and the interior arrangement of the vehicle. Although many people will already have some of these images, it's still of enormous value when combined with his informed explanations of the photos.

Xtreme Detail - M2 Halftrack :Once again, written by David Doyle, seven pages are dedicated to a nicely restored M2 in the form of a very complete WalkRound. Many enthusiasts will have similar images in their archives, but it never does any harm to have them explained in the manner Doyle does so competently


The Remainder - a brief overview:

88mm Flak 36 A simple, but very striking diorama of an abandoned Flak 36 in its emplacement. This article is useful in a number of areas - Groundwork (particularly recreating snow), finishing and weathering of the gun and a useful lesson in composition

Scram (part two) The concluding part of an article which began in the previous issue, looks at a diorama of an Elefant crew bailing out of their vehicle into a (still-occupied) Soviet trench This part concentrates on the groundwork of the diorama and the various interesting elemnts such as the trench and the nicely-done foliage.An article (even missing part one) which gives some excellent 'pointers' for those who work in dioramas.

White Elephant - Jumbo M4a3e2 This is a useful article for anyone who wants to tackle a white-washed vehicle with some very original approaches to a difficult area. It's also notable for a less-popular (but equally complex) area for Armor modelers - convincingly reproducing Sommerfield Matting.

M3a3 - This article looks at buildng a Bradley CFV which is a fairly involved process including scratchbuilding the updates.It's quite a short article and perhaps suffers from a lack of (written) detail although still very useful.


Conclusions:

The magazine is, in my opinion, worth its cover price for the M2 material alone. However, there are few people who wouldn't get something out of the other articles which are superbly edited and well-illustrated. I've been pretty impressed with some of the newer magazines which have been published in the last year or two but this really looks as if it might be worth investing in a subscription. I like the style of the magazine - it assumes a working knowledge of the subjects covered (which may not make it suitable for complete novices) but it isn't pitched at the 'uber-experts' either. The work that is presented in this issue goes well beyond the merely 'competent' to the very good indeed. Nor does it suffer from the (irritating) tendency of some magazines to provide a nice 'chatty' format. It's Armor-modeling at it's best, it could be seen as pretty hard-core but is also very competently done and presented.
SUMMARY
AFV Modeller is someone different from other magazines on the market tending to concentrate on fewer articles but in considerably more detail than some of their competitors. Not only does it cover the vehicles themselves, but also related areas such as diorama groundwork and coverage of their 1:1 scale counterparts.
Percentage Rating
95%
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: 34
  Suggested Retail: £ 6.00
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: May 04, 2007
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 88.06%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 92.57%

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About Jim Rae (jimbrae)
FROM: PROVINCIA DE LUGO, SPAIN / ESPAñA

Self-employed English teacher living in NW Spain. Been modelling off and on since the sixties. Came back into the hobby around ten years ago. First love is Soviet Armor with German subjects running a close second. Currently exploring ways of getting cloned to allow time for modelling, working and wr...

Copyright ©2019 text by Jim Rae [ JIMBRAE ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

Jim, I discovered this magazine several years ago and have never been disappointed. Based on your review I see it's time to go pester my LHS and see if I can get a copy of this issue.
MAY 03, 2007 - 07:37 PM
Just another voice chiming in here to echo what has already been said. I've been a subscriber since very early on (issue #3), and AFV Modeller is a consistently excellent publication! High quality models accompanied by great write ups and pictures to equal or better the write ups, all printed on heavy quality paper stock, not the thin stuff other publications use. Yes, there are issues where I might not be interested in a particular subject but I can always learn from and appreciate the builds. Oh, and I almost forgot, very little advertising! In issue 34 there are 64 pages, only the inside of the rear cover, and the rear cover itself have any ads on them, and that is pretty much par for the course. I know some will say it's too expensive, but I think you get what you pay for. (and if you really only want an article here or there the online article downloads are very fairly priced) Cheers, Mike
MAY 04, 2007 - 08:04 AM
This was also the first issue I have ever bought, prompted by what looked like a particularly interesting set of articles. I agree with the reviewer's comments on the quality of the articles and the production values, but, based on the piece about the M3 Bradley, I feel the editing could do with tightening up, as there was text missing from two pages in this article. Obviously I have no way of knowing whether this is typical, but I thought it worth mentioning.
MAY 08, 2007 - 10:51 PM
Hi Folks Ok, I'm sold. I have heard of the mag for some time now, but I have not been able to find a copy . Could one you guys be kind enough to direct this poor misguided soul to the correct web site. Harry
MAY 10, 2007 - 07:53 AM
Here ya go Harry. http://www.afvmodeller.com/ Mike
MAY 10, 2007 - 07:57 AM
Mike Thanks for the reply. I just sent them an e-mail about setting up a subscription . I looked over the web site, and was even more sold on the idea that I need to get in with these folks. Harry.
MAY 11, 2007 - 03:13 AM
I hope you mentioned Armorama?
MAY 11, 2007 - 04:16 AM
hi guys, AFV did really produce a fanastic magazine, been buying quite a bit as I was lucky that my LHS carrys them. Great pictures, and always, accompanied by great explantion notes on the processes, tips etc. Just my 2 cents inputs. Cheers!
MAY 11, 2007 - 11:18 AM
The AIR version is also a great Mag ☺
AUG 26, 2017 - 04:38 AM
   

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