Nuts & Bolts Vol. 31
|Title and Publisher:||Nuts & Bolts Volume 31 - Marder II Panzerjager II fur 5.5 cm Pak 40/2 (Sd.Kfz.131) By J.Baschin and M.Block|
|Media and Contents:||Soft cover, A4 format, 176 pages|
|Price:||Euro 28.90 available online from Nuts & Bolts' website|
|Advantages:||An excellent publication that strikes the right balance between historical fact, photo coverage and high quality colour profiles.|
The “Nuts and Bolts” series of reference titles really need no introduction. What they offer is a one-stop reference source for the particular vehicle they cover.
I must confess that I love these books. I like the convenience of just grabbing them, opening a page when I require it and basically getting on with modelling the subject. In reality, these books are more like four traditional books in one, a development history, wartime photo coverage, line drawings and colour profiles and a comprehensive walk around photo essay.
This new reference work has some 178 pages. Prepared with the aid of restored examples from a number of sources, it offers a complete source of reference material on the Marder II. You know, years ago this sort of reference was not readily available. Modellers had to scratch around, looking as they did at multiple sources and often finding conflicting information.
As with all in the “Nuts and Bolts” series, this book is logically broken down into segmented parts. The first 105 pages are devoted to the development and history of the weapon’s use in German service. Within this section, selected subsections discuss the development and technical description, followed by the differences between the prototype and production vehicles. A very useful chart describes how many were made and what units they were assigned to. The book is jammed packed with details like the variations of the weapon system itself and how they were used in the field. I particularly liked the chart describing the set up of a typical unit and all the vehicles that supported these “Panzerjager” units. This first section is lavishly illustrated with a little over 189 black and white war time photos
The next 8 pages are devoted to very well drawn 1:35 scale plans of all the known versions and one page for the suspension system. John Rue never disappoints with his illustrations and the four three-dimensional drawings just add to the experience. Twelve colour profile drawings follow over the next 6 pages and are wonderfully executed and presented. What I like about these profiles is that within the profile itself, a small black and white photo is inserted to which the artist has given his interpretation. This, I believe should be the industry standard. The bottom profile on page 119 doesn’t quite match the profile however - the photo would indicate the sand overspray is softer than the profile and could be interpreted as white - but still, this is only a very minor criticism. The last page of colour profiles deals with the various ammunition used for both the 5 cm Pak 38 and 7.5 cm Pak 40.
The next 25 pages consist of 154 colour walk around photos from the various restored examples. The entire vehicle is covered from the interior, engine through to a detailed study of the radio’s fitted. The last 5 pages are devoted to two model builds that are generally ok but, in my opinion not really up to the standard set by the rest of the book.
Text by Luke Pitt
Page Created 12 January, 2014
Page Last Updated 12 January, 2014