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Mini Color Series: Rolling Steel: NATO’s Self-Propelled Guns

by Carl Schulz and Walter Bohm



Soft covers, 8.5 x 11-inches, 52 pages, 137 color photographs, two pages of scale drawings, four color profile drawings. Price: unavailable.

The slowly expanding “Mini Color Series” is nearly the only thing in print these days (in the English language) devoted to providing quality color photographs of current AFVs. Most other publications, when they do cover modern subjects either tend to consist almost completely of black and white photography, or are in a language other than English. Or, the AFVs are simply the background for the larger story, such as in Concord’s current books dealing with operations in Iraq and past operations in the Former Yugoslavia.

So, for that reason and due to the high quality of the photographs within these covers, this book ought to prove extremely useful to modelers of modern AFVs, in this case, self-propelled tube artillery as seen within NATO. This is especially true in this instance, since all of these vehicles are available in kit form. The book covers the four major AFVs in this category, including Germany’s Panzerhaubitze PzH 2000, Great Britain’s AS-90 “Braveheart”, the United States’ M109A6 “Paladin”, and finally, France’s 155mm GCT Auf. 1.

Each vehicle is provided with a brief bit of development history, which discusses the concept behind the design and employment of them, as well as such things as upgrades and tactics. There is also information on unit composition and organization, which will further contribute to readers understanding of how these vehicles are used. But, by far, the photos are the stars of this particular show, featuring as they do, the work of some of the best practitioners of the art in this field today. Aside from the two authors whose work is featured, Yves Debay also supplied quite a few images, mostly depicting the French 155mm GCT Auf. 1. All of the photos are clearly presented and should provide plenty of the details useful to modelers, such as locations and configuration of fittings, stowage, painting, markings and weathering. Details of the uniforms of crew members can also be gleaned by the keen-eyed reader.

There are color side-view profiles of each type, within their respective chapters, as well as a scale, four-view fold-out plan of the PzH 2000, fitted with appliqué armor. There are also some vehicle detail images, a few interior photos, and some shots of ammunition scattered about. The authors have also made a special effort to provide crystal-clear images of the smaller markings seen on these vehicles, particularly the individual battery crests as seen on the UK’s AS-90’s. These last will prove to be very handy indeed to modelers of that vehicle.

So, there’s good material here for modelers on many levels, which should make this rather inexpensive title a vital and useful part of the library of the student of modern AFVs.

Highly recommended.

Concord Publications are available from retail and mail order shops, or from the publisher at: www.concord-publications.com.