Armada Veritkal #5 Camouflage of the Tanks of the Red Army 1930-1945
Cookie SewellBook Review: Armada "Veritkal" Series No. 5; Kamuflyazh Tankov Krasnoy Armii 1930-1945 (Camouflage of the Tanks of the Red Army 1930-1945) by M. Komoiyet and I. Moshchanskiy; Exprint Publishing Center, Moscow, 1999, 56 pp. (No ISBN Number); price variable ($29.95 from East View Press)
Advantages: First new format book from Armada similar to recent Concord publications; unique coverage of a unique subject; very good general coverage of its subject
Disadvantages: First book by new publisher may not get the distribution that it received from its previous one; high cost is extreme
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for Soviet armor fans and historians of the Great Patriotic War
There was a recent series of notes posted on the Internet USENET group rec.models.scale about the sale of the "Armada" series of books from their current publisher, M-Khobbi, to Exprint. A previous relationship with Linden Hill to have the books translated into English had been negated by the sale, and the cost of the publications was expected to soar. As of now, the actual change in both price and distribution is unknown, other than the offering price from professional book importer/dealers such as East View Press is quite steep. This is a shame, as this particular volume, like many in their past "Squadron/Signal In Action" format, should be very popular.
The new format of the book is very similar to recent Concord Publications in their 4XXX series on armored fighting vehicles. It is 56 pages long, loaded with around 140 photos, most of which are fresh, and has four plates of color paintings in the center. A short English synopsis is provided at the front, along with a short comparison of the standard Soviet Great Patriotic War (WWII) period color of 4BO which the authors equate as FS 595a FS34102. As is states up front, however, the book covers the camouflage schemes used by the Red Army before and during WWII. Chapters cover the following subjects: Camouflage on RKKA Tanks 1930-1945 (paint schemes); Tactical and Identification Markings; and, Slogans and Inscriptions. Each is profusely illustrated but little is provided in the short English translations under each photo to assist many modelers in their use of the photos as references for modeling.
This is unfortunate, as there is a wealth of information in the text on specific colors, regulation sizes, and other colors used. Colors mentioned include "Clear Green", "Dark Green (4BO)", "Dark Brown", and others. It also breaks the pre-war colors and camouflage into four groups by military district. Also given (in Russian) are around 150 actual mottoes, dedications, and battle slogans used on Soviet tanks.
However, even the general reader will note a lot of fascinating schemes which can be used on otherwise dull subjects. My favorite is a ZIS-5 truck with a white polka dot camouflage used in winter operations, but there are two-, three-, and four-color schemes illustrated for vehicles such as the T-28 which really spruce them up. The posed and casual shots will also provide a wealth of information and details for diorama builders, and to which the M-Khobbi authors tried to orient the book in their foreword.
Overall, this is worthwhile, but hopefully can be found at lower prices than East View is asking for the book.
Thanks to Steve Zaloga for the review copy.
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