This offering from Pen and Sword as part of their Tank Craft series looks at the Panther Tanks. These books are I feel an attempt to offer the modeller a combination package covering both reference on the vehicles and a look at the models and items available to replicate the Panther Tanks as a scale model.
This offering from Pen and Sword is authored by Dennis Oliver, who is an author whose efforts I have looked at a lot recently. This is a soft backed with a good card cover protecting 64 pages of semi gloss paper. The contents of this title are laid out as follows:
The Western Front 1945
The Panther Units of the HEER
Camouflage and Markings
The Panther Units of the Waffen-SS
Technical Details and Modifications
Factory Applied Camouflage
Product Contact Details
The text in this title starts at the front and then has a break before continuing after the modelling section. The text is a very nice breakdown of who was where doing what when and so provides the modeller with information on the unit they wish to depict when it comes to providing information on a finished model. The text is well written and presented in a way that makes reading and understanding the content an easy aspect of the title. There are short histories of the units provided which I found particularly interesting despite their limited length. Towards the end of the book the text switches to details on aspects of the vehicle and while again short makes the reading of them interesting to me. I do like that the images have been provided to point out very specific details. Perhaps the aspects of these areas I most appreciate are the black and white period photographs that provide not just fantastic visual reference but also a sense of the time in which the Panther tank was cutting edge.
Before reaching the modelling section of the title the reader is presented with a nice selection of colour plates covering the Panther Tank from the side only. These drawings have one very nice aspect in that they offer finishes that go beyond the usual finishes that the Panther tanks are nearly always shown finished in. I really do like these colour plates as it covers finishes I had never considered.
The modelling section starts with a showcase of finished models that are both stand alone and in diorama settings. These will be of limited use to the modeller when it comes to building and finishing models, but they do offer some very interesting visuals when it comes to items you may wish to add to the build and the finishing and weathering you may wish to replicate. I was pleased to see more inclusion of the models in this offering as it helps the modeller get a better idea of how certain areas should look prior to paint hitting the plastic. The section covering the kits available is a great section for the modeller who wants to see where to aim his or her pennies at. Models in 1/72nd, 1/35th and 1/16th scales and covers injection moulded plastic offerings. 1/35th scale models are by far the most covered and I feel that is the right step. I do like that the offerings cover the likes of Amusing Hobbies and Takom which are the most recent offerings.
This is a great addition to the range of books covering tanks and authored by Dennis Oliver has made a stunning offering with this title considering the amount of space he had available and he has authored a title that all modellers should make space for in their library. The Panther tank is one of those tanks that have a huge appeal and this book from Pen and Sword is a great addition to the range. The cost of £11.99 is an absolute steal for what is offered and I cannot fault it in any way.
Darren Baker takes a look at one of the Tank Craft series of books covering the Panther Tanks, German Army And Waffen-SS, Defence of the West 1945 from Pen and Sword.
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About Darren Baker (CMOT) FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM
I have been building model kits since the early 70ís starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70ís, I have had lots of opportunitie...