As most of you will know I am a big fan of the ‘In Detail Fast Track’ series of books from Tankograd Publishing. These titles are aimed at the modeller who wants to get the details on their models just so, but does not need to know all of the ins and outs of the vehicle beyond the detail. Another big plus is the affordability aspect with each title coming in at €11.95 and so cheap enough for most to afford. This time around Tankograd Publishing has released five new titles in the ‘In Detail Fast Track’ series, these cover the Warrior FV510 TES (H), Dingo 2 GE A3.3 PatSi, Camouflage – Markings – Soldiers Grantiger Lowe, Panzerhaubitze 2000 A1/A2 and Keiler.
This release in the ‘In Detail Fast Track’ series of books from Tankograd Publishing is the third of the titles that has been published as a duel language offering, the text on the left of the page is in German and the right side in English. This title consists of 40 pages printed on a good quality glossy paper with a card cover. The text is complete over three pages and offers a short introduction followed by text covering specific aspects of the vehicle. The text in this title I found interesting as it covered both a short history and information on the Panzerhaubitze 2000 in combat operations in Afghanistan. It should of course be mentioned that with Meng Models having released a Panzerhaubitze 2000 in 1/35th scale and a second offering on the way with the added armour included.
The photographic section in this title begins with a general walk around of a Panzerhaubitze 2000 A1, the vehicle used has partial added armour fitted in this case and this mix adds an interesting look. The vehicle photographed is in the sand and green livery as it was photographed on active duty in Afghanistan; this offers some unexpected bonuses in the form of prepared firing positions reference and good images of an external air conditioning unit hooked up to the Panzerhaubitze 2000 and external power supply. I do not know if these images were chosen for that reason, but they are a great bonus.
The book then covers the hull specifically and does it in a very logical progression; it starts at the front, then down one side and taking in the rear and then finishes by travelling up the other side. there is one aspect that I would have liked to see covered, and that is the return rollers on the vehicle, but I do understand that these are hidden 99% of the time. The top of the hull is then covered in its own right and I am pleased to see that there is a full set of add on armour in place. As you would expect the very large travel lock gets attention, but only in an unused position.
The turret is next to get attention and this is a very useful section as it covers the area of the vehicle that can be difficult to find good reference for. The elements of the turret are very well covered, and again the example has a full set of add on armour; that makes this title particularly helpful for anyone considering the new offering from Meng Models. On the subject of the add on armour this comes in for special attention by Tankograd Publishing and has resulted in great reference for checking all of the different shaped add on armour elements. There is also a graphic that looks specifically at the add on armour of both the hull and turret of the Panzerhaubitze 2000.
The title looking at the Panzerhaubitze 2000 A1 finishes by giving the interior a very good going over, this section covers the fighting compartment very well I feel despite the limited space, even the drivers station gets its own area in the this title. All I can really say about this area is that anyone who takes on scratching an interior will find this section of great use and they are far braver than I.
The book finishes with a short walk around of the Panzerhaubitze 2000 A2. I really do hope that Meng Models also tackles this example of the vehicle, but while the changes are hidden as far as I understand from the text. The biggest change that I would like to see is Meng Models tackle the Mobile Multispektrale Tarnausstattung (MMT). If Meng Models do find a way to replicate the MMT well they will open up a big market for themselves I believe.
This title is the ‘In Detail Fast Track’ series of books at its very best. The text is a nice mix which provides details in a short space that is well worth reading. The photographs again despite the limited space covers most aspects of the panzerhaubitze 2000 to a very good level and while there are some things I would have also liked to see, such as the return rollers I very highly recommend that this title is picked up by anyone who wants to see everything that is great about this book series. Remember there are only 999 copies of these printed and I see this title selling out very quickly, especially due to the Meng Models kit.
Highs: A very good and affordable reference covering the Panzerhaubitze 2000 very well, and also covers the SPH in a war zone firing position.Lows: Due to the limited space not every aspect can be covered and so areas not really seen; such as the return rollers are not covered.Verdict: If there is any chance of you picking up a Panzerhaubitze 2000 kit, buy this book while you can.
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About Darren Baker (CMOT) FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM
I have been building model kits since the early 70’s 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 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...