by: Mario Matijasic [ ]
Wings & Wheels Publications (WWP) is a publishing company from Czech Republic, producing photographic reference books for modelers. WWP's range is broad, covering all sorts of military equipment from tracked and wheeled vehicles, artillery, airplanes, helicopters, to individual weapons.
This review covers the first part of WWP's Leopard 1 book series: Leopard 1 in Detail (G047) which includes photos of Leopards 1A3 and 1A4 taken in military museums. Very soon, a second part of the series featuring Leopards 1A1, 1A2 and 1A5 will be available.
The parcel from WWP arrived packed in a hard cardboard box, additionally secured inside a bubble-wrap. As soon as I removed the bubble wrap, I flipped through the pages. As with all the WWP titles I reviewed so far, this title also features loads of large photos showing the vehicles in great detail making an absolutely wonderful first impression. Here are the basic facts:
Title: Leopard 1 in Detail (Leopard 1A3 and 1A4 Main Battle Tanks)
Publisher: Wings & Wheels Publications (WWP)
Authors: Frantiek Kořαn and Ralph Zwilling
Format: softcover (22x24 cm)
Color: full color
Retail Price: $30 (24)
The book features vehicles photographed in several military museums, most notably Deutches Panzermuseum Munster. The book is organized in 9 chapters which are color coded on page edges, allowing easy navigation:
Leopard 1A3/4 (008-024)
Leopard 1A3/4 Hull (025-031)
Leopard 1A3/4 Turret (032-051)
Leopard 1A3 Turret Interior (052-065)
Leopard 1A4 (066-075)
Leopard 1A5 DK1 (076-083)
Leopard AS1 (084-085)
MB 838 Power Pack (086-095)
The first chapter, Introduction, briefly outlines the Leopard development project and provides some interesting facts on the vehicle and vehicle variants. The walk around chapter on Leopard 1A3/4 starts with several full-page photos of these vehicles, and then delves into showing all the details of Leopard 1A3/4 Hull, with side skirts, wheels and tracks, tools and tool holders, as well as various other exterior details shown in great length. This chapter also includes photos of the driver's compartment. Covered on 4 pages, the large images provide everything a modeler might need for super-detailing the interior. Leopard 1A3/4 Turret comes next with the details on gun mantlet, search light, L7A3 barrel, rangefinder, smoke dischargers, 1A3 sights, 1A4 sights, fording tube, and crew hatches. MG3 machine gun is also shown in detail. Leopard 1A3 Turret Interior follows, with 14 pages covering the details of L7A3 breech, shell basket, loader's compartment, gunner's and commander's compartment... wow! Leopard 1A4 chapter covers mostly turret interior of this particular Leopard variant with the caption providing explanation of various details which are different to the 1A3 version. As number of NATO members and other allies purchased Leopards from Germany, it was only logical to include some of these examples into this book. The first is Leopard 1A5 DK1, Danish tank upgraded from Leo 1A3. This chapter shows several vehicles displayed in Danish museums with the upgrades like the halogen searchlight, thermal sight, different antenna mounts, additional air-conditioning unit, etc. shown on photos and briefly explained in captions. Very short Leopard AS1 chapter is next, showing the Leopard 1A3 in Australian Army. Finally, MB 838 Power Pack is displayed. MB 838 is a very unique Leopard 1 power pack, combining the engine, transmission, and cooling system all into one and this chapter provides number of large images showing it in detail. A truly perfect chapter for all those wanting to display Perfect Scale Modellbau's wonderful power pack sets on their Leo 1s.
WWP has once again produced an exceptional photo reference book, this one covering one of the most iconic vehicles of the modern world, the Leopard 1. Good photos are the main reason modelers buy reference books, and this particular volume features over 300 high-resolution, large color photos showing almost every aspect of German Army Leopard 1A3/1A4 inside and out, as well as details of Danish and Australian vehicles. The information supplied is kept short and concise; the intro gives interesting details on the origins of the vehicle, while the captions provide a very informative read, explaining various details presented in the photos.
Hopefully we will not have to wait long until WWP releases the second part of Leopard book series, that one covering the Leopard 1A1/1A2/1A5.
It really is a no-brainer... If you are modeling the Leopard 1A3/1A4, this is the reference photo book you need for going an extra mile with the kit. The book covers the vehicle in great detail, featuring incredible amount of large full color photos. The text is kept to a minimum, but still provides a very interesting read.