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Book Review
Nuts & Bolts Vol 31 Marder II
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by: Todd Michalak [ TRM5150 ]

Introduction

For many of us modelers compelled to work with WWII based subjects and specifically German armor, the name Nuts & Bolts is well known. Continuing this series of books from earlier publications Nuts & Bolts presents Volume 31: "Marder II" (Sd.Kfz. 131) - Panzerjäger II für 7,5 cm Pak 40/2.

Contents

As with previous editions this book is a soft-cover book with both English and German text provided throughout. This addition contains 178 pages (including the inside covers) covering a treasure trove of information regarding the Marder II and variants. There is no table of contents defining the pages of this book but rather the book can be broken down into subdivisions as follows:
  • Pages 1 to part of 40 – Technical Information
  • Pages 40 to part of 42 – Acknowledgments
  • Pages 42 to page 105 - Operational pictorial with supporting text
  • Pages 106 to 115 – 1/35 scale drawings in 2D and 3D of all know variants
  • Pages 116 to 121 – Rendered color paint and camouflage schemes
  • Page 122 – Ammunition used by the Pak 38 & Pak 40
  • Pages 123 to 170 – Walk around photographs with supporting text
  • Page 171 - Ammunition and storage containers and Powder bag
  • Pages 172 to the back cover – Two short SBS excerpts of completed models

Review

The authors and researchers consistently hit their mark with Volume 31 of the series. The first section of this book, as I defined as :Technical” above, this covers the development and technical descriptions of the Marder II; its operational prowess including several charts covering Technical Specifications, Armament Card Index, Production and Conversion, Inventory and Deployment. Everything you will ever want to know about the Marder II with regards to technical information is covered in the first few pages. This section goes on to break down the Kompanie structure to which the Marder played a part. The final extensive part of this first section is a highly detailed timeline of equipment and parts delivery to each Panzer Division including Kompanie deployment.

Finishing of this section covers the use of Infrared Devices, a Final Verdict, Camouflage and Markings and a section devoted to modeling. A small chart showing the models offered for depicting the Marder II. This section transitions into a small acknowledgment section at the end of this first part of the book to thank the many folks that help bring these publications together.

In the next section, as I defined above as “Operational pictorial with supporting text” and which this book which spans sixty-three pages, there are 190 black and white photographs showing the Marder II in action. Each photo is accompanied with supporting bilingual text pointing out key details and highpoints in the vehicles in the photos. Many of these pictures have not been published until now.

Moving forward in this book, the next part there is contains thirty-two line drawings in 1/35th scale; depicting all know variants of the Marder II by John L. Rue. There is a mix of 2D and 3D renderings; a true asset to any scratch builder and modeler alike.

Making a nice segue out of the line drawings, the book flows into several pages of color and camouflage schemes with supporting reference photos which is another fine asset to the model maker. This section precedes a one pages color art rendering of all of the different ammunition used by the various Marder II’s.

One of the largest parts to this book falls at the end of it, the walk around photo section. There 155 color pictures of museum relics all with supporting text in English and German translation pointing out key points of interests on all of the variants shown.

Finally the book climaxes with the showing of two model creations; one by Tony Greenwood and the other by Vinnie Branigan. Both are short excerpts in a somewhat Step by Step styling explaining what each of the modelers worked through along the way.

Conclusion

I have to say that there are books on subjects and then there are “THE BOOKS” on subjects. By and large Volume 31 - Marder II Panzerjager II fur 5.5 cm Pak 40/2 (Sd.Kfz.131) from Nuts & Bolts is a Must Have certainly if you are modeler that is particular to the Marder Family of vehicles or even if you are the enthusiast of WWII German armor. The publishers from Nuts & Bolts, Heiner F. Duske, Tony Greenland & Detlev Terlisten, along with the team of specialists that bring these books to us have consistently give us a high quality, highly technical and highly FUN book to read and to use for references.

I feel the price is indicative of what you are presented with upon purchase; $39.95 US (28.90€) and can be purchased direct from the Nuts & Bolts website - http://www.nuts-bolts.de/issue/show/36 There is a ton of information contained within these books. Just about everything you will ever need to have when researching the particular subject contained within any of their books all right at your fingertips.

There is always some sort of criticism associated with reviewing any item that comes up and albeit this book is a truly fantastic collection of informative technical data and pictorial wonderment there is only one minor matter that presented itself while pouring through the book, there are some grammatical errors kind of littered here and there throughout the book. This is by all means not a deal breaker and normally I would not think twice about this and remain indulged in the technical facet of the book itself, but thought it would be good to mention. To show you how dedicated Nuts & Bolts is to providing the most credible and accurate information in the publications, on their website at the bottom of the pages for the individual book being sold, there are links to corrections for the books. There is one such link for this particular book posted on the site - http://www.nuts-bolts.de/issueUpdate/show/14 . This update discusses the grammatical errors, misspelling, and clarifications and/or amendments to statements and/or claims pertaining to certain photos contained in the book and there descriptions. Again, this is all in an effort to bring the correct information to light as needed.

Highly Recommended!

SUMMARY
Highs: The most comprehensive, technically vast collection of information on the Marder II Panzerjager II fur 5.5 cm Pak 40/2 (Sd.Kfz.131) .
Lows: There are some minor grammatical errors (personally, these are not really worth mentioning at all).
Verdict: The Vol. 31 on the Marder II from Nuts & Bolts is a must have for anyone’s personal library hands down!
Percentage Rating
98%
  Scale: N/A
  Suggested Retail: $39.95 US
  PUBLISHED: Mar 03, 2014
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 95.52%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 94.00%

Our Thanks to Nuts & Bolts!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Todd Michalak (TRM5150)
FROM: MASSACHUSETTS, UNITED STATES

I am building what I like, when I like and how I like it; having fun doing it. I have been building and finishing models on and off my whole life but the past ten years things really exploded. Just about anything goes when it comes to hitting the bench, but wrecked armor, rusted hulks, ships or ...

Copyright ©2019 text by Todd Michalak [ TRM5150 ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

Question for anyone who buys these in the United States- where do you buy them from and for how much? These days I mostly buy from Amazon, but a quick search there only returns a few of the older books being sold used at prices significantly higher than the MSRP of $40. The publisher's website has a page listing vendors by country, but the only US entries are DragonUSA which doesn't seem to sell direct, and a website called RZM Imports, which I have no experience with, but who's website design does not inspire confidence. Looks like a good series and I would like to maybe buy a few of them, but these days I'm not sure there's any excuse for not offering your product direct via Amazon.
MAR 03, 2014 - 05:05 AM
These actually are an exceptional series of books. "one stop shopping" on a particular subject so to speak. As for US vendors, N&B only has the two you mentioned on the site...it may be possible Steven's internation may carry it. You can buy sirect from Nut & Bolts, however, I do not know how much the shipping would calculate out to. I have seen these books for sale at many shows from time to time. Michigan Toy Soldier Co. has them but they run about $10 more before shipping same as RZM and ebay...Sprue Brothers too but running $55!! Probably due to the overseas shipping costs. Check the N&B site 1st to see how much the shipping is, I think you might make out.
MAR 03, 2014 - 05:29 AM
RZM imports is good to go. I have been ordering from them for years. For me, it is the only place to get specialty WWII books. I think they even have a 20% sale at the moment. But I think it ends today. ( got an email this weekend, but I'm not at that machine)
MAR 03, 2014 - 08:18 AM
Thanks Marc!! Great to know!! Adding that one to my list of friendlies!!!
MAR 03, 2014 - 09:06 AM
Excellent review Todd (and Heiner agrees!)...thank you +1 on RZM Imports, good place to order from. Lots of hard to find books/magazines and I get ModelKasten tracks there too.
MAR 03, 2014 - 12:58 PM
Thanks a bunch James! I would honestly say Heiner and the entire team at Nuts and Bolts should be proud of the product they bring to the modelling market...I was very impressed!
MAR 03, 2014 - 01:07 PM
Looks like an order from RZM might just be in my future.
MAR 03, 2014 - 02:30 PM
   

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