Model Centrum Publishing
have been in the news a lot these last few years releasing a series of books in their ArmourColour Gallery and Armour PhotoHistory category. Their latest release was very timely with the arrival of the new MiniArt Valentine range of 1/35 scale plastic models.
I was lucky enough to receive a signed copy of the book from Dick Taylor, the author, and this publication is the 1st part of what I believe will be a two part series on the Valentine tank.
The Valentine was the most massed produced British Tank of World War 2, some 7,420 plus being built and used by both British and Commonwealth Forces, as well as the Russian Army. It was also the only British Tank to serve throughout the war.
The book contains 144 archive photographs, 12 colour plates and a selection of 1/35 scale drawings and stowage diagrams. It is a soft back book of high quality in line with earlier releases.
The publication is very much as it says, a Photo History, and follows the format previously established in other publications.
The book opens with a brief but very informative text about the various Mks of Valentine (there were 13 in all). This introduction, the history and development of the tank, although brief is extremely well written and packed with useful data, giving the reader a good basic understanding of this often confusing side of British Armour. Also included in pages 3 through 8 are details of the production numbers linked by manufacturer and WD number. This section also covers Canadian production and should help the reader understand the development of the vehicle and how to identify the different Mks.
The Photo gallery naturally takes up the bulk of the book, pages 9 through 48, providing a wide variety of archive photos for both British and Commonwealth use and also Russian Army usage. They cover the early war period through to the 1950's. The pictures are of good quality and size and each is expanded on by text additions.
1/35 scale drawing are provided between pages 49 and 53 and pages 54 to 58 contain internal and external stowage diagrams for the Mk III, IV, & V, a very useful resource for any builder.
Colour Plates occupy pages 59 to 63 showing 8 different vehicles with a written vehicle description to aid understanding accompanying each plate.
The main focus of the book is on the Mk III Valentine, although there are plenty of examples of the Mk I and Mk II, and also later Mks.
The author Dick Taylor may be familiar to many of you already. I recently reviewed the first 2 Volumes of Warpaint here on site:
Warpaint Vol 1
Warpaint Vol 2
and if you read those reviews or bought the books then you will have a clear indication of the quality of research that will have gone into this publication. Dick is also a modeller, and the needs of those are very much catered for in this publication.
Is this a definitive history of the Valentine Tank? Well no, itís a cracking reference book for modellers as well as a brief historical guide to the vehicles usage and development.