For military vehicle enthusiasts Tankograd Publishing has been one of the premier publishers over the past several years. Although the main text is in German, the photo captions are in German/English and there is also an English summary of the articles in the back part of the magazine. If you can read German, (I can’t) this magazine will be that much more enjoyable. As usual, the photographs are top notch (most in color) which can give some inspiration to the armor modeler.
I’m not really into modern military vehicles myself, but I have found some interesting information and photos between theses covers. My main interest in military vehicles lies in the World War II era, and there’s some coverage here as well. The magazine is 108 pages, but the last 28 pages are advertisements for other Tankograd publications and in the middle is a survey (in German) asking what interests the reader has in regard to which era and vehicles they wish to see future publications. This survey is to be removed from the magazine and mailed to the publisher.
Starting out is an article on a heavy artillery load distributor system developed in WWI which includes some nice clear photos, which are exceptional for the era. Next is an article on a German tank company at the training ground for live fire and maneuver exercises. Included are some great photos of my personal favorite modern era tank, the Leopard MBT.
My favorite article with some excellent (and rare) b/w photos is of the German WWII Bunkerflak. The Bunkerflak was the pre and early war development for the Wehrmacht’s requirement for a bunker-busting weapon to accompany the armored formations in combat. The famous 88mm Flak 18 was used and towed by an armored cab version of the SdKfz 7-8 ton half track. This is especially interesting as Trumpeter has announced the release of the armored cab version of the SdKfz 7.
The feature article in this issue is on the Leopard 2A6 MBT and includes 1/35 scale 5 view plans and some superb color photos which will be very useful for modelers. Also of interest is an article about the training of task force Mazar-e-Sharif (PzGrenAbt 212 of the Bundeswehr) earlier this year before deployment to Afghanistan. This includes color photos of a variety of vehicles in that unit.
Other submissions in this issue are:
• The Combat Engineer Vehicle FV180 CET of the British Army
• Early North Vietnamese T-72 MBT
• An article about transport accidents incurred with the massive Atomic Annie.
• The Ilmatoruuntapanssarivaunu 90 – A Finnish twin gun AA turret adaptable to many MBT chassis.
• The WWI and WWII era 15cm Kanone 16 heavy artillery
• The M48 Chaparall – Sidewinder meets M548 – an Anti-Aircraft missile launcher
• Dongeeng FQ2050 – A Chinese HMMWV – a copy of the US M1114?
• A first-hand account of a soldier in the 1960’s era West German Panzerjager
• And finally, an article about the BARV, Beach Armored Recovery Vehicles from WWII era to present. I had no idea that there was recovery vehicles especially designated for beaches. I had assumed that regular ARV’s were used. Who knew?
I suppose that the German text might turn some people off to this magazine, but if you are an armor enthusiast, there is something here for you. There are some very interesting photos included in this issue that I have not seen elsewhere. As I mentioned, my interests are in WWII vehicles and the photos of the bunkerflak will come in handy when I acquire and build the Trumpeter kit. The photos of the various other vehicles should be useful for the modeler as well.
Highs: Superb reference photos as usual from Tankograd.Lows: German text may turn some off, but I found the English summary adequate.Verdict: Overall, there is something here for armor enthusiasts and modelers alike.
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About Cpt. C. Sosebee, USA (Ret (csosus) FROM: TEXAS, UNITED STATES
Back into modeling after almost 26 years in the US Army as enlisted and as an officer. Over those years, I've collected quite a library of military history books, vehicle references and quite a few kits too. I only build 1/35 WWII, any nationality. Currently my modeling skills aren't really that ...