Darren Baker takes a look an an AFV Modeller title courtesy of Casemate Publishers, the title of this release is "M3 Lee Grant" and looks at the The Design, Production and service of the M3 Medium Tank, the Foundation of America's Tank Industry.

Introduction

As I have tried to progress and improve aspects of my model making I have come to appreciate the value of good old paper books. What I look for is something that covers the subject specifically and provides the information I am looking for, I also consider it a bonus if the author is a known name with a good reputation; this offering from AFV Modeller Publications provides all of those things and I must also thank Casemate for sending a review copy. With the release of M3 Lee and Grant tanks from many of the major companies and with a whole family coming from MiniArt a book that is specific to the vehicles is a real plus and to top that off the author is David Doyle.

Review

This offering from AFV Modeller is a hard backed book authored by David Doyle. The book cannot be considered as light reading due to it providing 471 pages of high quality reference. The paper has been stitched into the book and I have always considered this a sign of a quality product in the print market. This title comes in at £59 which is about the price of a new kit release and this will last a lot longer due to its myriad of content. The books contents are covered as follows:

Introduction

Setting the stageT5/M2

Preparing for war

An overview of the M3medium tank series

The radial engine tanks - M3, M3A1 and M3A2

The diesel tanks -M3A3 and M3A5

The multi-bank tanks -M3A4

Production and modification

M3 based conversions

North American use

The M3 in the British Isles

Combat debut - North Africa

The M3 in the Far East

The M3 in Australia

The M3 in Soviet Service

Appendix tabulated data

 

This book despite being released by AFV Modeller Publication can in no way be considered the domain of and interest of modellers only; I would go so far as to say this is the first stop and likely to be the only purchase you will need to make where the M3 Lee and Grant are concerned. The writing in the book is well presented and I did not find anything that left me guessing or questioning the content, my only wish was that I had this sooner than I did as the material content is exceptional. The written aspects of the book are provided in a logical manner and in a way that makes the information easy to understand, but there is far more to this release than the written content.

The pictorial content of this title will please everyone as it not only presents you with black and white period photographs the captions provided with them are stars in their own right. We all know when looking at a photograph that it provides visual reference and is one of the most easily absorbed kinds of information, but when you have a subject that has a number of small differences the captions steal the show by pointing you in the right direction. This title offers 870 images some of which are in colour of which a great many I cannot recall having seen previously. Pictorial wise I really appreciated the images of the interior and engines which I found very hard to find reference on.

Conclusion

This offering is not a cheap purchase, but if you have more than a passing interest in what can be considered North America’s first medium battle tank the M3 Lee and Grant then this is a book you need. I am a fan of the M3 Grant and this book will help me no end as a modeller, it will also aid me in my general interest on the story of this family of tanks and help me portray a realistic finish. The interior kits coming from MiniArt can be super detailed to your hearts content with this book. If complaints are your thing then some of you mat be expecting more text, but I was happy. Yes as you may have guessed I really like and appreciate the efforts of David Doyle with this release.

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