May 21, 2017

MTSC PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: Modeling World War I - Reference & Researching Part 2

Histoire & Collections
Modeling WWI Tanks 
by Frédéric Astier
128 pages, A4 size softcover
Using numerous S-B-S processes and 500+ pictures illustrating this book, Frederik Astier shares with you his knowledge to building; painting complex camouflage of the Great War, aging and weathering, making mud, painting miniatures, making scenery, etc. Includes photos of orginal militaria as well as a gallery of completed achievements of the author.

This book, for modelers, is devoted to scale model tanks of WWI and accurately describes assembly methods, painting and creation of dioramas for each of 6 different models:

• British Mark IV "Male"
 British Mark IV "Female"
 German A7V
 French Schneider CA
 French Saint-Chamond
 French Renault FT.

Frédérik Astier, a professional photographer, is one of the most talented and prolific French modelers. For more than 10 years, he has been regularly collaborating in the magazine specialized in this area, Steelmasters. Renowned for his mastering techniques in assembly and painting as much as in setting dioramas, he always attaches a particular care to finding documents for each of his projects in order to find the greatest historical accuracy.
View to order HERE

MTSC Trench Runner Review: Modeling World War I Tanks by Frédéric Astier

Guideline Publications 
Armour in Theatre
Camouflage & Markings - Tanks in the Great War 1914-1918
by Mark Healy
64 pages. A4 size booklet
No 4 of this ongoing series of Armour in Theatre examines the development and employment of the first tanks. The volume covers the evolution of the tank with a special and understandable emphasis on the developments with Great Britain. Special treatment is given to two important tank battles of the conflict - those of Cambria 1917 and Amiens 1918.

The booklet is illustrated throughout with lots of color and black and white photographs and maps, as well as several drawings showing individual profiles of tanks with different color schemes, designs and camouflage.
View to order HERE

Great War Tank Mark IV
by David Fletcher
160 pages, hardcover

from the publisher...
The world’s first ever battle tank receives the Haynes Manual treatment and its centrepiece is the most prolific British tank of the Great War – the Tank Mk IV. World authority David Fletcher looks at the anatomy, construction and operation of the Mk IV (including rare contemporary eyewitness descriptions), as well as giving fascinating insights into the maintenance and restoration of these historic armored fighting vehicles. Individual preserved Great War tanks featured in the manual include Flirt II, the Ashford Tank, Lodestar III, Excellent and Deborah.

David Fletcher has compiled the most complete history of the MK IV that is available today. The first chapter describes how the Mk IV's predecessors, "Little Willie," the Mk I, Mk II and Mk III, could be rightly described as "prototypes" to the eventual 1917 production of the Mk IV. Fletcher uses this chapter to discuss the basic structure of the tanks, including armor composition. It goes on to describe the Mk IV production and vehicle variants.

Chapter II covers the "Anatomy of the Mark IV" by introducing the reader to a restored Mk IV, but mostly through period illustrations and informative text. A chapter on armaments follows, again using a combination of a few photos of a restored Mk IV with very strong period illustrations. Fletcher describes these inner workings in a way that is both informative and easy to understand.

The book then delves into a topic that most modelers and wargamers will value: Camouflage, paint and markings. Tankers devised a system of identifying the rhomboid monsters on the battlefield, including numbering and naming each vehicle. Though the book does not provide a list of the names, the author does explain the logic behind the practice.

Chapter V finally delivers material that could rightly be expected in a "shop manual." "Operating the Mark IV" combines instructions from period manuals with interior photos of an extant Mk IV to illustrate a crew started, drove, steered, stopped and functioned inside the tank.

The last two chapters chronicle the Mk IV's combat history and retirement from service. The final also chapter discusses extant Mk IVs, including the incredible discovery and 1998 excavation of an intact Mk IV from the Cambrai battlefield.

Great War Tank Mark IV is a valuable weapon in combating what might be the fading memory of the origins of tank warfare. David Fletcher has put together a terrific overview of the tank that will aid other tank historians, military vehicle enthusiasts, modelers, wargamers and reenactors in the study of the magnificent Mk IVs that dominated the battlefields the Great War's final years.
View to order HERE

Rolls-Royce Armoured Car: 1915-44
by David Fletcher
160 pages, hardcover

from the publisher...
The Rolls-Royce Armored Car is almost a legend: introduced by the Royal Naval Air Service the First World War for shore patrols, modified versions were still in service during the Second World War in 1940–41 with the British Army’s 11th Hussars in the North African desert. Between the wars they were used for policing duties by the Royal Air Force in Iraq, Egypt and India. Centerpiece of this manual is the Irish Army’s 1920 Rolls-Royce Armored car ‘Sliabh na mBan’, restored jointly by the Irish Defence Forces and specialist historic Rolls-Royce restorer James Black Restorations between 2012 and 2015. 

Very nice overview of this iconic armored car - hardcover, full color throughout, high quality printing. Many color photos of preserved examples.
View to order HERE

Histoire & Collections
The Encyclopedia of French Tanks and Armoured Vehicles, 1914-1940
by Francois Vauvillier
176 pages, hardcover, currently out-of-print

If you have an interest in the armor of WW1 and WW2, then French armored vehicles surely have to come into the equation.  This one is immediately at the top of my list for information on French AFVs of the period.  It is 176 pages, packed with 190 excellent color profiles, 450 archive photos and details of 100 main vehicle types plus another 285 variants on them.  Tanks, SP artillery, armored cars, mine-clearers, bridge layers, infantry carriers and supply vehicles are all in here.

The author, Francois Vauvillier, has made his passion for military history into his career.  He founded the publishing house of Histoire et Collection, created 'Militaria Magazine' and since 2006 has produced a quarterly magazine 'GBM' (Guerre, Blindes et Materiel).  Some of the color profiles used in this encyclopedia have been drawn from work done for these magazines.

It opens with his introduction on what he wanted to accomplish with this book, and examines what else is available up to now on the subject.  It includes a time line of the story of mechanized development in the French military from WW1 through to WWII.  He explains his approach, and how he has referenced the 100 main vehicle types, and then added a point number to indicate the variants.  So, for example, 5.0 is the number for the prototype Renault FT while 5.25 is a bridge layer based on the same chassis.  The book is then split into three main sections.  It starts with 'The Idea of Strength', then 'The Idea of Speed' and thirdly, 'The Idea of System', which is then split into sub-sections such as Armoured Motorbikes, Armoured Personnel Carriers, Recovery Machines of Tank Units, Amphibious Armoured Vehicles, Mine-Clearing Tanks and others.

This is a one-stop reference for French armored vehicles from both WW1 and early in WWII.  

Tank: The Definitive Visual History of Armored Vehicles
This book will satisfy anyone with a craving for reading/understanding armored vehicles. Not a single page of the books 250+ pages is wasted. Presented in a chronological manner that pretty much starts with the early 1900s to present day … the thorough nature of the book doesn’t forget to spotlight Da Vinci’s armored vehicle drawing. Following the traditional method DK uses to present material, the chapters are grouped by significant periods in the history of tanks. Each and every page is laden with original (not archived) color photos that beautifully illustrate most every facet of tanks/armored vehicles all the way up to today. While the book is wonderfully rich in photographs, the accompanying text and factoids add to the books informative value. Throughout the book are numerous two-page spotlight sections that pay special attention to key innovations, innovators, vehicles and events in tank history. What I particularly liked was that iconic vehicles are highlighted and each is given a multipage spread that includes a highly detailed photographic examination of that vehicle’s interior and exterior (including the Sherman, T34 and Tiger tank). Even experimental tanks are covered and presented in vivid color.

The Smithsonian contribution is what really packs the book’s punch … the collection of photographs give you the experience of visiting a museum. I have all the DK/Smithsonian “Definitive Visual History” books in my personal library and view them as indispensable resources. Each and every volume offers an exhaustive study of the subject matter with stunning visual support; TANK is yet another fine addition to this wonderful series of books.

Publishers description...
Tank: The Definitive Visual History of Armored Vehicles
A visual guide to the history of tanks, Tank tells the full history of tanks through stunning photography and informative text.

From the early Mark Is of World War I to the T-34 of World War II to the cutting-edge M1 Abrams of today, Tank showcases the most famous (or infamous) armored fighting vehicles in history. Packed full of tanks, armored vehicles, personnel carriers, and anti-tank weaponry, Tank combines comprehensive photographic spreads with in-depth histories of key manufacturers and specially commissioned visual tours of the most iconic examples of their kind. The featured vehicles are placed in their wider context, along with with tactical and technological improvements, and the impact of the tank on the evolution of battlefield and military strategy.

Tank charts the evolution of the tank over the past century, covering over 450 tanks and military vehicles from all over the world. Look through the history of tanks and explore the form and function of a weapon that changed history. Learn the different vehicles' weight, size, country of origin, and time of use through in-depth profiles.

An essential visual history, Tank provides a complete and exciting overview to the iconic vehicles that changed history.

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