Reviewed Books - Vintage Airfix


Reviewed Books

Contents:
- Tiger I and Tiger II Tanks, German Army and Waffen-SS, The Last Battles in the West, 1945 - By Dennis Oliver
- Uncommon Valour - By Granville Allen Mawer
- US Cold War Tanks and Armoured Fighting Vehicles - By Michael Green
- Wargames Terrain and Buildings: The Napoleonic Wars - By Tony Harwood

 


 

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Tiger I and Tiger II Tanks, German Army and Waffen-SS, The Last Battles in the West, 1945

By Dennis Oliver

Tiger I and Tiger II Tanks, German Army and Waffen-SS, The Last Battles in the West, 1945Description:

Tiger tanks were among the most-feared fighting vehicles of the Second World War and they gained almost legendary status, yet they never fulfilled their potential because they were not produced in sufficient numbers and the tide the war had turned against the German army by the time they were introduced. Often they were deployed in difficult circumstances and in defensive battles, struggling against the odds. Nowhere was this more true than in western Europe during the Allied advance across France and into Germany, and it is the Tigers of this phase of the war that Dennis Oliver portrays in his third volume on the Tiger in the TankCraft series.

He uses archive photos and extensively researched colour illustrations to examine the Tiger tanks and units of the German Army and Waffen-SS heavy panzer battalions that struggled to resist the onslaught of Allied armour and air attacks during the last days of the conflict.

A key section of his book displays available model kits and aftermarket products, complemented by a gallery of beautifully constructed and painted models in various scales. Technical details as well as modifications introduced during production and in the field are also examined providing everything the modeller needs to recreate an accurate representation of these historic tanks.

Vintage Airfix Review:

A great reference for enthusiasts and modellers of the Tiger Tank. The historical part of this book covers the final few months on the Western Front, while the modelling sections cover most of the rest.

There is, off cause, a mention of the infamous Airfix Tiger kit even though it is not on the same plain as some of the other kits on offer. The reviews are well written and honest.

This book packs a lot of information from a relatively short time in history.

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Uncommon Valour

By Granville Allen Mawer

Uncommon ValourDescription:

What is the nature of courage, how and when should it be recognized, and how has our appreciation of it changed? These are among the questions Granville Allen Mawer seeks to answer in this absorbing study of the history of the Victoria Cross, the highest award in the British honours system for gallantry in the presence of the enemy. His is the first analytical account of the institution of the Victoria Cross, and it is a fascinating study of the ethics of rewarding bravery. It explores in dispassionate detail the thinking behind the creation of the award, the reasons why individual awards were given and how, over the last 160 years, the system has developed and changed.

Using vivid and carefully selected examples, he compares individual actions that led to a Victoria Cross and considers the circumstances in which they took place and the reasons given for making the award. So many factors were involved – the character of the individual concerned, the severity of the danger he faced, the situation of the British forces, whether his conduct was seen and recorded, and the interpretation of the criteria for making an award at the time.

This unconventional treatment of the Victoria Cross may be controversial, but it should stimulate a deeper understanding of the history of the medal and of the heroism of those to whom it has been awarded.

Vintage Airfix Review:

It might be “controversial” to some and I don’t think those people would appreciate this book. But for anyone with a passing interest in military history, or even curious as to the deeds that have been done to be put forward for the VC, will enjoy this book. I did.

There are many quoted citations from the early days of the award, through WWI and WWII. At the end of the book is a full list of recipients up to 2018.

It's a fascinating and thought provoking work.

 

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US Cold War Tanks and Armoured Fighting Vehicles

By Michael Green

US Cold War Tanks and Armoured Fighting VehiclesDescription:

To counter the Soviet threat and that of their client States during the Cold War years 1949-1991, the American military deployed an impressive range of main battle tanks (MBTs) and armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs).

The Patton series of medium MBTs (including the M46, M47 and M48) supplemented by the M103s Heavy Tank initially formed the core of the US tank fleet. In 1960 the M60 MBT with its British designed 105mm gun entered service and, in turn, was replaced by the M1 Abrams in 1980.

In support were armoured reconnaissance vehicles, progressively the M41 bull dog (1951); the M114 (1961), the M551 Sheridan (1967) and M3 Bradley Cavalry Fighting Vehicle (1981).

The armoured personnel carrier (APC) range included the ubiquitous M113 and its replacement the M2 Bradley, cousin of the M3.

Expert author Michael Green covers all these vehicles and their variants in this informative and superbly illustrated Images of War series work.

Vintage Airfix Review:

As with all the Images of War series, this one is well written, beautifully presented and there are lots of great images which makes it a must have reference book for scale modellers of Cold War machinery.

The information that Michael Green gives us is short and sweet on each Tank and AFV but it’s enough, I thought. If I was concentrating on a specific model, I would definitely use this book along with other, more detailed, reference books.

 

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Wargames Terrain and Buildings: The Napoleonic Wars

By Tony Harwood

Wargames Terrain and Buildings: The Napoleonic WarsDescription:

Any miniature wargame is greatly enhanced by realistic and evocative scenery and buildings, but commercial ready-made pieces can be expensive. Building your own can be a cost-effective and very rewarding alternative, another hobby in itself, but it can be hard to know where to start. Wargames Terrain and Buildings is a series of books aimed at giving wargamers the skills, techniques and guidance they need to create their own stunning and practical model buildings.

In this volume, master modeller Tony Hardwood shares his years of experience and presents the reader with a wide range of projects for the Napoleonic era. With the aid of step-by-step photographs, he guides the reader through building and finishing each of these models, which are organized in three sections of increasing complexity and encompass a range of scales and different materials. Nine projects are included but the techniques and skills demonstrated along the way, along with valuable advice on tools, construction materials and paints, can be adapted and applied to a much wider range of structures to grace your battlefields.

Vintage Airfix Review:

Having been purely a kit modeller for many years, scratch building has always been a dark art to me. I mean, making something so detailed out of cupboard, glue and pixies dust must be some kind of witchcraft... right!

Well, I am pleased to say that I now understand the art, the techniques, the skill needed and the joy of the build. This is all down to this little masterpiece. Although it’s aimed at building the terrain and buildings for wargamers, all the techniques learnt can be transferred to a unique diorama.

All in all, a superb book that will end up being well used, thank you Tony.

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