Thursday, 24 June 2010

A second + review

I was approached by Thomas Hartwig to review the books on his German language model resource website www.panzer-modell.de under the "Tipps des Monats" section.

Again an overwhelmingly supportive review. Here is a translation;

"Our latest book-recommendation is something really special. It concerns a series of 4 books, which were produced by Craig Ellis. What is remarkable is that all the photos were purchased by Craig Ellis over the last years from different national ebay auction sites. It is most pleasing that these photos have now been made available in such outstanding quality.

The photos are to a large extent printed to fill the entire page, and with the inclusion of captivating details, these clear photographs are ideal for model builders. What pleased me personally however, very, very, much, are the captions. Here it shows that the author is intensively involved with the subject – that he is able to recognize and describe the pictures by detail, markings, version differences is phenomenal! All the text is naturally written in English, but is easy to understand.

In particular with the early Panzer IV he refers to detail differences, which are only noticeable to the eye after particular references, such as the different castors, the different length of exhaust pipes, special markings, etc. also retrofits and hybrids are exactly described and explained and offers therefore a rich resource for model builders.

Most importantly, it is a true joy, how many qualitatively good photos of the early versions A-C are presented. Another plus of these books is that with each version there is a page of introductory text, which deals with the version differences and the approximate date of the introduction of innovations. Here also the model construction amateurs will rub their hands!

In volume 2, as well as the Ausf.D and E, there are also photos of diving tanks and the genuinely rare photographs of the Panzer IV with Vorpanzer, as well as some rare hybrids such as Panzer IV Ausf.E chassis with Ausf.C turret. A further highlight in this series is a large table, which presents all versions of A-F with the short gun, all detail changes and their date clearly indicated! So that one can recognize in an instant which features can be found on which version.

Volume 3 continues on from the previous volume and begins with the short gun Ausf.F and then continues with the F2 (G) and early G. Very good photos with helpful captions are also here. There is a clear table for the three versions here with F, F2 and G and appropriate detail differences in the introduction.

In the last volume 4 there is then the remainder of the Panzer IV range, i.e. the versions G, H and J. and again the selection and research of the photos is excellent. And on to the Ausf.H/J there are some beautiful photographs, sometimes with, sometimes without side skirts, and sometimes with Thoma skirts.

And there is again the wonderful overview table for the Ausf.H and J listing the respective changes … one may be surprised by all the details that were added/changed in the lifespan of the Ausf.J !

Result: Crazy! An ingenious publication on the subject of Panzer IV. Rare and excellent photographs, which every Panzer IV enthusiast and model builder should own. Also because there are not often pictures of parades and of the barracks, as well as the frontline! The books are not sold at a snip, however are absolutely worth the money! The best thing is that the books are only printed with Blurb on order for the author - one has the choice between a reasonable softcover and a somewhat more expensive hardcover. The individual volumes cost in softcover approx.: Vol.1.: 38 euros, Vol.2: 32 euros, Vol.3: 32 euros, Vol.4: 32 euros.

An absolute must have purchase. And I am anxiously awaiting volume 5!"

Review by Thomas Hartwig

For those interested and able to read the German original it can be found here
http://www.panzer-modell.de/monatstipp/juni10/tipp.htm

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