This review is of Osprey Publications new summer releases, #17 in the Osprey Modelling Series, “Modelling the Panzer in 1/72 Scale, written by one of the world’s most talented small scale modelers, Alex Clark. This new title provides detailed 1/72 scale build articles on various Panzer IV based vehicles throughout its pages.
Conversions, interior detailing, scratch building and kit bashing, accessories and figures, weathering, painting, and finishing plus some special bonus techniques (which are really super!) are all covered in clearly explained step by step detail.
II. Tools and Materials
III. “Panzer IV Ausf. H in winter Camouflage”
IV. “A Late Version Sturmpanzer IV”
V. “Kit-bashing a Final Version Sturmgeschutz IV
VI. “Flakpanzer IV Wirbelwind”
VII. Photo Gallery
VIII. Museums and Collections
IX. Kits and Accessories
XI. Color Reference Chart
INSIDE THE PAGES
First off, my friends, do not let the title of this book fool you, as it is definitely not just another Panzer modeling book…By far, this is one of the best compilations of ideas, techniques, and tips for modeling the Panzer IV that I’ve seen as of yet; from the very beginning pages the reader will realize this, and on each and every page the author not only teaches, he entertains with his explanations of his modeling techniques on the subjects within. As we as modelers have come to expect from Osprey Publications, the book is chock full of clear and beautiful full cover photo’s of the model subjects, as well as step-by-step color photo’s and excellent text explanation of the technique at hand. Covering all of the chapters’ contents in this review is just not possible, but in the following paragraphs I’ll give you a short synapse of each chapter and section.
A LITTLE MORE INDEPTH
Chapters 1 & 2, which includes the books introduction, and “Tools and Materials”, welcomes the reader with a brief explanation of things to come in the book, and also the authors favorite tools (some home-made) and products and materials he uses to achieve various modeling effects.
Moving into Chapter 3, which begins the first build is “A Panzer IV Ausf. H in Winter Camouflage”. Each of the books full build project chapters begins with a breakdown chart listing the subject, skill level, base kit used, model scale, and additional sets used in the project. This project is geared toward the intermediate modeler, and includes General Construction, Assembling Link and Length Track, and Weathering and Painting a White-Wash Finish. The photos of the author’s first finished project are amazing!
In Chapter 4, the next build project, also geared toward the intermediate modeler, we have “The Jagdpanzer IV”. In addition to the construction, painting and finishing steps for this project, this chapter holds one of the special little “bonus” sections that I spoke of earlier, which is an extremely useful color photo tutorial for the beginner or experienced modeler. This section is entitled, very simply, “Modelling Small Scale Zimmerit: step-by-step”. The results are absolutely astounding, as well as very uncomplicated!
With this method and common materials and tools, producing a very convincing Zimmerit is a breeze!
In the next chapter (one of my favorites), you can build a late version Sturmpanzer IV, and with this build project, we move up a step to the Intermediate/Advanced modeler level. As was with the last chapter, in this section there is another little gem of a bonus section titled “Basic Resin Casting Techniques”…yep, that’s right, in full color step by step photo’s and text, you are taken through from start to finish in the process of making your own resin castings and molds! What an excellent addition, as the parts that are produced in this section by the author, are used on the Sturmpanzer subject.
The last two build chapters are for the advanced and master modeler, respectively, but modelers of all skill levels will learn some excellent tips and techniques throughout the two build projects. Topics covered in these pages include improving accuracy through kit-bashing, painting hard edge camouflage techniques, small scene setting creation, and some serious scratch building. You will also find yet another super additional bonus in a full color 5 page photo (with lot’s of close-ups too!) walk-around of one of the last few remaining Flakpanzer IV Wirbelwinds! Nicely done!
In the Gallery section of the book, the author briefly covers three further model subjects that are based upon the Panzer chassis, that were built before he started work on this book, but were published previously in full length magazine articles. References for these articles can be found in the text discussing each model subject.
Nearing the end of the book, we find the reference sections, with listings of websites, museum and collection listings, and a very concise section of kits and accessories, complete with column style charts of Panzer IV and Panzer IV based kits, detail and photo-etch sets, conversion kits, and turned barrel listings, all with description and manufacturer listings, in chart style format also. We close the book with a full color reference chart, with some very precise notes from the author concerning each color presented on the chart itself.
I’ve got to say, honestly, I was quite amazed at the total content of this
manual. From beginning to end, the model subjects, tips, techniques, and hidden surprises really blew me away! Definitely recommended for all levels of hobbyist, in all scales, I feel that every modeler can get some good from this writing…carefully written, with dynamite photos and text, “Modelling the Panzer IV in 1/72 Scale” deserves a spot on your library shelves!
MANY THANKS TO SHEEBA MADAN OF OSPREY PUBLICATIONS, NEW YORK, FOR PROVIDING THIS REVIEW SAMPLE.