A few weeks ago I met up with Mark Healy the author of ‘Camouflage and Markings’, or should I say the series of books which are now titled ‘Armour in Theatre’. He presented me with the first two books in the series under the ‘Camouflage and Markings’ title and asked me to review the third in the series under the ‘Armour in Theatre’ title. The change in title is a positive step as it is title that better explains the contents.
Compiled by Mark Healy
Profiles by Mark Rolfe
Design Mark Smith
Published by Guideline Publications
This book is a soft backed offering with 64 pages. The cover is in a stiff glossy card with good printed detail on it. The paper is a good quality gloss paper and I was surprised at the weight of the paper in this offering. Print quality is very good in all respects, text, photographs and prints. The quality of the book in all respects of the product itself is very good.
The contents of the book are well presented by Mark Healy, his writing style manages to get across the information in a manner that is not stale. The information is easily understood and something that I enjoyed reading as opposed to feeling I had to read. I suppose that is one of the really strong aspects of this title, as I am sure we have all picked up books that are written in a stale format and hard going, something this book is not. Having read this book cover to cover I was surprised at how much information I retained in long term memory and this is something else that I feel makes this book a keeper.
I have been informed by Mark Healy that it is hoped to release three books a year in this series and so it should build up into quite a comprehensive reference work over time. What I like about the text in this book and the previous two is that I was not confronted with content that had to be read more than once to comprehend what was being said, it is clear and easy to understand. I also failed to locate any obvious spelling mistakes or grammatical errors. Perhaps the greatest credit I can give this release is that regardless of if it is history or modelling that the reader is into, or a mix of the two, this title will provide something for both interests in good measure.
The content starts by looking at the US armed forces, and even provides data on numbers of armoured units on the various sides and includes losses. The German forces came as a bit of a surprise to the American armoured units when it came to the Panther tank. The Americans thought this was going to be a special unit in limited numbers like the Tiger 1, but the numbers of Panther tanks and their destructive ability caused major issues for the Allied Forces. The German Forces also had their own problems in areas such as mobility due to Allied Air Power and the almost limitless number of Allied tanks ranged against them; for every tank the Germans took out, another took its place.
The photographs have been well chosen to represent armour in the field. All of the photographs are black and white and I like the clarity of what is offered. Now one thing that always comes up, or raises its ugly head when someone releases a book on World War 2 is “that picture X is in this title and those two have been previously released in another”; well guess what, I don’t care. There are only so many high quality pictures of World War 2 covering the specific areas in a title; I also know having purchased pictures in the past that they can be very expensive depending on subject and quality.
The other offerings in this title are prints covering vehicles, maps and vehicle unit identifications. The printing quality of the vehicles is excellent, being both clear and precise colouration of the illustrations. I would have liked to see the illustrations in one of the main scales used by modellers, but we cannot always have what we want. Another high point with this title is the very clear captions that accompany all pictorial content.
Having had the opportunity to look through all three of the books that makes up this series so far, I am looking forward to the next release. Each of the titles has their own appeal, but they are also good books in their own rights. The only down side from my point of view is that the graphics are not in any specified scale, but this does not detract from the quality of the book. I should also mention that anyone who is interested in this book and would like to get hold of either or both of the first two title stocks are all but gone, so if you want them get them quick.
Highs: Well written text that is easy going, interesting and educational.Lows: I would have liked the drawings to have been in a common scale.Verdict: This is one of the best books of its type I have read, plus as a growing series it will keep getting better.
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About Darren Baker (CMOT) FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM
I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...