Tankograd Publishing has spoilt Armorama by sending us advance copies of their titles due for release in March this year. This time around Tankograd Publishing has released 4 new titles in their ‘In Detail Fast Track’ series of titles covering the Aussie Land Rover Perentie, M88A2 Hercules, RG-31 Mk 5 and Husky VMMD. This review takes a look inside the cover at the M88A2 Hercules.
This title consists of 40 pages inside a glossy card cover and is printed in a panoramic approach as opposed to the usual portrait approach.
This book is printed entirely in English, with a dedicated text area taking up three pages. The text itself is broken into two areas and begins by providing information on the M88 family and how the various Mk’s of vehicle came into being. The second portion of text provides specific information on various elements on the M88A2 Hercules. Tankograd Publishing has done an excellent job of providing a background on the vehicle type and its history, and the section on specific areas answers most of the questions a modeller may have when modelling the M88A2 Hercules. All of this information in only three pages must have taken a lot of effort on the part of the author ‘Ralph Zwilling’ to keep it informative and interesting in such a small area. For all of those modellers that only purchase these titles for the glossy images, I strongly suggest you at least take the time to read the second text segment as it will help when you decide how to display your model of the M88A2 Hercules.
The area modellers are most interested in is of course the photographs. The photographs in this title are all in full colour and very sharp. A large portion of the images are full page offerings, this provides the modeller with the ability to pick out details they may otherwise miss due to the large size. Where the book looks at specific areas of the M88A2 Hercules Tankograd Publishing has split the pages up to cover a maximum of 4 photographs, due to these areas looking at specifics I feel this to be acceptable while still providing the needed visual data.
The photographs in this title are split into four areas and begin with a general walk around of the M88A2 Hercules. These photographs show the M88A2 Hercules performing its duties such as towing and lifting. Due to this approach Tankograd Publishing has provided the modeller with ideas when displaying their model while at the same time providing details on how exactly the M88A2 Hercules looks while performing its function; another aspect I like about this section is that it shows the M88A2 Hercules genuinely performing its purpose rather than staged photographs and so will help when it comes to painting and weathering a model.
The next pictorial section looks at the hull of the M88A2 Hercules; I would describe it more as the sides of the vehicle. This section does not just concentrate on vehicle elements as the various stowed tools and spares also get covered. The result is that questions such as; what colour are the spare track links are answered clearly and will again be of great help to the modeller. I should mention that all of the images in this title have very good captions with them and so explain what you are looking at if unsure.
The book then moves onto the hull roof and boom. No explanation is required from me on this segment as it is as advertised. There is a great amount of detail to be plucked from these images by the modeller, but due to how much is going on with the boom, deck and to a lesser extent the roof it is the one area of the book I would have liked to see split up into their own areas, at least when it comes to the boom and upper surfaces; I of course understand that page limitations dictate what can be included. With all of that said this area does provide a good reference.
The last section of this title looks at the interior of the M88A2 Hercules. The interior from the pictures looks to be very spacious when compared to t6he likes of a tank, but I expect anyone who has spent many hours inside with three other people may well disagree. Anyone looking at including an interior to a model of the M88A2 Hercules will find this of great help as the inside is surprisingly well covered in the small number of pages available to this area. At the very least this section answers very clearly a question asked on many AFV’s; what colour are the inside of doors and hatches?
With this title Covering the M88A2 Hercules Tankograd Publishing is back on track with this series. I was very pleased with the contents in all respects, even if I would have liked certain areas get more coverage. Looking through this book actually made me get out the Legend Productions conversion set I have for the AFV Club M88 because it answers the many questions I had on exactly how to tackle this model due to poor instructions. There is not really much more to add other than to say, if you have any inclination to build an M88A2 Hercules this book should be on your shopping list as it will help you produce an accurate model, even when it comes down to weathering your model.
Highs: High quality pictures of the M88A2 Hercules which are well captioned and that do a good job of covering the details of the M88A2 in the available pages.Lows: There are no lows as such other than I would have liked more images covering the boom and rear deck.Verdict: If you have the Legend conversion set, or are looking to build an M88A2 via other means, buy this book.
Our Thanks to Tankograd Publishing! This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.
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...