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Old 10-13-2006, 12:25 PM
blogger-Frank blogger-Frank is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
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Default How Do We Research Our Models? (part One - Section IV)

From Poland came three books on the T-34 series by AJAKS (all unfortunately out-of-print); a new book is promised by Armageddon/AirConnection called “T-34 Mythical Weapon”. Intensely proud of their warrior tradition, various histories of Polish armored units and their equipment have recently become available in English, while sometimes the earlier work of the late Janusz Magnuski can be found. The publisher Wydawnictwo Militaria has many dozens of books on various AFVs from all over the world. Then there is the work of Mr. Waldemar Trojca for AJ Press (formerly), Canada’s Fedorowicz and his new company, Model Hobby/Trojca/PP. These publishers take advantage of photo archives not previously available to present fresh imagery never before seen in the west.


When I mention the name of Fedorowicz, I must also mention their series of mammoth hard-cover books dealing with German AFVs. These include the classic “Tigers in Combat I” and Tigers in Combat II” by Woflgang Schnieder as well as the “Combat History of s.Pz.Jäg.Abt.653” and “Combat History of s.Pz.Jäg.Abt.654”, both by Karlheinz Müch. Other classics such as Otto Carius’s “Tigers in the Mud”, “Armor Battles of the Waffen-SS”, and “Tiger, the History of a Legendary Weapon”, have recently been re-printed in an economical paper-back form.


For those who study German AFV history and technology, the names of Tom Jentz and Hilary Doyle ought to be well-known. Mr. Doyle’s scale drawings have long been considered to be the ultimate arbiter of the accuracy of a German AFV. His team-mate, Mr. Jentz, has studied original German documentation for the text in their joint collaborations; if he can’t document a particular issue, he will not “conjecture” as some authors might. I have attended many of his seminars and can attest to his absolute “reluctance” to answer a given question if he has no primary source material with which to back it up.


Both of these men are responsible for the Panzer Tracts series, as well as a number of fabulous books from Schiffer Publications and the defunct Darlington Publications’ “Museum Ordnance Specials” series. In addition, they have also produced a number of booklets in the Osprey New Vanguard series. Their involvement in the field was supported from their earliest days by the late Walter Spielberger, whose series of books in his native German-language are still considered bench-marks in the field; a handful have been translated into English and are (or were) available from Schiffer in the US. Schiffer is also noteworthy for publishing English-language versions of books from Podzun-Pallas of Germany, some of which are considered the “last word” on the subject.


For a basic “study guide” of German AFVs, the serious modeler really must get hold of a copy of the classic, “Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two, Revised Edition”, by Peter Chamberlain, along with Mr. Doyle and Mr. Jentz. Although some of the material is dated or has been disproved (often by Jentz and Doyle themselves, which is the reason they started the Panzer Tracts series), the book is still considered to be an excellent starting point.

To be continued...

Frank V. De Sisto
Brooklyn, NY, USA
August 2006
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