book Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.F2/G
AFV Super Detail Photo Book Vol.5
Published by Model Art Co.Ltd.
3-11,3Chome, Iidabashi Chiyoda-ku,
Tokyo, 102-0072, Japan

80 pages colour, black & white, colour, soft cover

Review by Terry Ashley

Hot on the heals of the recent Dragon kit of the Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.F2/G (kit #6360) comes this latest book in the AFV Super Detail Photo book series from Model Art with a detailed photo coverage of the Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.F2/G.

The soft cover book has 80 pages with 50/50 Japanese and English text covering the history and development along with extreme close-up walkarounds of three preserved Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.F2/Gs, the Ausf.G early from Munster Panzer Museum, Germany, Ausf.G from Aberdeen U.S.A. and the Ausf.G from the Kublinka Collection in Russia. One thing to note is there are some parts fitted to the museum vehicles which are not genuine F2/G features but the text points out most of these.

As with previous volumes the book is broken down into chapters dealing with different areas of the vehicles in great detail as well as providing a brief development and technical descriptions over the first 4 pages including a brief description of the three vehicles featured in the photos.

Most of the photos in the book are extreme close-ups with some overall shots and while there are between about 4 to 12 photos per page the close-up detail is not lost in the smaller shots due to the precise nature of the vehicle detail included.

Pages 6 to 10 is on the front hull with numerous shots of the final drive housings from various angles including ground level giving excellent coverage, the tow shackles are also shown from various angles as are the spare track mounted on the glacis. This section finishes with a detailed coverage of the glacis from the three vehicles showing the transmission and brake access hatches again from various angles to give goo perspective.

The next 10 pages covers the fighting compartment with each component again shown from various angles detailed parts such as the front plate machine gun mounting and driver's visor then moving down the sides showing details such as the weld seams, side visors and lifting hooks. The top crew hatches are shown again from various angles with some photos including a tape measure laid over the part to give nice perspective.

The engine deck is shown in the next 6 pages with more extreme close-up shots of the side air inlet grills and the engine deck showing the access door details and other features of the deck. There is also two pages of text giving details of the structures and construction features to supplement the photos.

The rear hull is covered next with some overall shots showing the location of the various items and further close-up detail shots of the auxiliary and main mufflers, the lower plate details and access ports as well as the tow cable hooks. Again most details are shown with multiple shots from various angles with 8 shots devoted to the idler mountings to give excellent perspectives.

The next 7 pages deal with the fenders showing all the features from the front hinged flaps, all the tool clips along the fenders, the head and tail light details as well as some of the tools and storage boxes with the fender tread plate pattern shown in most of the photos.

The book then moves onto the turret exterior walk around with more multiple close-up photos on most items such as the gun mantlet showing both the early with visor on both sides and later with just the single visor on the left side as well as the gun housing, co-ax machine gun cover and the gun tube with both the single baffle and double baffle muzzle brake shown in extreme close-up.

The side two part hatches are shown both open and closed to give excellent details and the turret roof is also shown with shots taken from the front as well as looking from over the cupola to give excellent perspective to the various details. The cupola is featured in 13 photos again from all angles to give good overall coverage and the rear turret wall has shots of the pistol ports and storage box shown both open and closed.

There are then 2 pages of detailed shots of the hull interior showing mostly the front sections detailing the driver's and radio operators positions as well as the transmission and side visors and this is followed by 6 pages of detailed close-up shots of the turret interior with shots of the gun breech, gun mountings and associated fittings as well as the side wall details and gun controls and the lower turret ring showing the seats and floor.

The next 8 pages deal with the running gear with again numerous shots of the drive sprockets, road wheels and idlers from various angles to show the details very well. There are also shots of the bogies units from between the road wheels and from under the hull as well as the return rollers showing some minor differences between the vehicles shown.

The book finishes of with three sets of four view 1:35 plans for the initial Ausf.F2(G), the early Ausf.G and the later Ausf.G as well as 6 side profile drawings examples of paint finishes of the F2/G.

This is another excellent book in this series from Model Art again aimed directly at the modeller with the many excellent close-up detail shots with just enough text to give important and useful information. The small size of the photos doesn’t seem to matter as many have shots of an individual detail part allowing many more photos to be included than if they were larger yet still showing all the details you would ever want.

The inclusion of three vehicles gives good exposure to the various minor differences between the three and adds more appeal to the book especially with the recent release of the Dragon kit as mentioned as well as the older Italeri Ausf.F2 (kit#6217) and the inclusion of equal Japanese/English text adds greatly to the appeal and usefulness of the book for anyone wanting to add as much detail as possible to the kits.

Highly recommended 8.5/10

Sample pages

See the Model Art Website for additional details
Thanks to Model Art for the review book.

Page created June 5, 2007