AFV Super Detail Photo Book Vol.9
Published by Model Art Co.Ltd.
3-11,3Chome, Iidabashi Chiyoda-ku,
Tokyo, 102-0072, Japan
96 pages colour, black & white, colour, soft cover
Review by Terry Ashley
This latest volume in the AFV Super Detail Photo book series from Model Art follows the same formula as previous volumes with this book dealing with the Halbketten Zugkraftwagen 8t Sd.Kfz.7/1/2.
The soft cover book has 96 pages with 50/50 English and Japanese text covering the history and development along with extreme close-up walk arounds of preserved 8tons with the book broken up into chapters dealing with different parts of the vehicles.
The first 9 pages is almost entirely text with a few smaller period photos and covers the development history of the Sd.Kfz.7 from the initial prototypes through the KM-7 to the final KM-11 as well as listing all 9 sub-types from the 7/1 to 7/9.
The remainder of the book is devoted entirely to the close-up colour walk arounds of the early type Sd.Kfz.7, later armoured cab 7/1 and early 7/2 as well as specific chapters on the 2cm Flakvierling38 and 3.7cm Flak37 plus 1:35 plans of the early Sd.Kfz.7 and armoured cab 7/1 but strangely not of the 7/2. Each chapter has about a page of text with additional information plus the photo captions again in both English and Japanese text.
Pages 10 to 18 deals with the "Engine cover" that covers everything forward of the windscreen with each section having more than one photo taken from different angles for good perspective and while the photos are 5 or 6 per page each shows just a small detail part to good effect to give more than enough detail. Details shown include the front radiator grill, the fenders showing the differences between the early Sd.Kfz.7 and the 7/1, 7/2 fenders.
There are shots of the headlights, front towing attachment, lights, mirrors as well as the engine hood louvers, side steps and heat exchanger pipe to shots of the engine taken with the engine compartment side panels removed.
Pages 19 to 31 has many detailed shots of the "Driver's cab" with exterior shots of the early Sd.Kfz.7 and the armoured 7/1 showing details of the side panels, small lights and armoured doors. This is followed by extensive interior shots of the 7, 7/1, 7/2 with details of the instrument panel with close-ups of the various dials, the driver's controls, the seats and interior panels of the armoured cab.
Pages 32 to 34 covers the central "Crew Compartment" of the early Sd.Kfz.7 with shots of the bench seats with numerous shots of the rifle rack upper clips and lower brackets for the rifle butts.
Next is pages 35 to 37 covering the "Rear storage compartment" of the early Sd.Kfz.7 and has shots around the outside showing the storage compartment doors and rear lights as well as shots with the side doors open showing the inside door and compartment detail as well as several shots from different angles of the upper rear luggage racks.
Page 38 has a brief walk around of the rear bed of the armoured cab 7/1 with wooden folding sides showing the hinges, panel braces and panel clips/brackets. This is followed by 14 pages with extensive close-ups of the 2cm Flakvierling38 showing everything from the lower carriage base to the gun mounting with shots from all around and from different angles for a good coverage. The 2cm Flak38 guns are shown in numerous shots along with the crew seats and gunner's controls including the foot pedals to the upper sight assembly with again many shots from different angles that show the details well. The side mounted ammo bins and small front armoured shields are also shown plus additional text giving a detailed description of the Flakvierling38.
Pages 53 to 57 deals with the Sd.Kfz.7/2 with numerous close-up shots of the slatted "mesh" folding platform sides that show clearly why no aftermarket or kit etched mesh released to date comes close to capturing the distinctive slat patterns on the folding panels. There are a few additional shots of the gun crew seats and rear storage compartments as well as the various latches and clips on the folding side panels.
Pages 58 to 69 has a detailed walk around on the 3.7cm Flak37 and while the museum gun photographed is not in the best condition the photos still show plenty of details of the lower platform base to the gun mounting, gun controls and the 3.7cm gun itself. Again there are numerous shots of each section taken from various angles to give a good overall perspective of the Flak37.
Next are two pages with five view 1:35 plans of the armoured cab Sd.Kfz.7/1, there are also five view 1:35 plans of the early model Sd.Kfz.7 on page 86 and inside the front cover.
Pages 72 to 85 deals with the "Chassis" with many superb shots of the lower chassis and the rear compartment mounting brackets that also include shots of the winch assembly from various angles to the brake reservoir tanks and the associated plumbing. The front suspension spring and axle are also shown that include the inside detail of the front wheels to the rear chassis plate showing the winch guide rollers and large towing pintle.
The front wheels are covered in pages 87 to 90 with excellent shots of the wheels in close-up showing the hub details with rim attachment bolts and air valve as well as additional shots of the front axle and leaf springs plus the steering linkages.
Finally there is pages 91 to 96 featuring the "Running Gear" with more superb close-up shots of the drive sprockets, road wheels/idlers with again multiple shots from different angles including some taken from under the hull to give a different perspective to the views shown. The rear idler mounting is also shown as well as a few close-up shots of the track links.
The book will be extremely useful for those building the basic Trumpeter (or Tamiya) Sd.Kfz.7 and while the walk arounds and 1:35 plans of the armoured cab 7/1 are not applicable to the forthcoming early unarmoured 7/1 kits from Dragon and Trumpeter the extensive walk around of the Flakvierling38 will be extremely useful as will the shots of the 7/2 and Flak37.
Thanks to Model Art for the review book.