Sabot Publications M9 ACE Armored Combat Earthmover in Detail
Brett Avants, Chris Mrosko
Published by Sabot Publications
ISBN 978-0-9973774-1-5
941 Cottontail Lane
St. Charles, MO 63303
128 pages A4, glue-bound soft cover

Review by Terry Ashley

This is the second book from new publishers Sabot Publications and deals in great detail with the M9 ACE Armored Combat Earthmover. The book is soft cover with the 132 pages (including covers) entirely in colour apart from the text obviously and is divided into chapters (or sections) to cover every aspect of the M9. The photos are excellent quality with clear well-lit shots of the vehicle and its details as well as text giving brief descriptions of the M9 and the photos.

Introduction: pages 3 to 7
This gives a brief description of the vehicle and its design functions and includes three sample pages from the Technical Manual pointing out the main details of the M9.

The M9 ACE In Action: pages 8 to 17
This section has action photos on the M9 doing what it is designed to do, with some during training and others on active duty in the Middle East, most of the photos are semi-close-up getting down and dirty including one photo of the vehicle (Dirt Diggler) that is used for the box-art on the Takom 1:35 kit of the M9. Most of the photos have text captions describing what's going on in the pics.

The M9 ACE On Maneuvers at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri: pages 18 to 47
This section has numerous action photos of a few M9s playing in the red dirt of Ft. Leonard Wood with vehicles quite dirty but you are still able to see most details apart from a few where the running gear is completely covered in dirt. Most of the photos are semi-close-up with a few ultra-close-up shots and have plenty of nice overall details. Most photos are two to a page with the occasional three or four per page, there are no photo captions but it's pretty obvious what's going on.

The M9 ACE Walkaround: pages 47 to 125
This is where it gets serious for the modeller with many excellent super close-up detail shots of the M9, most are two photos to a page with the occasional one to a page with a single large 'centre spread' shot across two pages.
Every aspect of the vehicle is shown in great detail from the front spade and support arms, the exterior in complete walkaround with many close-ups of individual details such as the engine deck, rear open compartment and lights front and rear, to the suspension and running gear/track. There is also four pages of excellent shots of the extensive hydraulic 'plumbing' on the rear wall of the front tray, this is something that would look great added to the kit.
Also included are thirteen excellent interior shots showing the driver's station, seat and instruments/controls in great detail that will allow you to really detail up the front office.

None of the detail images have photo captions and while the M9 is a fairly small vehicle and it's easy to work out what part is being photographed some brief captioning might be helpful in some instances to help understanding what's in the photos.

Takom This is a superb photo reference on the M9 ACE from a modellers perspective with every aspect of the vehicle shown in great close-up detail along with action shots showing it doing what is was designed for plus a brief technical description. But the close-up photos really tell the story with the 'working' shots giving good insights into the areas that get dirty and worn the most as well as other weathering hints.

This book is an almost indispensable reference for anyone building or going to build the Takom 1:35 kit of the M9 ACE, which is nicely done but can really be detailed up using this book as the main reference point or for anyone who just wants to know the ins and outs of the M9.

Highly recommended

Sample pages:

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