For many of us modelers compelled to work with WWII based subjects and specifically German armor, the name Nuts & Bolts
is well known. Continuing this series of books from earlier publications Nuts & Bolts presents Volume 31: "Marder II" (Sd.Kfz. 131) - Panzerjäger II für 7,5 cm Pak 40/2.
As with previous editions this book is a soft-cover book with both English and German text provided throughout. This addition contains 178 pages (including the inside covers) covering a treasure trove of information regarding the Marder II and variants. There is no table of contents defining the pages of this book but rather the book can be broken down into subdivisions as follows:
- Pages 1 to part of 40 – Technical Information
- Pages 40 to part of 42 – Acknowledgments
- Pages 42 to page 105 - Operational pictorial with supporting text
- Pages 106 to 115 – 1/35 scale drawings in 2D and 3D of all know variants
- Pages 116 to 121 – Rendered color paint and camouflage schemes
- Page 122 – Ammunition used by the Pak 38 & Pak 40
- Pages 123 to 170 – Walk around photographs with supporting text
- Page 171 - Ammunition and storage containers and Powder bag
- Pages 172 to the back cover – Two short SBS excerpts of completed models
The authors and researchers consistently hit their mark with Volume 31 of the series. The first section of this book, as I defined as :Technical” above, this covers the development and technical descriptions of the Marder II; its operational prowess including several charts covering Technical Specifications, Armament Card Index, Production and Conversion, Inventory and Deployment. Everything you will ever want to know about the Marder II with regards to technical information is covered in the first few pages. This section goes on to break down the Kompanie structure to which the Marder played a part. The final extensive part of this first section is a highly detailed timeline of equipment and parts delivery to each Panzer Division including Kompanie deployment.
Finishing of this section covers the use of Infrared Devices, a Final Verdict, Camouflage and Markings and a section devoted to modeling. A small chart showing the models offered for depicting the Marder II. This section transitions into a small acknowledgment section at the end of this first part of the book to thank the many folks that help bring these publications together.
In the next section, as I defined above as “Operational pictorial with supporting text” and which this book which spans sixty-three pages, there are 190 black and white photographs showing the Marder II in action. Each photo is accompanied with supporting bilingual text pointing out key details and highpoints in the vehicles in the photos. Many of these pictures have not been published until now.
Moving forward in this book, the next part there is contains thirty-two line drawings in 1/35th scale; depicting all know variants of the Marder II by John L. Rue. There is a mix of 2D and 3D renderings; a true asset to any scratch builder and modeler alike.
Making a nice segue out of the line drawings, the book flows into several pages of color and camouflage schemes with supporting reference photos which is another fine asset to the model maker. This section precedes a one pages color art rendering of all of the different ammunition used by the various Marder II’s.
One of the largest parts to this book falls at the end of it, the walk around photo section. There 155 color pictures of museum relics all with supporting text in English and German translation pointing out key points of interests on all of the variants shown.
Finally the book climaxes with the showing of two model creations; one by Tony Greenwood and the other by Vinnie Branigan. Both are short excerpts in a somewhat Step by Step styling explaining what each of the modelers worked through along the way.
I have to say that there are books on subjects and then there are “THE BOOKS” on subjects. By and large Volume 31 - Marder II Panzerjager II fur 5.5 cm Pak 40/2 (Sd.Kfz.131) from Nuts & Bolts
is a Must Have certainly if you are modeler that is particular to the Marder Family of vehicles or even if you are the enthusiast of WWII German armor. The publishers from Nuts & Bolts
, Heiner F. Duske, Tony Greenland & Detlev Terlisten, along with the team of specialists that bring these books to us have consistently give us a high quality, highly technical and highly FUN book to read and to use for references.
I feel the price is indicative of what you are presented with upon purchase; $39.95 US (28.90€) and can be purchased direct from the Nuts & Bolts
website - http://www.nuts-bolts.de/issue/show/36 There is a ton of information contained within these books. Just about everything you will ever need to have when researching the particular subject contained within any of their books all right at your fingertips.
There is always some sort of criticism associated with reviewing any item that comes up and albeit this book is a truly fantastic collection of informative technical data and pictorial wonderment there is only one minor matter that presented itself while pouring through the book, there are some grammatical errors kind of littered here and there throughout the book. This is by all means not a deal breaker and normally I would not think twice about this and remain indulged in the technical facet of the book itself, but thought it would be good to mention. To show you how dedicated Nuts & Bolts
is to providing the most credible and accurate information in the publications, on their website at the bottom of the pages for the individual book being sold, there are links to corrections for the books. There is one such link for this particular book posted on the site - http://www.nuts-bolts.de/issueUpdate/show/14 . This update discusses the grammatical errors, misspelling, and clarifications and/or amendments to statements and/or claims pertaining to certain photos contained in the book and there descriptions. Again, this is all in an effort to bring the correct information to light as needed.