Osprey Publishing has long been known for it's useful and reasonably priced reference material in all the fields of interest to modelers and miltary history enthusiasts. In a slight (though related) deviation from their usual reference material, the publishing house launched a series of specialized monographs covering the modeling of a specific vehicle, aircraft or (in a few cases) figures.
Speaking personally, I have reviewed many of the books in the series and my opinion has always been very favorable. It's also worth mentioning that not all of the subjects have been those which specifically interested me, but the value in the books comes in the techniques for building and painting which have wide applications across the board.
The format in all the books is identical - a brief introduction to the subject area, a series of build projects by a number of well-known and experienced modelers, a chapter on available kits and a bibliography of both written and on-line reference sources.
Modelling the Tiger I (Osprey Modelling 37) contains 80 pages and is written by Gary Edmundson, Dinesh Ned, David Parker and Steve van Beveren. The book is edited by Robert Oehler. The book consists of nine chapters - Introduction, six detailed build projects (5 in 1/35th scale, and 1 in 1/16th). The eighth chapter consists of a bibliography of the vehicle listing both published and internet resources (naturally enough, including Armorama!). The book finishes with an index,
121’, s.Pz.Abt.501, Tunisia 1943 (1/35 scale)
‘321’, s.SS.Pz.Abt.101, Normandy 1944 (1/35 scale)`
'322’, s.Pz.Abt.507, East Prussia, November 1944 (1/35 scale)
‘1331’, 13./SS-Panzer Regiment 1, Kursk 1943 (1/35 scale)
‘F05’, Gruppe Fehrmann, Germany 1945 (1/35 scale)
‘323’, Pz.Abt.502, Russia 1943 (1/16 scale)
Further reading, media and websites
In Detail - A typical project chapter
To give the flavor of the book, i've chosen the fifth project - ‘F05’, Gruppe Fehrmann, Germany 1945 in 1/35th scale. As with the rest of the projects, the chapter begins with a box listing the subject modelled, the modeler, a rough indication of the complexity of the project, a list of the base kit(s) and a list of the Aftermarket (AM) sets used in the build.
The chapter begins with a brief 'biography' of the tank and then briefly explains the general changes/improvements which the author will be making to the vehicle and then goes into specifics of the lower hull, upper hull and turret.
The next section looks at applying Zimmerit to this vehicle (unusual for a vehicle of this period) followed by numerous photos of various stages in the construction process and another sidebar detailing a useful technique for portraying a damaged turret bin.
The second part of the chapter is dedicated to painting and weathering using a variety of well-explained processes including oil-paint washes, painting the tracks, and the application of weathering powders. As the challenge with this particular vehicle was to blend in a camouflaged turret/hull with Panzer Grey stowage bin and barrel without the colors 'jarring' this is particularly interesting demonstration as to what can be acheived with some careful pre-planning and execution.
Due to the popularity of the subject this book should be a huge success for Osprey. However, no matter how popular the subject area, if the book is not well-written and edited, it's going to fail to capture the interest of its target audience. This is certainly NOT the case here. The book is superbly compiled from the work of five different authors and tied together in a logical and easily-understandable manner by the Editor.
Once again, one of the strong areas in the book is the quality (and size of the images). Too often, Osprey (particularly in their older titles) have used 'muddy' unclear and all too small images in their books, as we have come to expect from the Osprey Modelling series the images are superb and assist enormously in understanding the processes presented.
However, as the authors reiterate throughout the book, some of the projects rely a little on 'artistic interpretation' as the vehicles modeled were not always documented and once again, using modelers of this calibre allows them to present a vehicle as 'typical' rather than 100% 'accurate' - an interesting area for debate!
Finally, although I am an 'unconditional' fan of this series of books, I'm still left with a few doubts.,, Firstly, the overall level of complexity is pretty high in this series. They begin at 'Intermediate' level and go to 'Master' which for me is a little short-sighted as many less-experienced modelers may be put off by the generally high 'pitch' of the series. This is company policy, one which I feel should be modified to include an 'entry-level' project.
Specifically, regarding this book, although it is beautifully executed, I did scratch my head at the inclusion of a 1/16th scale subject rather than one in 1/48th scale? Perhaps personal taste or again perhaps the Tiger will be the subject of a future book dedicated to this scale?
In conclusion, although 'Tiger-Specific' modelers of other subjects will find much which is useful in this book - whether it be ideas for construction or finishing and weathering Very Highly Recommended
The first AFV Modeling title in several months from Osprey Publishing. Like the other books in the series, this promises to be an invaluable source of both inspiration and some highly applicable techniques.
Our Thanks to Osprey Publishing! This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.
About Jim Rae (jimbrae) FROM: PROVINCIA DE LUGO, SPAIN / ESPAñA
Self-employed English teacher living in NW Spain. Been modelling off and on since the sixties. Came back into the hobby around ten years ago. First love is Soviet Armor with German subjects running a close second. Currently exploring ways of getting cloned to allow time for modelling, working and wr...