I am not the world's number one consumer of magazines. Having said that, I believe that there is a continuing need for the more specialized magazines and increasingly less need for the 'general' style of publication. Tankograd's Militärfahrzeug Magazine specializes on what the company does best - military vehicles.
Militärfahrzeug 1-2008 is the first of this year's four editions. This issue of the magazine contains the usual 64 pages and consists of 11 articles along with a very complete English-summary. The magazine is published in German with the principal text appearing in this form. However, as most people will purchase the magazine for the large number of images, ALL the photo-captions are bi-lingual.
This is is either the third or fourth edition of the magazine i've reviewed and although the format is now well-established, what strikes me is how innovative the editor manages to make each issue. As I mentioned previously there are 11 articles which cover a multitude of vehicles, nationalitis and time-frames. Obviously, with every issue of every magazine, there are items which you'll look at and decide that they really aren't within your own 'area' of interest. However there are, this issue, a number of articles, which although they wouldn't make me rush out and buy the nearest 1/35th kit and the relevant AM, do leave me wondering about the possibilities of of a 'one-off' project...
Three articles in particular I found particularly interesting:
Heuschrecke & Panzerselbstfahrlafette IVb
Oshkosh Close Support Tanker in British Army Service
EUFOR RD Congo
The first, the 'Grasshopper', as it isn't a vehicle that was produced in large numbers (plastic kits seem to be rapidly overtaking actual production numbers), is not particularly well-documented so the three pages and seven (new?) images should be very welcome indeed for anyone thinking of building one.
The second, as i'm a sucker for BIG trucks and this is a wonderful subject for modern modelers, consists of six pages of superb detail in the form of a walk-round of the Oshkosh tanker in service. Particularly notable (although it's going to be impressively difficult to model) is the photo of the MCS (Mobile Camouflage System) which is a system of 'drapes' designed to reduce the vehicle's IR signature.
The last of my three 'choices' covers an area which doesn't get many headlines but has some fascinating looking vehicles - the European Union Peacekeeping mission in the Congo. No doubt, the publishers may well be considering this for a complete book in the future.
Other articles which should get a mention are the photo reports on the 2007 Beltring show (just WHO has a full-scale model of a V2 rocket?), the Canadian Leopard C2 in Afghanistan - real eye-candy for those who want to recreate weathering and the photo-report on the NATO Exercise Swabian Lance 2007.
Altogether a very good edition of the magazine although it's perhaps a touch 'tilted' in favor of the Modern enthusiast - no bad thing in itself as this gives some interesting insights for those who are focussed on a particuklar era...
It's no easy thing to review a magazine as there are (inevitably) many areas outside one's personal knowledge base However, magazines of this type do serve a very useful function by opening up new areas of interest which modelers might not otherwise become exposed to. Militärfahrzeug contains a lot of information within its pages and on a practical level for the publishers, does give advance indicators of future publications. As usual, the quality and quantity of the images is excellent. VERY Highly Recommended
The latest issue of Tankograd Publishing's 'in-house' magazine which, following on from previous issues, manages to put an awful lot into it's 64 pages.
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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...