Saturday, June 21

Panzer Aces 45 review - for fans of Soviet machines of WWII this might be up your улица..

Having not really been able to acquire many issues of Panzer Aces (even when in Europe) it was our pleasure to be able to read and review this – their latest special edition of sorts – some good builds and talented modellers are promised – but does the mag live up to the hype? Let’s have a look.

Panzer Aces #45
Available in both English/Spanish & French
64 pages
A4 softcover portrait format Magazine
Price: € 11.00
Available at your nearest hobby-shop or Direct from the publishers

The great thing about the newer pictorial s.b.s style (Step by step) of magazines from mostly the European countries is that they contain fewer adverts, with not so many reviews with not much space to say or show, and not in any real depth. They seem to have some models that you can only dream of making yourself. They are a great source of inspiration.

The downside is they are a little more expensive because of the fewer adverts, they are sometimes not in your language (lazy English speaker here) and the worst thing is that they are pretty hard to get.

Although you can get this magazine directly on line from them if you live in the U.S. or further away from Europe you might have to grab one from your nearest hobby shop – or you could get a subscription. I think this is the reason these mags aren’t so well known amongst modellers as they should be. The fact that the older guard of older style modelling mags are just as hard to find in the new landscape of the digital ages has brought the gap closer – why not have one of these magazines if you can get them as easily? It’s nice to have more choice.
Art wins over (so-called) availability in the case of the Panzer Aces magazine series from publishers Euro Modellismo.  It is in a glossy A4 portrait format with sixty-four pages filled with large pictures and step-by-steps this magazine series. These magazines go from the start to the finish of not just a model but he diorama it sits in with figure making and painting as well.

Notable modellers you may or may not have heard of - Cristobal Vergara Duran, Javier Redondo, Diego Quijano, Fabrizio Pincelli and last but not least Radek Pituch all have some sensational builds in this magazine – only five models you say – but the build quality and the length of description make this more of a special edition on Soviet machines of war than a simple magazine on a bunch of new models.

Firstly Javier Redondo makes a rare version of the KV-8 FLAMETHROWER in 1/35th scale. This model is made from two different Trumpeter kits of the KV-1 with Aber additions.
There are also some tracks on hand from Fruil model – thee are seen in a three step chemical dipping process that weathers them up really nicely. About time technology caught up with modelling! I like it that this build pretty much stuck to the intro and then the Step by steps to show it being built.

Next the well-known model master Radek Pituch presents us with this highly recognizable Joseph Stalin model 1944, on the final approaches to Berlin, in April 1945 complete with figures all in 35th scale.
Interesting here is the painting of the model – which takes up most of the article. We do not see much of the tank getting built but we do get the addition of three figures made almost from scratch by the modeller. They really d add life to this vehicle. The finish of the colour shading and weathering effects shown here is something to be very jealous of. 
Next we see the mainstay of the armoured effort by the Soviets in the war – this 1/35th scale T-34/76 is built by Diego Quijano in an outstanding piece which I think is more art than a model build.
Almost like a painting from a surrealist artist, this model of a heavily weathered T-34 with damage and wear all over it. It sits atop a high pile of rubble and debris. TO me it is like a sculpture more than a vignette or diorama and the imagination on display here is just great. Seeing just how this was made, the painting and weathering of the kit and the huge pile of rubble ( including a grandfather clock) really is astounding to me that Diego has the presence of mind to make this all up in his head. It is an amazing model and it deserves to be seen by as many modellers as possible.

We go on to another T-34 next. This model, made by Fabrizio Pincelli is of a T-34/85 in Berlin in 35th scale at the end of WWII. This tank is seen with anti-bazooka “bedspring” versions of the shields. These are carefully built onto the hull of the donor Dragon kit.
The weathering on the rusted beds, the spare panther wheels and the paint job here on display really does set this off to make this a very stylized but lifelike miniature.

Lastly we take a look at the VOROSHILOVETS TRACTOR, in 1/35th scale built by Cristobal Vergara Duran. This interesting little tractor of the Soviet army carried and towed all sorts of heavy vehicles and guns. At the start of the article and not again we see it towing a 230mm gun. Shame we didn’t see more of it. 
The frames of the cargo compartment and the side wooden tray, the majority of the interior and several parts of the grille and other details were either scratch built or done with photo etched parts. Painting has been really well done here and the tractor is weathered just right. The proud soviet infantryman is a great addition as well. Although this doesn’t have a gun (does towing one qualify?) it rightfully earns it’s place here as a lovely model in this great company.

The editorial comments are a the rear of the mag which is a little odd but I always like to read what they have to say – no complaining here from the “Ed” which is good news.. I would like to see this page at the start of the mag.
There are three pages – only three pages – of adverts in this magazine which is great and a luxury when compared to some other magazines. This is partially paid for in the 11 Euro cover price – but the fact is that these five builds really are worth anyone’s eleven euro aren’t they?

A great magazine with some great models and techniques inside and all put together attractively. A must have for especially WWII or soviet armour fans .

Adam Norenberg

This issue is available now - you can order Panzer Aces 45 directly from the publishers at this link.