Wednesday, July 16

We review Millitary Miniatures in review.. in our review...

Ampersand Publishing’s own magazine – Military Miniatures in Review -is out and like buses there have been two in quick succession - today we look at number #60 in our review..
Military Miniatures in Review: MMiR 60
Ampersand Publishing
Full colour A4 Portrait softcover magazine

Get yours from Ampersand PublishingUS$9.95 + P&P and can be subscribed in the states and around the world at a better rate directly from their website

The magazine suffers though from the irregularity that must make readers not rely on it coming on sale at a regular time. Now modellers are often creatures of habit – and this edition and #61 coming in at the same time irks me a little.  It kind of wasn’t talked about in the editorial but there must have been a good reason for it.

I look forward to reading the latest MMiR – there is a sense of humour, a loose editorial style that I wholeheartedly agree with. I look forward to actually reading the comments of the editor – these vary but this fellow always has something interesting on his mind. Comments on the cover, the figure reviews and even the credits of the mag always give me a chuckle. Too many magazines take themselves a little too seriously.
Let’s get serious about what you get in this mag. There are eighty pages inside the thick glossy cover A4 portrait format. There are some adverts in this mag but not as bad as many you see. They are mostly at the start and the rear of the magazine and they do not encroach into the articles themselves which is nice. The magazine sells for US$9.95 which is a fair ground between the more expensive ones and the cheaper add filled magazines.

The magazine gets cracking early on with six pages of industry news from many well-known brands. Many of these brands you see throughout the book so they have their ears to the ground. The only problem with industry news in print is that it’s often too late TO print and it’s not news anymore. There is a lot of material here though for people not prone to gathering news themselves.

There I a good book review section next. Coming in at two pages and twelve different books are covered. There is a lot to cram into these pages which are told in a straight up and to the point way. No time for long speeches here in the space provided. 
Next we look at something fairly interesting to many modellers with the Dragon “Black Label“kit of the M48 Patton – “The M48 Patton, a Primer: Part Two: The M48A2 and M48A2C.” takes us through a pictorial narrative a little like Ampersand’s detail or Allied/ Axis books. It gives some great detail of the tank in clear pictures and makes the content a little more varied. 
Next we get into the builds – that is what I am here for – “The Little Tractor that Rocks: The Pit Road IJA Type 98 4t Prime Mover Shi-Ke.” The company called Pit Road has made this little tractor which looks pretty basic but is made into a nice representation of the tractor by the staff. The SBS “Step-by-Step” build of the kit is a them thankfully echoed throughout the book which is the best format. There is a lot of block text to support the builds as well.
Next we go back to ‘Nam with “Dust(er) in the Wind: Blown away by AFV Club's M42 Duster.” Which continues the liberal use of decent puns. This AA tank is seen packed full of spare ammo and accessories and two skilfully painted crew. I really like the way Mr. Jett wrote this article – very honest and informal.
Next we go into the smaller 48th scale with the  German AFV “Pint sized Puma: Gettin' teeny with the Italeri/Tamiya kit.” I was quite surprised with how this turned out as at first the paint was very light but it looked very convincing after completion. The Hauler, RB Models and Peddinghaus extra details are all shown in action in plenty of pictures and the Archer details looked good as well.
The cover article is “The D9 – Meng’s mountain of tan styrene” is really nudging me to go back and have a dig at my own kit.  All of the areas of making such a beaten and weathered vehicle are the opposite to the last article on the Japanese tank we just looked at.  There is a nice gallery of the type in action after the build but the thirty four steps and the text more than give you a head’s up as to making your own great dozer. Very helpful. 
Now we are tuning Japanese with “Pocket size Puncher: Tamiya's New Type 10.” – The MBT of Nippon is next to be built. I know this is pretty standard build – no rust or dust but the kit is a lesson in making something pretty standard still look interesting. I am sure model paint/ pigments companies would hate it!
Heavy Lift'n: Tasca's Sweet M32B1! Covers the Sherman – based wrecking /recovery vehicle. I am sure this is a favourite of the editor with their interest in the M4. I found the model kit very well made in this SBS build. Having not built a Tasca kit before this build certainly has me tempted. There are a few tips that give you a heads up about some parts you need to alter as well which is really helpful.
We go to the Reds next with the article “A T-90 Tale: A story of steel and styrene.” The Zvezda kit in 1/35th scale - often overlooked for the much hyped Meng version is modelled here with the addition of only a few parts of aftermarket. To me it looks pretty good, and the build process is well explained in the informal manner that thankfully is the tone for this magazine.
Lastly the short article – “Red Leg! Red Leg! This is Bravo Six: Bronco's 155mm Howitzer (Vietnam). “ features a super detailed Bronco Models howitzer from the Vietnam era. Although it’s a canon I really like the build process and great pics on offer here. (Sorry i forgot the picture of this one)

Lastly we have the most unique part of this magazine the figure reviews. In this section the figures in a few different scale are put together to show you – this is the ONLY way to review figures as far as I am concerned and something we do here on TMN. This is the only magazine that does this including figure specific mags. I love the captions as well.
I always like reading this magazine – and this one was no exception. There is a LOT of text in this magazine – more than most. So the fact they seem to have packed more builds into it makes me really happy to see. After all that’s why I would buy a modelling magazine.

I am sure they have beaten themselves up about the scheduling of this magazine – I hope they have caught up to themselves by the time we next get to see MMiR again. I think most people want to see more of this type of magazine. I know I do.

Adam Norenberg

My thanks to the publishers for sending this mag to read and review – check out  Ampersand’s website for this and their back issues of MMiR, other titles in their range and special offers.