Wednesday, June 11

Review: we go all modern warfare again with Abrams Squad No 6

Pla Editions continues with their successful modern warfare modelling magazine “Abrams Squad”. This is a mag showcasing the very newest of modern armour and military models and features a host of very good builders on board to make and show you models. Let’s have a look at Issue six and see if they are keeping up the good work…

Abrams Squad 06
English version (also available in Castellano)
Published by: Pla Editions
Bi-monthly publication
68 pages Portrait A4
Price: 9,00 €
Purchase: Directly from Pla Editions

Abrams Squad: The Modern Modelling Magazine
is published by PLA Editions and purports to be the first magazine in the world devoted to Modern Warfare modelling – but how does it compare to other magazines in the market? Issue six is here for us to look at today…

We have looked at issue 3 and issue 4 recently and we liked them a lot so we always look forward to seeing new editions pop in the mailbox every two months. This mag comes with a glossy cover packed with 68 pages full of models and some other bits we’ll talk about later. Pictures are good and mostly in a graphic dominated method with text in blocks to a minimum apart from the reviews which are weightier. Adverts are kept at a fair minimum which is great (Excessive adverts are a pet dislike of ours) but the price is Nine Euro. 

The biggest problem I think with getting this magazine would be that….
A: Newsagents don’t seem to stock any (good) modelling mags it seems.
B: Limited distribution outlets worldwide.
You can of course get this directly from their website but Pla Editions do additionally have a subscription service so you can order it all in advance and their distributors are growing in number as more people get to know about the magazine. Let’s have a look at what is inside this edition.

This magazine is fairly similar in structure as the earlier two we have looked at. There are a few pages of reviews at the start of the book called “Commander’s Display Unit”. A section devoted to news and reviews of model kits, aftermarket bits and pieces, books and anything else that is new on the market. These reviews have gotten better with time although hey are constrained to four pages the figures are put together and the pictures show off what is on display insightfully.
In “Pixelled Tanks” he now only one page of video game reviews I do not have anything personally against – but I’d rather see that somewhere else. It just reminds me that there are video games I should be playing – the natural enemies of model making productivity!

The next part of the mag is called “Remote Thermal Sight” This is a build review – and I think one of the better parts of the mag if you would like to know exactly what a kit is really all about. This build features Takom’s new 1/35th scale Leopard C2 Mexas. Built completely from the box there are some very thoughtfully laid out pictures of the real thing there to help you see just how close or far away the kit is to the real thing (not to mention your expectations.)
Charlie Pritchett next takes us through with a very good build of the Trumpeter 1/35th scale Iranian BMP-1. Charlie really does work hard at scratch building some parts of the kit and the paintjob he does in addition to the photos he takes (in an outdoor setting) look very convincing.
Next we have a very small model of the Revell (plus additional extras and scratch building) of the russianT-90 MBT. The builder Alex Clark sure has some great eyesight – as this 1/72nd scale kit is not as small as the various tiny bits (shown off with the scale of his fingerprint in a similar size) This is far beyond most people’s skills and vision but the fact is the tiny detail he creates make this kit look like a much larger scale model.
My favourite kit of recent times – the “Doobi/ Dubi” –Meng’s D9R “War Dozer” is built next by the obviously talented Michel Pérez. He shows you how to strip it, beat it up a little, expose the bare front end and make it dirty – and then he shows you how to make a very nice dozer in this lovely step-by-step build I surely will be referencing when time finally allows me to get to my own kit!
You would not know the work that has gone into the next build by Vladimir Adamec. It looks just like he shook the kit of the Merkava ARV and a very lovely model came out the other end! Really well executed to my eyes, this model in 35th scale Hobby Boss kit features a really well shot walk through S-B-S for modellers to try and emulate with their own kits. The smooth finish and clear instructions make you think you might be able to do this with your own kit.
Lastly in a six page section Patrick Winnepenninckx takes us through a very nice gallery of shots he took while oversees in Afghanistan. Some very weird and whacky camouflage schemes here are shown. They will prove to be good (and original I hope) Inspiration for modellers at home and in contests for a while. This is a great regular feature that shows just how several different vehicles in diverse places in the world weather and age. Especially soviet surplus machines are pictured in this edition. 
Well that is it for issue six. I see a general improvement in modelling quality with several stunners in this collection. The reviews section has improved and the gaming section is only one page so I give this edition a big thumbs up.

Even if you are not into these kits themselves (I was only interested in the Doobi before I read this) you will learn a lot and the builds are interesting and skillful enough to get you hooked…

Looking forward to number seven - until then i have a Doobi to build..

Adam Norenberg

Thanks to the chaps at Pla Editions who sent this mage for us to read and review…