Monday, April 13

We Review Abrams Squad's Number #9

We always look forward to seeing the best modellers recreate Modern armour out of the latest kits on the market – Abrams Squad Magazine always brings all the boys to the yard with their great models – and we have a look at Issue 9 in our review…
Abrams Squad 09
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 is the only real modern Modelling Magazine in print. It shows all scales, but mostly some very nice looking 1/35th scale AFVs in every edition. Although the magazine is conceived and made in Spain we have the English edition here for you as the subject of today’s review.

This is a newer style of magazine which has a slightly higher price but only a few pages of advertising. These magazines have the feel more of modelling books, as they are very professionally done and show of a kit from the start to finish with techniques in an SBS (step by step) style. Very much like the better, newer books we see on making models in the market. 
There are not many adverts in this magazine. The sections of the book are buffeted by a dual advert page. There are only eight pages of adverts in this book and these do not intrude into the articles so although I would prefer to see no adverts someone’s gotta pay the bills so they have the mix just right there.
This magazine is an A4 glossy covered portrait format at 68 pages. Although this magazine is available through subscription you can also get it through Pla Editions Website.  This is a shame because this magazine would do better if more people could access it easier. Let’s look at the contents to see what is in this issue…

Issue 9 Contents:
The first section of this magazine is called “Commander’s Display Unit” it features a few pages dedicated to reviews of new kits and aftermarket items that are coming soon. More of a brief preview than anything else it always strikes me as a weak part of this magazine cos you can never go deep enough into each product in the space provided. No book reviews this time but there were a few overviews of new plastic models in the marketplace. 
The right way (but there isn’t space enough to do this for every kit) - is the section called “Remote Thermal Sight.” A regular section of this magazine this issue features the new Trumpeter Scud B model being built up. There are close ups at the same angles of the real thing as the models which illustrate levels of accuracy. I like the way they have summed up the worth of this Trumpeter kit in this section. 
First of the builds are the story called “T-80 Vanilla” Andy Taylor builds a T-80 MBT in a very disused and deserted state. There are some very nice building skills and some extreme signs of rust and unused on this tank. I was not sure of it was a red oxide on purpose. The lovely paint job with helpful hints on what to paint your own kit with on which part of the kit really help.
 It really strikes me as amazing the difference between armour modellers and aircraft guys. Andy uses FOUR kits to kit bash this early T-80. Aircraft guys really don’t think of sacrificing so much good plastic to make and accurate model. But these donations and the scratch building that Andy has made really make you realize how much effort went into making this old tank come to life. 
The next story features the Leopard 1A5NO2 and it is called “Winterfell.” Roel Geutjens, who is a well-known Leopard enthusiast (and a bit of an expert on the tank and making them) shows off a Norwegian Leopard in a splinter green and white camo which looks really impressive and varied from many other Leopards you see out there on the competition tables.

An impressive base with snow and light wet mud make this kit look right in place. IT is hard to make a wet winter theme look convincing in 35th scale and I think that for his first article with Abrams Squad Roel has done very well with his build on the pages here.
A popular vehicle in a well-known modern warfare setting is next. The MRAP “Buffalo” is the subject of the build by Abrams Squad veteran Lukasz Orzic-Musialek who takes us into the desert with his V-shaped hull vehicle with an interesting contrast in colours between a sand body and light green digging arm.
The painting and weathering on this kit is described very well. It was easy to follow and I learnt a little bit from this article on how to replicate a very dusty and sandy vehicle. Lukasz has used mainly Vallejo, Tamiya and AK Interactive acrylics on this vehicle and it’s nice to see exactly how he did it in this step by step. 
Özgür Guner is next with his “Type 99” Japanese howitzer. I was not very aware of this type of gun as it is only used by the Japanese (JGSDF.) Although it is a fairly short article compared to some of the others this is another good SBS build that shows you how to get the most out of the Pit Road kit in 35th scale.
Lastly we have a photo essay of a current operation in Germany. Operation “Combined Resolve II” is detailed here by Ralph Zwilling, who is a good photographer and has added a lot of text to the article so you can better understand the vehicles in the frames. Leopards, Bradleys, TR-85 MBT’s, VAB Geenies, French Panhard scout vehicles, Lithuanian M113’s, Abrams…there are these and many more in this section of seven pages covering most of the participating nations and a vast variety of modern warfare vehicles in the field. This is great stuff for modern AFV guys well done. 
At the end of this edition you see the preview of what’s coming called “Turret Basket.” This is another brief page of picture and caption previews, with a look to what's coming in the next issue

...And we are looking forward to the next Abrams Squad Magazine already. This is another great issue with a lot to be learnt from it. More like a little book than a magazine this is a great publication.
Adam Norenberg

Thanks to the guys at Pla Editions for sending this to us to read. You can now get issue 9 from Pla Editions website…

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.