Monday, October 24

Read n’ Reviewed: We look at the modern warfare world of Abrams Squad #16

Abrams Squad magazine – the modern armour themed modelling magazine is now in its 16th edition. We got it to read and thought you might want to see what is on offer this issue. Read on if you want to see just what's what in issue 16…

English version (also available in Castellano)
Published by: Pla Editions
Bi-monthly publication
76 Pages
Portrait A4 format
Price: 9€
Purchase: Directly from Pla Editions as a single issue and as a subscription…

Pla Editions “Abrams Squad” magazine is now in its sixteenth issue. This bi-monthly magazine has proved an interesting (and risky) choice for Pla Editions. Who would have thought that this magazine would do so well and be so popular with modellers? There must be something in these. Let’s have a look…
Physically this is a pretty regular looking magazine from the outside. A glossy softcover in a portrait A4 format. Open this up to find seventy-six pages of the magazine, so nothing new there. The magazine’s nosiness model is for more content and fewer adverts. This comes at a bit of a premium. But the adverts that are in this book (seven pages out of the seventy-six) make this more of a light book feel than your usual magazines. I like this approach of concentrating on the content.

Let’s go page to page and I will walk you thru what’s in this issue.

The magazine’s editorial is always interesting, the editor is quite open about his thought on the modelling world, but I have not seen negativity or complaining like we sometimes see in some publications. We need more cheerleaders in this hobby, and this editorial sets us off in the right direction.

The first section “Commander’s Display Unit” is a regular section that is a bit of a light review and upcoming news section. We look at four new whole kits in 35th scale, a roller set and some pebbles (of which the text is swapped in my copy) and some other aftermarket and resin sets. This is only ever going to be a light review, so as long as you just want an overview this is good. For those wanting a little more time spent on a review – they have something for that as well.
The “Remote Thermal Sight” section of the magazine is one of my favourites in any periodical. The whole reason this part exists is to take us through a step by step build of a new kit (not painted – just constructed) with some comparison pictures of the real thing thrown in – sometimes from a similar angle which shows a comparison of accuracy.
The IBG Models modern AFV’s is called the Rosomak or “Green Devil”. César Gonzalez is well known too this magazine and he talks us through his build in step by step (SBS) fashion. This is added to with some pictures of the real thing – maybe not as many as usual, but the WHOLE kit is seen inside and out in construction, and if you want to replicate it on your own model I could not think of a better guide. César has made an amazing job as always, to provide you with a unique guide of how you can build your own Rosomak without problems and stress.
The AFV Club 35th scale HUSKY Mk.III is next – built by Domingo Hernández, this is a very peculiar looking cross between a grader and a mine detection vehicle. This I a step by step build, with a lot of the plastic shown in an unpainted form. I like to see the construction as well as the painting, so this is always encouraging to me.
The build ends pretty quickly, and the wear and tear on the vehicle is a highlight a much as the detailed interior of the cab. The build is excellent in execution and the article is well written.
This next vehicle is pretty interesting to me – the very cool looking ASU-85 was developed during the Cold War as an airborne delivered self-propelled gun that was to be dropped to use by mobile and airborne forces on a mass move over the cold war battlefield. This model is made by a new face to the Abrams Squad Mr. Ivan Momcilovic.
Ivan gets straight into painting this Trumpeter kit. (like I said I like to see more plastic Ivan) but the painting process is what gets shown off here. An SBS fashion of taking us through the build is complemented by a lovely large red star themed base which the airborne AFV sits on. It does top off the build very nicely.
Next, we go into the field for reference in NATO’S “Exercise Anakonda:2016.  These recent NATO manoeuvres in June 2016 in Poland. Lots of great pictures of a great many types of vehicles that were really well photographed I should say.
Great reference as well as maybe some modelling inspiration. There is certainly a lot of very dirty machines in here.
We now turn Japanese with the “Type 74” The regular contributor to the series, Mr Özgür Güner takes on this classic JGSDF MBT is taken to a step up over many people’s expectations.
Özgür uses new tracks, antennas, an MG barrel and tow cables from aftermarket manufacturers, but the rest is him and the Tamiya kit. There are three pages of how he improves and texturizes the kit before he starts painting, a fairly standard approach to shading is on display here, along with layers of chipping and washes. The kit really does improve under his steady hand.
Next ,we look at something that is of interest right now – the Leopard 2A6NL from Tamiya is built up by Chris Jerret. Chris is a great modeller, and this Dutch big cat is a hard camouflage to make look interesting I think. The three-tone camo needs a lot of contrast and detail to make interesting. This SBS build of the kit tries to show us how to make the difference in our own kit.
Chris really improves this kit with a lot of aftermarket, and we see the process, in steps that are easy to follow and well written. He obviously has a lot of knowledge in the MBT and it shows in his additions and choices made in his article. The kit is finished off and dusted up to give it that “lived-in” look.
To add to this kit’s build, we see Patrick Winnepenninckx file of several Leopard 2A6NL in several situations in their usual working life. The detail shots, the pictures of the vehicle being loaded, driven and worked in close-up and from a distance. Four pages of good reference for Leo fans – and there are many out there.
At the end of this magazine we see “Turret Basket” which is a hint at what is to come hopefully in the future editions of this magazine – It looks rosy! This section also harks back to our editorial…

This is it – another great magazine for modern warfare AFV lovers. This is a well-executed magazine that I like in content, layout and models.

Adam Norenberg

You can get your copy of issue #16 of the Abrams Magazine Directly from Pla Editions or their distributors worldwide as a single issue and as a subscription…