Thursday, June 8

Read n' reviewed: Modern warfare is only 19 - Abrams Squad #19

Abrams Squad is now nineteen issues in, and we have had a good look at what is new with the modern AFV and military modelling world – what did we think after we read it? Click on to see in our review...

Read n' reviewed: Abrams Squad #19
Available in both English & Castellano Languages
Reference# AS19ENG
76 Pages
Price: 9,00 €

The bi-monthly Abrams Squad magazine is with us with issue# 19. The last issue was pointed at the smaller scales with 72nd being heavily represented in its pages, where in this episodes four builds there is only one "odd" scale of 48th in here. I for one do not mind the variety. What is constant though is the magazine's structure and focus – modern military vehicles of the highest modelling standards.
Now we see that Issue 19 is with us, we thought we would give you a quick run down of the physical item (for those old skool people who like to hold the paper that they are reading) and then the content (for those who like the electronic version.) This issue is of the usual format, the glossy softcover A4 portrait format gives way to vibrant colours and layouts inside. The builds here are a combination of Step by Step (SBS) and a brief intro to the subject before and a wrap up at the end of each story.
There are four build articles in this issue, the usual other reviews and photo walkarounds are also included. For the price of nine Euro you get only seven pages of adverts, these are between builds so they do not break up the flow of the stories. Standard so far in relation to what we expect from these mags, so let's look at what's inside.

Issue 19 Contents:
4 – Commander’s Display Unit: A regular section devoted to news and reviews
8 – Remote Thermal Sight: Another welcome new model kit of a NATO subject
20 – Stridsvagn 103- Headless Warrior from Łukasz Orczyc-Musiałek
30 – Chieftain Mk.10 - British Steel on the Rhine from Mark Chisholm
38 – 2S3 Akatsiya - The Battle of Komsomolskoye Village from Imad Buoantoun
54 - SA-4 Ganef - 1/48 resin kit from Konrad Dzik
66 - Atlantic Resolve: spectacular images of the NATO military manoeuvres Atlantic Resolve that was conducted in Poland.
76 – Turret Basket: Kits that we’ll find in the market soon and some teasers of the next Abrams Squad Magazine.
On with the contents of this issue # 19:

Commander’s Display Unit is a regular section devoted to news and reviews of model kits, aftermarkets, books and lots of other stuff connected to the hobby. Although short in space and time spent on each subject, Abrams Squad has made these review more focused and succinct in recent issues.
Remote Thermal Sight of Trumpeter's new MARS kit.: A new NATO subject from Trumpeter is covered in this - one of the best build guide/ reviews around. I love it how the modeller talks through the construction step by step, and the exact, or close to it – angles that we see of the kit to the real thing give us a great comparison view of the details in the kit,
This variant has seen service with the German Bundeswehr. The truth is that the kit may have some flaws to make the MARS variant as described on the box, but the model is really nice and well detailed for an M270. This model sure does look like an easier kit to make than the Revell/Shanghai Dragon MARS kit.

Stridsvagn 103- Headless Warrior from Łukasz Orczyc-Musiałek. Lukas, well known to regular readers of this magazine like myself, makes a very nice version of this suddenly very popular (World of Tanks anyone) kit from takom which now is pretty old. However, he takes it on with just as much relish as a new release here.
This Swedish turretless tank article is put together in an SBS article fashion, just like the others in this mag, from one and a half pages of construction and the modeller's thoughts on his planning of the subject, through to a fresh newly painted camo look, and then on to the weathering and wearing of this low-down machine.A lot of mud was added to the hull, and that is really important as the pneumatic suspension of the tank makes it a bit of a pig in the mud of Sweden's forests. Lukas captures the look here exceptionally well.
Chieftain Mk.10 - British Steel on the Rhine: Mark Chisholm's take on the Takom British Chieftain Mk.10 in BAOR livery that is made here mostly straight out of the box. BAOR (British Army On the Rhine) camo is a nice change to the Berlin scheme which everyone is doing (ironic isn't it?) and Mark has done a great job here.
Becuase the kit is made out of the box, and the limited pages in this build, we get a brief but comprehensive article to guide you through a simple, but very effective build from Mark. His kit's transformation from freshly painted to weathered, dirtied, dusted and camouflage netted and stowage filled Chieftain sure looks the goods to me.

Next up we see Imad Bouantoun's 35th scale kit of the 2S3 Akatsiya - The Battle of Komsomolskoye Village. To me, this is the most complete article in the magazine, as it shows not just the tank, but the figure, house, ground work and everything else needed to populate this scene of tankers atop anSPGg after shelling a Chechen opposition position. The mud, the leaves and the bare tree really add to the warmly dressed tankers to set the scene here in this cover story.
We see two pages of the building of the house and base, a page of the swings and tree construction, and then hardly anything on the building of the kit. We do however see lots fo the tank being painted, but I feel this article could have run for two or three more pages to give the modeller more insight. What is on show, however, is great modelling and I suppose me asking for more is a compliment.
We have a three more pages of reference shots on this SPG on the next two pages which is nice.
Now for something different – we have a resin kit in 48th scale – the SA-4 Ganef - 1/48 resin kit: from Konrad Dzik. Quarter Scale is a little more unique in the modelling world, but it allows you to tackle some larger and unique subjects. The resin kit is seen in only one picture in the construction process – which is disappointing. But the painting and weathering lovers will like the rest of the article.
There are copious notes in this article about the painting and weathering which is very nice, however, and the work that has gone into sharing the knowledge with the reader on this part fo the model should be commended. Let's see a little barer resin next time tho hey? How it arrives, cleaning work and assembly.
Atlantic Resolve is a reference section where the Abrams Squad reporters have brought us spectacular images of the NATO military manoeuvres Atlantic Resolve that was conducted in Poland. There are eight pages of great pictures ( although I am not sure if they are camera pictures or phone pictures at some points, the images though are just great, and varied with LOTS of vehicles from many different NATO forces.
Lastly, we have the future in the form of "Turret Basket" – this is the bit that keys you up about the kits that we’ll find in the market soon and some teasers of the next Abrams Squad Magazine.

Another great issue of a very good magazine that – nineteen issues in, has found a secure niche for itself.

Adam Norenberg

This issue of Abrams Squad is now available or you can take out a subscription on their Website...