Tuesday, March 20

Read n' reviewed: "Sherman: The American Miracle" from AMMO Publications

Clayton gave us a nice little workshop at the Sydney Scale Model Expo last weekend (coming soon to TMN) he used in that the new M4 Sherman sets and this book "Sherman: The American Miracle" from AMMO Publications as a guide. See what he thought about this book and what's inside in his review...

Read n' Reviewed: "Sherman: The American Miracle"
From: AMMO Publications
Reference: #AMIG6080
Softcover A4 portrait format.
80 pages and more than 170 Colour Profiles.
Price: 18,50 €

Before the days of the internet and the flood of readily available information, I am sure many of you reading this now recall the excitement around the release of the Tamiya catalogue each year. As a child, I remember walking into one of the big hobby stores in town and feeling the elation upon seeing the latest catalogue on the shelf.  Flicking through the pages to see the latest releases and then flicking to the dioramas constructed by some of Japan’s finest modellers was as much of the appeal of the hobby as the actual building of the kits. The Tamiya catalogues were a constant source of inspiration to me as a youngster, and I spent many an afternoon after school, flicking through the pages and studying every model in detail…and then turning back to the front cover and starting all over again.

Clearly, times change and the access to information is now often an afterthought rather than a pursuit. Google has become our best friend and is only too happy to throw back at us any number of matches no matter how obscure. But with all that access to seemingly limitless information, there is something still very appealing around something tangible. The feeling of a book on your lap, and the ability to flick back and forth between pages at will is something that can never be replaced by the glow of a screen.

A number of years ago, I picked up a couple of these colour profile guides from Ammo. The first book was based around the camouflage patterns of the Waffen SS. The book is filled with high-quality drawings as well as a short description of the actual vehicles. Soon after I picked up the book based on the Russian Vehicles of the Eastern Front. Again, the book is filled with numerous illustrations of varied vehicles used by the Soviets on the Eastern Front.

There wouldn’t be a week goes by that I don’t look through these books in some form. It might be from cover to cover, or it could be a quick flick to see which scheme I open to by chance. The books are a constant source of inspiration and are a highly treasured part of my collection. Whilst other publishers have released books of a similar nature, none of them seems to present quite as nicely or simply as these books from Ammo.

When I saw Ammo were planning on releasing a camouflage profile book on the Sherman, I knew this would be a must-have for me. The joy the other books gave me ensured that I would be adding this one to the collection sight unseen.

Whilst the earlier camouflage profile guides covered a broad spectrum of vehicles and schemes, this latest book focuses only on the Sherman. The common perception is that the Sherman essentially wore the mono-tone Olive Drab, when in-fact the Sherman saw many variations in scheme and colour as well as markings and improvised armour.  This new book helps shine some light on the wonderful world of the Sherman.

The publication is in keeping with the previous releases. It is A4 in size (210mm x 297mm) and has a card weight cover with a high gloss celloglaze finish. The book I am looking over is written in English, however, it is also available in Spanish as well as French.
The sleeve of the cover gives us an introduction to the Illustrator, Claudio Fernandez, and the Writer, Enrique Calderon. The front cover is folded back on itself in order to serve as a bookmark of sorts.
The book starts off with a brief introduction to the Sherman, and then highlights some of the differences between the hulls as the design evolved. Without giving too much away, the book also touches on the variations of the turret.
To complete the picture, the evolution of the running gear is also outlined. On the following page, we start to look into some of the tones and shades that will be required to replicate some of these schemes in scale.
Now on to the good stuff! The book starts by presenting some of the schemes the tank saw during its time in North Africa. Clean and concise illustrations beautifully represent the schemes.
The next chapter then visits the battles in Italy.
Now some of the oddballs used in the defence of the English Channel and subsequently the Shermans used through France.
We then see some whitewashed examples.
Even the Free French get a look in.
Not to mention the Shermans the Soviets used through the Lend-Lease program.
Of course, many Shermans fell into the hands of the enemy, so even some of the schemes the Germans applied are represented.
Then to wrap the book up, we see some examples of the Sherman’s’ time in the Pacific.
I have tried to leave a little to the imagination here, so by no means have my preview pictures ruined the surprise for you. With over 180 colour profiles and a wealth of concise and to the point information, I really love this book. Already I have flicked through the pages multiple times, and it is amazing the number of times you happen to notice something new, and the mind starts to plan how you would approach the scheme in scale.

I guess one criticism would be that we only get a look at one side of the scheme, so in the interests of accuracy, you would need to do your own research in order to replicate these machines properly. That said, I view this book as the starting point, and the spark that starts the flame.

The books’ release coincides with a number of new AMMO - Sherman paints sets which I have reviewed earlier, so be sure to keep an eye out for those as they will make the perfect pairing.

I touched on the joy of looking through the old Tamiya catalogues, and now I get that same feeling with these colour profile guides. I love looking through them and it never seems to get old. I can see this book becoming one of the regulars in the search for inspiration.

Whilst the Sherman isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, I really would encourage any lover of WWII armour to get their hands on this book, because it may just trigger or perhaps cement your love of all things Sherman.

Clayton Ockerby

Thanks to Mig Ammo for this book to read and review. This new book is now available in the AMMO Store online

See more of Clayton’s work at his website “Workbench Hobbies” or join him on his Facebook page