Wednesday, May 16

Read and Reviewed: T-34 on the Battlefield 2 from Peko Publishing

Peko Publishing and Neil Stokes have teamed up to produce the second book in their excellent "On the Battlefield" series, this one showing us more of this, the most produced tank of WWII. See what Clayton found after he read it in his review...

Read and Reviewed: T-34 on the Battlefield 2
Peko Publishing
Author: Neil Stokes
Hardcover A4 Landscape format
Languages: Dual Hungarian-English languages
Pages: 112
Product Link on the Peko Books Website
Of late, I have really been focusing on building my collection of quality publications with good reference material. In the past, my reading list tended to be a stack of modelling magazines and ‘how to’ books, but as I get older, I am finding I am now starting to think more about realism and accuracy rather than styles and techniques. That’s not to say you don’t need style and technique to recreate some of these machines in scale, it just means it is becoming more important to me to present something that is as close to real life. 

Given we are working in scale, there are many things we need to consider however I am now conscious of not getting too caught up in the latest trend or overweathering something to the point of extinction.

One of the series of books I have started to collect is the ‘On the Battlefield - World War Two Photobook Series’ from Peko Publishing. You can imagine my excitement when the latest release managed to find its way onto my review desk.

The latest release is the T-34 on the Battlefield 2. As the name would suggest, this is the second book in the series that is focused on the stalwart of the Soviet War machine, the T-34.

The book provides an overview of the development, production and operational deployment of the T-34 in Soviet service during WW2.  It includes details of unit organization within the RKKA, along with the many changes in organization, particularly during the early war years.  That said, the majority of the book, however, is dedicated to captioned wartime photographs of T-34 tanks, many of which are previously unpublished. (paragraph is taken from the Peko books site)
The book presents beautifully with the design in keeping with the previous 16 volumes in the series, so the set will look structured and neat on your shelf. The hardcover has a gloss celloglaze and measures 300mm x 220mm. The book weighs 750g.

The Author, Neil Stokes has assembled 112 pages of content, with each of the images including a detailed description in both Hungarian and English.

Let’s take a closer look at the content.
The whole book essentially is one picture with the caption per page. The quality of the images is very good, but the detail the author goes into with the descriptions is even better. For example, on this page, the author brings to the reader’s attention, subtleties with the design on the tank that would pinpoint it to a particular time or location. 

A lot of the images in the book are of destroyed or captured vehicles. It never ceases to amaze me how some of these tanks find their way into some of these positions. Great inspiration for those looking for something different for the next diorama.
Here we see yet another couple of captured T-34s’. Little details are again highlighted by the author. Note the picture on the left has the timber plank fitted at the top of the glacis plate to protect the shot trap beneath the front of the turret. You can also see helmets strung along the sides of the vehicle and someone has even given the tank a name…’Otto’.

This type of information is a goldmine for historians and modellers looking to take their craft to the next level.
The sad and sorry state of a few T-34s that will no longer see any action on the battlefield… Again, great material for those looking to take their modelling to the next level.
This poor T-34 seems to be without its’ engine. You also get a really good look at the detail in the tracks and the way the tank suffered. Note the damage to the guards and the grab rails. The page to the right gives us a real good look at how the whitewash weathered and how the snow built up around the running gear of an active tank.

In some cases, the book contains multiple angles of the same vehicle, giving the reader a really thorough overview of the wreck. The image on the left is an example of one of these vehicles in the book. 

Here we see German troops passing an abandoned T-34/85. Of particular note is the flattened style of the turret produced by Factory 183. Differences in the casting techniques and capabilities from factory to factory help the author to pinpoint the origin of the vehicle.
This is yet another quality publication in this series of books. The information is highly detailed and thorough, and the quality of the images is excellent.

One of the things I enjoy about this book, is it can be enjoyed on two levels. You really can just flick through the pages for 10 minutes and take in the images. I do get a lot of joy from just that. They do say a picture tells a thousand words, right? Given a little more time, you can take in the descriptions and identify the details the author is highlighting.

This book will appeal to historians and modellers alike. The design is simple and clean and delivers the information as it is intended.

The T-34 is one of my all-time favourite tanks, so I can see myself taking great inspiration from the pages of this book. In the quest for accuracy and realism, this publication, and the books in the series are a fantastic place for the scale modeller to start their quest.

Clayton Ockerby 

This book is available for €28.95 at the Product Link on the Peko Publishing website - Thanks to them for sending this book to us to read and review...
See more of Clayton’s work at his website “Workbench Hobbies” or join him on his Facebook page