Thursday, July 15

Read n' reviewed: Abrams Squad Issue #35 from Pla Editions

Abrams Squad: focusing on modern civilian & military vehicles & dioramas, modelling showcases & inspiration for all the rest of us novices. See what we thought about issue #35 in our review...

Abrams Squad Issue #35
From Pla Editions
Softcover, A4 format
Text: English
Page 96
Price: 15€
We look forward to seeing new Abrams Squad magazines pop out of our postbox. This latest issue (no #35 already!) comes with a bonus of now sixteen extra pages in this issue packed with more modern military models, dioramas, tutorials and new products for the reader and modeller to inhale.

Abrams Squad Magazine:
For those new to the magazine, it contains subjects post-WWII. So Modern warfare from all countries and theatres around the world. Before this magazine came out, most subjects covered were from the WWII era. This magazine can be credited with exposing newer, and often forgotten conflicts and helping to open up the modelling world to different subjects.
The issue is in softcover, A4 format in portrait layout. English text inside from a worldwide bunch of modellers contributing as authors throughout. The magazine is broken up into several sections of news, then builds with some reference thrown in for good measure.

The editor always gives us his welcome thoughts in each issue, always worth pausing to read before we get into the mag...
Abrams Squad #35 contents:
4.- Commander's Display Unit (news and reviews)
6.- RTS: T-72M (Amusing Model)
26.- “SHOOTING RANGE CHIEFTAIN” (Takom) by Shimpei Nohara.
40.- “Challenger 2 TES” (Rye Field Model) by Ian Barraclough.
52.- “Shot Kal Gimel” (AFV Club) by Łukasz Orczyc-Musiałek.
62.- SHOWCASE “Tiran 5” (Tamiya) by Kuniyuki Takeuchi.
66.- “Bradleys in Syria” by Abrams Squad.
72.- “M113 A1 ACAV” (AFV Club) by Uwe Kern.
82.- “Iranian Chieftain Mk.5/P” (Takom) by Alex Clark.
90.- “Russian Forces in Syria” by Abrams Squad
96.- Turret Basket
Now let's go through issue #35 page by page... 
For each issue, we have the "Commander's Display Unit". This regular section in the front of the magazine always gives us decent news and reviews of the latest products that have been released in the past weeks and months that modellers might be interested in.
In the regular "RTS" (Remote Thermal Sight) section, we see the new T-72M full interior Amusing Hobby kit is built up and shown in comparison to the real thing in this very good model build review section. When compared to the real thing the modeller can see directly the validity of the kit or not. There are also precious few actual build articles in the press nowadays since everyone thinks they are the Picasso of the modelling world and that is all they want to show off.
“Shooting Range Chieftain” - The Takom kit of the Chieftain by the very talented Japanese modeller Shimpei Nohara is shown on a firing range as an old, old target taken by shot, rust and the environment. I like it very much how the author spends time showing you how he got the base model kit looking the way it does. Cutting, slicing, sanding and scratch building with the modeller's references named and the kit's make-up explained to the reader really make it simple to follow.
The great step by step (SBS) article gives you the pictures right next to the text which allows for the information to directly seep into the reader's mind. The amazing paint job and flourishes like the bird in the tank's IR box, the cow and the amazing flora in the scene make this a worthy "cover girl". Not even an earthquake during construction could stop this build...
The Rye Field Model 35th scale “Challenger 2 TES” is modelled here by Ian Barraclough shows the pinnacle of British armour in the modern world with this colourful model.
Again Ian spends time to show the modeller the makeup of the base kit before he jumps into the painting and weathering. there is more block text to this article, but several reference photos with captions to explain how (and why) he has added the details he has. 
Łukasz Orczyc-Musiałek is next with his IDF “Shot Kal Gimel” from AFV Club in 35th scale. Seen charging forward this is a dynamic looking diorama scene. The kit's build is featured here, with damage and extra details added in and shown off smartly by Lukaz. He also shows the painting, weathering and finishing in steps so you can compare the kit as he applies layers and damage. This is a lovely looking detail of the weathering, especially on this model.
The modeller's showcase from Kuniyuki Takeuchi is next with a scene called “Tiran 5” of the Tamiya kit. More of a showcase really than a build, we still hear (and see over three pages) the lovely finished scene from this talented Japanese modeller.
A pictorial of the “Bradleys in Syria” by the Abrams Squad team is next giving us heaps of good references over six pages and some inspiration n this very popular military vehicle from "Murica".
Back to "Nam" next, with Uwe Kern's model of the “M113A1 ACAV” with excellent additions of crew and stowage on this all-purpose vehicle. I like how Uwe talks about the vehicles, and how he came about his choice of colours and his decision-making process while making this kit.
I love the diorama, and it is only a shame we could not see more of this scene and how he made it in this article which could have been a little longer. It is great though, no complaints here.
Another Chieftain is next, this time an “Iranian Chieftain Mk.5/P” by Alex Clark over eight pages. This smaller 1/72nd scale kit from Takom almost looks like a 35th scale in this magazine. The modeller gives us a very good walkthrough in Step by Step (SBS) style which I love to see. the extra stowage and then the same attention to the painting, weathering and finishing has been given to this kit as one would do to a larger scale kit. this will make lots of smaller scale kit modellers very happy to see and follow.
Just before the end of the book, we see some more references - this time “Russian Forces in Syria”, over six pages. Lots of calamity on the streets and lots of vehicles parked up at base. The pages show this latest conflict's vehicles in some nice detail.
Lastly "Turret Basket" section always shows us the best in what is coming up in the modern military modelling world in the last page of the magazine...

And that was all they wrote...
Issue #35 of the Abrams Squad is another great addition to the series. It has some really amazing builds that are in the top echelon worldwide. Indeed the publishers have gone multinational to find these works, and the result is very pleasing for the reader, not to mention incredibly inspirational.

Adam Norenberg

Thanks to Abrams for sending this to us to read and review.
This magazine is now available directly from the Pla Editions Website or from their distributors worldwide