Thursday, January 27

Read n' Reviewed: Tiger Ausf.E – Visual Modellers Guide from AMMO by Mig Jiménez

Reference is King with model making. Often your whole project relies on the details you garner from a book or photo on the internet for some subject of your liking. So books of quality of this type are paramount for modellers. We look at the latest from AMMO by Mig Jiménez on the Tiger I Ausf.E in our review...

Read n' Reviewed: Tiger Ausf.E – Visual Modellers Guide
From AMMO by Mig Jiménez
Reference no: #AMIG6024
Author/s: Karim Bibi, Ricardo Rivas, Philippe Roger, Mario Benedito, Alex Hernández, Allen Vallejo, Yang Yu Pei
80 pages w/16 colour profiles included
Languages: English & Spanish
Price: 13,95 €
Product Link on the Ammo Website
The fourth in this series of walkaround books from AMMO (There is a mirroring series of aircraft books) this "Steel Series" encapsulates some of the most famous tanks in history. So far we have seen the Tiger II, Panther and T-54/ Type 59 (to go along with AMMO's exclusive releases of these kits) in the series. Today is the turn of the mighty Tiger I Ausf.E.
The book in its physical form:
A thin but A4 landscape book, the eighty pages of this volume are full of coloured & black & white historical photos with coloured profiles (16) and in this case English and Spanish dual language text. Most of the book is photographic in nature, with text in captions and some block text to talk about the history and development of the tank.
"Steel Series Volume 4" is a work entirely devoted to the Sd.Kfz. 181 Tiger Ausf. E. (or simply Tiger I as most would know it). The book is authored by a large team of writers/ photographers (I assume several of the team each took photos of the Tigers) of Karim Bibi, Ricardo Rivas, Philippe Roger, Mario Benedito, Alex Hernández, Allen Vallejo, Yang Yu Pei while Enrique Calderon wrote the main text of the book.

Page by page...
After a brief introduction to the book's contents and raison d'être, we start with a history of the Tiger I. Starting at the logical point of the prototypes, known mostly to only "experten" and players of "World of Tanks" (guilty!) we get this time a decent history of the changes in development. 
This section of ten pages gives us history in text, often line drawings and specifications, historical photos of prototypes when they exist of the VK45VK3001 (H), the VK 3601 (H)before we get to the more familiar Tiger Ausf.E production model we all know as the earliest Tiger. Like the rest of the book, the writing is in English and reproduced in Spanish and French (or vice Versa depending on your own preferred language). The text is informative and easily understandable and it gives the reader a good look into why the Tiger was the shape and size it was.
The first of the walkarounds kicks off with the undisputed "King" of the present-day Tiger I's on display around the world right now. Bovington's Tiger 131. The only running (drivable) Tiger I as this review is published, we get a walk around with captions that explain each of the parts of the early model Tiger I. colours, points of interest and identifiers of the early Tiger are pointed out in a comprehensive walk-around that beats most I have seen (including my own walk around reference photos).
Tiger I (Mid) production is seen in a walk around next, with the chassis no #250315 that has been preserved and restored and now resides in J the massive tank museum in Kubinka near Moscow. 
Close up photos in a great walk around, the subject's finer points are isolated and explained to the reader. The differences in features after the early model we have just seen are shown and explained. Fifteen pages of photos broken into sections that include the turret, hull and running gear are featured in short sections very nicely for the reader's understanding and reference.
We move on to a Tiger in a rather more forlorn state in the tank on display at the Lenino-Snergiri museum (again near Moscow). This tank is a later version, made from a hull and a turret from two different tanks after being first used as a target practice wreck. We are lucky to have this much left of the tank I suppose. We follow the same pattern of examining the tanks turret, hull and running gear in grouped photos. The tank is held outside in the elements, so it is in a much poorer condition, but the reference and text provided is as helpful as the earlier sections in the book.
A more familiar (and complete) Tiger I is a 1944 (late) model that resides at the excellent museum at Samur. The Tiger, covered with Zimmerit, has eight pages dedicated to walk around photos and text. We see the unique properties of the Zimm-coated vehicle and again a good look at the turret, hull and running gear. 
The end of the walk-around section features more reference must-haves in the form of the Zimmerit patterns applied to Tigers, again this is shown in close up photos for reference. The colours used on Tigers, of course in RAL and aMMO colours are included in a captioned guide also. 
We end with several double-page spreads of sixteen profiles of the Tiger I, these cover many theatres of operation and in several colour schemes.  To add to these references and in a compliment of some ways, the several models of the Tiger I from Ryefield Model are shown in the end and each kit is discussed, with the Sturmtiger and other variants also discussed. I would have like dot have seen other manufacturers kits displayed here also.
So that's all they wrote!

This book is a great point of reference for Tiger builders and enthusiasts, the many types shown offer a contrast and point of difference to each other, showing not only different conditions of the vehicles, but the alterations in types as the development of the Tiger continued.

Inexpensive, handy to access and light, the book would be a great companion to many modeller's desks. It is a great little book.

Adam Norenberg

You can see more about this and AMMO's other gear on the AMMO Website...