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James Tainton
05-26-2005, 11:43 AM
Damn - its been awhile since I updated- not because I've not been fortunate enough to be able to buy new stuff-just I'm lazy.
Anyways one thing I will mention is the new Modeler's Guide to Jagdpanzer being put out by Military Miniatures in Review.
Got my copy yesterday and after flipping thru it last night before falling asleep - I'd say I'm pretty happy with it. I have to run right now (to the beach-it's finally hot and sunny! and will be perusing this book more closely- I will have further details later.It looks good though- if a bit in the upper medium range...

http://www.kitpic.com/is.php?i=13126&img=jadgpanzerbook.jpg
edit:
well - I'm back from the beach and I'm a little more red and a little more well read.
After now having a closer look at this publication I give it a B grade
This book concerns closed top Panzerjäger and starts with the small Hetzer and goes through to the heavy weight Jadgtiger. ( Hetzer, Jagdpanzer IV, Ferdinand/Elephant, Jadgpanther, Jadgtiger).
The cover says part 1 so maybe the open toped variety will be addressed later.
One of the first thing that stood out for me was the choice of author/model builder. (Jim Hesley) While I don't know this guy or any of his work, (did a Google search-didn't see anything) he seems not to be someone who normally builds Deutsche 2 WeltKrieg Panzers, (he basically says so himself) and to me, this presents a problem. I would have hoped for someone more well versed in the subject matter to have taken this on. Still the guys work is okay and the writing and models are okay but are not of a quality much above a B grade (just my opinion), consistent with the fact that this stuff may be new to him. Not of the expertise of someone more familiar with the subject like say Tom Cockle.?
One problem I had with the writing however was the person seemed to have the slight bias of an Allied builder and had the irritating habit of translating German terms into American. I prefer the original language. Abteilung does not mean battalion.
There are useful charts showing the changes of the various incarnation of each vehicle and their deployment. There is a Readers Digest sort of historical summary provided for each tank, as well as photos , some of which have been seen before some not. There are no drawings showing details ala the Achtung Panzer series of books. Another point that may bother some is that there is no coverage of the smaller brother scale, 1/72. With all the recent releases in this branch of the hobby this is a problematic oversight in my opinion.
Another drawback is the author's choice in after-market items, such as tracks. Friulmodel are the only ones explored, no WWII Productions resin track or Model Kasten or others for that matter. The main supply of barrels come from Jordio Rubio, no Aber or any one else. Cavelier is the main after-market Zimmerite used, (except for the totally useless Eduard photo etch stuff which was put on the Elephant build, (YUK!) Another technique not addressed was soldering these Aber pe parts together.

Still all in all the book does have many good points about it, even if the builds are at the level of say, Finescale Modeller magazine. The author has chosen also to portray the models as very newly deployed to the battlefield so some aspects of a more advanced finishing technique, that would be required for an older, more battle weary AFV, are not addressed.
I would recommend it but is is far from being the Alpha & Omega reference for Jagdpanzern. My intention is not to be harsh but to be as objective as possible, based on my experience. There is some useful information here.

renarts
05-26-2005, 09:43 PM
Thanks for the review. Its very informative and handy to have a review by an accomplished and experienced modeler rather than have to rely on the marketing blurbs from distributors, retailers, and product sponsored reviewers.....

Stuke Sowle
05-29-2005, 02:28 PM
Excellent! You just saved my 25 bucks James as I only wanted this if it was a la their guide to the Tiger.

If I ever make it north, I will buy you a beer for your troubles. :)

James Tainton
05-29-2005, 10:08 PM
Originally posted by Stuke Sowle@May 29 2005, 01:28 PM
Excellent! You just saved my 25 bucks James as I only wanted this if it was a la their guide to the Tiger.

If I ever make it north, I will buy you a beer for your troubles. :)
well Stuke- maybe take a look at one in person before you totally decide- you may like it?

Alpenflage
06-04-2005, 10:19 PM
Panzerfaust. Is this book as lame as you say it is ? Sounds like Ampersand rushed it to their printer and put out a luke-warm product ? A big let-down next to Ampersands/MMiR's Guide to the Tiger Tank.

I was looking forward to this book, but now I wonder if its even worth stocking it. Funny, its been out for a week or so, and I have had no (as in zero) requests for it. Pale response compared to the MMiR Tiger book. Makes me reconsider placing a big order for this MMiR Jagdpanzer Guide.

Makes one wonder how good the MMIR Guide to the Sturmgeschutz will be ?

Oh well. you can't win em all :(

Cheers !

Robert

James Tainton
06-05-2005, 12:06 AM
Originally posted by Alpenflage@Jun 4 2005, 09:19 PM
Panzerfaust. Is this book as lame as you say it is ? Sounds like Ampersand rushed it to their printer and put out a luke-warm product ?

Cheers !

Robert
Well there goes any chance of my work gracing the pages of MMIR :lol:
It's not that it's lame- I didn't say that :o , it is just a B grade. It is not totally lame but I would say new to intermediate modellers are the ones that will benifit most from this book. It does have a lot of info in one package- it's just for someone with more experience they may find some of the models and the approach somewhat lacking. I suggest you get a few in (3?) and see how the go.

Alpenflage
06-06-2005, 07:27 PM
James. I didn't intend to put your review of the MMiR Guide to the Jagdpanzer down. I was simply reacting to your comments. Personally, I have not seen the book myself, so maybe I pre-judged it a bit. Sorry if it seemed abbrasive.

I will just have to get a copy and find out for myself ;)

Still, I trust your judgement, because I have seem some of your work here in the Vbench, and have admired it. Your modelling skills are "light years" past mine, but I always look at your work, and others like you, to learn how to improve my own skills.

I really wonder how this book will compare to the MMiR Tiger Guide.

Time to order my copy of MMiR's Jagdpanzer Guide :)

Cheers !!

Robert

James Tainton
06-06-2005, 09:01 PM
Originally posted by Alpenflage@Jun 6 2005, 06:27 PM
James. I didn't intend to put your review of the MMiR Guide to the Jagdpanzer down.
I just wanted to be clear that I thought it was okay but not great, and the word lame was not one I used. But not a big deal. ;)
Take a look and let us know your opinion.

spitfiresteve
06-09-2005, 01:22 AM
Interesting review James and as I value your opinion on what is worth looking at and whats not , I`ll take it on board when having a flick thru this title. I`ve only recently picked up the Tiger book for my Dragon Tiger and was totally impressed but the amount of technical and modelling information in it and it was well worth the money. I was hoping this would be along the same lines as I`ve aquired a JagdPanther as well now but maybe I`ll stick to normal reference sources now ;)

tankshack
06-09-2005, 07:52 PM
Hey guys...
First off... James, thanks for the fair and honest assessment of the book... I have the book and would give it about the same sort of rating, A-/B+ in my opinion.... I thought that the projects presented in the book were interesting and certainly accomplished the goal of demonstrating some of what can be done with some Jagdpanzer kits. Your assessment of Jim not being a Panzer experten.. is true, but the models in the book are executed at a level that many aspire to achieve but few actually do.. so, I would say that overall the models are better than some... not as good as others.

Since your googling turned up nothing on Jim and his modeling... Here's what I know about the author... First, he's a first rate guy that has always proved himself to be an excellent resource for information about specific vehicles and modeling techniques. Jim has also been contributing to MMiR for YEARS... he was also involved with the Tiger I book including doing construction and writing at least some of the text. Jim routinely provides research and photos to the excellent series of books published by Ampersand, Allied & Axis. His work has also appeared in the Trojca books on Japanese tanks. He was also the webmaster of a large website run for the Washington Armor Club for a number of years; however, he has since closed the site.

Later,
Tim

avukich
06-10-2005, 11:09 AM
James -- I will agree with the assessments of yours of the book, in that the models are only A- to B range. I don't fully agree with a few of your other observations.

One problem I had with the writing however was the person seemed to have the slight bias of an Allied builder and had the irritating habit of translating German terms into American. I prefer the original language. Abteilung does not mean battalion.

Being that I don't speak German reading a book in which every third word is in German is irritating to me. I for one find the writing in the Jentz books a bit tiresome and affected. No, Abteilung and Battalion are not equivalent when taking a literal translation, but in reality they both refer to the same basic unit structure and get the point across well for an English speaking person.

Another drawback is the author's choice in after-market items, such as tracks. Friulmodel are the only ones explored, no WWII Productions resin track or Model Kasten or others for that matter. The main supply of barrels come from Jordio Rubio, no Aber or any one else. Cavelier is the main after-market Zimmerite used, (except for the totally useless Eduard photo etch stuff which was put on the Elephant build, (YUK!)

Jim Hensley does not choose what products to use when building a kit. MMiR sends him everything they want him to use (kit and all AM) in one box and tells him to write the article about it, so it is not the author's choice, but rather Pat Stansel's. In regard's to the PE comment, not every modeler can handle a set of Aber whereas the less complicated Eduard set may be perfect for them. Very few of us modelers can attain the level of detail and scope/intensity that you and Tom Cockle can. I for one consider myself a pretty decent modeler, but am always in awe when looking at your amazing work. I can only dream of being able to use an entire Aber set and I would venture to guess that the same can be said for most of us. I do agree that a some other tracks should have been chosen for some projects as well as different barrel and zimmerit choices.

Another technique not addressed was soldering these Aber pe parts together.

This is not a book about techniques, it is a book about detailing a certain range of vehicles therefore I don't see how the lack of this subject being covered should have any bearing on the quality of the book as a whole.

Another point that may bother some is that there is no coverage of the smaller brother scale, 1/72. With all the recent releases in this branch of the hobby this is a problematic oversight in my opinion.

While you are right that some may be disappointed that they are not covered, those same people should not buy the book thinking that 1/72 subjects will be covered as it says in very large print right on the front cover, "A comprehensive guide to modeling German self-propelled anti-tank guns in 1/35th scale." That being said, I do agree that they shouldn't have limited the scope of the book to 1/35 and should have do a couple 1/72 kits and maybe even the 1/48 Tamiya Hetzer (though I suspect that kit arrived a bit to late to have made it into the book).

Now with respect to the models, I find that they are all built very well and detailed. I like the fact that there are full interiors on a number of the kits. I will agree completely on the comment about the finishing. Jim is quite a bit like Tony Greenland in this area. His models always look very clean to me. You would be hard pressed to pick up any issue of MMiR over the last three years and not see at least one of Jim's models in it and they are all the same way.

Now, on to Jim himself. To add a bit to what Tim said about him in his posting, Jim is a very accomplished modeler. In 2004 and I believe 2003 as well, Jim was the head judge at the AMPS Nationals. Jim's main areas of interest are Japanese and Russian equipment of all eras. In the Allied & Axis books, he is the author/researcher and photographer (in the case of museum pieces) of all of the articles on WWII Japanese vehicles. Also, like Tim said, he was a major contributer to the Trojca books on Japanese armor. In fact, at the back of each book is a section of Japanese models that is written by him (and of course all built by him as well). Jim used to be very active on the internet (Track Link mostly), but his job has him travelling quite a bit so he rarely has time anymore.

HTH,
Adam

James Tainton
06-10-2005, 10:47 PM
James -- I will agree with the assessments of yours of the book, in that the models are only A- to B range. I don't fully agree with a few of your other observations.
Adam
Thanks for taking the time to respond- something a lot of people that visit here don't take the time to do ;) As for your difference of opinion on some points;
Hey aren't democracies great!
"I disagree with what you are saying, but I will fight for your right to say it."
In any case I was only giving my own personal opinion and opinions are like as*holes -everybody's got one and some of them are pretty hairy and smelly! :lol: (wonder if that will make it past the censors!)
Being that I don't speak German reading a book in which every third word is in German is irritating to me. I for one find the writing in the Jentz books a bit tiresome and affected. No, Abteilung and Battalion are not equivalent when taking a literal translation, but in reality they both refer to the same basic unit structure and get the point across well for an English speaking person.


Well I heard a funny joke the other day on some web site that dealt with Axis historical questions, etc. It went like:
What do you call someone who speaks three languages? - Trilingual
Someone who speaks two languages? - Bilingual
One language - American
:) (just a joke)
I guess for me - and admittedly not for everyone, the question of using the original language in describing the original vehicle, part, system, organization is important for several reasons.
1. One is out of respect for the originating society and/or country. Akin to how if say a poem, book or song is written or sung in any language other than the one it is composed in... something gets lost in the translation.
2.In my digging below the surface of the skin and into the meat of my odd predilection for der deutsche Zweite Weltkrieg Panzers, that is into the deeper understanding of development, design and production of these fascinating vehicles of war, I have come to the conclusion that this desired understanding of the primary subject of research and all adjacent areas relating to the Panzers can only be enhanced by a primal understanding that may come from actually learning the German terms and in my case, a belated attempt at this stage in my life to learn the German language. I have tried to for approximately 2 or 3 years now to get some basic understanding and it is coming along slowly. Which brings me to my third reason that I prefer the original language terms
3. I will be going to Germany again in the future- I have been there three times now, and this time it is my hope to live there for an extended time and live among the natives, as there is nothing that can advance one's understanding of a foreign language than living there with that intense form of interaction. I think being submerged in the actual culture/country will greatly enhance my understanding of the people of Germany and the actual language. I will perhaps gain some insight into the reasons and motivations for the historical choices made by the German people, particularly as it comes to World War Two, and the concepts of Armour warfare.
4. With more and more ability and understanding of German it is my hope (admittedly a distant one) to one day be able to go into das Bundesarchiv
http://www.bundesarchiv.de/
and do my own original source research.
5. I want to know what my German friends are saying about me while they talk in the back seat as we drive to Berlin on the Auto Bahn.
6. I always thought that the coolest dudes in the WWII movies was the guys who got picked to go in behind enemy lines because they could speak the language. Perhaps if there is another war with Germany I will be able to make use of my knowledge of German to help Canada and the Commonwealth over come the Axis threat!

Jim Hensley does not choose what products to use when building a kit. MMiR sends him everything they want him to use (kit and all AM) in one box and tells him to write the article about it, so it is not the author's choice, but rather Pat Stansel's.

Be that as it may my comments were directed in a more general way and not a personal attack on Jim Hensley it was more a comment on the editorial choices made in the production of this book, the main one being - why not choose someone with more experience with Axis tank model building, research, kits, after-market items, etc.
Perhaps there would have been other scales, after-market manufacturers' items included etc. -say if someone like that had been chosen. If not then it still shorts the reader to a broader exposure to what, how and all that... when it comes to Jadgpanzers and the modelling thereof. Wasn't the purpose of the book to be a "Modeller's Guide" Perhaps the the title is not appropriate in such a narrow execution of content?
I think he did okay but it's like someone like me writing a Modeller's Guide for Shermaholics about Sherman tanks- not my cup o' tea mate.


In regard's to the PE comment, not every modeler can handle a set of Aber whereas the less complicated Eduard set may be perfect for them. Very few of us modelers can attain the level of detail and scope/intensity that you and Tom Cockle can. I for one consider myself a pretty decent modeler, but am always in awe when looking at your amazing work. I can only dream of being able to use an entire Aber set and I would venture to guess that the same can be said for most of us. I do agree that a some other tracks should have been chosen for some projects as well as different barrel and zimmerit choices.

All I will say here is that Eduard PE is not as good in accuracy as Aber. Eduard maybe easier- but for me.... why bother. I think with practice everyone can learn to handle Aber stuff- it really is not that hard after a few go's. I 'm far from being an expert on the stuff and am always learning and being challenged when I use it to augment my plastic tank model, but I believe that is how you get good at something- you work on the stuff you are not so good at not the easy stuff.

This is not a book about techniques, it is a book about detailing a certain range of vehicles therefore I don't see how the lack of this subject being covered should have any bearing on the quality of the book as a whole.

I agree that it's not a book about techniques but isn't it a modeller's guide. Even the Tiger book from Ampersand covers more technique stuff. I think it's just lazy or better, short sighted (in my humble view) not to include more in depth and advanced finishing techniques (among others) for modellers to learn by. I'm sure many would have appriciated that. Perhaps this book is just the ticket for the beginners or the intermediate modeller out there but it falls short for some of us that have been doing this for awhile and want to advance in these areas.



While you are right that some may be disappointed that they are not covered, those same people should not buy the book thinking that 1/72 subjects will be covered as it says in very large print right on the front cover, "A comprehensive guide to modeling German self-propelled anti-tank guns in 1/35th scale." That being said, I do agree that they shouldn't have limited the scope of the book to 1/35 and should have do a couple 1/72 kits and maybe even the 1/48 Tamiya Hetzer (though I suspect that kit arrived a bit to late to have made it into the book).

Again isn't it supposed to be a modellers guide? Not all "models" come in 1/35th scale. It's a cheap and cheerful shortcut to only include 1/35th scale kits.

Now with respect to the models, I find that they are all built very well and detailed. I like the fact that there are full interiors on a number of the kits. I will agree completely on the comment about the finishing. Jim is quite a bit like Tony Greenland in this area. His models always look very clean to me. You would be hard pressed to pick up any issue of MMiR over the last three years and not see at least one of Jim's models in it and they are all the same way.

Now, on to Jim himself. To add a bit to what Tim said about him in his posting, Jim is a very accomplished modeler. In 2004 and I believe 2003 as well, Jim was the head judge at the AMPS Nationals. Jim's main areas of interest are Japanese and Russian equipment of all eras. In the Allied & Axis books, he is the author/researcher and photographer (in the case of museum pieces) of all of the articles on WWII Japanese vehicles. Also, like Tim said, he was a major contributor to the Trojca books on Japanese armor. In fact, at the back of each book is a section of Japanese models that is written by him (and of course all built by him as well). Jim used to be very active on the internet (Track Link mostly), but his job has him travelling quite a bit so he rarely has time anymore.

HTH,
Adam
Well I'm sure he's a great guy thanks to both you and Tim for some info about the venerable Jim Hensley. Let me just say I take nothing away in regards to his interests or contributions to the AFV modelling fraternity as a whole. My only criticism is perhaps he is better suited to write about what he knows and Pat ought to have gotten someone with a real passion for German armour to write a book about it. I would love to have a crack at doing one of these things-even with the full knowledge that I too would most likely be ripped to shreds by others out there only too happy to point out mistakes flaws etc. I commend the attempt on Jim's part! I 'm positive it is not easy to put one of these books together. My hat is off to both Pat and Jim in their efforts to bring us this book, I guess I was just hoping for something more....

(P.S. so much for me staying away from model sites on the interweb for 30 days.... I guess I can try again tomorrow... ha ha.)

avukich
06-11-2005, 05:10 PM
James,

Well I heard a funny joke the other day on some web site that dealt with Axis historical questions, etc. It went like:
What do you call someone who speaks three languages? - Trilingual
Someone who speaks two languages? - Bilingual
One language - American
smile.gif (just a joke)

Unfortunately, this joke is pretty true, but not for long. Pretty soon you will need to speak Spanish to get around America. I live in Northern Virginia outside of Washington and if you go into almost any fast food restaurant, gas station, convenience store, etc. the folks working barely speak a bit of English. You have to know the basics of Spanish just to order a Big Mac anymore. :)

I do fully understand what you are saying regarding the German language, but sometimes it just gets a little overwhelming to have to read that much German and figure out so many different words to just learn a little bit about a vehicle. To be honest, if I were going to start trying to learn a whole new language, I'd make it Japanese so I can finally read all those wonderful Ground Powers and Achtung Panzer's I have on the bookshelf.

Be that as it may my comments were directed in a more general way and not a personal attack on Jim Hensley it was more a comment on the editorial choices made in the production of this book, the main one being - why not choose someone with more experience with Axis tank model building, research, kits, after-market items, etc.
Perhaps there would have been other scales, after-market manufacturers' items included etc. -say if someone like that had been chosen. If not then it still shorts the reader to a broader exposure to what, how and all that... when it comes to Jadgpanzers and the modelling thereof. Wasn't the purpose of the book to be a "Modeller's Guide" Perhaps the the title is not appropriate in such a narrow execution of content?
I think he did okay but it's like someone like me writing a Modeller's Guide for Shermaholics about Sherman tanks- not my cup o' tea mate.

I definately agree with you on this point. I don't think that Jim was the proper choice for this either. In fact, when Jim was building these kits he was less than happy because he has no interest in these vehicles whatsoever. I don't know this for sure, but I have a sneaking suspision that Jim is fed up with doing articles for MMiR. They had him working on this book, a book on Patton's, and regular articles all at the same time and I think he is pretty burned out. He was in my modeling club (Washington Armor Club), but recently bought a house pretty far out in the country and has stopped doing the club web-site, quit coming to meetings, didn't even go to AMPS (let alone be head judge), etc. He was getting more and more discouraged as time went on with his interaction with MMiR and this book (and his contributions to the Tiger book) had a lot to do with it).

All I will say here is that Eduard PE is not as good in accuracy as Aber. Eduard maybe easier- but for me.... why bother. I think with practice everyone can learn to handle Aber stuff- it really is not that hard after a few go's. I 'm far from being an expert on the stuff and am always learning and being challenged when I use it to augment my plastic tank model, but I believe that is how you get good at something- you work on the stuff you are not so good at not the easy stuff.

No arguements here regarding accuracy. It seems to me whenever Aber and Eduard both do a set for the same vehicle, Aber is always more accurate. I would definately disagree on the "everyone can learn to handle Aber stuff" comment. I have learned to use Aber, but I have run into loads of people who cannot even use the Eduard ZOOM sets without problems. :) I think that the way that people learn to do things is really dependant on the person. You just jumped right in with both feet with the Aber while I spent a couple years getting comfortable with Eduard before going to the more complicated Aber sets. I think that there are a lot of people out there that if they started off with Aber would end up getting discouraged with PE and stop using it all together. I bought a set back when I first started getting serious with my modeling and found it very overwhelming so I decided to learn how to walk (Eduard) before attempting to run (Aber), but with a little practice I can now make workable tool brackets and workable hinges from the Aber sets without too much difficulty. I've even recently started trying to solder my brass thanks to seeing the excellent work of Adam Wilder and yourself.

Again isn't it supposed to be a modellers guide? Not all "models" come in 1/35th scale. It's a cheap and cheerful shortcut to only include 1/35th scale kits.

Once again, you are right, but MMiR never does much for small scale in their magazines let alone their specials, but at least they were up front about that and said it on the front cover.

(P.S. so much for me staying away from model sites on the interweb for 30 days.... I guess I can try again tomorrow... ha ha.)

Well not to sound like a jerk here, but I for one hope you fail because I make it a point every day to stop by and see your latest work on the RSO. I only hope to someday attain a level as high as yours with PE proficiency. Keep the pictures coming!!

P.S. -- My wallet and wife thank you. Not only have you been the reason that I have gotten things for modelling, but now you've even caused me to go out a buy a freaking CD! After I heard that Rammstein song you posted, I just had to have the CD. I liked their earlier work, but their last album Mutter, was a bit of a disappointment so I wasn't planning on buying the new one, but you had to come to their rescue didn't you. :lol: (great album BTW).

Adam