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Reference, Allied-Axis 28

September 26 2012 at 7:44 AM
Frank V. De Sisto  (Login zappa93)
MODERATORS ONLY - Time on Target
from IP address 108.41.116.191

AMPERSAND PUBLICATIONS

Allied-Axis Issue 28. Soft covers, 8.5 x 11-inches landscape format, 96 pages plus covers. Contains one color and 139 B&W photographs.

In its typical form, the latest issue of Allied-Axis contains the following five articles:

Sd.Kfz.6 5-ton Half-track Prime Mover, 24 B&W photos, by David Doyle.
3-inch Anti-Tank Gun M5, 29 B&W photos, by David Doyle and Pat Stansell.
U.S. T/M6 Heavy Tank, 54 B&W photos, by Jeff Kleinhenz and David Doyle.
Sprengladungsträger (Sd.Kfz.301) Ausf.A and B, 16 B&W photos, by David Doyle.
Covenanter Heavy Cruiser Tank, one color and 16 B&W photos, by Scott Taylor.

The Sd.Kfz.6 article has a brief introduction that concisely covers the conception and development of this series of artillery prime-movers, engineer squad transporters and self-propelled FlaK guns. The author does a fine job of taking the reader through the sometimes confusing designations; in doing so he performs a good service. The photographs are all from archival sources and all of them take up a full page, allowing for easy viewing of details. All of this will prove especially useful to those contemplating either the fairly well-done Bronco, or less well-done Trumpeter kits.

The 3-inch Anti-Tank Gun article is also preceded by a half-page of introductory text, which explains the differences in guns and carriages and how this affected designations. Some mention is also made regarding the doctrine, later disproved at the cost of not a few lives, which preferred a towed gun over a self-propelled piece. The photographs are a mix of full-page archival images followed by 15 photographs of a preserved example of an M5 gun mounted on an M6 carriage. This article will prove useful to owners of the AFV Club kit of this gun, or those that may own the older KMC conversion that was based on the venerable Italeri 105mm howitzer.

Next in line is the longest article in this issue, devoted to the development of the US Armys T1/M6 heavy tank. It begins with the obligatory bit of text describing development. The text states that the main armament was a 76mm gun. It was actually a 3-inch type as related in Hunnicutt and as shown where the author presents the technical specifications later in the article. The remainder of the information is provided by the captions that accompany the photographs. The archival photos are nearly all presented as a full page each; the images of a preserved vehicle are mostly presented three of four to a page. The latter are extremely clear and will provide a good detail reference for modelers who may own the Commanders kit.

The Sd.Kfz.301 article begins with a five-paragraph introduction, followed by a series of archival images. One of the latter is from a German technical manual; another is of a vehicle deployed by the Germans. The remaining images depict captured examples, one by the British and the other by the US. The first two images depict an Ausf.A. This is followed by a series of images also depicting an Ausf.A of an interim version, with added armor for the driver, but still retaining the rubber-shod tracks; this version still has no escape hatch. These subtleties are not noted in the article. The final group of images depicts a full-up Ausf.B, with dry pin tracks, tailored drive sprocket, drivers compartment armor and side-wall escape hatch. The images, most of which cover an entire page, are extremely clear, showing the dusty, faded markings to excellent advantage. DML has variations of this small tracked AFV, and this article will prove to be of help to those contemplating a model.

Finally, what is probably the most detailed article in this issue covers the British Covenanter Cruiser Tank. This failed design never saw combat, but served quite well in the UK as a training vehicle. In particular, the text, which runs along the bottom of the first nine pages of the article, is extremely detailed. It relates the development and production of the vehicle in a fine fashion. The images are all full-page and depict the Covenanter on exercise, during rail transport and undergoing maintenance. The last image of the lot shows the engine in a training classroom; this allows for a great deal of detail to be seen. Finally, one image is repeated in glorious full color on the back cover of the issue. About all that is available, kit-wise, of this AFV in 1/35th-scale is a Cromwell resin kit. Perhaps Bronco will one day tackle the subject, but hopefully in a better fashion than seen on their lamentable Cruiser Tank Mk.III.

This is again a very well-balanced presentation, which although there are a few extremely minor glitches here and there, is absolutely worthy of a place in the WW II modelers reference library. The price is reasonable, the production values are high and the visual information contained is very useful.

Frank V. De Sisto

Ampersand Publishing books are available direct from them or from DragonUSA at: www.DragonUSAonline.com.

Note: Since May of 2005, I have been working on books for Concord Publications, a sister company to DragonUSA, Ampersands current N. American distributor. The reader may wish to take this into consideration. For my part, I will attempt to maintain an objective viewpoint when writing these reports.

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