- Published on Sunday, 29 January 2012 00:02 Thomas Mayer
Valentine Tank Walk Around
Squadron Signal Publications
Author: David Doyle
Format: 280 x 210mm landscape, paperback
Pictures: about 250, almost in full colour. Colour profiles, line drawings
Catalogue no.: SS5722
Available from Squadron for $18.95
To be honest this book came as a surprise to me: being on the Friedrichshafen model show some weeks ago as an exhibitor I had a walk visiting some of the few model shops that attended the show. Indecisive what to buy I flicked through the books and discovered what I really did not expect: a full colour walk around book on the British Valentine tank!
I immediately bought this one for I have two MiniArt Valentine tanks in my stash, with one of them already reviewed here on SP&R. I guess I will not need to introduce Squadron Signals books to anybody here, we all know them regardless which kind of models (ships, tanks, or aircraft) we build. They are great value for the money asked for them, maybe with the exception of their A-26 Invader book which I did not buy due to its exceptional poor picture quality.
This book out of their "Walk Around" range is crammed full with colour pictures of four preserved Valentine tanks: a Valentine Mk. III with sand shields and two-colour camouflage, a Canadian manufactured Valentine Mk. VI with its front end made of bolted plates, a Valentine Mk. IX with a 6-pounder gun, and finally a DD (duplex drive) Valentine being powered by a marine screw when swimming in water.
Squadron Signal calls this book a "Walk Around", but it is a "Crawl About" book, too! The pictures show every single detail on these tanks inside and out! The photography and the reproduction of the pictures is excellent, the accompanying text is very readable and articulate, even if I wished some pointers to show details mentioned in the text here and there. It will be fun to compare the kit´s parts to the pictures in this book! Especially the pictures of the open engine bay on the real tank will be helpful when building and painting the kit´s engine area as well as the interior shot of the crew compartment. I like that!
Most of the pictures are close-up shots of a certain area of the vehicles as the running gear, the track, the lamps and their conduits, the OVM (On Vehicle Material), exhausts, hatches, tow cable hooks, lifting handles, engine compartment doors, equipment racks, towing pintle, hull and turret details, and all the very interesting pictures showing the vehicles interior. I wished someone would do all those stencils for the hull and turret interior. Archer, do you listen?
Two general layout drawings of a Valentine Mk. II and Mk. II are nice but don´t show too many details, so the colour pictures are much more significant. Some other vehicle details are shown in line drawings. Colour profiles are interspersed among the text showing some examples of camouflage on Valentine tanks in varied theatres of war. But what I like most are the stunning paintings of Don Greer on the front and back cover! Awesome!
So what do we think?
MiniArt are to be applauded for having issued most if not all versions of this British infantry tank, and Squadron Signal did a fine job providing the modeller this book full of clear and substantial pictures as a reference when building these kits. This fine book will surely be at hand when I start tackling one of my Valentine kits!
Many thanks to my wallet for the review sample!