The Armor Journal has just jumped into the modeling / Military Vehicle publishing scene with a slightly different attitude than traditional magazines. First, it is a Journal focusing on a mix of models, history, and real vehicles. Second, this is a digital only publication. And third, it is a free to download publication. Not your everyday start up.
The Journal, 82 pages long, is downloaded as a PDF in "small size" in either single page or full spread at around 9Mb each, or as a high resolution PDF at around 154Mb. It states that it is about AFV's, as they define it: "An armored fighting vehicle (or armoured fighting vehicle) is a combat vehicle, protected by strong armour, and armed with weapons, which combines operational mobility, tactical offesive, and defensive capabilities. AFV's can be wheeled or tracked"
Inside you will find a typical breakdown for a journal. While it is published in English, it is apparent that several articles were done by translation or non-native English speakers, giving it a bit of a rougher edge when reading. In the publishers notes it is stated that this issue is a "trial issue". Future issues will supposedly be better polished and it is noted that most of the material was donated.
So how does it all play out? Well, the journal seems to be broken into 3 sections (intentionally or not):
real vehicle information
real vehicle photography
The first section stars with a mini walk-around of the only known Hungarian 41M Turan II left in existence, as seen at Kubinka. It moves on to a question and in-depth answer section called "Ask AJ", to a article on identifying the various 8.8cm Flak guns (with a one photo quiz at the end) and concludes with an article on the company Panzerfabrik and their work on building a 1:1 scale Panzer III J from scratch.
The second section has photos of Israeli Merkava's, Mike Haines Photo Collection (an ongoing publishing of Mike's collected pictures), and finally, a few pictures throughout the Journal add a casual artistic touch.
The third section, while I stated it was for models, is a bit of a mixed bag. It starts with a editorial on "Why I hate World of Tanks" (!), progresses through a descriptive slice of "Recent Chinese Light Armored Vehicles and Designations", waltzes through a book review section featuring 4 books, and finally ends up with the feature model section article: comparing kits of the IDF M51 Sherman. The reviews, both model and book, are informative and well done and take into account the real vehicle they relate to, not just what is in the box or between the covers.
The overall impression is that the Journal is off to a good start. It "feels" different than other publications I have read; a little rough around the edges, an interesting take on a popular game, and a focus more on being "detail oriented". There is a lot of potential for this publication.
Highs: Free to read. Interesting mix of articles and focus. It feels like a AFV publication focused on AFV's by someone that likes AFV's.Lows: Some translation, language, and editing errors. You have to print your own copy if you want it in paper. If you want the large Mb version, it will take some time to download depending on your internet connection.Verdict: Excellent "trial issue". Well worth downloading and looking at. Will appeal to anyone who enjoys AFV's, either the real thing or models.
About Jacques Duquette (Jacques) FROM: MINNESOTA, UNITED STATES
The first model I remember building was a glow-in-the-dark P-38, running around my bedroom in the dark flying it, and stubbing my toes. I do a lot less running around with glowing models now. I mainly focus on 1/35 armor and figures, with Modern Russian military vehicles being my favorite. I a...