As most of you will know I am a big fan of the ‘In Detail Fast Track’ series of books from Tankograd Publishing. These titles are aimed at the modeller who wants to get the details on their models just so, but does not need to know all of the ins and outs of the vehicle beyond the detail. Another big plus is the affordability aspect with each title coming in at €11.95 and so cheap enough for most to afford. This time around Tankograd Publishing has released five new titles in the ‘In Detail Fast Track’ series, these cover the Warrior FV510 TES (H), Dingo 2 GE A3.3 PatSi, Camouflage – Markings – Soldiers Grantiger Lowe, Panzerhaubitze 2000 A1/A2 and Keiler.
This release in the ‘In Detail Fast Track’ series of books from Tankograd Publishing is the fourth of the titles that has been published as a duel language offering, the text on the left of the page is in German and the right side in English, I believe that after four on the trot this is the new format. This title consists of 40 pages printed on a good quality glossy paper with a card cover. The text is complete over two pages and provides information on the Keiler’s birth, history and even its future gets a mention. The text is well written and utilises a good font for those like me that have been afflicted with the need for glasses.
The photographs are as you would expect the stars of the show, they are in focus and show the vehicles attributes at their best. Talking of “at their best” the images of this mine clearance vehicle, based on the M48, doing what it is designed for are quite impressive and give an idea of what the land looks like once one of these vehicles get to work. After the photographs of the vehicle at work you get to see some of the upgrades made to the vehicle and coming into service, details such as ‘safe climbing steps’, new tracks and the drivers work station.
This title then moves onto the more usual walk around of the vehicle, something that is normally right at the start. The walk around does a good job of helping the viewer orientate themselves when looking at the vehicle in more detail later. It should also be mentioned that Tankograd Publishing have provided very good duel language captions with the photographs, these can really help when you are unsure what you are looking at. This section then moves onto a good section showing the modified M48 suspension and the new tracks; you will not be surprised to learn that tracks are shared with the Leopard 2 family of vehicles.
The mine clearance device gets attention next with a close look at the 25kg weights that smash into the ground when in use, I particularly like that Tankograd Publishing has provided an image of these weights when not in use as they are secured, something I would not have thought of. The tools of its trade is very well covered in this title, and should a model become available will be of great reference value. The front end of the hull is next, this area is quite complex due to the various elements either protecting the vehicle or allowing it to perform its duties. Of interest here are the lights that are removed when the flail is in use and is the sort of detail that would be missed by most if not covered here.
The rear of the vehicle looks very different to an M48 as the engine intakes and vents are located here rather than on the engine deck. The photographs here will again be of great use to the modeller should an example become available. The next section looks at the hull roof in more detail, this area makes it very clear as to why the intakes have been moved as it show the roof both before and after operations; after use you could plant grass on the roof and expect it to grow well, there is that much soil. The title finishes with a quick look at the power pack of the vehicle.
This title has a surprising number of images that show this little known and seen vehicle very well for a book of its size. This title is another very good example of why I am such a fan of the ‘In Detail Fast Track’ series of books from Tankograd Publishing as you will be very hard pushed to find anything that comes close to the value of the reference within its pages for the price. It should also be remembered that these titles in the ‘In Detail Fast Track’ series have a limited print run of 999.
Highs: A very good selection of images showing the vehicle in more detail than I would have thought possible in a book of its size.Lows: The only weakness I can think of here is that I know of no model of the Keiler due for release,Verdict: A very affordable book of an interesting subject.
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About Darren Baker (CMOT) FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM
I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...