by: Darren Baker [ ]
This offering from Pen and Sword as part of their Land Craft series looks at the M2/M3 American Halftracks of the Second World War. These books are I feel an attempt to offer the modeller a combination package covering both reference on the vehicles and a look at the models and items available to replicate the M2/M3 American Halftracks of the Second World War as a scale model.
This offering from Pen and Sword is authored by Robert Jackson, who I am sorry to say is a new name to me, but that may be due to most of the titles he has authored cover aircraft and that my library on aircraft is limited. This is a soft backed book with a good card cover protecting 64 pages of semi gloss paper. The contents of this title are laid out as follows:
Development and Design
M2/M3 in Detail
Camouflage and Markings
In Service and In Action
The family of M2 and M3 half tracks had a long life as I know my father drove one as a REME tank fitter in the early 1960's. Robert Jackson has done a very good job as the author of this title as I found the text covering the first four sections about right looking at it from a modellers viewpoint, and I do feel these books are aimed at the modeller as I have said earlier. The text is to the point, easy to read and understand while avoiding overly complicated text. The result of this is an enjoyable read that should meet the needs of the modeller with a reasonable interest in the vehicle and its history during the war years.
Before reaching the modelling section of the title the reader is presented with a nice selection of colour plates covering the M2/M3 American Halftrack in four plains. These drawings have one very nice aspect in that they offer finishes that go beyond the all olive drab finish that Allied vehicles are nearly always shown finished in.
The modelling section starts with a showcase of finished models that are both stand alone and in diorama settings. These will be of limited use to the modeller when it comes to building and finishing models, but they do offer some very interesting visuals when it comes to items you may wish to add to the build and the finishing and weathering you may wish to replicate. The section covering the kits available is a great section for the modeller who wants to see where to aim his or her pennies at. Models in 1/76th, 1/72nd, 1/35th and 1/16th scales are depicted and also covers injection moulded plastic and resin offerings.
The end of this title is a continuation of the M2/M3 Variants section and I have to say I am pleased about that as I initially felt it be very light on content. This offering then finishes with the in service and in action section; this section while short offers some great period photographs of the vehicle that I enjoyed looking at.
This is a great addition to the range of books usually covering tanks and Robert Jackson has made a stunning offering with this title considering the amount of space he had available and he has authored a title that all modellers should make space for in their library. The cost of £11.99 is an absolute steal for what is offered and I cannot fault it in any way.