by: Darren Baker [ ]
The Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank is the British Army’s tank of choice in today’s market. The Challenger 2 has become a popular modelling subject due to its use in Iraq I suspect. The Challenger 2 only lost one tank in combat and that was due to a blue on blue contact and so this tank has a great history. Kagero as part of their Photo Sniper series has got their sights set of the Challenger 2 and this title is the subject of this review.
This offering from Kagero as part of their Photo Sniper book series is a soft back book written by Dick Taylor. The card cover is fairly robust and should do a good job of protecting the 88 pages of good quality paper in A4 size. Dick Taylor is a busy man having authored a very good number of books covering armour from World War 2 to the present day for a wide range of publishers.
Dick Taylor has provided the text in this title in a pleasing manner as far as I am concerned, instead of providing pages of text it instead flows through the book and so is of a quantity that is likely to be read rather than skipped in favour of the photographs. The text covers the Challenger 2 from its Design and Development through to its service and onto its alterations in service; also covered are the Trojan and Titan based on the Challenger 2 hull.
The photographs in this book are all colour offerings totalling 198 in total, this are presented on gloss finish paper that shows the images at their best. The photographs cover the Challenger 2 from its earliest days through to the current vehicle in use; one of the development vehicles for the Challenger 2 is on permanent display inside Bovington Tank Museum. Towards the end of this title you are shown images of the training vehicles used at Bovington Camp, one of these shows the knife edge hill which if you go there on the right day you can watch the vehicles or accurately the drivers put through their paces.
The photographs show the Challenger 2 in many situations being it training, peace keeping and war, the result is a very good mix of images showing many varied finished looks to the Challenger 2. These are further enhanced via the addition of a number of colour profiles in the book. I did enjoy seeing the training vehicles, Titan Bridge layer and Trojan Armoured Vehicle Royal Engineers (AVRE) get coverage in this title but it is another aspect I particularly liked. This book covers the crew performing various tasks on the tank, tasks that are rarely shown such as track bashing and cleaning the barrel, there are even images showing aspects such as engine maintenance and the bivies that are hung from the sides of the vehicle for the crew to sleep in.
This offering from Kagero and written by Dick Taylor is a fantastic visual reference for the modeller. The text is presented in a style that encourages the viewer to read it as it is not intimidating in quantity and so you will find yourself learning about the vehicle as well as looking at it without realising. The photographs are of course the reason that most modellers will look to purchase the book and I don’t think you will be disappointed. The photographs cover a broad spectrum and are also of a very high quality that enables the viewer to pick out specific details on the vehicle.