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Book Review
11
Pz.Kpfw. II Ausf. F
Pz.Kpfw. II Ausf. F, AFV Super Detail Photo Book Vol.7
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by: Scott Espin [ SPIFF ]

Introduction
“Pz.Kpfw. II Ausf. F” is the 7th in the AFV Super Detail Photo Book series from Model Art. This book focuses on both the Pz.Kpfw. II Ausf. C (despite what the title says) and the Pz.Kpfw. II Ausf. F . There is a lot of information here regarding the history and development of the Pz.Kpfw. II as well as detailed explanations and photos of the features of both the Ausf. C and F. The book consists of 96 softbound pages measuring 11.75 by 8.25 inches. The book is mostly photographs consisting of 17 Black and White, 524 Color, 7 color profiles, and a set of 1/35 scale line drawings.

Review
Featured in the book museum examples of a Pz.Kpfw. II Ausf. F located in The Tank Museum (U.K.), an Ausf. F from the Kubinka Tank Museum (Russia), an Ausf. C located in Lenino (Russia) and an Ausf. F in a private collection. There is a color coding system used with the frames around the photos to make it easier to identify which vehicle the detail shots are coming from so they don’t have to repeat that information in each caption. Each section of the book focuses on one particular area of interest and provides many close up detail shots in color, often from several angles, which are very helpful to those researching this tank.

The book starts off explaining the history and development of the Pz.Kpfw. II from pages 1 through 6 and includes a set of line drawings on page 7. The text is written in both Japanese and English in two columns on each page. Those wanting to read this book in English will immediately notice that the translation is “chunky” to say the least. For example, here is a long run on sentence from the history section on page 6: “The armour was increased in almost all areas and the hull design changed significantly as was the upper hull most notably the drivers front plate was now much wider extending across the full width of the tanks body with no rebate on the right hand side as common to all other type of Panzer II exempting of course the Ausf d & Ausf e.” My goodness……

Much of the English text is awkward and suffers from having been translated by someone who’s original language is clearly not English. The vocabulary, grammar and flow of the information is difficult to follow at times and may require you to read a sentence two or three times to understand exactly what is being said. In the future, I would suggest that the publishers have a native English speaker massage the translation for clarity and grammar, including rewriting those annoyingly long run on sentences. Ultimately however, most readers will be able to figure out what the author is trying to explain. The history and information provided is useful and does a decent job explaining the development of the Pz.Kpfw. II.

The true value of this book is not in the written text but in the wealth of well done detail shots photographed from the four Pz.Kpfw. II vehicles. The photo detail sections are organized into the following sections:

Front Hull pg. 8-14
Fighting Compartment pg. 15-22
Rear Hull pg. 23-27
Fender pg. 28-49
Engine Deck pg. 50-55
Engine Room pg. 56-60
Turret Exterior pg. 61-73
Hull Interior pg. 74-81
Turret Interior pg. 82-90
Running Gear pg. 91-95

There is more dual language text in each of the above sections elaborating on the design nuances, features, development , and differences between the Ausf. C and Ausf. F for the particular area being focused on. There are black and white period photos included amongst the text for each section along with many well done detail shots of the various bits and pieces. Some of the photos don’t have captions but this isn’t a problem as they are usually just a picture of the same area but from a different angle.

The photographers have positioned a ruler in some of the photos to aid in determining the dimensions of a particular feature. It is a nice gesture, however the ruler is often impossible to read in the photograph defeating the purpose of including it in the first place. The photographs do an excellent job in showing all the features of this tank both inside and out. Many readers will be especially pleased with the numerous interior detail photographs, especially of the engine and breach of the 20mm Cannon. Of particular help are the photos of the rear lights, fender details, running gear, suspension and tracks.

Conclusion
I found this book to be an excellent photo reference and found myself referring to the photos constantly to help clarify the assembly and painting of the details while building this vehicle. The color profiles are nice, however there is only 1 included for the Ausf. F, the other 6 are for the Ausf. C. Curiously some of the profiles are labeled “Pz.Kpfw. II Ausf. A~C”. In spite of the translation issues from the Japanese text into English, this is an excellent reference book on the Pz.Kpfw. II Ausf. F (and Ausf. C). If you need detailed photos of every feature of this tank both inside and out, this is a must have in your reference library!
SUMMARY
Highs: Many excellent photographs of both the interior and exterior details of the Pz.Kpfw. II.
Lows: The Japanese to English translation could be considerably improved.
Verdict: Excellent photo reference of the Pz.Kpfw. II Ausf. F (and Ausf. C).
Percentage Rating
85%
  Scale: 1:1
  Mfg. ID: ASDP-007
  Suggested Retail: $41.95
  PUBLISHED: Apr 09, 2008
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 90.31%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 90.67%

About Scott Espin (Spiff)
FROM: NEVADA, UNITED STATES

I have been an avid student of military history for over 35 years, especially World War II with my focus mostly on German military equipment (tanks and aircraft). I'm especially interested in anything relating to the Eastern Front and North Africa. My Dad ignited my passion for modeling when I...

Copyright ©2019 text by Scott Espin [ SPIFF ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

Thanks for the review Scott, I will be picking this one up ASAP, as I need the reference for the Pz II F that I am doing a review of. I have this publishers volume on the Pz. Kpfw. IV Ausf.D Up-armoured (the Bovington one), and found that in that one the translation was fine. The captions of the photographs did have some mistakes though. Well worth the money in my opinion. Cheers Henk
APR 09, 2008 - 02:36 AM
Thanks Henk. The real value of this book is the wealth of photographs, which I'm sure you'll find very helpful when you work on your upcoming project. I have the Dragon 1/35 Pz.Kpfw. II Ausf. F in the stash which I'm hoping to build soon. I just recently finished up my ancient Tamiya Pz.Kpfw. II Ausf. F and found myself refering to this book a lot. The photographs are great, which makes up for the chunky translation. It would be safe to say that this book is the best reference I have on the Pz.Kpfw. II.
APR 09, 2008 - 04:42 AM
Hello Scott. Just read your review, and if some words were changed, it would be a 100% review of the Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. J/L and Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. F2/G books I just bought, including the description of the shots with ruler that are so small, the ruler becomes invisible. Without a doubt ... they´re going to be very useful books, with all details clearly dealt with. Something the modelling world needed. Great review, because it describes exactly what Id expect from this book, after flicking through the two I have myself.
APR 18, 2008 - 05:13 PM
   

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