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Book Review
Vol. 22 Grille Part 1: Ausf.M
15cm sIG33/2 (sf) auf GW 38(t) Grille (Sd.Kfz.138/1) Part 1: Ausf. M
  • 001336

by: James Bella [ C5FLIES ]

introduction

Nuts & Bolts Volume 22 delves into the 15cm sIG33/2 ‘Grille’ Ausf.M and is authored by Jari Lievonen, Tony Greenland and Martin Block. This soft cover book contains 122 A4 format pages printed on high quality paper, with all text written in both English and German. As with the Marder III series previously published by Nuts & Bolts, this volume is labeled Part 1 with a future volume most likely to cover the Grille Ausf.H.

review

The book opens with the main text section, containing 27 pages and interspersed with photos and tables. Since the Grille M has much in common with other AFV’s, previous Nuts & Bolts releases that are relevant are noted in the introduction as further reads. This section also contains information on the development of the Grille and the improvements made from the Ausf. H.
A well written technical description along with a data table is followed by the production history. A monthly production chart from November 1943 through April 1945 is included listing production numbers for both the Geschützwagen and Munitionswagen, although some are left open due to the lack of documentation.

Organization and deployment follow, along with respective charts, ending with an inventory by unit shortly before the end of the war. There are also sections on the tactical use of the Grille, along with camouflage and markings. Tony Greenland writes a short section on modeling the Grille M. Since the Cyber Hobby Munitionswagen was released just prior to publication, a more in depth view is given to the aged Alan kit. The inside front cover and the last six pages of the book show both these models completed by Tony, and a table of available kits and accessories available at the time of publishing is included.
Wrapping up this section, the publisher acknowledges the people that helped make this book possible, and includes a bibliography. All in all, this section provides a more than adequate reference for the modeler, and makes for an excellent read.

Following this are a series of black & white wartime photos, generally two per page with captions giving a general description and/or pointing out specific areas of interest. These photos are grouped in sets, starting with the factory fresh Grille M at the BMM plant including a couple of shots of the bare chassis with the superstructure, followed by seven views of a gun carrier captured by the British in June of 1944.
Next up are photos showing the gun carrier in the field, filling nine pages with a good variety of images. The last few pages in this section are the photos of the Munitionswagen, all taken in the BMM factory yard.

John L. Rue provides the technical drawings in 1/35 scale of both the gun and ammunition carrier covering front, rear, top, side and cut-away views. These are very well done and will be a great asset to the modeler. John also includes isometric drawings to further aid the modeler in the overall layout of both carriers. A wiring schematic for the radio system is also here.

Camouflage and markings are rendered in full color by Laurent Lecocq, with small B&W photos showing the actual vehicles these schemes are based on. One scheme is included for the rare 3cm Flak 103/38 photographed in Prague 1945, a nice addition for those modeling the CyberHobby kit.

The lion’s share of the book is devoted to full color photos of the two surviving vehicles, both residing in the United States. The gun carrier rests at Aberdeen Proving Grounds whilst an ammunition carrier can be found at the Patton Museum Fort Knox. Both have been subjected to the ravages of time and the elements, though remain intact enough to show many details.

The photos in this section comprise of a complete walk-around of the gun carrier, and numerous close-up shots of both vehicles highlighting just about every detail of the exterior and fighting compartment. It’s obvious that the photographer had the modeler in mind while shooting these, and the captions once again explain what is shown and point out the details.

conclusion

Spending $50.00 for a reference book was a difficult thing for me to do, although after having this book in my hands for about a month now, I can see that it was money worth spending. As a reference for modeling it is fairly complete, especially given the lack of documentation that has been found on the Grille M. The photos are high quality for the most part, the technical drawings are top notch and indispensible, and the color plates of the camouflage and markings are beautifully rendered.

Since the Grill M had much in common with AFV’s that Nuts & Bolts have covered in previous volumes, some areas may have been given less coverage to avoid being redundant. The authors state this in the introduction, referencing previous volumes by number that are relevant. Even so, there is enough reference material in this volume, which I’m sure will please the majority of modelers. Highly recommend.

Nuts & Bolts may be purchased from RZM Imports in the U.S. or direct from Nuts & Bolts at hfd.duske@t-online.de.


SUMMARY
Highs: Crisp, clear photos, numerous technical drawings and camouflage schemes. Enjoyable to read with plenty of information.
Lows: Cost. If more in-depth coverage is desired, other previous volumes may be needed.
Verdict: Excellent reference with a price on par with other quality publications. Anyone who plans on modeling the Grille M would benefit from this volume. Highly recommend.
Percentage Rating
92%
  Scale: Other
  Suggested Retail: $49.95
  PUBLISHED: Mar 02, 2009
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 86.44%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 94.00%

About James Bella (c5flies)
FROM: CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES

My main interest is 1/35 scale WWII armor, Axis and Allied, and will occasionally branch out into other areas. The builds I have done so far have been pretty much OOB, and considering what most newer kits include, that is usually more than enough for me. Even though my projects do not always end up ...

Copyright ©2019 text by James Bella [ C5FLIES ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

Rudi Richardson thanks James Bella, who likes to refer to himself in the 3rd person, for an excellent review hehe Thanks for the review, James. Well written and useful teaser pictures without giving away the whole plot. Rudi
MAR 01, 2009 - 04:46 PM
Thanks for the laugh, Rudi....next time I'll announce it as "me do review, look here" As far as the images are concerned in the review, I tried to use the most 'generic' ones...didn't want to give any of the good stuff away
MAR 01, 2009 - 05:54 PM
Hehe, been there, buddy Actually I consider book and similar media reviews to be amongst the most difficult to do. There's a fine line between giving away too much of the book and simply listing the index or stating what could be found on the likes of Amazon.com. Similarly in terms of pictures, you don't want to show the worst, nor all the best. But, and this is Rudi the former ME speaking, you've done a really good job here. Good show, mate! Rudi
MAR 01, 2009 - 06:03 PM
I have a few Nuts´n´bolts books, and theres enough info and images for me to want this one as well. Havent seen this book, but going on what Ive seen before, I know exactly what to expect. Good review James.
MAR 01, 2009 - 08:48 PM
I've been having this same problem with a review I've been working on for a long time on "Trackstory #6: Hotchkiss H35/59".
MAR 01, 2009 - 09:35 PM
Nice work James, the N&B books are invaluable both as a vehicle-specific reference in terms of the history but also for the walk-around photos of surviving examples. Can't begin to say how many times I've pulled one out and used it in relation to a particular build project. I have the other 38t family books in the series and just recently added this one as well.
MAR 02, 2009 - 07:45 AM
Thank you very much for the replies, gentlemen. It's good to know that I'm not the only one that finds book/media reviews difficult! Bill, I definately will be getting Vol. 17 on the Marder III M, and it should be interesting on how these 2 volumes interact. I can see N&B as being my first go to reference, I was very impressed with the technical drawings coupled with the camo/marking plates.
MAR 02, 2009 - 05:30 PM
   

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