As the modeller progresses within this hobby they usually start to move away from what is provided in the box and instead turn to the aftermarket manufacturers, some go even further and look to replicate vehicles seem in period photographs and that is where this title comes in. This book looks to guide the reader when it comes to accurate detailing of vehicle markings and what the mean.
This latest release from Casemate is a hard backed book with pleasing artwork on the cover that instantly gives you a guide to the contents. Inside there are 144 pages of a good quality gloss paper and that gloss finish does mean the photographic elements in the book are well presented. This particular book is co-authored by Jean Bouchery and Philippe Charbonnier; I have seen other offerings authored by Jean Bouchery but Philippe Charbonnier is a new name to me.
This offering is laid out as follows:
1. Arsenal of Democracy
2. The Communications Zone
3. Organization of the United States
The Infantry Division
The Armoured Division
The Airborne Division
4. Common Markings
National Identification Markings
The Military Police
5. Unit Markings
Examples of Unit Markings by Vehicle Type
Unit Serial Numbers
Sources and Bibliography
The first three chapters of this offering are well laid out an easily understood. The first section covering the tanks, trucks, soft skins and trailer units are well covered as regards the items used by the US Forces; I thought this section would be pointless to me but due to its wide coverage there were items I was unaware of. The second chapter is a very short aspect of the title and concentrates heavily on the Red Ball Express and if building a truck to represent a vehicle engaged in what was the lifeblood of the frontline. The third chapter does a good job of explaining a complex breakdown of how the US Military set out their forces and what resources they had at their disposal. In effect this chapter is a one stop shop for explaining where your model or indeed vehicle could be placed and thus markings that can be used.
The fourth chapter of the book tackles an often thorny area of generic detailing such as where to place vehicle ID on the full range of vehicles. The drawings showing the vehicles in either 2 or 3 plains in order to make it clear what belongs where on that vehicle type. The aspect that I appreciated being covered here the most is what I think of as the air recognition symbols and that a chart has been provided telling you the size of the stars in both metric and imperial.
The fifth chapter of this book is the one where I spent the most time working out what means what and where it should be on the various vehicles used by the US Military in 1944. This is a really helpful area of the book as it will enable you to take the data from an image and work out exactly who was using the vehicle or for that matter trailer. After the book has shown you how to break down the identification on the vehicle you then check the data sheets in the book and that will enable you to get the information you seek.
The last chapter of the book looks at camouflage on US Military vehicles. I know that as soon as anyone thinks of the US Military in World War 2 Olive Drab jumps to mind and little else. This title takes you through the colours and distribution that were laid out for the US Forces in 1942 but by 1944 Olive Drab was the standard for all equipment; this is a real shame as there are some nice colour patterns in the mix that I feel would have done wonders for the appeal of Allied armour with modellers. I like that vehicle types have been covered in five plains in this title on some occasions allowing the modeller to replicate these patterns on vehicles prior to going over to Europe on D-Day. This is the section of the book that I wish was larger but that is not the designated purpose of this book.
This offering from Casemate covers a complicated subject and turns it into plain English for the reader. I would say that this book will hold limited appeal for the average modeller, but for those who strive for exactitude in their models it will work as a one stop shop of information. The included data will enable anyone to take a photograph with the ID visible and work out exactly who was using it; the modeller could also use this title to work out which units would be using a specific vehicle type and then add an accurate ID to that vehicle. I will admit that the price of this book made me think “ouch!” however if accuracy is your goal then this book should meet all of your needs.
Darren Baker takes a look at a new book release from Casemate titled ‘US Army Vehicle Markings 1944’ and which would appear to be aimed directly at the modeller or vehicle restorer.
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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...