64 pages, 69 photos
A5, 170 gsm silk paper, landscape format
Available through Trackpad Publishing – http://www.trackpadpublishing.com/
From the publisher
The next book from Trackpad Publishing is something very special. It is also something a little different because this has never been done before.
This is a photographic document of the end of the line for Dutch Army Leopards. Granted the subject is a little sad, but the author and photographer, Dirk Bruin, has captured the essence and beauty of these hard targets with some wonderful photography.
Sixty photographs each have a page to themselves. Printed on 170 gsm silk paper, the quality of the photographs comes through. This is not just another tank book, it is a study of the end of days for these machines. A lot of atmosphere – and a lot of detail – is captured in these photographs.
We hope that this book will appeal to all people. Not only is this a document to what will never be again on the island of Vlieland (the targets have now been removed), it is a book of magical images and glorious reference.
The Royal Dutch Army established itself on Vlieland in 1956 as Cavalry Shooting Camp. For four years, a tent camp was built at the beginning of each firing season. The necessary material was brought over by landing craft and taken down at the end of the season.
A more permanent encampment was constructed in 1960, consisting of barracks to house the permanent staff and the troops in training. This trend continued in the seventies when the first Leopard 1s arrived at Vlieland.
In time, the Leopard 1s themselves became the targets and these are the subject of this photo-study. In 2004, the range targets were removed and Vlieland returned to nature.
This book therefore marks the tenth anniversary of the withdrawal of the Dutch Army from it’s only live firing range on home territory.
Dirk Bruin was born and raised on the island of Vlieland, lying off the north coast of the Netherlands. He has a life-long fascination with the island’s history, past and present. He has dived on many North Sea wrecks. Over the years, as a professional photographer, he has gathered together an impressive portfolio of range targets – and many other subjects – on his native island.
When the news came that the tank gunnery range would be closed in 2004, Dirk decided to photograph the target area in detail. This has now become an interesting historical document of what has been – and will never return.
Trackpad Publishing is a new publishing company to the world of armor related periodicals but even more essential reference materials to the modelling community. With their release of Dutch Leopard 1 – Armoured fist of the Royal Dutch Army, Trackpad publishing began their journey into the public’s eye. They not only have begun their own collection of books on unique subjects but have a growing collection of books from various authors for sale.
Judging from their first release, Dutch Leopard 1 – Armoured fist of the Royal Dutch Army, and now the debut of their second book titled Vlieland Leopards – End of the Line, Trackpad publishing is certainly putting themselves at the table in regards to armored related subjects.
Trackpad Publishing newest venture, Vlieland Leopards – End of the Line, takes the reader down a completely different path as it pertains to armor; wrecks. Being an avid modeler, especially one who loves rust, wrecks and weathering of all kinds, I know all too well the value of close up, highly detailed photographs as one of the most useful tools in creating new pieces for my collection. Vlieland Leopards – End of the Line has all that! Even though the premise of the book is on the soon to be forgotten range wrecks of the Royal Dutch Army, the extremely vibrant colors, the highly detailed show of decay and really the emotion that these wrecks give rise to open the mind to what happens to these beasts when left to nature’s elements.
From the military enthusiast point of view, you may not be interested in the type of armor or subject matter at hand but you have to agree these pictures are breathtaking appreciating this photographic document is not only a fine collection of pictures of the once proud beasts as they were used as range targets slowly rotting in the sea but a photographic historical record to something that was and will never be again on the island of Vlieland.