Model Foto Focus Series
By Ralph Zwilling
Published by Trackpad Publishing
MSRP – $21.43 (£16.50)
Anyone that dabbles in the hobby of scale modelling, understands how invaluable a collection of good reference photos are. Trackpad Publishing has provided just such an invaluable series of books called Model Foto Focus. So personally being a fan of the Leopard family of tanks, I jumped at the opportunity to sneak-a-peek at Trackpad Publishing’s latest offering due out next month, 1A5 – The Ultimate Leopard.
1A5 – The Ultimate Leopard is the latest published works of Trackpad Publishing’s Model Foto Focus Series of books. This time,the author Ralph Zwilling brings fans of the Leopard tanks an in-depth look at the 1A5 model of these massive beasts. Presented in an A4 landscape format, 1A5 – The Ultimate Leopard contains 80 pages and nearly 260 color photographs in a softcover binding. There are nine chapters included in this book.
- Winter Exercises
- In The Field
- General View
- Head On
- Side By Side
- Rear Deck
- From the Rear
- Running Gear
- The Turret
As seen in the previous Model Foto Focus Series publications, 1A5 – The Ultimate Leopard starts off with an introduction giving the reader some background information on the subject presented within. If you know of or have any previously released books form this series, you will know that these books are all about two things…pictures and details! Moving quickly through the introduction, the book jumps right into Chapter 1, Winter Exercises. This is an eleven page, full color look at the 1A5 as seen during exercises with Panzerbattalion 413 of Germany’s Bundeswehr. This chapter focuses on a full array of exterior details of the 1A5 Leopard with the added bonus of some extreme weathering and even some ad hoc whitewashing.
Moving on, Chapter 2, In The Field, shows Leopard from the same Panzerbataalion 413 but this time in a is a four page chapter filled with more walk around photos with added supporting text. With this Leopard we see the application of camouflage scrim. This chapter continues the look at many exterior features as applied to the working Leopard 1A5’s. Chapter Three continues to add to the bucket of detailing making up the exterior of these tanks titles General View. Filling in some of the areas not covered in the two previous chapters, Chapter Three gives a nice overview of the entire tank with captioned photos to give focus to key points of interest of the tank.
At this point, we arrive at the bulk content of the book, the meaty, detailed close-up shots to the walk around to the Leopard 1A5. Charters Four through Nine cover the full gamut of exterior detailing broken down in to areas of the tank. The chapter Head On gives a complete overview of the Glacis including views of the hatches, grousers, tow hooks and more. Side By Side covers every square inch of the left and right sides of the lower hull to the tank including brackets, tools, clamps, skits and more; all with accompanying supportive text. The chapter titled Rear Deck, is simply that, gives a close viewing of the engine deck portion to the tank. The next chapter, From The Rear gives comprehensive look at the all of the details making up the rear glacis and it’s wears. In The Turret chapter an amazing overall look to the entire exterior making up the turret of the 1A5 Leopard including many photos focusing on this cat’s 105mm thermal jacketed L7 gun. Finishing up this in-depth walk around, the chapter Running Gear, shows us a detailed view to the road wheels, sprockets, idlers, tracks and return rollers.
1A5 – The Ultimate Leopard from Trackpad Publishing is an amazingly comprehensive look at the last of the Leopard 1 tanks, the 1A5 and a fantastic addition to the Model Foto Focus Series. The author has done an outstanding job in focusing of the key components that differentiate the 1A5 from other Leopard 1 tanks as well as showing all of the exterior facets that make up the Leopard 1A5 through the approximate 260 color photos contained within the book. Each of these photos have been supported with textual content informing the reader to key points shown in each picture. From a modelling standpoint, an all-inclusive walk around book on any subject is one of the most invaluable tools to any builder. 1A5 – The Ultimate Leopard is simply that, an informative, highly detailed pictorial review of this tank. Add the projected $21.43 (£16.50) list price, and this makes the book an incredible value for what is contained inside. My recommendation about this book as it is an must-have addition to enthusiasts of the Leopard 1A5 and an essential referencing guide for Modelers of the Leopard family of tanks.
Projected release of Trackpad Publishing’s 1A5 – The Ultimate Leopard is on October 10th, 2016.
Modelers Social Club and the MSC Review Connect would like to thank Trackpad Publishing for providing a copy of 1A5 – The Ultimate Leopard for this review.