The latest release from the Nuts & Bolts team is the second part of the coverage of the Jagdpanzer IV vehicles. The excellent Part 1 looked at the 75mm L/48 armed vehicles, and the new Part 2 looks at the vehicles armed with the longer L/70 gun, and often called the ‘Lang’ as a result. This more powerful gun was actually fitted to two types of Jagdpanzer IV. The main version was an up-gunned Jagdpanzer L/48, with the same low, sleek superstructure, produced by Vomag. This Jagdpanzer IV/70 (V) was the main production type. Meanwhile, the Alkett factory was set up to produce the Pz.Kfw.IV tank, and found it easier to fit the Jagdpanzer superstructure directly onto the tank chassis, resulting in a vehicle that was distinctly higher and which lacked the pointed bow of the Vomag vehicles. This Jagdpanzer IV/70 (A) was also called the ‘Zwischenlösung’ or interim solution, but the war ended before Alkett could gear up for making the correct designs.
The Nuts & Bolts book follows the superb treatment that has been established throughout the series. The book is bilingual English/German and printed to a very high standard. The first part looks at the technical design and production in about 20 pages, followed by 40 pages detailing the organisation of the kompanie units and the allocation to specific Divisions, Brigades and Abteilungen. This explains the actions fought, and the fate of the vehicles. For a modeller, this can be valuable to set the Lang in the correct context. A few further pages cover the models available for making the various L/70 vehicles, plus the aftermarket parts that are on the market.
The next 50 plus pages are a photographic record of the Vomag and Alkett vehicles, with two or three pictures per page, accompanied by excellent captions giving specific and precise information. This is followed by 1/35 plans and 3D drawings showing a range of different production variants, plus a few factory diagrams. Then we have 16 colour side profiles showing how the artist interprets a black-and-white photo of the vehicle in service. These diagrams are in part speculative, but they certainly give a superb rendering of how we believe the vehicles looked in reality. These profiles are a wonderful resource for painting your model.
The next 50 pages give us detail photos of vehicles in museums, showing a range of parts, internal and external, that a modeller can include or improve. The last few pages show models by Tony Greenland, and describe how he managed to achieve the superb finish on each vehicle.
In summary, this latest addition to the Nuts & Bolts series is in every way as good as the others, and provides an outstanding modelling reference as well as being a great read for researchers. In a few cases, the translation into English needs a very slight bit of attention (eg. Using grenade instead of round to describe ammunition, holder instead of bracket or mount), but this in no way detracts from a book that I would recommend without hesitation.
By Joachim Baschin and Martin Block, £25.15, available from Historex Agents